Baby's First Vacation: 3 Tips and Tricks for Road Tripping with Baby
It's time for your baby's first vacation--- How exciting! And... intimidating, right? Whether you're an experienced follower of wanderlust or and anxious traveler in general, baby changes everything (as always).
Traveling with a child, especially a baby, is definitely different and has it's own unique points of stress but with the necessary information and a few tips and tricks in mind, you will still be able to have an enjoyable trip.
1. Build in extra time
You probably know by now that getting out the door to anything while bringing a baby long takes way longer than just getting yourself out the door. A road trip is no different. You'll want to aim to leave 2 hours earlier than you normally would, and plan for a 15-20 minute stop every 2-3 hours for feeding and diapering.
Remember, safety first. Never take your baby out of his or her car seat while the car is in motion. That's why planning for those stops is so important.
One little helpful tip when planning when to leave is to aim for nighttime or one of baby's naps. This will allow the first few hours to be while baby is asleep and my help you make some good time and have a lot of distance under your belt before your first stop of the trip.
2. Bring along entertainment
For older babies that may get bored sitting in a carseat for long stretches, purchase some new, exciting toys for the road trip. Stretch the entertainment potential out by introducing them one at a time during the trip to keep boredom at bay.
This is another good reason to have an extra adult traveling with you, not only so that you have an extra set of hands for luggage and baby care at your destination, but so that someone can sit in the back with baby while the other drives.
3. don't expect to pack lightly
It may feel like you are packing your whole house up for those first few trips. The more you travel, the easier it will get and the less you will feel the need to bring, but for this first trip, expect lots of heavy bags. It's okay. Embrace it.
For every trip you will need to have a fully stocked diaper bag: diapers, wipes, changing pad, hand sanitizer, plastic bags, extra clothing (for you and baby), rash creams, medicines, bibs, burp cloths, nasal aspirator or saline wipes for noses, bottles, snacks, and feeding supplies: formula/pump/nursing cover). You may consider a larger diaper bag than the one you carry everyday.
You will also need clothing, pajamas, bathing supplies, crib sheet, blanket/lovey, toys, a sound machine, and a monitor. For bulk items like diapers or swim diapers, formula, and toiletries, you may want to order them to be delivered to your destination (especially if you're staying with friends or family), or buy them at the store in your destination.
after this first trip, it will get easier! Expect to be physically and mentally drained from the travel, and try not plan anything too strenuous on travel days.