Traveling alone can be stressful enough, but when you’re doing it with a baby in tow - be prepared for water works. Taking your baby with you as you carry out errands and visit friends requires a lot of planning to make sure you have everything you need, as well as make sure that your baby stays in a good mood. Here are some of the top travel essentials you’ll need to keep you and your baby happy.
A changing bag
Whenever you leave home with your baby, a travel bag is a must-have item that you should keep with you at all times. Babies, particularly young babies, will be unable to tell you when they need to go to the toilet and so you’ll need to be prepared for them to need a change at any time. Keep your changing bag full of essentials such as diapers, a fresh change of clothes and some disposable waste bags to make sure you can change your baby wherever you are.
A safe and comfortable car seat
For the first months of a baby’s life, you can use a car seat designed for newborns that keep them safe and supported while on the move. As they learn to sit up and support themselves, you’ll need to invest in a new car seat to keep them safe. You should look for car seats that are comfortable, easy to assemble and are safe. The Britax Frontier is one example of a reliable car booster seat that kids will love to sit in and sleep comfortably when they’re tired. The right car booster seat can last a couple of years as your baby grows, giving you one less thing to worry about buying when shoes and close start becoming too small!
Car journeys often make babies sleepy, and a cozy blanket can help them get there sooner. Babies should have a strict nap schedule to help them sleep longer in the night, and you should make sure this is kept up when they’re in the car. There are some great tips available to help you get your baby to nap in the car that can help you out when on the move for a better night’s sleep at home.
Some kids’ CDs/Playlists
While driving in the car, your child can become agitated and board - especially during a long journey. Having some music to hand that they (and you!) can sing along to will make the journey more fun, as music has been proven to help a child’s development. Stock up on those Disney CDs and have them ready to make the car journey more bearable for you both.
While baby wipes should already be a part of your changing bag, it doesn’t hurt to have some in your glove box too. You never know when your child might spill a drink or spit up during your journey, and having wipes to hand will allow you to clear up messes quickly. Baby wipes are also handy if you need to clear up some spilled gas or you smudge your lipstick - you’ll always find a use for them if you keep them close by.
Toys and activities
It can be tough for a child to tolerate a car journey, especially if it’s just the two of you in the car. Having something like a stuffed animal, an activity book or even a tablet computer to play with will help to keep them quiet so that you can keep your attentions on the road. Make sure that you keep a headcount of any toys you bring with you; a misplaced beloved toy can cause hours of tears for a child that notices it’s gone.
Food and drink
Stocking your car trunk with essentials like snacks and some bottled water will help during those times that you can’t get to a store or are faced with a breakdown. These are things that you can easily forget when you set off on a journey, so make it a regular habit to check your trunk and stock up when needed. A hungry child is an unhappy child and for babies and younger children in particular - it pays to have back ups of things like milk bottles and fruit cups to placate them until you stop for food or get home.
Driving with your baby in the car takes some getting used to, but you can get there after some practice and careful planning. Why not start making short journeys and build up to longer ones to help them get used to the movement and for you to plan exactly what’s needed for a happy journey for you both.