5 Tips for Road Trips with a Baby

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We have been on quite a few road trips thus far, with another planned for this weekend. Our first one with our son was just three hours (each way) when he was one month new (such a little guy!). He wailed two and a half hours in so we pulled over to calm him, and had to do the same afterwards. Still, it was not a long ride -- we figured it was a good test trip for our 10 hour drive the next month. We have done that drive four times now and thankfully, they have gone very well.

It is my hope that these tips will make your road trips with your baby/babies go smoothly, too:

1. Use a safe car seat.
This should go without saying but a car seat for your baby is required by law. (In fact, kids under 80 pounds have to be in child restraints and then booster seats.) We have used this car seat and highly recommend it. It seems very comfortable, which is key. As for the included newborn headrest, it was very supportive and holds the head in place well. There's never been a need for any extra support, which is not recommended anyhow. For car seat safety tips, go here.

2. Leave during naptime or bedtime, especially if it's a long drive.
Many babies do not love staying in their car seats for extended periods of time. Deciding on the right time to leave just might alleviate--or even prevent--meltdowns. If you want to leave during the day, try to leave earlier than usual so your baby will still be asleep. For longer car trips, it can be helpful to leave late at night either right around bedtime or after he's fallen asleep. This way, the baby sleeps and you avoid traffic. (If your baby is having trouble falling asleep, try playing classical music or white noise.) Just be careful driving and make sure to rest up during the day so you do not get sleepy during the drive.

3. Have plenty of formula/milk, food/snacks and toys in the car.
If you leave during a time when the baby is awake, be prepared to feed them when they get hungry and try keeping him occupied with toys. On a recent podcast I listened to, Jacqui Saldana of Baby Boy Bakery said she brings a new toy for her daughter when they travel so her daughter is not already bored of the toy. That seems like a good tip. I also know breastfeeding moms bring wireless pumps so they can pump in the car.

4. Be prepared to stop as much as is needed.
Fortunately, babies wear diapers so you don't have to stop every time they wet their diaper. You will eventually have to stop to change them, though, because you wouldn't want your baby to get a diaper rash and be uncomfortable during the ride. As for dirty diapers, you probably would want to stop as soon as they get a dirty diaper to maximize their comfort and avoid a rash. You will also want to stop to feed and burp your baby if they are still really young, so plan accordingly.

5. Take your time. 
Do not rush. Pay attention to the road. Get comfortable-- maybe consider bringing along a lumbar support pillow or roll. Stop when you have to. Stop if you feel tired, or if your baby's crying is getting to you. Safety is key. Your and your family's lives are far too important to risk speeding or driving recklessly.

Have fun where you're going!


  1. We have taken road trips with E on multiple occasions. My piece of advice is to be prepared for anything and try not to be stressed out. E is a great traveler and we have been really lucky.

  2. I will pass these tips onto my sister! She is travelling far this weekend in fact!