Traveling anywhere with a baby can be difficult enough but going on an extended road trip raises can be a real challenge. The key to a successful trip is planning and organization.
If you are prepared for the journey and have packed what you need, you will increase the odds of a successful trip. Here is a look at how to plan the trip around your child, preparing your car, and coping with the journey itself.
The right timing
You will know the usual sleep pattern and routine for your infant inside out. Any attempt to disrupt this pattern and impose something that upsets their rhythm is likely to be met with resistance and tears. Plan your departure time to coincide with the usual time for their nap or bedtime.
This will improve the chances of your child sleeping through a portion of the journey. If you have an infant who does not normally sleep well in the car, it would be better to plan to leave immediately after their nap rather than force the issue. Timing your journey can make all the difference.
Make allowances for unexpected stops along the way when estimating your journey time. It is likely you will be forced into a pit-stop for a diaper change or to console your baby. Factor these potential stops into your plans.
Is your car ready for the journey?
If you traveling in a 4×4 like the Jeep Cherokee, you can take comfort in that the safety and security features will offer protection to your family throughout the journey.
You also want to take some time to prepare your car for the road trip. Here are some tips on traveling with a car seat.
Pack enough soft toys and books to keep them entertained. Think about visibility and safety inside the vehicle. Avoid packing larger items or too many things. You want everything out of the driver’s line of view if possible.
If someone is going to be sitting next to your infant in the back, you can pack a box of toys, games, and books to keep them happy by passing them what they want to play with each time.
Comfort and safety are also important considerations.
Prepare a checklist of items to pack or fit for the journey. Window shades will help keep your child comfortable. Also, a well-stocked leather nappy bag and a change of clothes, snacks and drinks, and a first aid kit are some of the road trip essentials for what will probably be a long checklist.
On the road
The best-laid plans can soon fall apart quickly when you are traveling with young children over a long distance. Be prepared to be flexible and try to be relaxed and accepting that changes to your travel plans are always a possibility.
When circumstances become challenging, you should stop the car and temporarily suspend your journey if you need to. Trying to persevere with your driving while your child is screaming or having a major tantrum, can be dangerous. You are going to be distracted and the nerves might be a bit shredded with all that is going on inside the vehicle. It is always best to take a break, sort out the issue, and then set off again when everything has calmed down.
If you follow some of these tips, an extended road trip with a young family on board might not be as difficult as you first thought.
Jessica Wallis is a work-from-home Mom who has a 7 year old and a 9 month old. She loves the freedom she has to juggle the kids and work so that neither suffer. She writes about Mommy topics in her articles.