We took our first road trip with Baby Elizabeth to Dallas in April, in preparation for our big road trip to Orlando/Disney this month. I consulted other mommy blogs, via Pinterest, on what all I needed to pack to keep baby (and us) happy on the car ride. FYI, Elizabeth is a good car rider. We live about 20-30 minutes away from “town” so she is used to riding around. She doesn’t like being put in her car seat, but once the car is moving she settles down and usually falls asleep.
I love packing and planning out packing. I HATE last minute packing, hints the planning. I am the type of person who likes to be packed a week before leaving, that way you can make sure you are not forgetting anything and aren’t feeling harried. (However, ever since I got married, I am becoming more of a last minute packer, and I HATE IT.)
Here is the first round of stuff I packed for Baby Elizabeth:
I started out with my Guess diaper bag:
I bought this diaper bad when I was still pregnant because I thought it was big enough to hold everything and looked super classy, even though a lot of my mommy friends told me to buy a backpack diaper bag. I didn’t want some boring backpack, I wanted something cute. Well, I totally should have listened to those mommy friends and went with the backpack. Don’t get me wrong, I love this bag, but it’s basically a duffle bag. Trying to tote a baby in a car seat on one hand and this over the other shoulder was super cumbersome and I knocked into everything. So it was downgraded to Elizabeth’s luggage, and I got a backpack diaper bag from Amazon (I should have went to Target to look around first cause I later saw a super cute one I really want!) I was able to fit all her clothes and mine in this bag for the weekend.
What I packed: Three sleep suits, one being her super thick bear suit (because we keep the hotel room really cold to sleep), with three onsies to wear under it. Also, a swaddle sack.
What I used: Two onsies and the bear suit. That’s it. The bear suit kept her warm in the room Friday and Saturday night with a different onsie under it each night. We didn’t use the swaddle sack, and haven’t swaddled her since this trip. At the house, she now wears a Halo Sleep Sack. (She hasn’t slept well this week, so we might go back to swaddling.)
What I Packed: Four outfits, two for each day, and four pairs of socks.
What I used: Luckily, we didn’t have any blowouts on this trip, so I only used two outfits and two pairs of socks.
The non-clothing items I packed:
- Nursing cover (pictured top left) – I am still nursing, and this was my first time nursing in public so I made sure to bring it.
- Hand pump – Just in case I needed to pump. I didn’t use it
- iPad – I attached my iPad to the headrest of the seat with a stretchy head band, so Elizabeth could watch Frozen there and back. This helped keep her occupied for a little while.
- Toy – I didn’t think to bring any toys for her to play with on the ride, but ended up picking up a ball rattle when I had to stop at the drug store for diapers. I attached it to the car seat with a pacifier holder. This had become her favorite toy and definitely keeps her entertained.
- Car Bottle Warmer (pictured bottom left) – I thought I was being super clever bringing this along. We had some frozen breast milk I had brought along in a bottle, so we could feed her without having to pull over. Well, the bottle warmer didn’t work so we had to pull of the interstate onto a side road in the middle of nowhere and nurse. On the long car ride to Florida, I am going to bring the hand pump and express milk directly into a bottle for her to eat if we are in an area where we cannot stop to nurse.
- Stroller – For obvious reasons.
- Baby Carrier – I also brought her baby carrier just in case I wanted to wear her. I didn’t use it.
- Bumbo Seat – I brought this because I thought she wouldn’t want to lay around the entire time we were in the hotel room if we were there relaxing. We did use this, but not at the hotel. We went to the drive in theater and had to get there 2 hours before show time to get a good spot and avoid all the traffic. We used the bumbo in the car while waiting for the movie to start.
- Small pack of diapers – Instead of packing loose diapers from the box at the house, we just picked up a little pack and used those. When we go down to Florida for the week, we are going to buy a box when we get there so we don’t have to pack up any loose ones or take up any room in the back of the van.
- Diaper bag (pictured) – This is the diaper bag backpack that I got from Amazon. it is where I packed the everyday, always needed items like medicines, wipes, bibs, and the like.
- Packing list (pictured) – A friend of mine bought me a pad of these new parent check lists as a gag gift. It promises to get you out of the house in two hours flat and has items on it like, coping mechanism, breasts, brain, and baby. Well, I actually used it to plan out certain things to pack and whether I was packing them in the diaper bag or the Guess bag. It was surprisingly helpful, and I’m going to use them again on my trip to Florida.
- Pack-n-Play – I didn’t want to use one of the hotel’s cribs, so we brought our own pack-n-play. If I were worried more about luggage space, I would have just used their cribs and left it at home.
The take away:
So, from his trip, I learned that I over packed in some areas and under packed in others. When it comes to clothes, I over packed and didn’t use several of the outfits. When we take our longer trip, I will pack fewer back up outfits because we will have somewhere to wash our laundry if I end up needing more than one. The areas I under packed were the entertainment areas. I forgot to bring her a toy to play with and didn’t plan out any stops (because I thought she could make a three hour trip no problem.) When we go to Florida, we are going to map out all the Rest Areas, so we can take little breaks. I’m planning on bringing a little blanket that we can throw out and have tummy time for a fifteen minute break every four hours or so during the day. We’re also hoping to leave around bedtime so she will want to sleep for the first half of the drive.
What are some necessities for you when traveling by your self or with babies? Leave it in the comments below, so I can be better prepared next month!