We officially survived our first road trip with Artie! There were definitely some rough moments but overall he did great! I want to share what worked for us so your first road trip with Baby is just as much fun as ours was!
Timing is one of the most important components of a successful road trip with Baby. If your baby sleeps well in the car make sure you time your road trip during naptime. Our drive was 4 hours and Artie slept for an hour and a half both ways. This made a huge difference for us! He started to get fussy during the last hour so if you are taking a longer road trip I would recommend leaving at night, if possible, so Baby sleeps longer.
Make sure your baby is dressed comfortably for sleeping in the car. You may want him to arrive to your destination in style but a comfy sleeper, like this, is a better option. Bring headphones for yourselves so you can listen to music or podcasts to pass the time, while the car stays quiet for Baby. If your baby is having a hard time falling asleep, play his favorite lullaby to help him doze off. I play music from the Sleepy Sounds app and Artie falls asleep within minutes.
The more distractions you have for Baby, the better. I only give Artie his Wubbanub on outings so it is a special treat that keeps him content on long car rides. We keep Artie’s toys in a storage box like this, so I sat it next to his carseat during our drive. You want to have as many toys as possible within arms reach, especially if your road trip is a long one. At the very least I would bring a favorite toy and a new toy. The new toy will keep Baby distracted since this will be his first time exploring it. This one is perfect for long car rides! It has lights, sounds, and a velcro strap to hang over a younger baby’s carseat. You can also take down your car seat mirror so your little one can play with the baby in the mirror!
Know in advance that you will need to take more breaks than you did on road trips before Baby. Your baby will need to eat and be changed as frequently as he normally would so be prepared to stop. These pouches are perfect for snacking in the car and if your baby prefers warm bottles you may want to invest in this travel bottle warmer. Use nighttime diapers and take your changing pad for quick diaper changes on the go. NEVER take your baby out of the car seat while the car is moving.
The last thing you want on a road trip with your baby is to not be prepared. Make sure you, Baby, and the car are all ready for this road trip. You and your baby should be well rested and fed before you leave. Always travel with a fully stocked diaper bag so you have everything your baby could need. You can read here what I always keep in Artie’s diaper bag. In the week before your road trip make sure all car maintenance is up to date. Pack a first aid kit and if possible travel with another adult. You may need to ride in the back seat with Baby when nap time is over or stop at a rest area for your baby to have some play time. You never know how your baby will react on his first road trip so be prepared for anything!
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