5 Tips for long road trips with an infant
Does parenting require flexibility? Of course. Do babies need lots of attention? You might count yourself lucky if yours don’t. These aspects of raising an infant can make long bouts of travel seem very daunting.
Whether or not your next road trip with a baby is to reach an exciting destination, you’re here because you’d like some advice for the journey. Without further ado, here are five tips for long road trips with an infant.
1. Take turns driving
This is a great tip for all car rides if you can help it. However, this is especially helpful when the demands of an infant threaten to prolong your trip for one reason or another. As parents, you can be each other’s greatest support, assuming you both have your license!
2. Drive longer stretches at night
A baby sleeping equals longer drive-times, which can equal great progress. You may want to put some extra time into planning your route with the assumption that you’ll drive mostly at night. You can still make choices that can conveniently incorporate rest stops and baby-friendly amenities along the way. Just plan your more frequent breaks for feeding, changing and stretching when the baby will most likely be awake.
3. Be sure to take breaks frequently
Sometimes nature calls more often than not. With a baby, that could threaten the momentum of a long car ride or offer an opportunity for a rest stop. Unfortunately, frequent breaks may be necessary at some point in your journey — why not embrace it?
4. Keep supplies handy
Having the supplies handy can shorten the length of stops or make them less frequent. Changing supplies, food, first aid (or even just wet wipes) and toys are most useful on a long car ride when they’re highly accessible. Here are some steps you can take:
- Bring enough diapers, wipes and a changing pad for the journey.
- Pack extra clothing, bibs and blankets in case of spills or accidents.
- Ensure you have enough formula or breast milk for the trip.
5. Playing music can keep them calm
Music’s a common relaxation tool for infants and may even put them to sleep. If the soft whooshing of the wind outside isn’t soothing enough, playing music can get and keep babies calm in the car. You can even consider bringing along a way to play white noise if your baby is accustomed to it.
Remember that each baby is unique, so it may take some trial and error to figure out what works best for your child during long car rides. Always prioritize safety and comfort, and plan ahead to minimize stress for both you and your infant. Expect unexpected stops and be flexible with your schedule. Stay calm and patient if your baby becomes fussy, and be prepared to take additional breaks as needed.