Road tripping with baby? Here’s how to!
Travelling is something I really looking forward to, especially the food, celebrations and meeting my family whom I have not met in a long while. On the other hand, I am getting palpitations just by thinking of how our road trip with a baby on board would be like.
Nevertheless, having gone for a few road trips with our baby and toddler, here are some tried and tested tips that could let you breathe a little easier!
Pack a week in advance
If you can’t pack a week before, start a checklist a week in advance so that you can continue to add to the list and pack as the travel day approaches. What I would normally do is the head-to-toe approach where you pack essential items that correspond from your head (shampoo, hat, etc), body (mosturiser, diapers, etc) and all the way down to your toes (socks, shoes, etc). For ease of change during the travel – consider PETPET® Day Night Pants diapers which is easy to wear and pull off. For night travel use, PETPET® Tape diapers can provide fresh and dry protection with no leakages for up to 10 hours.
Do a dry-run trip
If you have the time, go for a short trip just before the long haul. Before we went on our road trip to Penang from KL, we decided to try a shorter trip from KL to Bukit Tinggi, Pahang, just a few weeks before. This was definitely helpful because it allowed our baby and toddler to familiarise themselves with long car rides and for us to know what to expect.
Prep or service the car
This goes without saying to avoid an additional headache to the roadtrip. Check your vehicle’s tire pressure, radiator coolant, petrol levels and others. Of course, it is better still if you could service the car before the trip to ensure it is operating at optimal levels. Also, remember to check the straps and other functionality of the baby car seat.
Pack their favourite toy, pillow and a surprise toy
We let the surprise toy make an appearance after the baby loses interest in their favourite toy. It was not expensive and was just simple items from dollar stores. My younger one can be fascinated by the most mundane of items, so long as he can get some enjoyment out of this new surprise toy.
Download their favourite movies or shows
As network coverage may be patchy along the highways, pre-download your baby’s favourite movie or show for easier access. We do not advocate screen-times but consider this is for contingency when baby starts losing interest in their favourite toy or is having a meltdown.
Dress baby in comfortable outfits
Save the fancy outfits for when you are already at your destination. Instead, think non-fussy comfortable cotton with no embellishments for when they can snuggle up in their car seat. Don’t forget to cut off the clothes tags as these might irritate the baby’s sensitive skin. I always dress my kids in pajamas and somehow, it must have conditioned them to think it is naptime. They tend to sleep for long hours and sometimes even the entire trip. Yippee!
Snacks and feeds
I always feed the two of them just before the car ride. Otherwise, prep the formula milk, hot water and/or baby snacks and puffs for baby or toddler to snack on if they are awake. After all, full tummies can also help with prolonged naps.
Leave during baby’s naptime
We always time our travels according to their usual sleep schedule. Set off on your journey while the baby is already slumbering so that you can avoid any meltdowns and have a peaceful drive.
Rest when tired
Do not push yourself further when you are tired. Stop over at rest-stops or like my husband, he would plan for stayovers at hotels along the way if it is a long journey.