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Road trip with your baby

Updated: Nov 23, 2022

How old should we take our tiny cubs on a trip?

Is it safe for your infant to travel for a few hours in a car seat?

When COVID-19 vaccinations were available and travel restrictions were lifted, many
families resumed their vacation plans. However, for younger children who are still unable to obtain vaccines, many parents are opting for longer car trips rather than crowded aircraft or other public transportation.

We live in northern Italy and decided to take a 8 hours road trip to the southern Italy, Puglia, and we had an amazing experience! However, certain preparations were required to guarantee that our child remained calm and happy throughout the journey.
If you're considering a road trip with your infant, here are some tips to help keep your baby safe and comfortable.


Plan on things not going as planned

Traveling with a baby might be challenging. And unfortunately as first-time-moms, we tend to have hight expectations when it come to doing things "for the first time" with our little ones, so its very important to be mentally and physically prepared when things don't go precisely as planned.

What we tried to do is to only focus on the advantages of traveling just us, which is being able to stop as much as we want, having our own privacy, and more importantly preventing us from getting infected.

So be happy and try to enjoy as much as possible 😘 !

Give yourself lots of time

Having a newborn means literally that everything takes a bit longer than usual. We need to be prepared to do everything on our babies flow, feed them when they are hungry, change them when they need to be changed, and be prepared to stop when they are bored and want to do anything else , rather than sit on their car seat.

Allow time to take it slow and understand that your ride will take a lot longer than planned, and this way, you’ll allow yourself to take it easy and travel without any pressure.

Make the most of your road journey by savoring the experience. It'll be a lot less stressful and a lot more enjoyable!

Consider travel according to your baby's routine schedule

I strongly recommend an early morning trip, specially if you will be traveling for a few hours, this way your baby might be sleeping or sleepy or drive at night when your baby is normally sleeping.
We had 8 hours trip ahead, so we decided to leave around 05:30 am, and Frank slept until 8:30 and it was possible to travel for 3 hours straight without stopping.

Sit with your baby

We all know that toys are essential and very helpful, but You Mama, are what makes your little one the happiest!
Your presence is very important , so ride in the backseat with your baby, your presence will make him feel secure and protected.

Try to interact with your baby as much as possible to prevent him/her of getting bored. Sing for your baby, make him laugh , give him a leg massage! Go ahead and be creative, I know you can!

Don’t drive for more than 2 hours

Make sure you don’t drive more than 2 hours unless the baby sleeps.
We made sure we stoped as often as possible, get some fresh air, play with him and make him as comfortable as possible.

It is important for you and your baby to get out of the car every few hours and take a stretch to avoid restlessness. Try to take a break every 2 to 3 hours for a day trip and every 4 to 6 hours at night to change diapers or soiled clothes, or to feed your baby. Never attempt to breastfeed in a moving car.
Before hitting the road, be prepared and know where gas stations and rest stops are on the way. In case you decide you need a longer break, it's a good idea to know where baby friendly hotels are located. If you aren't sure there will be a safe sleep space at your destination, bring a bassinet or portable play yard with you, since it's not safe for your baby to sleep in the car seat once you arrive.

Have essentials close by

Pack a diaper bag or cooler for the back seat to have handy essentials at your fingertips. This may include:
  1. Extra diapers, wipes, diaper cream, changing pad, clothes, garbage bags to dispose of diapers, and hand sanitizer.

  2. Formula or breast milk kept on ice or in a cooling bag, and bibs

  3. Pacifiers, a favorite soothing toy, books, and a device to play music for entertainment.

  4. A thermometer.

  5. Remember their favorites toys.

  6. Shield them from the sun: Sun blinds that stick to the car windows are really helpful on a road trip with a newborn.Our little one hates the sun getting in his eyes – it makes him really agitated !

  7. Take the baby carrier : when we got to Alberobello- Puglia, it was very hilly, the carrier came really handy!

  8. Last but not least , take the Camera on your little adventure!

Have snacks and water readily available for yourself, too! If you need to stop for a coffee to go, remember not to leave your baby unattended in the car even briefly. Children can suffer heat stroke very quickly in hot cars.
No doubt after your first trip in the car you will learn for yourself more specifically what your little one needs, how best to entertain them and how often you may need to stop along the way


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