Before you have children, trips out are easy. All you have to do is jump in the car and off you go. Once kids come along, however, the process becomes a logistical nightmare of gargantuan proportions. It can be done, though, as long as you make time to do a little planning and organizing.
There will be plenty of days when you have no choice but to take the kids with you when you make trips out. It may be difficult at times, but getting out and about is good for them and good for you. The key to success is to make the right decisions before you set off. Take into account the following tips and advice and you should have a stress-free trip.
Baby’s Nap Time
Babies sleep a lot, so the best time to travel is when the journey coincides with their nap time. Most babies are lulled to sleep by cars, so even if you can’t plan the journey to fit around baby’s nap time, it can be helpful to take a trip out if your baby is grumpy or teething. At the very least you will be able to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet for however long you are in the car. Just make sure you have a comfy car seat for the baby to travel safely in.
Food and Drink
Breastfed babies are easy to accommodate on road trips. As long as you can find somewhere appropriate to stop to nurse (look at a parking website or app to see where the nearest car park is likely to be), you can feed your baby and then continue with your journey.
Bottle-fed babies, or babies in the process of being weaned, will need bottles and food. Pack your food and drink in an insulated bag to protect them from temperature fluctuations and don’t forget to include bibs, baby wipes and a roll of paper towels to mop up any spills or messes.
The Changing Bag
A well-stocked changing bag is essential. Always pack more diapers than you think you’ll need, plus at least two changes of clothes. Yes, trust me, you will need them. The day you forget these things is the day your baby’s diaper will explode, requiring a diaper change, a bath and a change of clothes. It is also helpful to throw in some plastic carrier bags to contain those soiled goods so they don’t ruin your fashionable diaper bag!
Sunshine is glorious, but not if it is shining directly into your baby’s eyeballs. Purchase a couple sun shades and position them so baby is protected from the sun. Remember to fit sun shades on all windows around baby, or as soon as you change direction, he will be in the sun once again. It’s also a good idea to keep a spare window shade in your diaper bag, just in case.
Make Your Baby Comfortable
Spend time ensuring your baby is comfortably strapped into his car seat and that he has a few well-loved toys to keep him entertained. Hopefully he will fall asleep within a few miles, but if not, a toy or accommodating sibling should keep him entertained for a while.
Car trips with a baby don’t have to be a complete nightmare. The more often you do them, the easier it gets! Or at least that the lie that we tell ourselves in order to muster up the courage to leave once again…
For more tips for traveling with a baby, check out: Top 5 Travel Essentials For Moms