Planning a road trip with your baby can seem very daunting and stressful to begin with. However, with a little pre-planning, it doesn’t have to be as scary as you may think.
We went on our first family road trips with both our boys when they were just 2 and 3 months old. Both journies would have been 5-6 hours on a straight run, but travelling with such young babies the way we travelled had to change. With my first Roman, we were so new to travelling with a baby, I had so many things I needed to learn and research that we probably went a little overboard.
The number of questions I originally had in the lead up to the road trips left me thinking, I can’t be the only mum stressing over this. So I decided to put together my foolproof beginner’s guide to taking a road trip with your baby blog, explaining everything we found helpful and all our travel essentials.
Before you leave for the road trip
Before hitting the road, take a little bit of extra time just to get the car ready. I decided to take my day to day baby caddy I use at home, its open and organised into sections so everything can be quickly grabbed. But you could also use a bag if you dont have one of these. Inside, you need to put all the things you want access to on the journey –
- Bottles & formula powder or ready made (unless breastfeeding)
- 2 flasks – one with boiled water and the other cooled boiled water for powder formula
- Muslins and bibs
- Spare clothes/sleepsuits
- Nappies, wipes and nappy bags
- Spare dummies
Keep it organised so that every time you stop you can just grab what you need easily. I also reccommend keeping an empty bag available, use this to put all your used and dirty bits into, keeping it separate.
I then had a separate bag for extras that I could easily grab if needed, they are not essential but came in handy. This included;
- Small toys and a car seat toy
- Baby-friendly music
- A rear-view baby mirror
- Baby’s blankets if colder weather
- Window shades (sun screens)
- Baby food, snacks, and drinks for your baby (if weaning or older)
- Snacks and drinks for the adults
- Phones and Chargers
On the the road trip
We were, fortunately, travelling with two drivers so we organised stops to switch. Whilst one of us drove the other was in charge of children. You will need to schedual some planned stops, to allow your baby to stretch outside of the car seat. The best way to do this is to check your car seat manufacturer’s recommended time spent in that seat. Then you can map out some service stations on the route, at around those times. You will also need to be ready for any unplanned stops too; nappy explosions and inconsolable crying are two potentials (we had both).
Make the journey fun for your baby
Inbetween the stop offs and naps you will have periods of awake time. If space allows I found it easier to hop into the back as, age dependant, the baby should be rear facing and it was easier to engage with them. Think up some activities to do with your baby along the way, before leaving I brought a great car seat toy with flashing lights, mirrors and little tunes which came in very handy. You can also make a little bag of their favourite toys to pull out along route and one of the best activities for long car rides is book reading.