Planning A Road Trip With Baby

My intention was to write a post sharing my experience for a road trip with T. We had plans to head to Niagara Falls for a night but then sickness hit and we were forced to cancel our plans the morning we were set to leave! So, while I still can’t share how a road trip ACTUALLY went, I can write about what I had planned to bring with us and why!

Planning A Road Trip With Baby | Elaine Loves

{Planning A Road Trip With Baby}

Road Trip With Baby Tip #1 – Pick A Hotel Close to Attractions

Since this was going to be a very short trip, we wanted to be within walking distance of everything so we opted to find a hotel that was close to all the attractions. That way, if T was getting fussy it would be easy to just pop into the hotel for some downtime. I also wanted to walk everywhere since loading a baby and all their belongings into a car for even a short drive is a pain!

Road Trip With Baby Tip #2 – Figure out Sleeping Arrangements

Unless you bed share, an overnight trip with a baby can be stressful. If you can, request a crib ahead of time and bring your own crib sheets with you. (I was planning to bring unwashed crib sheets so that T would feel it was a familiar place to lay his head). In the case where a crib isn’t available, a play yard is a great option. I bought the Fisher-Price Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yard which I use at home to contain T if I need to cook or use the bathroom. I love that it folds up easily and is very lightweight and portable. In the very worst case scenario I had planned to baby wear T in my Ergo 360 Carrier and hoped that he would let me get some rest while sitting down!

Planning A Road Trip With Baby | Elaine Loves

Road Trip With Baby Tip #3 – Time The Trip Around Naps

Niagara Falls isn’t TOO far away though the traffic going that way is always backed up in the summer. My plan was to hit the road just before T’s first nap and hope that he slept in the car for most of the way there. He can generally fall asleep pretty easily in the car, but I find that stop and go traffic can wake him up. He is never as well rested as he would be in this crib. I’m not sure if this would have worked out or not but my hope was that by the time he woke it would be a good time for a break and a snack or early lunch anyway!

Road Trip With Baby Tip #4 – Make the Car Trip as Comfortable As Possible

From the time T was born he was always in his bucket seat. I loved that it was very quick and convenient to load onto the stroller. For short trips in the car T was fine, but anything longer and he just didn’t seem comfortable. The bucket seat probably would have worked while he was much smaller but my fast growing kid definitely needed to be in something more comfortable for longer trips.

In the beginning of the summer we decided to switch out from the bucket seat to the Diono radian rXT. It works as a rear facing seat, a forward facing seat and it will also convert to a booster seat for kids up to 120 lbs! I also have a very small car since I need to get around the city easily, and the profile of the Diono is much slimmer than most other car seats out there.

Planning A Road Trip With Baby | Elaine Loves

T loves this car seat. There’s so much padding and support for his body and head and it’s also fully adjustable. It takes the stress out of driving knowing that he’s comfortable and happy in his seat. Not that we need it, but if you’re interested, the radian rXT is known to fit 3 across in most vehicles! I also love that it folds flat and is FAA certified so we can bring it on a plane with us when T is older.

Road Trip With Baby Tip #5 – Bring a Compact and Lightweight Stroller

I have a tiny car and while I love my regular stroller for everyday outings, it can be a bit of a pain to bring on trips since I have to detach it before folding it to fit in my car. I was able to borrow the Bugaboo Bee5 and I was blown away by how easy it was to use!

Planning A Road Trip With Baby | Elaine Loves

Not only did it fit into my car with room to spare but it was incredibly easy to load into the trunk. For me that’s key, since I always have a ton of other gear to hold on to. Another plus was that it was easy to unfold and collapse. It was also very easy to maneuver, even with one hand. T also loved it; he was always super relaxed and even able to nap! The extended canopy was great for blocking the sun and providing some darkness for naps on the go. When you’re exploring the city by foot, a stroller that’s heavy and difficult to steer can ruin your trip.

Planning A Road Trip With Baby | Elaine Loves

It’s not just great for road trips but amazing for “urban living” too when space and lightweight mobility are musts!

Road Trip With Baby Tip #6 – Pack Some Patience

While we didn’t actually end up going on our trip, I had mentally prepared myself to be extra patient with T. You never know how babies will react to new experiences – it can be fun for them to discover new things but it can also be overwhelming! The plan was to just go with the flow and not stress to much about his schedule.

Hopefully we’ll be able to take that road trip in the Fall and check out the pretty colours!


What are your tips for planning for a road trip with baby? I’d love to hear your suggestions for our next attempt!

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