Confession: I am in no ways a professional mother. Then again, who is? All I know is my infant and I have taken our share of road trips and I have certainly learned a thing or two along the way. While many may argue that taking the baby out of the house before X-weeks or months isn’t a good idea, sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do. My baby girl took her first road trip at the tender age of 3 weeks. That experience alone really tested my strength and made me realize that hey, maybe I CAN rock this motherhood thing. Ready for those tips? Here we go!
DON’T do it alone – If you can help it, try not to travel with your newborn solo. Taking care of a newborn is already challenging but trying to drive down the highway with a screaming newborn can be tough on anyone. Ask, convince, or BEG a friend to drive with you if you really have to take such a trip.
DO make a list of things to pack. This will help you more than you know. I like to make a list and slowly pack over the course of 2-3 days. This keeps me the time to make sure I have everything and remember the items that I may not have considered when I first made the list.
DON’T pack everything – It took a few trips before I realized that you can indeed overpack for a newborn. Babies really don’t need as much as we think they do. The essentials (diapers, wipes, clothes, socks, hats, pacifiers, bottles, toiletries) is really all baby needs for a road trip. Forgot something? No biggie. Unless you are traveling to No Man’s Land, finding a drugstore nearby to scoop up the forgotten items shouldn’t be too difficult.
DON’T freak out when baby freaks out. It’s bad enough when the little ones are fussy in their own homes. It can become downright scary when they begin to have meltdowns in the car. Take a second, breathe, and be patient with baby. Their environment has changed and sometimes the never-ending vibrations and road sounds can be a bit over-stimulating to them.
DO take frequent stops. Think you can just fly down the highway for a good 3 hours without stopping at least once? Think again. Even if baby is a great napper and doesn’t mind being confined in a carseat for hours at a time, babies need to stretch out too.
Have you ever traveled with a little one? Got any tips for us?