Checklist for a Road Trip with Baby

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Congratulations! You are about to embark on one of life’s greatest adventures – a road trip with baby. Before you leave or book a place to stay, there are a few things you may want to consider:

• Where will baby sleep?
• What will baby eat? How long is the drive?
• Will you be able to do laundry where you’re staying?
• Will it be rainy? What is the weather like?
• Will you be doing lots of walking?
• Will your destination/host have essentials you can borrow?

Now that your trip is booked, it’s time to start packing! Let’s not go overboard. It may seem like you need to pack everything but the kitchen sink. You don’t, mama. Take it easy. You only need the essentials. Anything else, baby can live without for a few days, you can borrow, or you can buy when you get there.

1. Sleeper

Unless your baby is sleeping in the bed with you or your host has a crib, you will want to bring a sleeper – either your favorite co-sleeper or pack-n-play. This is probably the largest item you are taking with you, so be sure to pack it first so you can pack everything else around it. You won’t need it until you get there, anyway.

If you are staying in a hotel, ask if they offer port-a-cribs. You want to ask in advance and reserve one for your stay, otherwise it might not be available when you arrive. AirBnBs have crib options, as well.

2. Snacks

Be sure to pack your baby’s favorite snack for on-the-go. Having something familiar will help to keep baby content and prevent fusses on the way. It will also be nice to have something familiar for when you arrive at your destination. 

If you are doing baby-led weaning, there’s no reason to stop while traveling. Having a mess to clean up might be intimidating, but there are several baby safe foods that are mess-free and easy to eat while on the go. I also love this bowl/plate set and don’t travel anywhere without it. 

Whether this is baby’s first road trip or 10th road trip, you may consider stopping occasionally so baby can snack and stretch her legs. Feeding your baby while in the car is a choking hazard and should be avoided.

3. Diapers

Alright cloth diapering mamas, don’t let a road trip scare you out of doing diaper laundry – unless you just don’t want to fool with it. I get it. No matter where or how far we travel, I always bring all of our cloth diapers (21 in total). This usually lasts long enough to only have to do laundry every 2 and a half days, although I prefer to do diaper laundry every other day.

If packing cloth diapers, don’t forget the laundry essentials – diaper detergent, vinegar, and hangers/clothes pins. You can also dry your diapers In the dryer – it won’t damage them after 1 or 2 times through the dryer.

If using or packing disposables, make sure to evaluate how often you normally change baby’s diaper. You will likely be changing her less often while on the road, but it’s always a safe bet to pack more than you would normally need. Also, if you use a special brand that isn’t available everywhere, stock up before you leave.

4. Books 

Books are great entertainment for road trips and take up very little space.Put 2-3 books in the compartment behind your seat or easy access. We love Indestructibles because they are baby safe and easy for baby to flip threw all by themselves. 

5. Extra clothes

My rule of thumb for packing clothes for baby is an extra onesie per day of the trip, plus one extra sleeper. It’s easy to pack too many clothes for baby just in case. But, let’s not get carried away.  If you will be able to do laundry while away, then you won’t need to pack as much. If you arrive at your destination and learn you need something, go buy it. Chances are you don’t actually need it.

6. Carrier

Don’t forget your carrier! You don’t want to carry baby around everywhere while on a vacation or quick trip to see the in-laws. If you’re a mama who doesn’t usually use a carrier, it might be worth investing in one. It saves space in the car and reduces tantrums. 

No way, carriers aren’t for you? Then, don’t forget your stroller. This is easily the largest item in your car, so pack it first, before your sleeper.

7. Teething supplies

Depending on the age of your baby, you may want to pack some teething gear – silicone or wooden teethers, amber necklace, mom’s favorite teething necklace, and pain relief (always as a last resort). 

That’s it! Baby can entertain herself with whatever is around her. Since she will be in a new environment, she will have lots to see and explore. 

What do you normally pack for a road trip with baby? Tell me in the comments below.

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