9 tips for road tripping as new parents
Remember when you could pack a few bags, jump in the car and say adios for a long weekend road trip with your partner? If you forgot something you would pick it up along the way, you could go several hours without a rest stop and for sure you could make an 8 hour trip in one day!?
Fast forward a few years and now you have a baby! And even though things have changed quite a bit since this little miracle has arrived, you still find a way to underestimate the impact of this change on your life, especially the ability to be spontaneous.
So my husband and I boldly decided to take our first road trip with our 4 month old son, Aiden, over Christmas from our warm and sunny residence in West Hollywood, California to the mountains and snow in Lake Tahoe!
Now if you have been a first time parent then you know that most of the time you are just winging it! There is a steep learning curve especially during specific occasions as parents. One significant one being how to travel successfully!
To see what I learned...watch my video and read my road trip tips below!
Take breaks & get lots of rest or down time. This means you will have more restroom breaks than you ever imagined possible. You must split up long trips (make reservations in advance especially over busy holidays)! And if you decide to ignore this tip, prepare yourself for major headache inducing melt downs that seem to be never ending.
New environments are scary enough, bring familiar toys and other things to make it easier. If all else fails white noise (and / or your nipple) is magic for fussy babies.
Be silly and definitely don’t take yourself too seriously. This means – laugh as much as possible!! There will be many moments where you will doubt yourself as parents or even reconsider the road trip. But don’t! You will survive! Just remember what they say – “the worry of today is the joke of tomorrow!” Just relax, give lots of cuddles, have fun and remember you are not the first to brave this adventure and you will get through it.
Bring the essentials (not the whole nursery) and as much as possible prepare for the unexpected. So what are the essentials? Everything having to do with the baby, such as diapers, baby carriers, milk, noise makers, favorite videos and many teething options (depending on the babies age). Planning for the trip is also important. That means knowing the weather conditions of where you are headed and bringing things like tire chains just in case! If you aren’t sure what to bring, talk to people who have been to your destination or do some research online!
Habits are important even on the road! Babies need consistency and even though this can be tough on parents or even make long trips even longer, it is important to stay on track. Your baby may not be able to speak yet but if you listen they will tell you what they need when they need it! One habit Aiden expects every morning is some time with wiggles. If we forget to make time for this, he will definitely let us know!
Take lots of pictures and videos. This is especially important if your baby is young. You want to create memories to share when they get older.
Make a deal with your partner to take turns – mama needs a break too! Alone time is great and your allows your partner to spend more time bonding with the baby since it is can be more difficult for them especially if you are breastfeeding.
Make time for adult time. Enjoy your time alone as parents. Turn off the electronics and just be with each other. One fun way to do this is to make dinner together vs. going out. Not only is it better for the baby but it also removes the excuse for the two of you to not check your phones or get distracted with other daily responsibilities.
Remember that entertainment can be found and made anywhere. Get out and explore. Enjoy every moment and just be present.
Make time for firsts, even if they won’t remember it until later when they watch the videos or look at old pictures. We enjoyed putting Aiden in the snow to make snow angels, go sledding and even tasting snow for the first time!
Babies need exercise as much as adults do – so don’t forget tummy time and to get out and stretch every single day!
That covers our first road trip experience as new parents. If you are experienced parents then leave me some comments on what you learned. And for any new parents, good luck on your first road trip!!