Before we left on our first road trip, I had to give myself a pep talk every night to make sure we didn’t chicken out of bringing Noob Baby to SF with us. My mom, bully sister, and even Noob Daddy kept trying to convince me to leave her at a noob kennel for a few days.
But a little voice inside me would say, “No. No way. That’s cruel. They put two noobs to a kennel at those places.”
So, I had no choice but to scour the internet for tips on taking a road trip with a baby. When it came down to the wire, I found these tips to be very helpful:
- If baby naps well in the car, plan your driving around naptime. If not, consider taking shifts and driving at night during baby’s bedtime.
- Make sure you stop now and then to allow time to stretch, grab a meal, change diapers, etc.
- Hang up a window shade to block harsh sunlight. Apply sunscreen for long, sunny trips. We forgot to do this and Noob Baby came back with an unplanned, albeit sexy CA tan.
- Pack tons of toys and books – favs, old, and new. Consider hiding some old ones a week or two before to bring back the excitement. Save some new toys just for the trip. And of course, don’t forget the favorites, including security objects/blankets.
- Keep toys in a box that baby can reach from the car seat if there isn’t anyone sitting in back.
- Make sure to stock up on snacks – Cheerios, fruit slices, biscuits, etc.
- Bring some soothing baby music. Noob Baby loves the Baby Beluga album by Raffi. And we find it pretty enjoyable as well.
- Take turns sitting in back to entertain baby. This will also give the driver (and entertainer) a much-needed break.
- Have bottles and formula readily available. Fill bottles beforehand if possible or keep a cooler with you.
- Pack extra diapers, wipes, plastic bags (for trash and dirty diapers), towels, and Ziploc bags. You never know what kind of dirty trick the noob will pull on you.
- Prepare a first-aid kit, preferably one you’ll always keep in the car.
- Bring a travel crib for the hotel which can double as a playpen. This Graco Travel Lite works great for us, but there is also a higher end one made by BabyBjorn that weighs only 11 lbs.
- Request a suite or connecting hotel rooms (for older children). We were able to get a suite for just $20 more, but it allowed us to stay up after baby’s bedtime without having to tip-toe around.
- Our hotel room had a DVD player, so we brought our Baby Einsten DVD. These glorious little videos gave me enough time to get ready, pack our things, and prepare the diaper bag for the day.
- Bring your lightweight umbrella stroller. Free up some trunk space and give your back a break since you’ll be carrying all that other stuff I told you to pack.
- And, last but not least, remember to cover your noob in Cheerios so she can eat her way out during the car ride. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to try… and it
muffles all the screamingmakes the car smell oatey delicious.
Please share some other helpful tips!