June 28

Four Helpful Tips for Long Car Trips With Your Baby

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View of cloudy sky and open road through a car windshield Taking a road trip with a baby in tow requires careful planning and preparation. Bring your baby along on your summer travels with these car tips.

Schedule Needed Vehicle Maintenance

You never want to break down on the side of the road, but this situation can be much worse with small children. Setting up an appointment for any needed vehicle maintenance before you hit the road can prevent problems from occurring on your road trip.
Important preventative maintenance tasks include oil changes, tire rotations, and a multi-point vehicle inspection. It is also a good idea to create a vehicle emergency plan ahead of time. Consider purchasing an emergency roadside assistance membership before leaving. Store all of your vehicle’s information including insurance, registration, and membership cards in an easy-to-reach place.

Pack for Safety

Your packing list is probably already pretty long.  You need to pack enough clothing for everyone for the duration of the trip, as well as bottles, diapers, and baby food. In addition to these important items, you will also want to remember safety items on your packing to-do list.
Be sure to include an emergency first-aid kit with band-aids, adhesive tape, and wipes. It can also be useful to have medications on hand, like Tylenol or diaper rash ointment. Also, remember to pack a large supply of items like diapers, wipes, and clothing. An unexpected accident could leave you searching for local stores in an unknown neighborhood.

Map Out Rest Stops

Long road trips can be tough on anyone, but children and babies do not have as long of an attention span and tend to get fussy much quicker. Planning for stops ahead of time can ensure you have a safe and child-friendly place to stop along your route. If possible, map out your stop schedule around your baby’s current schedule.
Avoid driving for more than a couple of hours between rest stops. Find restaurants along the route during the time your baby would normally eat. Locate rest stops in safe areas during their normal changing times. Sticking to a routine can make the road trip easier on everyone.

Bring Plenty of Entertainment

Bringing along multiple sources of entertainment can also be useful for keeping the baby and other children entertained on the road. Be sure to pack their favorite toys or games. If possible, pack a device that allows them to watch movies. Movies are an easy method for keeping both babies and small children entertained for long hours.
Audiobooks are another option that can be soothing to the baby. Car rides can also make babies sleepy, so be sure to pack their favorite sleeping blanket or stuffed animal. You can even create a makeshift mobile by taping ribbon or other lightweight toys to the ceiling.
Traveling with a baby is possible and can even be enjoyable, as long as you make the necessary preparations ahead of time. Keep these important tips in mind this summer as you plan your upcoming road trip with your baby.
Photo by David Sorich via Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA | Cropped from original


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