So, you and your spouse are itching to have a fun and exciting road trip! However, you have a little baby that you are afraid to take. How are you supposed to have a fun and stress free road trip with a baby? Well, I am here to tell you that it is possible to have a great road trip even if you think the baby might ruin your fun.
What Not To Do On A Road Trip With A Baby
This past summer my husband and I drove two states away (about 14 hours) to go to my sister’s wedding. We had to bring all three of our children and the oldest is only four. We really tried to find the best way to drive that far away without going crazy. We decided that the best idea was to drive through the night.
This plan, as expected, backfired. My kids didn’t sleep when they were supposed to sleep. At least one child was crying at all times. So, by the time we got to our destination all of us were exhausted. When we got to the location, we didn’t have time to sleep and so the entire trip was a complete exhausted fog.
The next road trip that we take we refuse to try to drive through the night and we also will avoid driving 14 hours straight! It was just too much, the kids didn’t sleep, both my husband and I were cranky, and I wasn’t able to have as much fun as I could have had.
7 Tips On How To Have A Fun And Stress Free Road Trip With A Baby
Road trips can be so much fun. Not only are you getting to drive to your destination, but you can have so much fun along the way. You get to listen to music, eat junk food, stop at random places you see on the road, and then you get to enjoy the Earth’s true beauty. However, road trips can change dramatically when you have a baby passenger, but you can still have fun!
1. Bottle Feed Your Baby During The Trip
The number one reason for making multiple stops during a road trip with a baby is having to feed your little one. Some babies need to eat every two hours and so you will not be wanting to stop every two hours to feed the babes. The best thing you can do is to bottle feed your baby while driving. Therefore, you don’t have to stop every couple of hours.
2. Sit Back With Baby
Make sure that somebody is sitting back with the baby. A lot of babies don’t like their carseats, because it means that they have to be retrained and they don’t get much social interaction. If an adult (or older child) sits back with the baby then they can entertain them when they get sad, or hand them their binki when they lose the pacifier.
3. Don’t Drive Long Hours
Plan to make stops. Our biggest mistake with our road trip was that we drove 14 hours straight without stopping to get out (except for gas). We should have split the trip up in two parts, so that the baby would have had time to roll around and be snuggled by his mama. It would have made a much more successful trip.
4. Drive During Nap Times
Work with your baby’s naps. Everybody will be happier, including baby, if you plan the biggest drive times during their nap times. If your baby typically sleeps from noon to 3:00 then make sure you are driving during that time. Most babies tend to be very upset if they are wide awake and ready to play, but they are just stuck in their harness.
5. Remember Baby Toys
We accidently forgot to bring my son’s toys on our road trip. All we had was one rattle. The rattle only kept his attention for about thirty minutes and then he wanted something different. We tried to hand him random things around the car with no luck. When you go on your road trip make sure that you have a lot of different toys for your baby to play with to keep their attention.
6. Be Organized
I know that it can be very stressful to keep everything organized while driving with a baby. It is even harder when you are trying to grab something really quickly, but you can’t find what you are looking for at that moment. If you get a backseat baby organizer you can avoid being overwhelmed by a screaming baby and not being able to find what you are looking for.
7. Purchase a Comfortable and Safe Car Seat
I am convinced that babies know the difference between comfortable and uncomfortable car seats. We took a road trip with my second child when he was young. We had a very simple and basic car seat, but he hated the harness. He cried every time we would strap him into the car.
We chose to go and purchase a new carseat that provided him with strap cushions, head cushions and even bottom cushions. He was not only safe, but he seemed incredibly comfortable. That was the first time that he would effortlessly sleep in the car. Car trips were much more enjoyable and stress free.
It is very overwhelming to go on a trip with a little baby, but that shouldn’t stop you from going on your vacations. Although you may need to plan the trip a little more than you once had to do, that shouldn’t stop you from exploring this world! So, pack up that baby in their carseat, pack up the baby gear and go on a road trip!
About the Author
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.