I have been compensated by JOHNSON’S® Baby for this post; however, I am sharing my own thoughts. All opinions are my own.
Road trip!!! What was once a wild time with friends, turns into something else altogether when you throw a baby into the mix. Today, I’ve partnered with JOHNSON’S® to share with you some tips for baby’s first road trip!
Our family loves to travel, so we took our very first trip before our oldest kid was even a year old. A road trip from Texas to Florida was my son’s first travel experience and it was the start of a wonderful world of travel with kids.
If you are planning for baby’s first road trip, here’s what you need to know before you go!
Know that it’s going to take a long time
Back when you were traveling with all adults, you could just take quick bathroom breaks every time you need gas and get to your destination as quickly as possible. Now? Now, you’ll need to go ahead and add a few extra hours to your travel time. Rushing with a baby is a recipe for stress!
You’ll need to stop to nurse or prepare bottles. You’ll need to stop for diaper changes. Sometimes, you’ll need to stop simply because baby won’t stop crying and you need to give her a chance to play for 10-20 minutes to restore everyone’s sanity.
When baby gets fussy, try to find a rest stop with a grassy park area where baby can play. Bring a huge quilt in the car so that you can lay it out and give the baby room to crawl and kick her legs. Having time to play outside of the car, will help tire baby out to nap in the car and help her be more patient being strapped into the carseat for hours at a time.
Be prepared with “new” toys
Either stock up on new toys before you go OR take the budget route. A few weeks before baby’s first road trip, start hiding a toy or two each week. Keep these toys packed away until the road trip. This will ensure baby has a whole box of toys to play with in the car and hotel that feel new to play with and can essential double the amount of time baby stays entertained. This is a trick I even use with my older kids and it always works wonders!
Have a car changing pad
Usually I don’t travel with my own changing pad, since most restrooms these days have adequate changing tables. However, you can’t always control when a crazy diaper blowout will happen. If it’s particularly smelly, you just might have to pull over and deal with it on the side of the road. Trust me, for those instances you’ll want a changing pad to line the back of the car and a bunch of disposable bags to tie the diaper up in. Gross!
Bring a high chair
Make sure you have a travel high chair or one of the chairs that helps baby sit on her own. This will make meal times a whole lot easier and you’ll be glad you made the extra room in the car to bring it along.
Keep the bedtime routine
Vacations always shake up the normal aspects of the day, but when traveling with kids (especially babies) there’s one thing that needs to stay the same… bedtime! Grab these Tiny Traveler versions for your favorite JOHNSON’S® baby products. This will help bath and bedtime stay as close to normal as possible.
It’s amazing how much the next day can be thrown off if you don’t get bedtime quite right. Since baby is already used to the soft smell of JOHNSON’S® baby shampoo, make sure she has a nice gentle bath with that and spend a little extra time massaging her with Johnson’s baby lotion before she drifts off to sleep. She’ll love this down time with you and you’ll enjoy having less chaos to worry about the next day because you are able to nail bedtime every night of vacation (fingers crossed!).
One of the absolute best sanity-savers for traveling with baby is using Walmart store pick up. You can save time on your road trip by ordering everything that you need from a Walmart in the city you are driving to. You can pick everything up as soon as you reach your destination and set up your hotel room to be as much like home as possible! This is also a great way to keep stocked on diapers, snacks, wipes and anything else you need while you are gone. There’s no need to go inside and try to figure out a new store (with a baby in tow no less). Simply download the Walmart App, order everything you need and pick it up
Don’t worry about lugging an entire white noise machine to another state, instead do a quick app search for white noise and you’ll find loads of different apps that will work wonders. Even if your baby doesn’t normally sleep with a noise machine, you might find yourself in a noisy hotel or next to a construction site. Having the app pre-downloaded in case the wifi situation at the hotel is sketchy just might save your evening of rest.
Keeping these tips in mind, you are officially ready to get packing for baby’s first road trip! I created this fun printable to help you make sure you have everything you need! Download it here.
Do you have any ideas to help make baby’s first road trip a success? Share in the comments!