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What gives you peace of mind when taking your child on an extended car ride?

What gives you peace of mind when taking your child on an extended car ride?

Travel has always been intentional. Though 2020 had its challenges, there were also moments of joy such as our wedding in Tulum and birthday trip.

Additionally, in 2023 our family expanded with Weslie joining our household - another significant change.

Surdoca Self-drive map

Wanderlust Remains Even after adding Weslie to our family, our wanderlust was undiminished.

When starting on a 10-day journey at only 3.5 months, I wanted to maximize the time before returning to work; yet we were confident in our decision even if some might consider us adventurous.

From Denver we drove to Aspen in Colorado (3 hours 45 minutes), Telluride Colorado (4 hours 15 mins), Flagstaff Arizona (6 hours), Sedona Arizona (45 mins), Santa Fe New Mexico (6hrs 15mins), and then back home via Colorado Springs in 5 hours total with 30 minutes added on here and there in Colorado Springs.

Our family thoroughly enjoyed every minute, despite all of the challenges - such as long drive days of 6 hours! We learned much about traveling with a baby both on the road and everyday life, as well as 14 tips to ensure a successful journey for everyone involved.

1. Proper Car Seat Installation Safety comes first.

Confirm that your car seat has been correctly installed according to guidelines, making sure rear-facing and recline angles meet baby's size and needs.
safety seats
Review manual for guidance as well as adding comfort measures like car seat covers, belt covers and mirrors for monitoring purposes.

2.Utilizing SURDOCA Car Organizer Bags

SURDOCA Car Organizer Bags offer parents guidance in using them wisely, enabling an organized storage system within your car and quick and easy access to all items stored therein.

3. Practice, Practice, Practice

Familiarity breeds comfort. Plan short car rides to familiarize your baby with his/her car seat.

Simulate all road trip scenarios: diaper changes, on-the-go feedings, nap routines and entertainment - experience makes subsequent drives smoother!

4. Plan Stops Every Two Hours

Please observe a two-hour limit on baby car seat time, planning stops for feeding, stretching and changing every two hours.
Choose towns with suitable parks as ideal places for rest breaks.
Be mindful of your baby's schedule in order to customize the frequency and location of stops according to his/her requirements.

5. Schedule Drives Around Baby's Routine

Plan your journeys according to your baby's naptime for optimal driving during their naptime.

Take a two-hour break

Take into account feeding times to ensure a peaceful journey and anticipate their preferences as your little one grows older.

6. Limit Daily Drive Times to around 4 Hours

Try capping daily drive times at approximately four hours.

While longer journeys may be doable, shorter durations ease stress.

Be mindful that unexpected events such as road closures may increase travel time.

7. Adjust Expectations

It is essential to maintain flexible expectations when travelling with children.


Recognise that travel may differ significantly from before birth; embrace unpredictability; and focus on experiencing new places rather than strictly adhering to an itinerary.

8. Make Sure to Spend at Least 2-3 Nights

In contrast with our earlier quick travels, try spending at least 2-3 nights at each destination to facilitate better settling, routine adjustments and respite from driving long distances.

9. Find Baby-Friendly Accommodations

Select accommodations designed with your baby in mind, taking into account sleeping spaces, preferences for sleeping arrangements and amenities like fridges for storage purposes.

Prioritise comfort over convenience to ensure restful nights for you both.

10. Investigate Baby-Friendly Dining and Activities

Investigate Baby-Friendly Dining and Activities

Plan ahead for family-friendly experiences by researching restaurants that accommodate strollers or offer outdoor spaces, and investigating age-appropriate activities at your destination that ensure both parents and baby can have an enjoyable experience.

11. Prepare to Sit in the Back Seat

Be ready for occasional times when sitting in the back seat will benefit both of you.

Sitting with your child helps soothe them during longer drives, making the journey more manageable.

Make arrangements according to their individual needs and nap schedule.

12. Stay Hydrated If Breastfeeding or Pumping

Mothers breastfeeding or pumping on road trips must remember to remain well hydrated throughout their journey in order to combat potential dehydration symptoms as well as potential weaning signs such as dehydration.

Be conscious about hydrating throughout their trip by intentionally drinking plenty of water throughout the journey.

This will ensure proper dehydration management.

13. Pack Efficiently by Category

Optimize your packing efficiency by categorizing items such as diaper changing essentials, feeding supplies, outfits and nighttime gear into categories for ease of packing and access.

This systematic approach reduces stress while increasing accessibility.

14. Baby Road Trip Packing List

baby travel

Create an organized packing list before embarking on your car seat travel adventure: Pack an eye mask, hand sanitizer, washable car seat cover, seat belt covers, mirror, window shades, portable white noise machine, pacifier clips and toy bar in addition to essential travel necessities like washable seat covers.

Diapering supplies should include diapers, wipes, foldable/wipeable changing pad with wipeable changing mat, foldable/wipeable changing pad cover, foldable/wipeable changing mat cover with foldable/wipeable changing pad liner, foldable/wipeable changing mat liner cover, diaper cream, applicator paddle and applicator paddle.

Feeding essentials may include bottles, formula, pump parts cooler with ice pack warmer and bottle warmer as well as feeding accessories.

And lastly nighttime necessities may include pack n' play and pack n' play mattresses.

Soft sheets, white noise machines, monitors, sleep sacks and other essential sleep accessories are key ingredients in achieving restful night's rest.

Starting a road trip with your baby can be both an exciting and daunting journey, but if you follow these 14 tips and create a well-organized packing list, you should not only survive but thrive on this incredible experience.

Cherish the memories, soak up new experiences and rejoice in traveling together as your family expands its roots across America's great expanses!

Be safe on your travels and may your road trip be filled with laughter, discoveries, and heartwarming moments shared between parent and child!

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