Traveling with a Baby

Last weekend we took our first “vacation” as a family of three. It involved driving about four hours and staying in a house with 10 other people. (We were on a retreat with our church.) Luckily, we got our own room, so that was nice. This was the longest car ride for Lucas and the first time sleeping somewhere other than home. Overall, I thought it went pretty well, but we definitely said a lot of, ” well, now we know for next time.” It was a learning experience! 

Lucas isn’t a huge fan of his car seat. He has recently started screaming as soon as we put him in it, and will stop after a few minutes. Poor guy.  He slept for about two hours in the car, which was wonderful, because when he woke up he was NOT HAPPY. We stopped twice to feed him, change him, let his legs stretch, and give him some fresh air. That took probably 40 minutes one way. I wondered if it would have been easier to give him a bottle in the car, that way we wouldn’t have to stop. But, then I figure we have to change his diaper anyways. 
Then there was the sleeping arrangement. We have a pack n’ play but we thought (Okay, it was mostly my idea) that Lucas would just sleep with us in the bed.  We were going to bring in just in case, but we forgot it and I don’t think it would have fit in our car anyways. The bed ended up being a queen bed which felt awfully small when you’re used to a king. My husband was too nervous about rolling on him so he slept on the floor both nights. That probably wasn’t very comfortable, but Lucas and I slept good!  Even though we had a separate room,  it was still loud in our room with all the talking and “partying” going on in the family room. It didn’t seem to bother him, he fell asleep fine and slept right through it, but there was a big walk in closet that was back in the corner of the room that was really dark which would have been perfect for him and the pack n’ play. We could have put him in there and then moved it back into the room when we went to bed. We didn’t realize the room would be so big! Now we know for next time. 
We also forgot the baby monitor. We were going to bring it but then last minute thought, nah- we don’t need it. We ended up checking on him every 10 minutes – the monitor would have come in handy!
Then the diaper fiasco. Originally we were going to bring disposables, but I realized that we already had about five dirty diapers that I was going to have to wash on Sunday anyways ( I don’t want them sitting for too long!) so we might as well bring them. We had to stop on the way and get disposable wipes which were almost $3! I brought a couple garbage sacks and it worked fine just throwing the diapers in. Our car didn’t smell too bad. Just kidding. 
I did good on his clothes. He had plenty of clothes! 
It was a good time overall. Lucas did pretty well, being around that many people and being passed around all day. We learned that he’s a little shy around people. At home he’s usually very talkative (you know, for a 3 month old) and happy, but when he’s around a bunch of people he gets quite. I think it’s a lot of stimulation for him and he’s just taking it all in. 
The night that we got home and the day after, he was incredibly happy. I’ve never seen him so happy. I think he was so glad to be home and out of his car seat! He doesn’t like driving, just like his mama. 🙂 
I should have asked you this before. What are your tips when traveling with a baby or toddler??

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

8 thoughts on “Traveling with a Baby

  1. Sorry for the double post.. was trying to fix a typo.

    From my experience with traveling with the kids, we don’t ever need as much as we think we are going to and end up lugging a bunch of junk around!! So, my tip is to pack light, not need to go overboard!

    As for traveling with cloth diapers, on my cloth diaper site, I have some pretty good info if you are interested:

    I think we still learn something new every time we take the kids on a trip! It is a fun adventure, for sure. 🙂 -Lisa

  2. We just went on our first overnight trip with Lucy. There were a few times I had to unbuckle and lean over her carseat to feed her. Next time I think I might like to try using a bottle of pumped milk b/c that was hard. lol!

    We went ahead and used ‘sposies during our travels. I didn’t want to impose on our host by stinkin’ up her house.

  3. I totally hear you. Matty was just seven weeks old when we took him on his first overnight trip. That will be the last one for a LONG TIME!!! I was terrified that he was keeping the other people in the lodge awake, but Jared saw some of our “neighbors” and they said they never heard a thing. Whew!

  4. I keep a Rubbermaid box in the back of my car with extra diapers, wipes, change of clothes, etc… anything that I think I might need on any given day. Then I forget about it! When I travel, I pack what I think I need and if I forgot something, I have it in my car already!

    I flew to California from Arizona when my daughter was 2 weeks old (my son was 13 months) and I made sure that we had the pack and play with us at all times- just in case one of the kiddos needed to nap. Bringing something familiar from home also helps when they are sleeping somewhere new- a blanket or soft toy or something like that.

    I've never taken a monitor with me- but then again, I don't use one in my house! 🙂

    Oh and when driving for long periods of time in the car I bring a bottle for the baby. Sometimes if someone else is with me they will feed her while sitting in the backseat, but she is at that age where she insists on doing things by herself, so a lot of the time she just feeds herself. You obviously have to change diapers while driving for an extended period of time- but if you don't have to feed them then you can limit the time that you're stopped!

  5. Levi was about 6 months old when we took our first trip. It was a 7 hour turned 12 hour drive.
    My tip…give yourself plenty of time, so you can make as many stops as you and the baby need.

  6. Plan on the trip taking longer (as you learned) because you HAVE to stop. Make a list of all the things you want to take with you. Check and double check it so you do not forget anything. Otherwise I think you did great!! Hope you had fun. 🙂

  7. Just got home from a cross country flight (Georgia to Oregon) with an eleven month old. Flew with pack-n-play, carseat and suitcase checked. Lightweight stroller makes a HUGE difference while traveling. Get a good one. They are more $$ but hold up better in the long run. Also try to mimic any bedtime routines and bring familiar items from home to make baby more comfortable. Bring a monitor – even if you don't use one at home! I do and I always use it. I don't go anywhere without my white noise machine. My baby can sleep ANYWHERE as long as I have it to block out noise. As for feeding and diapering – lots of snacks/bottles make trips easier. And as the get a little older, a variety of small toys that are easy to rotate.

    Oh and those disposable placemats that stick to the table to protect from yuckies you can't see!!

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