Doing anything with a baby for the first time can be intimidating for new parents. It’s the festive season, and most South Africans will be hitting the highway to take a break – especially new parents wanting to take their baby to the beach for the first time.
Follow these tips for a successful road trip with your baby:
Go into it with your eyes wide open
Your baby will cry, so be prepared. If you’re emotionally prepared for a crying, and even a crabby, baby you’ll be better equipped to deal with the situation. Things never go according to plan when you have kids, so be flexible.
Planning and preparation is key
Pack the car the night before you leave. Put your baby to bed, and then pack all the gear you won’t need the following morning into the car. This will limit the chances of you forgetting anything, plus you’ll be less stressed and more organised before you leave.
Pack like a genius
The stroller, camp cot and your luggage can go in the boot, but keep essential items like toys, snacks, pacifiers, a change of clean clothes, wet wipes and a nappy nag in the front with you.
Must-have items for inside the car:
- Well-stocked nappy bag
- Baby’s blanket
- Window shades
- Car seat pillow (for yourself)
- Change of clothes for your baby
- Toys for your baby
- White noise or music for when your baby sleeps
- Wet wipes
- Empty plastic bags for leftovers and rubbish
- Cell phone (and even better if you have a car charger)
- First aid kit
- ID book and driver’s licence
- Medical and insurance information.
Don’t forget snacks for yourself
You’ve packed enough snacks to last your baby a month, but nothing for yourself. Now you have to stop because you are starving and thirsty, but your little one just fell asleep. This can be the worst thing to do if you prefer to have a napping baby. Make sure you have enough food and something to drink for yourself until it’s a convenient time for everyone to take a break.
Keep a spot clear next to the car seat in the back
You’ll thank us for this nugget of advice when one of you needs to entertain or comfort your baby.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.