How to Travel with Your Baby in the Car
OK, maybe it’s not quite as easy to hit the open road now that you have a baby in tow, but
there’s plenty to love about a family road trip. Unlike with flying, you can choose to stop as
often as you’d like, whether you just need a moment to feed your baby or need to hit the rest area again. Plus, there’s no limit to the type or quantity of snacks and drinks you can pack, which can help keep everyone in the car happy. Still, it takes a little more planning to pull off a successful road trip when you have a little one; here are some ideas to get you started.
Prep the car.
Make sure your vehicle is safe and ready for the long ride. Fill up the tank with gas, check
the tire pressure, change the oil if needed—the last thing you want is to break down with
your baby in tow. Also be sure your car’s heater or air-conditioning is working as it should;
you don’t want to be stuck dealing with unpleasant temperatures when your baby is in the
Besides the usual baby stuff you’ll need during the trip (diapers, wipes, etc.), bring along a
change of clothes, a blanket/lovey (or anything that helps Baby sleep well), snacks and a
trash bag to toss things like dirty diapers and empty cups.
Bring a first-aid kit.
Of course, you don’t want any mishaps to occur, but it’s always wise to be prepared just in
case. Take along any prescription medications that your baby requires, baby Tylenol in
case Baby spikes a fever or is teething, diaper rash treatment and, of course, bandages
and first-aid ointment.
Focus on entertainment.
You want to keep your baby happy during this trip to avoid on-the-road meltdowns. Bring her favorite toys and books, but don’t let her have all of them at once. Instead, give them to her one at a time so when she gets bored with one toy, you can simply hand her a new one.
Make Baby comfortable.
Strap your little one into his car seat (always placed in the back seat) correctly to ensure a
safe and comfy ride. You might want to get window shades to protect Baby from the sun.
And consider using a designed-for-babies neck pillow to make his ride extra comfy.
Map out your rest stops.
No one likes to be cooped up in a car for too long, so be prepared to stop every couple of
hours so your baby has a chance to get out of the car seat. You might even want to
schedule your stops around your baby’s feedings to make planning easier.
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