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Road Trips with Babies

By Elizabeth Pantley, author of Gentle Baby Care and The No-Cry Sleep Solution

  • If you plan to have someone sitting next to baby, then provide that person with a gigantic box of toys with which to entertain the little one distraction works wonders to keep a baby happy in the car. One of the best activities for long car rides is book reading. Check your library's early reading section; it typically features a large collection of baby-pleasing titles in paperback that are easier to tote along than board books.

  • Bring along an assortment of snacks and drinks for your older baby who's regularly eating solids, and remember to bring food for yourself, too. Even if you plan to stop for meals, you may decide to drive on through if your baby is sleeping or content - saving the stops for fussy times.

  • Bring books on tape or quiet music for the adults for times when your baby is sleeping. The voice on tape may help keep your baby relaxed, and it will be something you can enjoy.

  • If you'll be traveling in the dark, bring along a battery-operated nightlight or flashlight.

Car travel checklist

  • Well-stocked diaper bag
  • Baby's blanket
  • Carseat pillow or head support
  • Window shades (sun screens)
  • Change of clothes for your baby
  • Enormous box of toys and books
  • Music or books on tape or CDs
  • Baby food, snacks, and drinks for your baby
  • Sipper cups
  • Snacks and drinks for the adults
  • Cooler
  • Wet washcloths in bags, or moist towelettes
  • Empty plastic bags for leftovers and trash
  • Bottle warmer
  • Cell phone
  • Baby's regular sleep music or white noise (if needed, bring extra batteries)
  • First aid kit/prescriptions/medications
  • Jumper cables
  • Money/wallet/purse/ID
  • Medical and insurance information/emergency phone numbers
  • Maps/driving directions
  • Baby carrier/sling/stroller
  • Camera and film
  • Suitcases

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