Planning a road trip with a baby?! Today we are sharing all our tips and tricks for taking a road trip with a baby to have a fun and successful time!
How To Road Trip With A Baby
Jake and I just got back from a road trip with our twin girls (now 17 months old) and our fluffy dog Zeke. In the year and a half we have done quite a lot of road trips with our baby girls. After ten 12 hour road trips, I thought it was time to put together and how we do a road trip with a baby…. or twin babies in our case 🙂
I remember looking back at our first road trip with our twins was when they were 2 months old! It was a 14 hour road trip each way! Before our first road trip I searched every where online looking for some tips/tricks for taking a baby (or twins) on a long road trip. Not finding too much online, I asked around to friends who had done this before with their little ones. After talking to friends, I got some good tips and went for it.
I remember before our first road trip I was starting to feel anxious and didn’t’ know how it would go. It all ended up going great! So….. we ended up doing a few more trips. Even if there were some hot moments… or a hot few hours… we got to our destination and it was all worth it!
Before I dive into this all I just want to say, every baby is different. Our girls are pretty chill and enjoy being in the car for the most part. We also used bottles and formula. I am not sure how nursing on a road trip would be, but I would guess it would be pretty similar since we stopped for feedings (I’ll share more on that below). Anyways…..let’s dive into some tips and tricks for road trips with a baby.
Before Leaving The House
Pack Up The Car The Night Before You Leave
Ok this can be a hard one, but trust me it helps getting out the door so much. As much as you can, load up in the car the night before. That way you only have a few last minute things to grab before heading out the door. We pack up our suitcases, snacks, stroller, pack n plays, extra supplies, etc.
Have A “Last Minute Bag” On Hand
A last minute bag is the best thing ever! A duffle or tote bag will do. This is what I use for anything that needs to get loaded up in the car the morning of. We use our last minute bag for make up case, sound monitors, etc. A last minute bag is great to have for anything that you needed to use right up until you leave.
Fill Up Your Car With Gas The Night Before
I also like to fill up the car with gas so we can just take off first thing in the morning. This is a great time as well to grab any last minute snacks or things you might need for your trip.
Plan Road Trip assignments For Each Adult
Discuss before hand with your partner (and if you have older kids, grandparents traveling with you) how everyone can help out. Delegate out assignments. For instance I get really car sick in the car so my assignment was to drive, Jake takes care of the girls if they need anything while driving. When we stop for feedings/diaper changes/stretches, we both help out with the babes.
Pack Bottles/Toys/Items You Will Be Using Easily Accessible
For all of the girls items, we like to keep them behind the driver seat, and passenger seat. Here is where Jake can easily grab items the girls may need. For the girls we have the diaper caddy, diaper bag (with toys & change of clothes inside), and box with bottle feeding/formula supplies. We also like to keep our cooler, snacks and picnic blanket here as well to easily grab. Underneath the seats we line with water bottles for the formula, and for our pup.
Get A Diaper Caddy & Keep It Close By
I’ll talk about diaper changes more below, but just know this is a game changer! A diaper caddy is the best thing ever! I LOVE having a diaper caddy for road trips because I can pack it with enough supplies to last us for two babes for a long day. Plus once you get to your destination its nice to have a diaper caddy for diaper changes where ever you are at.
Call Ahead To Where You Are Staying
To help pack and know what to bring, call ahead where you are staying and see what is provided. For us we have found bringing along 2 pack n plays, stroller and even high chairs can be a car full right there…. so see if the hotel, or family friends have any of the supplies you may need. We we travel we have found we really enjoy staying at airbnbs where we have a kitchen. Hotels work great to (we have done that as well, but found as our girls have gotten older, we like having a kitchen.)
For extra diapers, wipes, formula, etc. there are a few ways we have done that. We have calculated out what we needed for the time we would be gone and packed it all and brought the supplies with us. Another way we have done it is brought enough supplies for the road trip and then bought supplies when we arrived at our destination. Another option would be to order the supplies and have them waiting for you when you arrive. Lots of options, do what seems easiest to you!
On The Road
Plan On Working Around Nap Times/ Sleep Schedule
For road trips we like to leave the house as soon as everyone is up in the morning. We finish loading up, eat breakfast and get on the road. With babies, they sleep and eat most of the time, so usually the hardest part is just getting out the door. When your baby/babies start to be more on a nap schedule, plan stops around when they will be awake or most active. When our girls were 2 months old on a 10 hour road trip we would make about 5-6 stops. Now with our girls being 1+ year old, on a 10 hour road trip we stop about 2-3 times.
Naps can be hard in the beginning when a babies schedule seems all over the place. If you know you are heading out of town, you can write down your babes schedule for a few days to try and see if there are any similar patterns each day to help you out.
When our girls were little they would wake up around 7am each day. On our first road trip Jake and I woke up early to load up the car and have everything ready before the girls woke up. When the girls woke up we did diaper changes, put on a cozy travel outfit for them, fed them, and got them buckled up and ready to go in their car seats.
We have a few friends who recommend driving through the night so you baby/kids sleep most of the night. We tried the driving through the night once and ended up getting a hotel we were so tired! Try out what seems best for you! YOU GOT THIS!!
Anytime You Stop, Get Gas!
Even if you don’t need gas, but you need to stop… get gas. That way if your baby starts to sleep as you are driving later on, you are ready for the long haul!
When It’s Time For Baby To Eat Make It A Fun Adventure
Is it time for your baby to eat? Pull off to a gas station and fill up on gas while the other parent is feeding the babe. After the babe is done eating, team work to change the babes diaper. As much as it can be inconvenient and take extra time to stop and pull over to feed, it’s safer, and makes it so they are not stuck in their car seat all day. We pulled over every 2-3 hours depending on when the girls got hungry/sleeping. With twins we feed them both at the same time so pulling over would take about 20-30 minutes. If you have time, it’s always fun to have a little picnic if the weather is nice and stretch out.
Change Diapers In The Car (When The Car Is Stopped Of Course 🙂
When you pull over to feed, change your babies diaper. Use a diaper caddy so you have all of your essentials in one place. As crazy as this sounds…….. out of the 30+ gas stations we have stopped at, only 2 had changing tables in the women’s bathroom and none in the mens bathrooms. We found changing diapers on the front passenger seat works great! Put down a changing mat on the front seat and then have the diapers, wipes and everything ready to go in the diaper caddy. If it’s a little chilly out, make sure to have your car heater going full blast to keep those baby bums warm! With two babies, we were able to change diapers really quickly and then you can dispose of the diapers at the gas station. If there are any blow outs, I like using the Armor Hammer bags to put soiled clothes in so it doesn’t stink up the car.
Pack Food/Meals For The Car
Bring a cooler and pack food for mom and dad. Our first trip was such an experiment to us navigating knowing when to stop, or get gas for the car. We wished we would of packed sandwiches instead of just snacks! When the babies fall asleep it’s nice to just keep on driving so if you pack meals, no and drinks, no need to go hungry!
Bottle Feeding Ideas
If you are bottle feeding we have tried a few things we liked and thought I would share. To hold the empty bottles and formula we brought open box to put them in. Then under the seats we lined them with water bottles we could use and easily grab. For used bottles I put them in ziplock bags.
We have tried using the formula containers and measured out beforehand what we thought we needed for the car ride. That worked out just fine but we found just bringing the formula container itself and scooping from it on the go worked even better for us! We found we waisted less formula that way.
Thanks so much for stopping by today for our trips and tricks for road trips with a baby! For more of our road trip tricks, how we pack, etc. check out our video below. Do you have any tips for traveling with a baby?!?! We would love to hear them in the comments below! Hope you have a wonderful day!
Stay tuned for tomorrows blog post on our favorite road trip toys for baby!