There's nothing like having a baby right before summer vacation to put a kink in your travel plans. As the mother of a June baby, I get it. Traveling with a newborn is hard!
But here's the good news: it's not impossible. You can still enjoy the family road trip with your new addition; you just can't do it the same old way you've always done. Stressing about the upcoming trip? Here are some easy ways to ease the stress:
1. Book ahead. Flying by the seat of your pants might be part of the fun of a road trip pre-kids. With a baby, it's downright terrifying. Trust me: the last thing you want to do is spend even one second in a fleabag motel with a newborn. Do your research! Find a place to crash where your baby won't get scabies!
2. There's an app for that. Got a smartphone? Good, because you're going to want to download every app that points you to the clean bathrooms along the way. Some have user reviews that will also indicate availability of designated family bathrooms and changing stations.
3. Overpack on toiletries. There really is no such thing as too many diapers when you're traveling with a young baby, or too many medicines. If this is the first trip with baby, make sure you've given your car's first aid kit an overhaul to include pediatric medicines such as an infant pain reliever.
4. Eat smart. Going out to eat with a newborn is tricky anywhere, but when you're going to tourist-y areas, it can be especially hard. The wait is long, the places are packed ... and you're exhausted. Bring plenty of food and drink along with you in the car, and if you can, try to book a place to stay that has kitchen facilities so you can cook your own meals.
5. Block the sun. If you've ever gotten a sunburn while riding in a car, you know the sun's rays are powerful enough to hurt you through the window or sunroof. The same goes for baby. Their sensitive skin needs to be covered up! Newborns are a bit young for sunscreen, so make sure you put up a window shade both on the side nearest their car seat and on the back window if their rear-facing seat is close to it.
6. Get a mirror. Newborns should be rear-facing, which means you can't always see what they're up to without stopping the car entirely ... unless you have a mirror hung up to check things out. You may still end up pulling over to rescue an abandoned pacifier or just cuddle, but the mirror can save you a lot of stressing about what baby is doing back there.
What are your plans with baby this summer?
Image by Jeanne Sager