How do you pack for your baby’s first road trip? It seems like a simple enough question, but it takes quite a bit of forethought to make sure you’ll have everything your child will need even if you’re only planning a short trip to visit your parents in the next town over the 4th of July or Labor Day weekends.
While you might have become accustomed to traveling light on a short trip, squeezing everything into a 40 lb duffel bag, you will have to rethink your packing strategy when traveling with your baby. For instance, it’s a good idea to take a baby mattress and as much necessary bedding as possible to help ensure a safe and sound night’s sleep every night. You’ll definitely need a diaper bag, and at least a suitcase, although it might be easier if you also have a few more good sized bags. Speaking of bags, also include plastic bags on your list for miscellaneous purposes.
A Dozen Ideas to Consider
Here is a short list of idea starters to help you figure out your packing list:
- One way to minimize what you’ll need to take is to opt for small things that are easy to hand wash and to hang dry.
- A few favorite toys, for instance, a rubber duck, a snuggle doll, and a teething toy.
- Blankets–a familiar sleeping blanket and a blanket to play or a play mat.
- Baby wash and baby lotion, disinfecting hand gel, and plenty of tissues.
- Safety issue stuff like Baby SPF, Zinc, sun hat, thermometer, instant fever reducer; and, of course, doctor’s information and your baby’s health insurance papers.
- Don’t sacrifice your daily reading activity—take a board book or two along for the ride.
- If your child can’t sit up yet, he or she will want their bouncy chair.
- Yes, your new airflow baby carrier, too.
- What will your child wear? If it’s just a few days, perhaps, take five onesies; three bottoms; two PJs, two pairs of socks; and a hoodie.
- Diapers, and the things that go with a diaper change – diaper rash creams, wipes, and inserts. How many diapers? It’s best to take enough just in case you can’t get to a store for one reason or another. Estimate a diaper for every hour; you’ll be on the road, and also add few more in case there are some long stopovers or delays. Also, be sure to take a fold-up changing pad to put under your baby when you change diapers.
- For eating, you’ll need at least two bibs and baby bottles. Even if you’re breastfeeding, take some formula as back up if you need to pump and dump. You’ll also need bottles of water for filling up baby bottles. A sippy cup for older ones. If your baby is already eating solid food, then take along your child’s favorite baby food.
- Finally, a car seat, of course.
Some Optional Items to Take
While it may seem like you’ve packed their entire inventory here, there are a few things that you can manage to leave behind– like a high chair, tub, monitor, plates, and spoons, baby towels, and washcloths. Grown up versions of some of these things will work for a few days. Should you take a stroller? It depends on where you’ll be. If you’re out in the country, it probably won’t be a good idea, but if you’re in an urban area with sidewalks, then you can still enjoy your long walks.
A Pragmatic Guideline
Naturally, this is by no means a complete list, and it’s best to think of it as more of a guideline than a packing list. In other words, it just reminds you about what you should be considering. In fact, you’ve probably already thought of a few things that you should also include. However, at the very least, this list of 12 things to consider should get you thinking along the right lines.
A final tip is to start packing a few days early—as this will prevent you from forgetting things when you’re in a hurry to get out of the house and also give you enough time to dash to the store to pick up any supplies.