Road Trip With Baby (The Easy Way!)

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Hi guys! We’re back from our mini getaway in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and Mama’s happy because she’s unpacked, showered, and relaxing on the couch writing this post while baby’s out for the night 🙂 Oh, the simple things in life.

We had such a good time exploring the cute little Newport wharfs, devouring raw oysters & clams, and hanging out at the beach in beautiful, quiet Narragansett. We were just two and a half hours away from our home in NY, but it truly did feel like a vacation away from home.

Unfortunately, though, Liam’s sleep schedule did get a little messed up in the process, which I’m sure was inevitable with the long car ride and change of scenery. Luckily, he wasn’t fussy at all, and by the time we headed home we were actually pros at the whole “road trip with baby” thing. He slept like a baby and was a gem the rest of the time!


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This is my first tip, yet I didn’t follow my own advice. We packed the car in the morning and it easily took us a good half hour to fit everything in the trunk (which was frustrating because we all wanted to get on the road!) Do yourself a favor and organize everything (suitcases, coolers, etc.) the night before. With a baby, you have enough small things to worry about on the day of.

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In a packed car, you want to make sure you can easily get to the important things: snacks, toys, and your cell phone are some of them. I spent the entire 2 and a half hours sitting indian style over three bags, with a dog trying (unsuccessfully) to get comfortable on my lap the entire ride. If you pack the night before, you can make sure you are as organized as can be when it comes to the important things.

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Definitely an important one: this could mean an additional hour and a half tacked on to your trip! You want to make sure you leave after 9:30 am and before 4 pm to avoid the work commuters. Unfortunately, some highways are always backed up (like i-95) so just make sure you download a traffic app ahead of time to know what to expect.

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I say this all the time… but babies really do thrive on consistency. You want to make sure you don’t stretch your baby’s feed/nap times too much… even when you’re in a crammed car, on a tight schedule to get to your destination. Keep an eye on the clock, and even if your baby doesn’t cooperate 100%, it’s important to help him stay on schedule. With a new “home” for a few days (and all the changes that come along with that), it’s important to give your child a consistent routine.

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There is nothing worse than feeling antsy on  a trip when you know you have a few hours left to go. The best thing you can do is lie back and enjoy the trip – don’t think of time and try not to give in to road rage. Tough, I know. 

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When you’re traveling to a new place, it can get overwhelming, quick. Sit down with your friends/family to put together a daily plan: restaurants to eat at, spots to visit, things to see… It’ll prevent you from wasting any time due to a lack of organization.By doing some research ahead of time, I was able to find amazing deals in Rhode Island (hello, $1 oysters!).  Planning ahead is everything.

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These are some of my favorites:

Kefir yogurt bites, fruit/veggie pouches, teething wafers, and Puffs, of course. These are all must haves on a long trip.

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I loveee this Wallaroo diaper bag backpack! It’s so small and easy to bring everywhere, but can also fit a lot of things as well. I love the cell phone pocket and easy-clip stroller straps. We used it nonstop in Rhode Island – whether it was at the beach, hiking, or walking around town. It’s just super practical!

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These Muai formula/snack dispensers are small and very convenient. So much better than fitting the whole pack of Puffs in your diaper bag!

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I’ve always been a fan of these scoop bibs… and so is Liam! He loves digging around for food. They also work as mini “tables” when you’re on the go – just put a few snacks in there and it should keep your little one busy for a little while!

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These straw cups are the best (and super cheap!) I love how simple they are, and Liam does a great job drinking out of them (surprisingly much better than most of the straw cups we purchased in the past.) These are always in his diaper bag when we’re on the go.

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This magnetic drawing board is such a fun toy to bring along on a road trip! Liam loves “doodling” and it keeps him busy on the go. What I love most is that he will like this toy more and more as he gets older!


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Johanna Riehm teaches in the department of Communication and Media at Manhattanville College and in the department of English at Mercy College. She teaches courses in the history of communication, public speaking, and social media, as well as creative and technical writing workshops. Johanna’s work has been featured in Graffiti Literary Magazine, The Write Place at the Write Time, The Bangalore Review, Cactus Heart Press, and the LaMothe Review. She is working on her first longer work, a creative nonfiction novel called We Carved Our Names in Tamarind Trees.

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