I recently went on a trip with my almost 3 month old daughter. It was her first extended amount of time in a car and I was anxious to say the least. I was worried that she would be uncomfortable, cry, and that it would be a bad experience for everyone involved.
Things ended up going extremely well, so I’m going to share with you some methods that I used to keep my baby happy and comfortable during a long trip in the car.
I prepared a couple days before I had to leave, I made a list of everything I would need and double checked things twice. I of course over packed but I would rather have too much than not enough. It depends where you are going but I compiled a list and will share it with you below.
- ice packs and insulated lunch box to keep breast milk cold
- bottle cleaner
- dish soap
Skin Care :
- Diaper Cream
- Baby Bath Wash
- Sleep sack
- Pack and Play
- Changing Pad
- Baby Monitor
- Nose Sucker
- Play Mat
Also, allow yourself A LOT of extra time to leave and to travel. Put everything in the car the night or day before you have to leave to give yourself extra time.
Feeding was one of the things that I was more worried about. I bottle feed so I prepared all the bottles ahead of time so that I could just quickly add water. I decided before hand that I was going to feed her in the car seat, that way we would only have to stop briefly to burp her and then we could get back on the road. Of course when we stopped there were many more actions that I had to take so that she could remain comfortable.
Keep Your Baby Dry
I changed my daughter every time we stopped even if she wasn’t completely wet yet. Yeah, maybe it’s a waste of diapers, but this allowed her to stay dry as long as possible therefore sleeping longer. She was comfortable and it made me feel better knowing that she wasn’t sitting in a wet diaper all the time. I brought a changing pad and changed her in the car because public bathrooms are freezing and I’m taking extra precautions during this horrible flu season.
I brought a lot of toys to interact with. I brought soft things, teething rings, and most importantly, things that made noise. I was really surprised how much they kept her attention and kept her happy until she dozed back asleep. My number one item that I brought was a portable sound machine. It was such a saving grace because it blocked out passing tractor trailers, beeping cars, and even shutting the car doors.
If I could change one thing, I would change the time that we traveled. My baby slept through most of ride, which was during the day. If I were to do it again, I would try to leave at night so that her sleep schedule would not be disturbed. I know that this isn’t always an options but it will make things easier when you get home from your travels.
Most importantly, I am an absolute freak about car seat safety. If your car seat isn’t installed properly, or adjusted on your infant properly, it could be the difference between life and death for your little one. Make sure that your car seat has no movement when your car is in motion or goes over bumps. Also take notice that the first buckle is located on your child’s chest and not down on their belly.
Other Comfort Tips
For maximum comfort, I have pads for the straps on my child’s car seat. They seem to help with rubbing on her neck and shoulders. I use lavender spray for relaxing my little one, I just spray a little on her blankets and clothes. I know that my baby runs a little hot, so I try not to layer blankets on her unless she is exposed to the outside cold. Listen to what your little one needs and pay attention to cues. I stayed in the back seat with my daughter to assume that she was ok. Traveling doesn’t have to be stressful with a baby, if you are prepared then things will run smoothly.