Traveling with infants can be a tough task. I road tripped through both of my children’s first year with ease, though, because of a little luck and a lot of planning.
My parents live in Michigan, about a 6.5 hour drive before diaper change and bottle breaks. I have driven up with my kids since they were just a few months old, and found that a change of scenery for both of us was a welcome event. Here are my top 3 tips on how to road trip it with an infant, so pick a destination of your choice and hit the road!
The Go Bag
Since I have a 2 and 5 year old now, I can reflect back on the infant car travel and wish that it was “that easy.” Maybe I forgot how it feels to have a screaming baby in the back seat when I now have two dueling preschoolers fighting over the last bag of Pirate’s Booty. Anyhow, I always prepped the car the night before with all of the gear we would need so I could just pop my baby in the car after a bottle and go. I had duplicates of a lot of things so I could essentially have a “go bag” and hit the road without agonizing over the possibility of a forgotten item. Here is my basic go bag that I kept:
Diaper rash cream
Thermometer & Tylenol (because inevitably they will get sick when you don’t have them!)
Bottle washing tools
Travel wipes & diapers case
Single servings of formula
If you are planning a road trip, I hope for your sake that you are headed to a relaxing destination! Either way, you need to bring some gear to keep your little one entertained while you read a book, listen to music or zone out. My favorite travel item is a play mat like the Under the Sea Gymini Mat from Tiny Love. It folds flat for travel, then simply unsnaps when you are ready to let your little play. At a price point under $40, this is a must-have that will keep your infant entertained for hours.
My baby model in the photo, James, immediately grabbed the sea critters and was entranced. There are lights and music to keep it interesting, and of course a crinkly jellyfish that kids gravitate to. This is perfect for tummy time as well.
Yes, it would be lovely if your kiddo was able to be happy laying down all day but sadly they aren’t….especially if you have older kids that are running around. My babies loved being in seats and bouncers, taking in all the action from a different vantage point. Also, if you have older kids or dogs, it helps to keep your infant off the floor when everyone is running around. This adorable Tiny Love Gymini Bouncer keeps the babies entertained and they can bop up and down when they get a little older. The “activity arches” can be adjusted so your little one can focus in a different direction if you choose (good for making sure their head isn’t in one position for too long). With music and vibrations, this chair rocks.
Ahhh sleep. This is probably the most difficult issue when traveling with an infant- will they sleep? Will you sleep? Here are the measures I took to make sure this happened!
Keep your routine– make sure to put your baby down for naps and night at the same time you do at home, regardless of time changes
Make it dark– I make the room as dark as possible, and even put the pack and play in a walk in closet in the room (with the door open)
Drown out the sounds– I always bring a noise machine with me when I travel. If you don’t have one, use the Simply Noise app on your phone, but make sure to turn off the ringer
I hope you are able to travel with your little one this summer! Although driving the distance can seem like a daunting task, enjoy the new environment as much as you can.
Disclosure: I was provided with Tiny Love products for review purposes. This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions are honest and my own, as always!