Last week me and Jaspy headed to Blustone in Wales with the lovely Sarah and Isla from The Knott, Bump and Us. Jaspy goes in the car all of the time, and most of our journeys are usually 30 minutes minimum as we live in the middle of nowhere; however this was the longest car journey by far – 4 hours!
The journey went surprisingly smoothly so I thought I’d share my top tips for car travel with a baby!
1) Time it wisely
If your baby still has naps in the day then try to coincide your journey with their longest nap. Jaspy sleeps from 9-10 and then 12-2 (usually) so leaving at 12 was perfect! As you want to stop as little as possible try to also time the journey after their biggest bottle, that way they shouldn’t be hungry for at least the first hour or so; this also means they should be nice and sleepy and relaxed!
2) Make baby ‘car ready’
Change babys nappy RIGHT before putting them in the car. If they’re teething, apply teething gel and give them a dose of calpol. This should keep them happy for a while.
3) Judge the temperature
You don’t want to have to keep stopping to take off babys jumper or give them an extra blanket; so try to regulate the temperature in your car and dress them accordingly. I like to keep my car cool as I get uncomfortable if I’m too hot so I usually put Jaspy in a long sleeved vest, long sleeved top and then put a blanket over his feet.
4) Plan stops
Depending on how long your journey is you’ll want to have at least one pit stop. The best thing to do is time it around babys feeding time however if baby is still sleeping or seems content I’d say just keep going. After stopping for a food shop and fuel top-up we just wanted to get to our destination so when it reached feeding time and both babies were happy, we carried on until they became a bit agitated. Do try to make note of where the nearest service stations are though as you don’t want to be stuck on the motorway with a screaming baby and 30 miles to the nearest stop!
Make sure to bring a variety of toys, books, rattles etc to entertain them. Jaspy likes to play with his bear hat and a crisp packet so I make sure that he has these at hand! I also chuck in a few toys that he doesn’t play with a lot to keep him from getting bored!
6) Have things at hand
If you’re lucky enough to have someone in the car who can turn around and see to the babies then great; if not then try to keep everything within easy reach. I was lucky to have Sarah there to feed and shh Jaspy when he got upset but often if I’m alone in the car I keep his snacks and toys on the front seat so I can chuck them back aiming for his lap!
7) Mirror mirror
Ever panic when baby goes quiet for too long or has a bit too strong a coughing fit? I was the worst for pulling over when Jaspy was silent only to see that he was just deep in thought staring at his fingers!
Having a baby mirror to attach to the seat facing bambino that you can see from your centre mirror means you can check their progress safely and quickly while driving; plus it means you get to see their cheeky grin at regular intervals!
8) Spare clothes
Jaspy threw up EVERYWHERE during the car journey. It went all over his clothes, his car seat, the door and the floor. Most of his clothes were buried deep in our suitcase but lucky I had a few spares in my changing bag.
9) Keep it clean
Babies left to their own devices with snacks can make a bit of a mess … especially if like Jaspy they’re sick; so make sure you have plenty of baby wipes handy. I also made sure I had hand gel to keep clean after the fuel and pit stops!
10) Finally, know your route
Before you set off familiarise yourself with your route. Will there be a petrol station en route? How about a toll bridge to go through? What are the speed limits and are there any road works or diversions?
Have I missed anything? What are your top tips for car travel with a baby?
Thanks for reading!