To say that I was nervous about our road trip to #PortAransas for the 4th of July would be an understatement. To say packing for a trip with a baby made me nervous would also be an understatement. Gone are the days of two suitcases in the back the car and just going where we please. Preparing to leave your home with a baby for an extended amount of time takes organization and a thorough checklist.
I want to preface this blog post by saying that Luke has always loved the car. He's never been upset when the car stops or screamed his head off just by being in his car seat. We really are blessed to have such a chill baby. He is easily entertained as well, which made the amount of toys needed for the car ride minimal.
Car Ride Essentials
So let's talk about traveling essentials. When you have a baby, everything is essential and it can be overwhelming to know what to take with you and what to leave at home. My suggestion is to go through your daily routine and write down things you use every day. This will help eliminate certain items you only use every now and then. Aside from the obvious like pacifiers etc, here are some of the main items Luke used in the car:
Luke absolutely loves this baby paper. It is such a simple toy but entertains him for hours. Even though I like to limit screen time / exposure to screens early on, we did use the iPad when Luke started to get ansty at times. He absolutely LOVES Charlie's Color Forms City on Netflix. If your iPad does not have data, pre-download some episodes so your little can watch them in the car. This iPad holder is great if you are going to use screen time as a plan b.
For naps in the car, we used Luke's carseat cover to make it darker. To ensure he had plenty of air, we clamped this fan to the car seat handle and he was in heaven. I also suggest bringing a portable sound machine with you if your baby uses a sound machine at home.
Since Luke is on formula, making bottles in the car is super easy. We use this portable bottle warmer to keep the water warm and then add formula to it. This bottle warmer also safely warms breast milk too!
Let's Talk Schedule
We use an adaptive schedule with Luke at home so it was an easy transition in the car / on our trip. Luke generally eats every 3-4 hours and is awake 1.5-2 hours after eating. He takes short naps during the day and sleeps through the night, waking up any time between 6:00am-7:30am. My schedule advice for your trip would be - don't sweat the schedule. It's okay if your baby isn't going down for their usual nap right at 1:00pm, they are in a new place and will adjust!
Speaking of sleep here are a few things we brought for Luke:
This pack and play is so easy to fold up / is compact for travel. I highly suggest this cover for the pack and play too. Our VRBO had funky shades that didn't make the room dark at all, we would have been on the struggle bus without this cover to keep things dark for naps. We also used his portable sound machine for naps and at night, as well as this super soft baby blanket. Luke loves this blankey, it comes in other colors and prints too!
And here are some miscellaneous items we brought as well that were a huge help:
I talk about the Baby Brezza all the time, if you have one, you know that you don't want to be far from it. Depending on the age of your baby, this chair is a great alternative to bringing a play gym. Luke loves his. If he wasn't already so big, we would have swapped this out for his boppy lounger. And lastly, packing cubes. These are essential in keeping everything organized for the entire family.
Because of the current state of our world, we didn't travel outside of our VRBO except for the boat. If we were comfortable going into stores, we would have brought Luke's stroller.
Keep a small space in the back of your car clear for diaper changes.
Use a diaper caddy to keep things organized for changes in the back.
Pack a small cooler for drinks and snacks.
Masks + Hand Sanitizer always.