Ok, parents. As you know, going anywhere with a baby takes planning ahead. Even something as small as a day trip.
Whether it’s a quick trip to the grocery store or a day trip to the other end of the state, there are a number of things that must come with you: diapers, wipes, extra clothes, bags for dirty clothes and wet diapers, pacifier, toys, formula (or yourself, if you are nursing), bib(s), etc.
Our lovely state of Vermont offers a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities, and now that the weather is warmer, you will probably venture out more often. It can be wonderful to have a change of scenery, but I have found that I can’t always count on places to have what I need baby-wise.
Though trial and error, I have developed a few tips for day-tripping with a baby:
#1 – Bring a changing station with you and keep it in the car
When we first brought our son home from the hospital, I had a very hard time climbing the stairs. My wonderful husband rearranged our living room to be my temporary bedroom, and my mom helped me create a changing station out of one of our craft show bins. It worked wonderfully, and I realized it would be an excellent thing to keep in the car for trips with the baby.
#2 – Have quick change bags ready
In addition to having a larger changing station in the car, I’ve found it helpful to create some quick change bags using easy-zip plastic bags. You could definitely use cloth or vinyl, though. In each bag, I put: 2 diapers, 2 travel packs of wipes, 2 disposable changing pads, and a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Pop on in the glove compartment, one in the stroller, a few in your hiking pack, and you’re ready to go!
#3 – Be prepared to baby-wear
Be sure to bring a front pack or some kind of wrap to wear your baby. If you’re not wearing them, and you don’t have an extra set of hands with you to hold them, it can be downright impossible to go to the bathroom yourself!
#4 – Be prepared for all types of weather (and bug) situations
I always have two sets of clothes in the diaper bag – one for warmer weather and one for cold. In addition to clothes, it’s also a good idea to have sunscreen, a sun hat, baby-safe bug spray, an umbrella and/or raincoat, and a blanket to keep your baby cozy if the weather gets chilly.
#5 – Split up your seating
If you are traveling with your significant other, a family member or a friend, take turns sitting in the back with the baby. Our son is just over six months old, and he definitely doesn’t like being far away from us, so having one of us in the back helps get through fussy situations.
#6 – Bring a variety of toys
Our son really likes his spiral toy – it attaches to the stroller or car seat and has lots of different textures. In addition to that, a lightweight stuffed animal and a soft book are good for keeping him occupied between naps. Sometimes, he’ll even play with a burp cloth. Just be conscious of choosing items that are safe to put in the mouth.
#7 – Have a backup plan
If your little one has a meltdown and it seems too big of a challenge to travel two hours in the car, have a closer place in mind as a backup plan. Vermont has many state parks, and children under 3 get in for free.