The thought of traveling long distance with a baby is enough to make many parents stay home. Believe it or not, traveling with a baby is actually one of the easiest times in the life of a child to travel. They are incredibly portable! Often, babies fall asleep as soon as the car begins moving, because motion lulls them to sleep. Checkout this 11 step checklist for planning your ultimate road trip with baby compiled by our team of registered nurses and moms.
Reach out to Your Baby Consultant for tips and advice from our staff of registered nurses in Annapolis and Charleston areas. We also offer virtual consultations or will travel to meet you where you are located.
Travel Checklist For Traveling in the Car with Baby
1. What to pack
When preparing for your car trip with baby, make a list of all essential items you use day and night for your baby – do this a week before your trip, so you can edit as needed. (Extra toys and stuffies are not essential). Consider will you have access to a washer and dryer to rewear baby clothes and blankets.
2. Check the carseat
Before you go anywhere, make sure baby’s car seat is installed correctly. Three out of four car seats are not used or installed correctly. Typically, carseat installation can be checked at your nearby fire station.
3. Minimize travel time
When planning your car trip with baby, calculate your travel time to minimize hours in the car – use Waze or Google Maps so you are not stuck in rush hour traffic. Plan your stops around meal and stretch times.
Try to keep baby on his/her schedule as best you can. Maybe during awake time, a parent sits in the back of car and plays or reads to baby. While during nap time, the parent moves to the front of the car for baby to fall asleep. Include a plan for breaks, a walk, mealtimes and sights to see. Yet, be flexible, when baby is sleeping, you may not need to stop for the photo op.
5. Prepare your car
When traveling with baby in the car, have the right tools to make the experience most pleasant. A window shade helps keep sun out of babies eyes, a playful mirror can be attached to keep baby entertained, and a seat protector can save your car from unexpected messes.
6. The essentials bag
Make a bag of essentials to keep in the back seat with baby (this prevents unnecessary car stops to dig items out of the trunk): Diapers, Wipes, Pacifier, Change of clothes, Toys, Books, Bottles, Snacks.
7. Ship supplies or buy once you’ve arrived
If staying at your destination for a week or more, you can have baby essentials like diapers, wipes, and formula shipped to your destination or make a quick pharmacy stop once you arrive.
8. Baby rental gear
For bigger baby gear like strollers, high chairs, portable cribs, check to see if your destination has baby rental equipment that you can use for the duration of your stay. It cuts down tremendously on what you have to travel with and allows you to still use the items that you and your baby are accustomed to having at home.
9. Practice a portable crib
If baby will be sleeping in a portable crib while away, practice a few nights before you leave for your trip to get baby familiar with a different crib.
10. Plan for the best sleep
If staying in a hotel, book a suite or two connecting rooms. This will allow you to put baby to sleep and then give you space to enjoy yourself. Even better research vacation rental properties. A closing door is super valuable. Otherwise, parents often feel they need to go bed at the same time baby does.
11. Find childcare
Look for local childcare through safety checked agencies such as Your Baby Consultant in Charleston or Annapolis and surrounding areas.
If you have questions about our night nurse services, please email us, fill out the contact form at the top of this page, or call. We are happy to answer your questions.
Send us your recommendations for road tripping in the car with baby.