I’ve been meaning to write this post for absolutely ages – ever since we headed to Cornwall from Kent back in November. Holidaying with a baby for the first time can be quite a daunting occasion and even more stressful if there’s a lot of travelling involved. I thought I’d share my tips on how to make a long car journey with a baby a little less stressful for everyone, especially baby!
Know your route
The last thing you want to do is add unnecessary extra time to your trip! Plan out your route and make yourself aware of any diversions to avoid having to make any detours!
Make Regular stops
National health advice states that a baby should spend no longer than two hours in a car seat at any one time. Making sure you schedule regular breaks along the journey where baby can stretch out and be held or play is key.
Adjustable car seat
Our Joie I-LEVEL car seat* was an absolute must have for our trip. Not only is it jam packed with features to ensure the ultimate safety for little ones, it can be adjusted and set to three different positions from upright to reclined to 157• at the click of a button. When fully reclined the seat allows for baby to lay back therefore making enabling her to breathe easier. It’s also a really comfortable and cosy seat!
Take ready made formula
If your baby is formula fed like Florence, you will probably have heard of the ready made cartons of milk you can get. Instead of worrying about timings & hot water and such on the road, we take enough cartons for the journey along with empty sterilised bottles – it’s just makes feeds so much easier!
Baby friendly Music
You might need to swap your road trip playlist for something a little more… baby friendly. Arm yourself with a CD of nursery rhymes or lullabies that your baby is familiar with to keep her settled in the car.
Pack lots of toys!
Pack a basket of toys and keep it with you & baby in the back of the car ready to keep her entertained. Each time she gets bored with one, pull out another! Trust me, this will save your sanity! Make sure there’s a variety of different types – teethers, shakers and baby mirrors are all good travel toys. For the journey home from Cornwall I turned her car seat handle into a sensory gym by wrapping it in tinsel and some battery powered fairy lights and then hung some different textured toys & fabrics from it.
As well as toys, arm yourself with plenty of snacks for baby too, the last thing you need is a hangry outburst! I always take a pack of the kiddylicious wafers and fill our Trap-a-Snack with some organic puffs when on the road.
Sit in the back
To be honest, I’ve sat in the back of the car for every journey we’ve taken since Florence was born, but even if that wasn’t the norm, I definitely would have given up my front seat spot for the seven hour trip! Being next to Florence meant I could quickly and easily reassure her if she started to get grumpy, feed her, play with her, basically give her what she needed without having to stop the car and get out between stops.
Comfortable clothing is key!
Being cooped up in a car for a long period of time is uncomfortable enough without having to sit in tight or fussy clothing. Dress your little one in a cotton baby grow while on the road for maximum comfort.
A friend of mine does this and I think it’s genius! Travelling overnight when your baby will be getting in most of her sleep means that not only will she not really notice the length of the journey but you should be in for a nice chilled out road trip. Just make sure who ever is driving has had enough sleep before setting off.
*Our friends over at Joie Baby sent us an i-Level car seat to test out and review. Our full review will be going live soon but in the mean time, you can see just how easy it is to fit into your car here.