Freaked out about traveling in a car for many hours with a little person worn-out mama? Wondering how to keep them happy in a confined environment? Read-on for some tips to make the trip a little smoother!
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Tips for Babies
From feeding to diaper changes along with keeping them occupied, road-tripping with a baby can seem pretty daunting.
You’ll need to have supplies for every hour that your babe eats so take a look at the schedule you’ve been keeping and plot it out. If your baby eats every hour, pack an empty bottle for every hour you’re on the road. Having a clean bottle each time eliminates the need to wash along the way!
If your little is on formula, you can go ahead and prep the empty bottles with the amount of powder they need for each feeding. Planning this way helps ensure you won’t run out without a grocery store in sight.
Make sure you also pack some enough bottled water to make the ounces you need for each bottle.
Building up an extra supply comes in handy for road trips. You can put extras inside a gallon Ziploc and put it in your cooler. You might think about prepping a couple of bottles before hitting the road and then fill a couple more each pit stop.
Breastfeeding your kiddo every so often at a stop along the way is also great but time consuming. When you can’t feed, you pump! Make sure to pack your pump and accessories along with a jack for the car.
Placing your used pump accessories in a gallon Ziploc and storing in the cooler will also help you not have to clean-up each pumping.
There are a few things that will make your life easier as far as smells in the car, ease of access and add speediness to the whole process.
- Flat bottom, open-top diaper bag or a cloth grocery bag. Get away from the backpack style where you are digging and pulling everything out!
- A clip-on disposable scented diaper bag holder. Tossing your disposables or even cloth diapers in these helps contain the odor-iffic stuff that came out of your kid.
- A clean-hands changing pad is great for the car. Put your kiddo in and keep their hands out of the way for a quicker change.
- Don’t forget your wipes and you can just toss the bag they come in into your diaper bag. If you want to be able to pull with one hand and make things easier, grab a container that helps separate them as you pull.
- Plastic grocery bags are perfect to toss your wipes and bagged diapers into for disposal. If you use cloth diapers, toss the diaper in a wet bag instead but you’ll still need something for your wipes.
Thankfully, sleeping and eating is probably the majority of what your baby does. Being stuck in a car seat for an extended time could cause fussiness in the in between times on the road trip. You’ll need some things to distract them in those times.
Car Seat Toys
You probably have a few of these but it would be good to pick up a couple they haven’t seen before. Introduce them when they are fussy and they’ll be busy for a bit again!
Music can keep your little engaged and as a bonus it helps with overall language development. My favorite in Amazon Music are:
- Nursery Rhyme Parade! by Lisa Loeb
- Pinkfong Animal Songs by Pinkfong (Baby Shark)
- The Best of The Wiggles by The Wiggles
- Baby Giggles Playlist
Be prepared that some of these songs will get old quick but your baby will love them!
Tips for Toddlers
Borrow the road trip tips above for diaper changes and music downloads for sure. You’ll need some extra tips for when it comes to food and entertainment!
Prepackaged snacks are your best friend mama. You probably already have a kiddo in the super irritating stages of picky eating. Stick with what they already like and have it in a bag nearby you.
Go with contained items as much as possible for easy cleanup and the ability to just hand a snack off instead of having to feed it to them.
If you’re toddler is on the younger side, some of the car seat toys above will work too! Some other options to add to the arsenal are:
- Water Wow! coloring books – these use a water pen so there’s no mess and they’re reusable
- Eye Found It! card game – a stack of cards with a Disney scene and items to find on the back
- Boogie Board LCD Drawing Pad – comes with a pen attached to draw and slide away the image
- Learn to Dress Boards – 5 boards that help with zipping, snapping, buttoning, buckling and lacing
Tips for Mamas
Keep calm. Pack your own snacks. Bring ear plugs. Remember you love them and this too shall pass! (Like a kidney stone.)