5 Essentials to Make a Road Trip with a Baby a Breeze

Even if you’re headed to a destination that’s a short distance away, hitting the road with your little one may, at least initially, feel like a major undertaking. After all, gathering your LO’s necessities and securing him or her in the car for a quick shopping trip is a commitment! 
Thankfully, traveling with your baby can be simpler and more streamlined with the right gear. Here, five essentials that will make any trip with your baby feel like a breeze.

  • 1. An All-in-One Travel System

    Having the right stroller and car seat is integral to ensuring your little one is safe and secure when you’re on-the-go anywhere -- even if you’re just running errands around town. But when you’re hitting the road and away from home, you may be especially grateful for a travel system (like the Chicco Viaro Travel System, $349.99, Target), which includes a car seat carrier that seamlessly fits into a stroller and can be used all the way from infancy on up through toddlerhood.

    “A travel system is great for an infant, so you can just pop the car seat into the stroller,” notes Stacey L., a mom of one. “You don’t have to wake the baby up when you place him or her into or out of the carrier.”

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  • 2. A Changing Clutch

    When you’re en route from one destination from the next, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself having to make pit stops at restaurants or rest stops. Sure, there may be a changing table at these locations. But just in case, and in an effort to keep your LO comfortable and clean, you’ll do well to bring a portable, padded, wipeable changing pad that attaches to your purse or diaper bag bag (like the Scallops Changing Pad Clutch -- Cloud Island, $14.99, Target). “I like a diaper bag clutch, because I can run into a bathroom without lugging my diaper bag,” shares Meg J., a mom of two. “Also if my husband is changing the kids, it’s helpful to have diaper and wipes in one easy grab bag so he doesn’t have to dig.”

    Lorraine S., a mom of two, agrees: “The foldup changing pad is a must on the road. I've had to change diapers where there just isn't a good option/space available, so I've used the top of a toilet seat, a picnic table, the trunk of the car, and the changing pad was an absolute must!”

  • 3. A Diaper Bag

    Speaking of diaper bag, it’s an essential any time you’re away from home with your baby, but even more so when you’re on the road. A quality, well-organized tote with lots of compartments (like Scallops Tote Diaper Bag -- Cloud Island, $39.99, Target) can save you headaches and time. “A good diaper bag will have lots of pockets!” notes Jesse L., a dad of one. “That way, you know where each item is and can easily grab and go without much thought.” 

  • 4. A Dockatot

    Whether you’re headed to a lake house, family reunion, or beachside accommodation, having a DockATot (like the Deluxe Plus Dock -- Pristine White, $175.00, Target) can most definitely come in handy. The multifunctional docking station for babies aged 0 to 8 months old offers a quick and easy, portable landing spot for your LO to get comfy to hang out and play. "It's so easy to bring it in a suitcase," says mom of one Billie S.

  • 5. An All-in-One Baby Carrier

    As nerve-wracking as it may be in moments, even short-distance travel offers an exciting opportunity to get out and explore with your LO in tow. And baby-wearing can make it even easier to take advantage of impromptu adventures -- be that a scenic roadside hike or stroll around a farmer’s market. “A quality carrier allows you to take your kid to more adventurous places that the stroller can’t go, like hiking,” says Jason S., a dad of one.

    Consider an all-in-one carrier (like Ergobaby Omni 360 All Carry Positions Ergonomic Baby Carrier -- Pearl Gray, $179.99, Target) that will grow with your baby (from week one to 36 months) and provide comfort for you and your LO thanks to its ergonomic design.