Home is a haven when you have a baby because it has everything you could need. You have a good routine and way of doing things. Eventually, you and your family will want to leave on holiday, and taking your infant on the road may be a daunting task. Before you pack up the car and go, consider these tips to make the journey easier.
Start small and work your way up
This might not be easy but consider taking baby on a few smaller car rides before a big trip to get them used to the idea. For my family, we took our nine-month-old on a two and half hour trip before we went on a five-hour beach trip. From this trial run, we learned that our son has a two-hour car tolerance before he’ll demand to get out. This information helped us plan our trip and our pit stops accordingly.
Depart at the right time
If you and your partner don’t have a problem driving at night, consider leaving at bedtime. Your baby will be relaxed and ready to rest before you leave the driveway. When night travel isn’t possible, delay your departure until naptime. This will ensure that you get some rubber on the road before baby wakes up.
Put a baby sitter in the back
If you can spare your co-pilot, sit Mom or Dad in the back to tend to baby. They can entertain, soothe back to sleep and retrieve dropped pacifiers. They can also administer an in-flight meal so the driver can keep going.
Pack a picnic for baby
Bring a cooler with milk, water and other baby foods. For on-the-go outings like this, jarred baby food is a great companion. With a twist and a spoon, you can fill an empty belly without pulling over.
Keep baby happy
Your baby’s first road trip will probably begin calmly as he or she is lulled to sleep by the engine sounds and passing scenery. After a brief nap, your baby may realize they are restrained and want new forms of entertainment. Have some interactive toys to keep baby’s interest and a fully charged tablet or cell phone if you allow your baby to watch a little television. Music and singing are hands free ways to make the trip fun.
Stick with your regularly scheduled stops
Unless there’s an emergency, you should be able to stick to a normal pit stop schedule. If the adults are ready for a bathroom break and a chance to stretch their legs, it’s likely that baby will agree.
Finally, and most important, remember to take your time and enjoy the ride!