Road Trip Essentials for Babies & Toddlers

road trips with babies

I hope you get a good laugh at the picture above. That’s a pic of my hubby from the last road trip we took. No, that’s not our mini van – my husband would probably die even though they’re quite spacious inside. Rather, this was taken with our rental car after our Traverse died in the middle of the night. Perfect.

By the time you are reading this, my little family will have already taken a 15 hour car ride to Colorado. We’re currently camping in CO and have minimal cell service, so this post was prepped a bit in advance.

Tent camping was one of my favorite activities growing up and Trav and I wanted our girls to have this same experience and to really get to see God’s beauty and maybe even love it as much as we do. When we decided to take our first camping trip as a family of 4, we knew flying was out of the question. After all, I can’t imagine how many bags we’d have to check with all our camping gear. That left us with only one real option to get to Colorado – drive.

We’ve done several shorter road trips with the girls like 3 and 4 hour trips, but we’ve never done a really long one with both girls at this age. From the road trips we have taken and from research we’ve done, we feel like we have a pretty good idea on ways to help make the drive more bearable both for us parents and for the kiddos.

  • snacks: pack lots and lots of snacks; pack more than you think you need!
  • Mom in the backseat: always leave a seat open so that you can hop in the back and either feed or entertain the littles
  • Movies/books: if you don’t have a tv in your car (like us), then load your iPad with some good movies and bring books if it wont make your little sick
  • earphones: …for the parents…my pediatrician actually gave us this tip when he heard how loud Abby Sweet could scream and said his road trip advice would be for Trav and me to get headphones so that we could block out the noise and not go crazy, haha.
  • water: my mom gave me this tip, but you can buy a gallon of water to keep in your car and just refill your water bottles/baby bottles as needed and save a couple bucks!
  • Blankets: my girls always get cold, so we always have several blankets in teh car
  • fully stocked diaper bag: never underestimate how many diapers you may need
  • wipes/hand sanitizer: never underestimate how dirty your kids can get even in a confined space
  • extra change of clothes: again, never underestimate how many outfits your little can go through on a road trip
  • toys: self-explanatory
  • window shades: bring these to shield your littles from the sun
  • baby-friendly music: we have all kinds of music from lullaby tunes to help our girls sleep to the Frozen soundtrack to Dawes and The Beatles for EG
  • rearview baby mirror: this is a great way to keep an eye on your baby if they’re still in a rear-facing car seat
  • garbage bags: I mean, you never know what you might need to dispose of
  • meds: in case your little gets sick, always have something on hand

All this being said, babies are completely unpredictable, so you never know what could go wrong! We’ll be sure to update you on how our drive went and what did and did not work!

xx – anna, emma grace, & abby