It’s been a few months since you gave birth, and your parents are asking to see their grandchild. Of course, you’re just as eager to introduce your tiny tot to them as they are waiting to meet your little one with bated breath.
But Grandma and Grandpa’s house is 6 hours away, and we all know that the first road trip is a herculean feat when you have a baby with you. Don’t let the distance stop you! Plan for the road trip and prepare the essentials, so you can make new, wonderful memories with your baby and their grandparents.
Make a List of the Necessities
The most important item is a car seat. Check if it’s fitted and installed properly. If you’re not sure, ask for assistance from a child passenger safety technician in your area. To avoid being frazzled and end up dumping everything in several bags, write down what you need to take with you. We’ll help you out with a sample checklist:
Feeding supplies would include a breast pump, milk storage bags, a bottle cleaning kit, baby food and sippy cups if appropriate, and bibs. Sleep needs are your baby monitor and baby bed. When packing, think about what things need to be within arm’s reach and which ones you can place in the trunk.
Plan Your Stops
Now, this is going to be tricky as we don’t know when your baby will be demanding to be fed or entertained. It’s a good thing technology is on our side, Mommies! Some navigational apps like Waze can even tell you about rush hours and potential obstacles. These community-driven apps are a huge help in avoiding sticky situations like traffic jams. Most babies prefer a car in motion, rather than a vehicle trapped at a standstill.
Don’t Leave at Night
Leave before the crack of dawn instead. Many parents would tell you to leave after dinner, just before bedtime then drive all night long. This is a huge mistake, especially if you’re driving alone. You’ll just end up exhausted, and we all know this is a huge no as you still have a baby to take care of. Leave when it’s dark, around 4 or 5 in the morning, so it’s easy to bring your little one to the car without waking them up. It will also give you a few hours of driving without interruption.
Leave High Expectations at Home
If you’re a stickler for time, it’s important to be more flexible and even allow extra time. Feeding and potty stops are inevitable, so make sure to add an hour or two to your estimated time of arrival. But it’s not just feeding, and potty stops you’ll most likely encounter. You’ll also have to change your little one’s diaper and even give them a little break from their car seat. All these little stops can be frustrating, so make sure not to have high expectations for a less stressful road trip experience.
Have you ever gone on a road trip with your tiny tot? We’d love to hear about your experience and smart tips! Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.