Happy Wednesday! Sharing some tips for traveling with a baby today. This past weekend we went on our first family road trip to Fredericksburg, VA. It was about a 4 1/2 hour drive, our longest ever with Cora. If you follow along on Instagram then you already know about our car seat woes. Long story short Cora hates the straps lol. She doesn’t like being confined and just gets super restless.
Usually I can go with the flow but when it comes to traveling I’m always a ball of nerves. Add an infant on top of that and well, you get the point. Since we are a very on the go family, I know things will just get a little easier the more we travel. Cora actually did great during the drive to and from, better than expected.
Here are some things that helped if you are planning a trip with a baby:
Distractions, distractions, distractions!
This is probably my best tip. Cora is almost 4 months old. Her favorite distractions are toys and such. For the car ride I had her elephant rattle which we call “Ellie”, a black and white contrast book, her teething mit and another rattle. We also have this spiral activity toy which dangles from the car seat handle. If you have a baby, you need this thing. It’s such a lifesaver. Oh, and lots of singing and funny faces too lol.
Stick to your routine.
I say this as loosely as possible but try to stick to your routine. Cora is good for an early morning nap after waking up. She wakes, gets changed, fed and is usually sleep within an hour/hour and a half. Since this nap typically lasts about an hour or so, we try to not start our day until she wakes up again.
Those afternoon naps get tricky since you will more than likely be on the go. See if you can allow your baby to squeeze in a good nap at some point. Bed time is usually the hardest because when you are on vacation you are probably staying up later than normal. Your baby will still give you their bedtime cues. I either put Cora in our pack and play or in our carrier which let her get a “bedtime nap” in until we were done at our outing.
Bring your portable sound machines
There are so many thoughts on sound machines that I just tend to turn the other cheek to lol. Yes, I know babies will not always be in the “ideal” sleeping environment. Yes, I know they should be able to get used to everyday noises and chatter. At the same time, Cora tends to get better/longer sleep with one of her portable sound machines. Helps to block out background noise.
I actually brought all three of ours (only used 2). This cute Wavhello owl soundbub is always on her car seat. It has 6 different sounds plus a bluetooth function which I love to play music on. I used it for her naps at the cookout. For bedtime at the hotel I brought her Hatch sound machine. It’s programmed to automatically come on for bedtime plus doubles as a night light which is great for nursing. Someone else at our hotel had theirs too because it popped up on my phone when I went to connect to Cora’s. As a back up I also brought our Baby Shusher but did not use it.
Here are a few of your questions:
Car seat vs. carrier
Personally I brought both and would say to have both. Obviously you will have the car seat already. If you have some sort of carrier I recommend having it on hand. I call Cora my “kangaroo baby”. She likes to be attached to me. With this being a huge change of scenery for her I wanted her to feel comfortable. I used her carrier towards the end of our family cookout. It was getting close to Cora’s bedtime plus I wanted to be hands free so I put her in it. She went to sleep for the remainder of the cookout while in it.
How did the sleep situation work? Did you try to keep up with the same “routine”?
I basically answered this question above. The answer is yes. Try and keep up with some parts of your routine. For us it was nap times and bed time. For sleep/naps we brought our pack and play which has a bassinet in it. It was our first time using it and we love it!
What did you bring that you could have left behind?
Her Boppy pillow for sure and our travel bassinet which attaches to her stroller. The travel bassinet takes up so much room and we ended up not using/needing it at all.
That’s it for this post. We are heading on another family trip in September but the ride is way longer *insert stressed face*. We are actually considering flying one or both ways but we shall see. In the mean time, let me know if there is anything else you want to know. Find more baby posts here.
Thanks for reading!