If you are planning to take a road trip with an infant you may already be feeling stressed about what lies ahead but you really don’t need to. There will be plenty of times when you will want to take your baby to visit grandparents or on vacation and there are many options that cater to families and even offer childcare services.
It may come as a surprise to you to learn about a few simple things you can do to keep your little one as quiet and relaxed as possible during your trip. Whether your planning a three hour trip of a three-week trip here are 10 tips from the best DWI lawyer that is sure to make a difference in enjoying your vacation.
1. Be a Team
One person will need to drive so that the other person can sit in the back with the baby. This can ensure any issues are dealt with before they become a problem, such as curing boredom, wiping up little messes, preparing bottles and so on – all of these little things can keep those wheels turning rather than having to stop for numerous breaks.
Then there is that timeless advice of ‘sleeping when the baby sleeps’ that applies to a road trip in just the same way. If the baby is having a nap the person in the back should do the same so that they will feel refreshed and able to switch roles with the driver when need be.
2. Keep Expectations in Check
Lots of things can go wrong when you take a road trip, such as a flat tire, a turn in the weather and so forth – however, these smaller problems can become huge if you have a screaming infant in the middle of it all. Keep this in mind from the start and try to keep a sense of humor so that tension can easily be alleviated. After all, whether you view it as an adventure or a disaster is really up to you.
3. Do a Good Chunk of the Driving at Night
Granted, it may put you out a little, but the idea of having a screaming baby in the car without any sign of an exit would be a whole lot worse. When you drive at night your little one will spend most of their time sleeping and won’t wake up as much for feeds and changing. This means that you will be able to cover longer distances before you need to stop for a break.
If you concede the departure time with bedtime this can work exceptionally well. Take your child through the whole routine (bath time, pajamas, bedtime story – whatever it is you normally do) but put the baby to sleep in the car seat rather than their normal crib.
Drive as far as you feel able while the baby sleeps but make sure you switch drivers and rest when you need to so that the person driving is always alert.
4. Plan Your Breaks and Make Them Regular
You may be able to manage a 6-hour stretch without using the bathroom or having something to eat, but you can be sure that the baby isn’t up to your endurance levels. Plan stops for every 1 to 3 hours at daytime and every 3 hours at night so that you can change your baby, have something to eat and do a quick clean up if your baby needs it.
So that you don’t waste time with stops you don’t really need, make a checklist of items you need every break stop – you could include things like diapers, clothes or stocking up on key supplies.
5. You Really Don’t Need to Take the Scenic Route
Whilst the idea of a scenic route for a road trip may sound great it can also make the trip with an infant more challenging. Opt for a route that is frequently traveled and has things such as 24-hour gas stations and service areas along the way.
6. Be Prepared With the Right Supplies
When you are en route to your destination, the last thing that you want to have to do is search through a gigantic suitcase for an item of supplies that you just know you packed in there somewhere.
Instead, keep a handy kit within reach that as all the critical items and make sure that you refill as you go along. For instance, you could get all of these items into a medium-sized backpack:
- A portable changing pad with a few diapers
- A few toys
- Some wipes
- Pre-portioned bottles with breast milk or formula kept in a small cooler bag
- Infant medicine such as Tylenol
- A baby thermometer
- A blanket
- A small sound machine.
As well as the baby kit, make sure that you have supplies for the adults too. This kit could include chargers for mobiles and tablets snacks, a sleep mask, earplugs and so forth.
7. Get Familiar With Baby Massage Techniques
Babies can become uncomfortable when they have to sit in their seats for long periods of time, just like adults can. Get familiar with baby massage techniques and modify them for car seat use for when you are sitting in the backseat with your baby.
You can gently massage their legs and feet which can go a long way in helping a bay to stay calm until you get to your next rest stop.
8. Sing a Few Songs
If your infant gets fussy when they are in their car seat, you need to have lots of ideas at your disposal. Singing songs can be a better way to calm your baby than playing the radio and can keep them entertained too if they are starting to get bored.
Opt for simple melodies when you can improvise if need be. You can take turns to make up lyrics to keep things from getting too monotonous.
9. Take All the Right Precautions
Even when you don’t have an infant on board, you should always follow safety procedures. Ensure that you have a spare tire, a car jack and so forth.
When you pack your car ensure that the driver has full view, including their rearview mirror. In addition, it’s a good idea to only pull over in well-lit areas.
10. Know When to Admit Defeat
If you are starting to get frustrated and tiredness is kicking in (for everyone including the baby) know when it is time to stop.
Find a place where you can take a few minutes to rest up and take stock. You could even book into a hotel where a crib can be made available on request. Have a nap in a real bed, take a shower and have something proper to eat. This will give everyone the chance to get back on the road in a better state of mind.
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