by Danielle Burgi
Taking a road trip with a baby is definitely a challenge, one that some parents may welcome while others dread. Whether you're excited about it, stressed about it, or a combination of both, there are some basic suggestions that can help you make the trip successful and fun!
First of all, allow yourself plenty of time! A trip that only took 5 hours pre-baby could easily take several hours longer now. You will need to stop to feed and change your baby, and also just to give them a chance to stretch out a bit. These breaks will help to relieve the boredom of a long car trip and keep baby happier, definitely worth the extra time!
Pack a bag or backpack full of fun toys. Some of the best toys for traveling are those which can attach to the car seat so your baby can't drop them. Another great way to entertain your child is to play children's music or taped stories. You could even record yourself reading some of your child's favorite stories!
If your baby is still nursing, you can bring along a manual or battery-operated breast pump so you can pump in the car. This would also allow you to feed your baby without having to make a stop. If your baby is eating solid foods, bring along some age-appropriate snacks. Soft and chewy snacks may be less messy then things like crackers. For meals on the road, pack a picnic cooler of food for yourself and your baby. This way, you can eat whenever you are ready and you won't have to worry about finding a restaurant with nutritious meals for your little one. Make sure to bring along some napkins! A large bib that can be wiped off is also a must.
Pack a mini-diaper bag with just the essentials such as diapers, wipes, and lotion. This way, you can do quick changes anywhere without worrying about digging through a big bag. A small change pad is a good idea since many places don't have actual change tables. Also bring some resealable plastic bags -- these are perfect for temporarily storing soiled clothes, dirty diapers, etc.
Try to stick to your baby's regular routine as much as possible. If driving tends to put your baby to sleep, you can play games such as Peek-a-Boo to keep them awake when it's not their usual naptime.
Other good things to bring on a road trip are window shades to keep the hot sun off of your baby, a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, and a stroller. If your baby is old enough, an umbrella stroller is perfect for trips as it is small and lightweight. You may also want to bring some type of carrier or sling. Pack extra diapers and clothing just in case!
Emergency supplies are a necessity, pack a first-aid kit, flashlight, tools, water, snacks, and anything else you might need in an emergency while on the road. If you are going to be traveling in cool weather, bring warm blankets as well.
With the right preparation, traveling with your baby can be an enjoyable, rewarding experience!
Danielle Burgi is the founder of www.babyplanetboutique.com, an online retailer specializing in hip, unique products for babies.
Copyright © Danielle Burgi. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.