Hitting the road with your little bundle of joy? Resist the urge to pack Baby’s entire nursery to take with you on the road! You probably already know to drive while Baby sleeps and to take plenty of roadside breaks to get her out of her car seat, but here are seven road trip hacks to use when traveling with Baby.
Keep Things in Baggies
You don’t want to have to stop the car and dig through the trunk each time you need something. Divide items that you’ll need on the road into separate bags and keep them within easy reach. Have one bag that’s stockpiled with baby needs, like a pacifier, sippy cup and board books. If you have older children, make a bag for each of them with snacks and toys (A backpack with the straps hung on the back of the seat in front of them works perfectly so they can access it themselves). Make sure you have a bag stocked for you, as well. You don’t want to be digging around looking for your phone or a snack and risk waking your sleeping baby!
Make Your Own Sunshade
A baby rear-facing in her car seat is subject to the sun shining on her face through the rear window! Bring a large muslin swaddle blanket and use a few office binder clips to safely secure to the car seat and completely block out the rays.
Be Ready for Roadside Diaper Changes
With baby on board, you’ll likely be more concerned about having a baby blowout than a tire blowout. Keep the diaper bag in an easy-to-grab location so you don’t have to hunt for it during an emergency. During roadside breaks, take the time to restock with diapers and wipes. Keep several changes of clothing in the bag so you won’t have to dig through suitcases to find a clean outfit (put a clean tee in there for you, too!) Don’t forget a wet/dry bag to store messy clothes until they can be laundered. A portable changing pad that can be wiped clean is a must so you can change baby anywhere from public restrooms to the lawn at a park. When driving for long stretches, consider diapering baby with an absorbent nighttime diaper to extend the time between changes.
Prepare to Fix a Boo-Boo
What if your toddler takes a tumble or gets a bug bite? Be sure to have a well-stocked first aid kit with antiseptic, bandages, and anti-itch cream to take care of any small injuries. Don’t forget a packet of tissues for wiping away tears and stickers to make the boo-boo feel better!
Give Baby a No-Mess Activity
Speaking of stickers, they make a great craft activity. Give him a sheet of stickers and paper attached to a clipboard and let him peel and stick to his heart’s content.
Bring New Entertainment
Bring a few new items that Baby has never seen before to pull out when boredom strikes. Use a mesh pop-up laundry hamper for toy storage inside the trunk. When I took my young son on a road trip, the item that entertained him most on the long drive was a wand filled with colored liquid and sparkles. He was fascinated by turning the wand and watching the sparkles float through the tube. For road stops at a park, an inflatable beach ball is perfect to kick around. Switch toys out at each rest stop to keep boredom at bay.
Pop the Monotony
Pull out a bottle of bubbles and blow them in the car. What baby doesn’t love bubbles?!
Save Snacks for Later
When it’s meal time, your baby will let you know (even you’re in the middle of nowhere!). You’ll need to be prepared with snacks along the way. If you stay at a hotel that offers a breakfast buffet, pack up zip-close bags with a few snacks that your baby can eat later, like muffins, fruit, and dry cereal.
What’s your favorite travel hack with the baby? Share with us in the comments!