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This past weekend we traveled up to Pagosa Springs for my sister in law’s wedding. It was about a 5 hour drive, made longer with stops. We were nervous about Sawyer being in the car that long and knew we had to be prepared. I researched lots of ways to keep him busy in the car, and brainstormed some of my own. All together, the trip was a success with only a few screaming sessions (give him a break, he’s 9 months old). Here are my top 4 tips for surviving a day on the road with an infant!
Food is your Friend
Pack the diaper bag accordingly! Not only do snacks, keep them full, and therefore, less fussy. But once they can feed themselves, food is also an activity! We love puffs, yogurt melts, and teething biscuits. They’re easy and keep Sawyer busy! Be sure if you’re baby is eating that you are sitting in the back with them to monitor! Also, make sure to have pumped breast milk or formula on hand! Although I’m no longer nursing/pumping, but when I was, I invested in an awesome battery operated pump so I could pump anywhere! You can find it here. It made life a lot easier! Or you can get a hand pump for cheaper for on the go expression. Be sure to pack a good cooler to keep your milk from going bad! I like this one! If you’re formula feeding, be sure to pack enough to last you the trip and then some! We use these easy formula dispensers by Munchkin and they make life so much easier! It’s always in my diaper bag!
Set up Camp in the Backseat
If you’re traveling with your partner, make sure you take turns spending some time in the backseat! It’s good for baby to be engaged so hang out back there for a few hours. Play with toys, feed them, or just talk to them! While we were driving, Sawyer woke up from his nap SCREAMING. It was the middle of the night so we think he woke up, it was dark, and he didn’t know where he was and he was scared. As soon as I climbed back there, he calmed down. I just held his hand and played with him until he arrived. It can be boring back there all by your lonesome, so be sure to climb back there and spend some time with them. If you have older children traveling along with you, this might not be as pressing as an issue because they can entertain their sibling, but if it’s your only, be sure to climb back there for a bit!
Entertainment is Key
I know they say you shouldn’t let your child watch TV until they’re 2…but how else am I supposed to get anything done without Sesame Street? We loaded a few episodes of Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse onto our ipad and bought this awesome car mount so he could watch his shows. It attached to the headrest in the car, and extended so he could see. We had the car seat mirror on the headrest in front of him (so we could keep an eye on him from the front) and then attached the ipad mount to the headrest on the seat next to him. This way, he could be rear facing, and watch his shows! It was great to keep him occupied while he was awake and I was up front with his Dad. And now we have it for future trips, I’m sure we’ll use it again and again!
Plan the Drive According to their Sleep Schedule
The way up there worked out nicely because we left around 7:00pm. He usually goes to bed at 8:00pm so it worked out perfectly! We kept him awake for an hour to eat and then let him drift off to sleep. He always falls asleep in the car. He slept for the majority of the drive and when he woke up, I climbed back there and we watched some Sesame Street until he fell asleep again. Since Sawyer always falls asleep in the car, it worked best to leave at bedtime so as not to mess up his sleep schedule. If we had left at 4, he would’ve fallen right asleep and then not wanted to sleep at all that night! On the way back, we left at 10:00am. His nap time is usually 11:00am, so it worked out perfectly then too! He slept for about 2 hours and then woke up all on his own, which was great! We kept him awake for a few more hours before letting him nap again at his usually scheduled nap time at 3:00. It worked out perfectly and then his schedule wasn’t messed up!
All in all, the trip was a success! Next week, we’ll take on his first airplane, and see how that goes! What are your tips for traveling with a baby?