When we had our baby, we were filled with joy, wonder, love. Like most new parents we were mesmerized by this little person around whom our lives now revolved. However, unlike most new parents we were also excited about planning our first road trip with our tiny 3 month old daughter. In between our sleep deprived days and nights, her little smiles were our rays of sunlight as we planned our road trip. No, this is not fiction, we really did this and it was awesome!
I’m about to give you the scoop on conquering your fear of travelling with an infant.
Tip: The main tip I can give you is, plan a destination realistically. Even a 3 hour road trip is adventure enough and I’m sure there are some beautiful getaways near your home. Also get your baby’s doctor to give you the green light before you go on this trip.
We picked Goa as the destination because I was really craving the sea and the roads are quite good from Mumbai to Goa on the NH4 highway. We were confident with a longer drive as we had done this route many times in the past and a 3 month old baby sleeps quite a lot so it was fine to travel with her as she just slept in her car seat. Don’t focus only on the destination as your end game, enjoy the journey, stop often to admire the countryside and let your baby take in all the new sights and sounds around. On our journey, we sang out loud to our favorite 80’s music, we saw an elephant being transported in a truck, came across a few cows and animals and even though she probably wont remember it, the munchkin had a fantastic time. If you’re driving with older kids, its always handy to have some car games in mind to keep them occupied. For example, count the number of red cars passing by, I spy with my little eye, etc.
Her being so small had its perks for us. She slept through most of the journey and I fed her in the car whenever she was hungry. Remember to carry your nursing cover or a light blanket. If your baby is older you an also carry bananas and their feeding supplies accordingly. We made sure to stop for a while at pit stops along the way so that her food and ours would digest before we continued.
Tip: Carry plenty of your baby’s favorite toys, blankey, lots of clothes and diapers, vitamins, medicines etc. Whatever you think will make them happy and comfortable, go on and pack it, you want to be prepared for everything.
My mom agreed to come along with us and it gave us a lot of confidence to have an experienced mother and an elder with us, just in case we had no idea what the baby wanted. Being first time parents, we wanted to be cautious as well. Kids sense your emotions so don’t get anxious if things don’t go exactly according to plan. Go with the flow and see where it takes you. The best part is that you are all together enjoying the ride.
Tip: Fun and games aside, you need to be very safety conscious when travelling with a child. Please travel in a sturdy car that has been properly checked and serviced. Invest in a good car seat for the baby and practice little drives with them sitting in it.
We knew this wasn’t going to be a high energy party holiday, so we took it slow and easy. We visited a few beaches, ate at local restaurants and relaxed in the beautiful Bougainvilla homestay in Sinquerim. It was definitely a much needed break from the stress of the hospital and coming home, coping with all the new responsibilities, sleepless nights, and just having it sink in that we are now parents. My mom graciously looked after her little grand daughter while we had a chance to actually chat and relax stress free as a couple. I think its very important to just pause and spend some time to be thankful for all the wonderful things in your life and bond as a family away from all the streams of visitors.
Road Trip Checklist:
- Diapers, wipes.
- Enough drinking water from home.
- Fruits and snacks, juice boxes. (God bless the inventor of Danone Princess milk.)
- Baby’s favorite toys.
- For older kids, in-car entertainment – scribble pads, play doh, kid’s music pen drive
- Baby food supplements if needed
- Extra clothes
- Medicines, first aid
- Baby bathing supplies, toiletries
- garbage bags
If I’ve missed anything please let me know, it will help other parents like you.
So don’t be afraid, and just be adventurous with your kids, let them explore this beautiful world with you. They will appreciate nature a lot more when they have experienced its beauty from a young age.