Monday, June 18, 2012

How to Survive a Road Trip with a Baby - Guest Post

I’m Kristin, from Little Mama Jama, and I’m thrilled to be here at Growing Up Geeky today.  Thanks for having me, Mama G!  I blog about raising a baby in a university residence hall, surviving postpartum depression and anxiety, and post loads of cute pictures of my 1-year-old boy, C.  I love new visitors, so be sure to say hi if you stop over!

How to Survive a Road Trip With a Baby
For the first year of our son’s life, we lived 6+ hours away from family.  I say 6+ because our travel time varied greatly with the changing of my son’s moods.  Traveling with your baby can be fun…but it can also be extremely challenging.   My husband and I survived hours of screaming, nap-less afternoons at family events, and food strikes.  We quickly became road-tripping experts and lived to tell the tale of our excursions.  Hopefully some of our misery can help you avoid some of your own. ;)

Allow Extra Time to Stop
Some babies are excellent travelers, but mine is not.  We always allow an extra hour or two before we need to arrive at our destination.  Our son is happiest when he can get out of the car every two hours or less to stretch out.  You can use these stops for refueling, eating or recreation.  Kwik Trip gas stations usually have clean facilities with baby changing stations; but the absolute best place to stop?  If you can find a Babies R Us, there is usually a clean, relaxing nursing room complete with a glider and a changing table.

Pack the Essentials
That wipe warmer can probably stay at home, but be sure to pack plenty of extra wipes.  If Aunt Gertie decides to feed baby some prunes, you’ll be prepared for a diaper blowout.  You’ll also want to pack extra blankets and onesies to prepare for warm or cold environments.  You may like to keep the car cool, but baby’s room might be warm at night.

Bring Your Own Pack ‘n’ Play
If your trunk space allows, bring baby’s own pack ‘n’ play and sheet.  The new surroundings might make her feel unsettled.  She’ll be more comfortable going to sleep in a bed that smells like home, which means you’ll have more time to enjoy your vacation!

The Pacifier Clip is a Lifesaver (family pic on beach)
This might be the greatest invention of all time.  When baby starts crying in the back seat because his paci fell out, you can feel around for the clip and that magic mute button will be attached to the end.  The clip is also invaluable in restaurants, shopping malls, gas stations and places with other paci-stealing babies.

The most important thing to remember when traveling with a baby is to be patient.  Attach some toys to the back seat, apply cling-on window shades to the rear windows and prepare yourself for anything.  Your trip might take two hours longer than you expected, or you might get lucky and have one of those children who naps in the car.  If you do, please don’t tell me.  I’ll be jealous. ;) 

Thanks, Kristin! This will definitely come in handy in the future. Be sure to visit Little Mama Jama.
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