Want to get out of the house? Thinking of going on one of your road trips but you’re worried about the potential for drama and stress as now your family until has a little bubba to bring along? You needn’t stay at home, so long as you prepare well, and follow these simple tips!
1. Face Your Fears
Even heading out to a restaurant for the first time can create anxiety. What if she doesn’t sleep, if she starts screaming the place down and I start getting death stares from other patrons? So it makes sense that many parents will not want to embark on a long road trip until the kids are closer to 10 years of age, rather than being a baby! But don’t fear, your life needn’t be on hold until your baby is older.
Your baby will cry, there will be dirty diapers and you will get frustrated, but so long as you’re prepared for that, you will do fine. So start small, and mentally prepare yourself for a little bit of pain, for longer term pleasure.
2. Plan Your Driving Time Around Sleep
Plan to leave on your drive at the optimal time around your baby’s sleeping pattern. This may mean a night time departure, and if this is the case, ensure the driver receives adequate rest before hand. When your baby is asleep, try not to stop the car unless of course you really need to (for rest during long drives). So make sure the car is topped up on gas before you leave!
In regards to planning, in general, plan well before you leave. Charge any devices you may need such as iPads or music players, etc…
3. Drive Time: Stopping at Regular Intervals
Something you can do on the road, and not so much in the air.
Try to minimize driving time to no more than two to three hours in one sitting, for your own safety as well as comfort of others in the car. Stop, give your baby some attention and possibly a feed, stretch your legs, then hit the road again!
Just be sure to plan your stops ahead of time, so you know where are the best places to stop and you’re not stuck in the middle of nowhere at five in the morning!
4. Feed Me!
Not just for your baby but for you! This will keep your visits to restaurants and take away shops to a minimum so you can get back on the road and on your way sooner.
“Plan mealtimes for when your baby is awake and alert, and choose baby-friendly locations. If weather permits, it’s more relaxing to let your baby roll around on a blanket at a park or rest stop than to try to keep her quiet in a restaurant. And a park offers more privacy for breastfeeding, too.” – babycenter.com
Having expressed breastmilk is a good idea also. Keep it in a cooler with frozen packs or ice, and to warm it, hold the bottle under running water from a bathroom on the way.
5. Entertain Me
“If your baby’s still in a rear-facing car seat, bring along an activity mat or other travel-friendly toy. Babies this age can’t see much out of the window, and you can’t blame your child for getting bored and fussy if there’s nothing to look at.” – babycenter.com
Anything in terms of toys, that’s eye-catching and a few grabbing attachments is a good idea to hang in front of your baby. Also, reading to them whilst awake can keep her entertained and distracted whilst awake. Playing nursery rhymes (or singing them) to your awake baby can also be a crowd pleaser!
If you enjoyed this article read our other articles on traveling with baby: