When you’re pregnant, a road trip may sound like the most convenient form of taking a babymoon – you can pack as much as you want in the car, stop when you feel like it, and you don’t have to worry about being in close contact or bothered by other people like you would if you were traveling by airplane.
But as with any trip, it’s important to plan ahead to make sure things go as smoothly as possible. This can’t be understated when you’re pregnant, especially if traveling with small children. From packing everything you may need to having quick ways to keep yourself and others entertained, being prepared in advance is key to being efficient and enjoying yourself.
Below, we review everything parents need to know and plan for if they’re taking a baby on a road trip.
5 Take Certain Routes
If you anticipate you’re going to need to make regular stops – whether it’s to use the restroom or stretch your achy legs – make sure you take a route that allows for this. Look for stretches of highway that have lots of gas stations or diners. Also, try to avoid driving at certain times of the day (like rush hour), to ensure you won’t be stuck in the car for a long period of time with no opportunity to pull over if need be.
If you’ll be driving with young kids in the car, Travelling Mom recommends planning your road trip around the baby’s sleep schedule. You’re more likely to have a peaceful ride if the baby can sleep, so try to drive during their nap times.
However, the outlet recommends against driving during the night, even if your baby is a good sleeper, because that’ll easily leave parents exhausted, which makes caring for the baby the next morning (or if they wake up unexpectedly) more difficult.
4 Take Regular Breaks
It’s normal to experience physical discomfort when pregnant, whether it’s sore joints or nausea. This may be exacerbated when sitting in a small space, like a car, for long periods.
That’s why it’s important to take regular breaks when on a road-trip while pregnant. This gives you an opportunity to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, grab a bite to eat, and relieve yourself, if need be. Always anticipate taking more breaks than you’ll need to when driving while expecting.
This is also important if traveling with young kids. To help avoid a fussy infant, be sure to take regular breaks and pit stops. Take the baby out of their car seat and let them move around outside the car.
The Road Trip Experts recommends stopping for at least 15 minutes for every 2 hours that you’re on the road, though you may have to do it even more frequently depending on yours (and your family’s) needs.
3 Choose The Right Luggage
It’s not only what you pack that’s important, but also what you pack it in. When you’re on a road trip while pregnant, there will be times when you need to quickly grab something, whether it’s gravol to help with the morning sickness or another snack to keep your cravings at bay.
Look for luggage that has a lot of pockets to better help you organize your things. Exterior pockets are especially handy for storing items you’ll need to grab in a pinch.
As Life With My Little One recommends, it’s important to look for luggage that’s comfortable to carry, especially if it’ll be doubling as a diaper bag when you leave the car. You’ll also want to look for something that’s durable, so it won’t get damaged lugging it in and out of your trunk or in case you spill something on or inside it.
2 Protect Yourself From The Sun
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you don’t have to worry about the sun when you’re inside a car. Being exposed to sun rays for too long without adequate protection can exacerbate feelings of nausea and/or make you over-heated, which is more likely when pregnant.
Consider investing in a window shade. Not only this will protect you (and other passengers) from the sun’s glare, but the dimness it offers will allow you to sleep better. Additionally, be sure to apply sunscreen and wear a pair of sunglasses for even more protection.
1 Have Ways To Keep Entertained
If you’re pregnant, you may find it more difficult to be comfortable and relax than when you’re not. So, you can expect to become restless more easily when on a road trip. That’s why it’s important to have ways to keep yourself entertained while on the road, so you can easily distract yourself.
Create a playlist before the trip, so you have a good selection of music to listen to. Similarly, consider downloading a podcast – maybe it’s your chance to catch up on all the parenting ones you’ve been avoiding!
If you don’t get car sick easily, consider packing a book or playing games on a tablet or phone to pass the time. You can invest in a backseat organizer to help keep things organized and easily within reach.
Baths that are too hot can pose a danger to your unborn baby’s health.
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