When it comes to traveling, I’d like to think of my son as a pro. After all, he took his first flight at six weeks old because we live quite a distance from both sides of our families. My boyfriend and I love to travel. And thankfully, having a child hasn’t stopped us from being able to pick up and go. Eventually, I know things will get a bit more difficult once he starts school but until then, we’ll enjoy being able to take trips at the spur of the moment.
Recently, my son and I packed up and took a road trip together. We’d taken road trips before, but never just the two of us. He was such a good sport. To be honest, I prepared for the worst but he ended up sleeping almost the entire way. While I was happy he slept, there were some things to consider before going on a road trip with a baby.
Preparing for a Road Trip With a Baby
- Travel during sleep times. We left early in the morning when he would usually be asleep at home. He was a bit thrown off because I had to wake him to change and feed him before hitting the road, but after about 30 minutes, he was knocked out!
- Keep your breast pump within reach. Because he slept so long, I was so engorged to the point where I needed to express. I whipped out my hand pump and got to work. We both were able to benefit—no drop wasted.
- A back seat mirror will be your friend. There’s nothing like having the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what your child is doing. With a mirror that attaches to the headrest and faces the baby, I’m able to see exactly what he’s doing just by quickly glancing at my rear view mirror.
- Create a playlist that has a mixture of songs. My son loves music; even so, he’ll demand he hear one of his favorite songs in the car by crying until I turn it on. I created a playlist so that I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to find his song while driving and so that I could skip to my favorites once he was asleep.
- Don’t hesitate to take breaks. Arriving at your destination safely should always be more important than arriving speedily. Allow yourself enough time to stop for bathroom breaks, diaper changes, nursing breaks, and stretches. No one wants to be cramped in a car seat for hours at a time.
Dare I say it but going on a road trip with a baby is a lot easier than I expected. I’m just not looking forward to the days when he’s old enough to express his opinion and back talk. I’m sure future road trips will be less quiet with an inquisitive kid in the backseat—but until then, I’ll enjoy this time.