Traveling is such an exciting thing! It's one of my favorite things to do. But traveling with an infant can be a little stressful. The mystery of how far you can drive until you'll have to stop or when there will be a safe place for you to stop is my biggest worry. Luckily, on my last two road trips with my almost four month old son, we had good luck finding spots to stop. And on the last one, I had help in the back seat with him. The first one I did not. The last three hours of that one each way was pretty painful! Below is what I found to be helpful and cost efficient.
What to pack:
Car Seat Entertainment- add a couple of things to the handle for their entertainment.
Diaper Bag - just like you usually have it.
Formula - I used the powered kind so I put some in a container that holds three bottles worth of powder sectioned off into individual bottle amounts. I also use liquid to-go formula that come in little bottles but mostly when we go out to eat or quick errand runs. I didn't purchase the nipples that go directly on those so I just pour it into a clean bottle. I purchased a travel bottle warmer for the second trip but to my surprise, that trip he started drinking the bottle cold. It made life WAY easier. If your child still eats warm bottles, don’t forget to take your electric bottle warmer.
Water Bottles & Purified Water Jugs - I always boil the water I use to make bottles for my son. Not everyone does that so if you don't, you can skip on the water jugs. I brought the water bottles to use to mix the powder in the vehicle. I brought the jugs to mix the powder where we were staying for the evening or at our destination of the trip. I also use the Dr. Brown Formula Pitcher at home or when I know we are going to be somewhere for a while because it makes several bottles worth so you can top off a half-eaten bottle that you are going to feed to your child again. Also, the kind of formula my son eats is really foamy when it's shaken so the pitcher does a good job at just stirring it to reduce the foam.
Diapers - lots of them. Both of my trips were about a week long so I packed at least 70 diapers. I went through most of them.
Wipes - lots of them...they can clean a lot of things, not just baby butts. I also packed pacifier/bottle wipes in case they were dropped and I’m sort of a germaphobe.
Clothes - make sure to have one outfit a day including pjs or a sleep sack, socks and a bib. If your child is like mine, he is hot most of the time so I don't dress him very warm but socks help if just his feet are cold. He kicks off every blanket I put on him so he wears a sleep sack to bed to help snuggle him while he sleeps. He is also a drooler so a bib helps eliminate a soaked onesie.
Cloth diapers - I use them as everything baby rags. It is handy to have lots of them while traveling because they get put in different places and you'll always need one to wipe up milky messes or drool.
Chair/Rocker or Bumbo – My son loves his chair to chill in when we are not able to hold him. He is not quite enjoying the bumbo yet so we didn’t pack that. You can also pack a stroller for your child to sit in, if you have room (see below).
Cooler – You’ll need a cooler to store the bottle that your child doesn’t finish in one feeding.
Pacifiers – My son isn’t a huge pacifier fan but every once in a while on the trip he would take one.
Bottle Brush/Drying Mat or Grass – I use this brush and this grass. I also bought something like this to pack the dish soap, laundry soap and fabric softener I use at home. I suggest taking a big bowl with you to soak the bottles in. I use one at home but didn’t pack one so I had to soak them in the sink of where we stayed.
Playpen/Portable Crib – Some hotels have cribs or playpens that they will let you use in the room for free but we packed our own. It was a good thing because we requested one at one of the hotels we stayed at so we wouldn’t have to drag ours out of the vehicle but they didn’t have one available. Along with packing the playpen, don’t forget the mattress pads and sheets!
Bath Tub/Bath Essentials – We use this tub at home and it is easily portable. Along with the tub, make sure to pack the bath essentials such as soap, lotion, brush, wash cloths and towels.
Medicine – I have a travel kit for the basic medicines that my child might possibly need. Tylenol, Gas Drops, Gripe Water, Allergy Medicine, Rash Cream, Ointment, Thermometer, Alcohol Wipes and Medicine Dispensers is what is included in my kit.
Stroller/Baby Carrier – Packing one or both of these depends on the type of trip you’re taking. For my first trip, I was only packing for the both of us so I had room for our jogging stroller which came in handy for neighborhood walks but for the second trip it wasn’t feasible so I packed the carrier. I never used the carrier so that was one of the things I could’ve gone without.
Okay, I believe I listed everything that I found useful and hopefully you will too! Traveling with an infant definitely takes patience and organization. Good luck and happy traveling, friends!