Hitting the open road with your baby is an adventure like no other. Of course, it does come with a few challenges (or more than a few!). One is keeping your little passenger content. However, it is worth your time figuring out how to keep your baby happy for his or her sake, plus it keeps everyone else in a good mood.
Pack a Travel-Ready Activity Kit
Assemble an activity kit that includes toys, picture books, audiobooks, and snacks. Common items to include are soft rattles, teething rings, plush animals, and your child’s favorite comfort blanket or stuffed toy.
For toys in general, think about those with buttons, lights, or soft textures. Attach some to your baby’s car seat so they are within your child’s reach.
Create a road trip playlist filled with gentle melodies and lullabies to create a calming atmosphere. Music can be magical with babies on a road trip, lulling them into relaxation and peaceful naps.
Speaking of music, newer cars have fantastic infotainment systems with many music and screen options for kids and adults alike. Say you have your eye on a new Audi for sale and your current car is 20 years old. Buying the vehicle now streamlines your entertainment options and gives you several more choices.
If more than one person (other than the baby, of course!) is going on the road trip, try to have someone sit and interact with the baby sometimes. Peekaboo can keep babies giggling for a good while. So can puppets, whether they are hand or finger puppets. Make the characters dance, sing, or hide behind the seats only to run out and surprise the baby.
It can be enjoyable for everyone to rotate who the baby’s companions are. If it’s you and your partner on the road trip, you could take turns driving and sit with the baby in the back every other time you are not driving. Just remember to make time for you to relax and unwind, too.
Read Out Loud
Many babies love being read to. Whether you’re in the front seat or next to your baby, read the little one picture books. Audiobooks are another fun option and relieve some of your parental load.
Position Your Baby Strategically
While some babies (and it can vary by age) don’t pay much attention to scenery, others do. In case your child’s natural curiosity extends to the world outside of your vehicle, position your baby’s car seat for fantastic views out of the window.
Your child should also enjoy it if you talk about what the views are (trees, animals, or cars, for example). It makes for a good blend of entertainment and education.
These tips can make a road trip incredibly enjoyable for your baby (and everyone else). Of course, each child is unique, so it can take some experimentation to figure out what works best in your situation. Stay as flexible and patient as possible to reap the most dividends.