How to prepare for a road trip with a newborn baby

Road trips are one of the best ways to explore the world with your family. But newborns require round-the-clock care. So what can you do to prepare them for the journey?  

To make sure you’re ready to care for your newborn on the road, here are some of the most important things to remember when going on a road trip with your family.

Before you set off

As with all endeavours, safety comes first. And with a newborn baby onboard, you’ll want to take extra precautions to make sure your trip is as safe as possible.

Until your baby turns 15-months old, their car seat must be rear-facing. This means you might want to invest in a car seat mirror to see your baby while you’re driving. That way, you can check in on your newborn as you travel.

If you want to make doubly sure that their needs are attended to, you could sit someone in the back of the car next to them. So there’s always someone on hand to cater to their needs.

How to entertain newborn babies in the car

Newborn babies sleep between 6–18 hours a day, but as any parent knows, the moment it would be ideal for your little one to have a nap, they’re full of beans! To make sure their waking hours are smooth sailing, here are some ways you can entertain your newborn in the car.

Interactive toys

Interactive toys are great for entertaining babies. As newborn babies cannot hold these toys themselves, you can invest in toy strips that attach to your car seat. From reflective mirrors to rattling balls and scrunching fabrics, these distract your baby by stimulating their senses.

Calming music

If your baby continues to cry throughout the road trip, you can play some calming music. Research shows that music has multiple benefits for babies, such as reducing stress and encouraging sleep. So whether you want to play classical music or lullabies made specifically for babies, there’s a baby playlist out there for you.

Newborn essentials to pack in a travel bag

To help you pack light and save room in the car, these are some of the newborn essentials you should always pack before embarking on your adventure.

Feeding and nursing essentials

On average, you should feed your newborn baby every two to three hours. If you’re breastfeeding, remember to bring all of the essential equipment, such as nursing bras, breastfeeding pillows, a muslin cloth, and a breast pump if you wish.

On the other hand, if you’re bottle feeding your newborn baby, you’ll want to bring multiple baby bottles, a portable bottle warmer, a portable steriliser, and formula. Also, it’s always a good idea to plan for emergencies and bring extra formula on your road trip.

Baby changing bag

No matter where you’re headed, you’re always going to need a fully stocked baby changing bag. This should include all of the usual changing items, from nappies to wipes and waste bags. And don’t forget the nappy rash cream!

Newborn sleeping bag

To help your little one sleep while you’re driving down country roads, you can pack a sleeping bag for newborn babies. This will have all of the newborn essentials, such as quilted sleeping bags, cuddly sleep aids, and a supply of dummies and blankets!

Clothing and comfort

Baby wipes are useful for cleaning up spilt milk, but some messes cannot be wiped away. In this case, make sure you have lots of extra clothing, such as overalls and feeding bibs.

Newborn first aid kit

There are few things more important than a newborn first aid kit. This can be filled with a number of medications, including antiseptic spray, antihistamine cream, and calamine lotion. You might also want to pack bandages, ice packs, and a first aid manual. Hopefully you’ll never have to use it, but it’s always good to be prepared.

These are some of the most important things to remember before going on a road trip with your newborn baby. Of course, you can plan all you like, but sometimes things don’t go to plan.

Whether your baby cries a lot or you need to rest, it’s okay to rearrange plans and go at your own pace. Drink water, eat snacks, and sleep regularly. If you’re refreshed and ready for an adventure, you’ll be able to care for your baby.

Photo by Omar Lopez