8 Tips to Survive Your Next Road Trip with a Baby
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Last summer my husband received orders to transfer from the Coast Guard station in Elizabeth City, North Carolina to Kodiak, Alaska. To get from North Carolina to our new home in Alaska, we embarked on a 12-day road trip with our 6-month old daughter and our yellow lab. Traveling anywhere with a baby can be stressful, even if you’re just driving to the grocery store. Road trips with baby have the potential to be traumatizing. 12 days of driving taught me several tips, tricks, and pieces of advice that I can pass on to you to help make your next road trip with baby more pleasant for everyone.
1. Movies on iPad – I’ve never been one to use television as a means of entertaining my daughter, especially before she was 6 months old. However, when all else failed to entertain Madison during our road trip, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse saved the day. The Hot Dog song may have driven me absolutely insane by the time we reached Alaska, but Madison never grew tired of it. Have a cartoon, movie or something that will distract your child on the iPad/tablet, will be your saving grace.
2. Food Pouches Instead of Jars – Prior to our trip I used to only buy jars of baby food. Before our trip I decided to purchase food pouches because it was less mess, and I am so glad I did. You can even purchase an attachable spoon to help make feedings even easier. If your baby is old enough, they may be able to feed themselves, allowing your hands to be free for a few moments.
3. Portable Bottle Warmer – If your child is like mine, they’re a diva/high maintenance and refuse to drink cold milk. Having a bottle warmer that we could plug into the car USB outlet was really nice. Most portable bottle warmers do take quite a bit to warm up bottles, but they do work. The one we bought took about 7 minutes to warm up the milk versus the 30 seconds our normal one took.
4. Headrest Cradle for iPad – As I said earlier, having a movie on the iPad was our saving grace. If you want to make the most out of movie time (and possibly even grab a nap yourself) then this will be a must have for you. This cradle attaches to the headrest and can be adjusted to eye level to baby. Therefore they’re able to watch a movie, hands free!
5. Scented Diaper Disposable Bags – When we were driving on the Al-Can highway in the Yukon, there were hundreds of miles where we didn’t know where our next stop would be. There were times we had to pull over on the side of the road to change Madison’s diaper. It was nice having these scented diaper disposable bags available to stick the dirty diapers in. This allowed us to survive until we could find the next rest stop.
6. Plastic Tub & Dishwashing Liquid – I brought along a small plastic rubbermaid bin to keep dirty bottles in the car and used it to wash the bottles in at the hotel each night.
7. Books – Someone gave us a book with several different nursery rhymes and stories. Having this allowed me to entertain Madison with different stories. Having several stories in one helped save on space as well.
8. Car Organizer – This was nice because we were able to keep all items organized and in their own place. When you’re cramped in a car with a 6 month old, quickness is key! It was clutch knowing exactly where certain items were when I needed them.