Hitting the Road with Baby this Week? How to Arrive at Your Destination Sane

Hitting the road with baby can be stressful -- especially when you hit gridlock and encounter boredom and general crankiness (we're talking about the baby, not your husband).

As a mom of a toddler who has taken many car trips in the last few years, I know what works for me: Travel during naptime (he actually sleeps in the car!), stopping every hour or so so baby can get some fresh air and a change of scenery, packing favorite snacks and his favorite soft toy, and bringing lots of fun items for entertainment. But I wonder what other strategies are out there, so I talked to Debbie Dubrow of DeliciousBaby.com, a site about traveling with kids. Here are her tips:

  • Bring a variety of things to do: some music, soft picture books, car seat activity toys, her favorite rattle. We all know babies have short attention spans, so bring out something new every so often to keep things fresh.
  • Package any snacks into small portions so if baby spills, it's not too bad of a mess.
  • Driving through a nearby town? Stop at the public library. Libraries make great (and free!) places to unwind when you need a break -- but most aren't open on major holidays, so only plan this if you're traveling the day before. Besides cozy chairs, many have baby toys.
  • If you can, sit next to baby -- or have your partner do it -- to entertain him.
  • Driving in the mountains? Be aware of altitude changes that might impact baby's ears, and offer a bottle or pacifier when you change altitude.
  • Overall, be very prepared for delays. Bring extra diapers, extra snacks (for yourself, too!), and plenty of clean bottles if you're bottle feeding.

What baby car-travel tips work for you? Chime in below!

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