When you’re young, road trips are the ultimate freedom. It’s just you, your pals, a great mix CD (those were the days) and the open road. But like your definition of a good night’s sleep, that changes when you have a baby.
We asked our Facebook friends how they survived baby’s first road trip. Before you load up the station wagon for your first big adventure with your new little one, read up on some road trip advice from our very wise friends.
Yep, later. Most of you told us that you start your road trip right around naptime or bedtime, so the hum of the highway is your baby’s lullaby. Sure, you’re not going to make it anywhere in record time this way, but it’s all about the journey, right?
divide and conquer
On the ride home from the hospital, nearly every couple ends up with one of them in the backseat with baby…just in case. You get over this eventually, but it’s not such a bad idea for a long car trip, especially if you’ve got a fussy little one. It’s much easier to pop in a nuk, shake a toy or give some reassuring kisses when you’re not leaning back from the front seat in some cirque du soleil position.
Well, of course, right? Lots of you told us that you have special equipment just for road trips. Things to add to your road trip list:
+ a travel bottle warmer. Thanks to Rita G. for tipping us off to this. 30 minutes before her baby’s typical mealtime, she gets a bottle warming, so she’s ready before her baby even makes a peep.
+ a travel cooler: Today, you’ve got options for cute insulated bags or smaller cooler options to keep baby’s bottles cold while you’re on the go.
+ a changing pad: Actually, a few changing pads. (Our swaddles also work well for this). Gas and rest station changing tables are…well used...so you’ll want some extra options with you, just in case.
+ sanitizing wipes: Even if you’re not a germaphobe, you’ll want these for backseat nappy changes. Or blow-outs. It’s a rule of thumb that you will have a blowout on a road trip, usually when you’re far from any sort of civilization.
+ pack a change: Not just for baby. For all of you. When you’re changing nappies and feeding and burping on the road, anything can happen. Make sure you’ve got a spare set of clothes for everyone in the car!
plan your entertainment
Rockabye baby turned your favorite albums into lullabies. Don’t ask how, it’s magic. And when you can soothe your child to sleep with the sounds of Blink 182 or Fleetwood Mac or even Pharrell, everybody wins. If your baby is a little bit older, you’ll want to check out our list of must-have toddler apps and stock up on some of our favorite reads.
If you’re afraid your favorite road trip mix CDs will wake the baby, try binge-listening to some podcasts as you drive. Have you heard the Longest Shortest Time? It’s worth hours and hours of listening.