Hi friends! How was your Easter weekend? Ours was absolutely wonderful, and I will forever cherish the sweet memories we made with Adeline! I took too many pictures to share right now, so I’ll be sharing them a bit later this week. I also need to share Adeline’s 5 month update if I can ever get her pictures ready!
I’ve had a few readers ask me for my advice on road tripping with a baby, so I thought I’d share my tips since you know…we’ve done it three times now and are basically pros. Not really, but I feel like we are over the fear of traveling with a baby and have figured out a few things to make our lives easier along the way.
10 Tips for Road Trips and Traveling with Baby
1. Pack in chunks – By this I mean, take as few bags as possible! Use 2 or 3 BIG bags/totes instead of several smaller bags or mixing it in with your stuff. For one it will make it much easier to carry in when you arrive, and two, it will make it easier to find everything and you’ll feel more organized. Chunk or group everything together so it will make sense when you get to your destination. I use one big bag for ALL of baby’s clothes, toiletries, bath towel, bedding, etc. And then I put all of the diapers, wipes, “changing table” needs and “medical” supplies in a separate tote. And finally I take a basket with all of her car “toys”, the Ergo, sound machine, etc. (So a bag for clothes, a bag for diapering, and a bag for equipment.) Specifically, I use an XL L.L. Bean Tote for Adeline’s clothes, a travel diaper caddy for diapers/supplies, and a cute container/basket I bought at Home Goods for baby equipment and toys.
^Obsessed with this bag!!!! I’d always wanted a big L.L. Bean boat and tote bag, and this was the perfect occasion to finally invest in one! My mom got it for me (for Adeline) and I can foresee it getting lots of use! This thing is HUGE and holds so much!
2. Travel changing pad – LIFESAVER. I keep this in the diaper bag 24/7 regardless of if we’re traveling. But, when you’re traveling, you definitely want to make sure you keep this handy. There’s nothing grosser than putting your baby on a changing table in a gas station bathroom. Or, on your front seat without anything under their bottom in case she blows-out mid diaper change! It’s doubtful that wherever you’re going has a changing table in your room, so throwing this down on the ground or bed when you’re changing diapers is a simple changing table on the go! Also, if you need to change baby in a restaurant and they don’t have a changing table, being able to lay them on this in a booth is super helpful. (I’m going to go ahead and throw Dairy Queen and Taco Bueno under the bus on this one. Neither have changing tables in their bathrooms, at least the two in TX we stopped at didn’t. Pretty frustrating!)
3. Diaper caddy for car and your destination, and a basket of car “toys” – These are the second and third “bags” I mentioned above. I keep both in the backseat on road trips for easy access. If we have to change her in the front seat or trunk, being able to quickly grab a diaper and wipes makes changes ten times faster instead of having to dig through my diaper bag. (Or, better yet keep that travel changing pad fully stocked!). In the caddy I also keep any toiletries or medical needs so they are within arm’s reach. And then when you’re at your destination, you can use the caddy anywhere and easily change baby in any room. The container/basket I make sure to put a few books, toys she likes, and maybe a thing or two she hasn’t seen a lot of lately so she’s a little more interested in it. She typically sleeps most of the time, but if she wakes up and we’re trying desperately to distract her until we can find a good exit or it’s not quite time for her to eat, it’s been nice to be able to reach back and grab something to put in her car seat with her. Sometimes I’ll sit back there and prop a book up in front of her so she’ll have something to look at. *There are also tons of great backseat mirrors out there that have music or toys on them, but in our SUV the mirror blocks the view from the rear view mirror so bad that we don’t even keep a mirror back there. When we move her to one of the side seats we’ll probably put it back, but for now her carseat is in the middle.
4. Wet bag for dirty clothes or blowouts/spit ups – I use this all the time, and even send it to daycare with her everyday. It’s perfect for throwing dirty or wet clothes in and keeping them away from everything else in your diaper bag. The last thing you want to do with a poopy onesie is have it rub up against other clean clothes in the diaper bag! We have one similar to the one below that we received as a gift from Pottery Barn Kids. Her name is monogrammed on it and I love it!
5. Sound machine/Sleep Sheep – We use a sound machine at home every night, but it’s especially helpful to have when we visit family because we never know how loud it’s going to be when A needs to sleep. We also bring our Sleep Sheep with us to hook on her car seat while we’re driving.
6. Stuffed animal from crib – This is totally not a necessary thing, but I feel like it’s a sweet gesture for your little babe. I like to bring one of A’s stuffed animals to put in the packnplay with her so at least something looks a little bit like home. Flashback to teeny tiny baby Adeline and the swaddled days!
7. Emergency diaper, wipes, essentials in glove compartment of car! – YES YES YES. We keep a travel pack of wipes, 2 diapers, and a small trash bag in our car 24/7 anyways, but when you’re traveling it’s nice to know if you got stuck somewhere or went somewhere and forgot your diaper bag, you’d at least have something in the car as a backup. (One time we went to church while in TX and completely forgot the changing pad portion of the diaper bag which contained all of our diapers and wipes, so Adam had to run home during the service and grab it.)
8. Car adapter for pump – If the baby is still sleeping, keep on driving and just pump in the car! Just be sure you have a bottle though that you can put your milk in to give baby when they wake up! Medela also makes bags you can pump right into if you know you’re going to have a freezer or fridge to throw them in. For me, I just pump into my usual bottles and use the cooler that comes with the breast pump, then pour milk into one of her Avent bottles when she’s actually ready for it.
9. Go with the flow, embrace the extra long pit stops, make it fun, and sit in the back with baby if you need to.
10. Timing, timing, timing! – We’ve had the best luck with A. leaving early in the morning and B. leaving right after she’s been fed. We tried leaving at night one time, and while she slept the entire way (which was fantastic!), she had a really hard time going to bed when we arrived at our destination because she’d just taken a 5 hour nap! I prefer to start trips out early in the day anyways when your energy is a little better!
Bonus: a water bottle for mom, extra snacks for dad, and a whole lot of patience!
I think that should cover the basics! PS, I’ve been trying to remember to share posts on Facebook, so if that’s more your style, find me over there!