While there are several tips out there, I just wanted to share my own experiences with my readers. I hope this blog as well as all my other blogs will inspire parents/families and those of you who plan on having kids or single to explore the many beautiful cities and states within the US as well as the world.
Sophia’s first road trip was a 5hr drive to Connersville Indiana for a family baby shower at 6months. And let me tell you, it was a rough one. From crying because she wanted to get out of the car seat, to being curious about everything around her, being sleepy yet not fully taking her naps because of her curiosity and lets not forget the fact that she couldn’t nurse as frequent as she wanted to. (Being a breastfeeding baby, feeds are a lot more frequent) It was through this first trip that I was inspired to write this blog. At 7 months, we took our second road trip to Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia all within a week. Was this second trip perfect? Absolutely NOT, but it was much better than the first one as far as being on the road. I definitely learned from both of these. I hope my experiences and tips will be helpful and inspire you to get on the road.
- Keep the babies important items close in reach and not in the trunk: Big items like the Stroller, Bumbo, Fold up playpin go in the trunk. Essentials such as pacifiers, snacks, bottles, toys, books should be close in reach so as to make it easier for you and to avoid the hassle of pulling over just to go to the trunk. Make sure what you pack are babies favorites. Mix up the toys and snacks to a variety so that baby doesn’t get bored.
- Travel with someone for the first trip (A friend, Family member, Significant other) Having someone with you (another adult) especially for the first trip will make the trip a little easier and more fun for you. It’s nice to have a second hand especially if you don’t know exactly where you are going. Not to forget, it’s even easier to stop for a bathroom break without having to drag your baby in with you (which I’m sure will happen when you travel alone)
3. Dress the baby in comfortable clothes and according to the weather: You don’t want the baby to over heat or get cold. Putting on comfortable clothing is a must and will help your car go along smoothly. Also have extra clothing inside the car in case of a diaper accident.
- Pack Extra: Because the weather is very unpredictable in every state, I highly recommend packing more than you’ll need because chances are you will need some extra clothing. Check weather in advance of course, but plan on it changing as well. For our second trip, I made sure I packed for the 94 degree weather which consisted of short sleeved onsies and shorts but I also packed 2-3 long sleeved onsies and pants. I was glad I did this because once we got to Maryland, the weather flipped on us and went to the low 50s. Expect the unexpected.
FYI: Pack extra clothing for yourself too, messy accidents will happen.
5. Take short breaks: I found that even taking a 5-10min break after driving 2hrs is going to help your baby stay calm. Just like we as adults need a break in between, our babies can use a stretch after sitting in that car seat. (It doesn’t have to be after 2hrs, but whatever works for you and your baby of course) This is also a great way for babies to use their curiosity by seeing what’s around. I noticed that when we stopped even 5min with our Sophie, she was more relaxed.
6. Make the road trip fun: Have a blast with your baby, make this trip and many more to come memorable and don’t be too serious about it. Expect the Unexpected and just go with the flow. Your first trip and even second may not go as planned and that’s OK. Play some music, tell stories, be silly and take plenty of pictures. Road trips can be fun if you make them fun. At 7 months, Sophia has already taken 2 road trips and 1 flight. This is only the beginning of many adventures to come. My hope is to introduce her to as many cultures, states, and countries the same way my parents did for me. To all you traveling new mamas and experienced ones, may you continue to teach your kids to live outside the box and be open to travel while learning.