During National Adoption Awareness Month, I will introduce you to numerous guest bloggers, highlighting many parts of the adoption journey. Today, Caroline Kastner speaks from experience about taking your baby on the road.  Many of you, who adopt out of state, have your first road trip when your baby is just days old. Being prepared is key!

By Caroline Kastner

After adopting a newborn baby or giving birth for the first time, there’ll be many things that you’ll love and experience. However, many first-time parents with newborns will make a road trip at some point in their first year. Whether it’s to visit family or friends, bringing your baby home from the hospital, or just to go on a holiday, while it’s exciting, it can be daunting at the same time. For those about to embark on a road trip, here’s a brief guide on how to make traveling a little easier with a newborn or very young baby.

Keep Important Baby Items On The Back Seat

important-items-on-back-seatWhen traveling with a newborn, many first-time parents make the mistake of placing everything in the trunk of the car. This includes the bottles, diapers, pacifiers, blankets, toys and wipes. Instead, if you can, try to keep a small bag of essentials in the backseat of the vehicle and keep anything large and bulky that may not be needed during the trip in the trunk, like a stroller. If you have these in the vehicle with you, there’s less chance of you having to continually stop the vehicle when you need something for your baby.

Check The Car Seat Before Traveling

To make your car seat the safest convertible car seat while traveling, it’s a good idea to have it properly fitted and adjusted prior to the trip. A local fire station may be able to help you install it for the first time if you’re not accustomed to placing the car seat in the vehicle. In some cars, it may require additional straps and belt connectors to be installed. When installed, rock the car seat to make sure there’s minimal movement. It’s a good idea to know how to adjust the seat belt straps as well before picking up or taking your baby anywhere. Some seat belt adjustments on the car seat can get confusing.

Pack Baby Clothes For All Weather Conditions

When traveling with your newborn, make sure you pack clothes according to all weather conditions. Many people tend to make the mistake of only packing for hot weather in summer and winter clothes in the cold weather seasons. Unfortunately, the weather can change constantly which can result in the need for the different clothing items. By packing for all weather, you don’t run the risk of your newborn being too hot or too cold.

Stop Regularly

When traveling with a newborn, it’s also a good idea to stop regularly before the baby is due to be fed. If there’s a distance between the nearest town and you don’t stop when it’s close to your baby’s feeding time, you run the risk of having to stop on the side of the highway to feed your baby. If you can’t stop then you will have a higher chance of having a screaming baby for a few dozen miles. Always keep track of when you feed the baby to when they are due again.

Check For Rentable Baby Items

If you’re able to reach your destination in one day, but there’s a long distance between your home and your new location, prior to traveling, check to see whether you can rent bulky baby items from local baby stores. Renting a pack ‘n play, stroller or crib for the duration of your stay may be more beneficial than having to fit these large items in your vehicle, especially if you have a small vehicle. Some baby companies offer rentals of their display stock to help those who are traveling.

Pack The Night Before

pack-the-night-beforeThe night before your big trip, pack the car with all the items that don’t need to be kept cold. This may include clothing, stroller, portable cot, baby toys etc. By being prepared and packing the night before, it will help you to make your departure quicker and less stressful. It will also help you to be organized on the day to fulfill your baby’s needs before the trip begins.

Have A Sunshade Handy

When traveling with a baby, it’s a good idea to have some sort of sunshade on the window next to the car seat. This will help to keep the bright sun off of your baby to allow for better sleeping during the trip. You can purchase vehicle sunshades that slip over the car window. If you can’t afford them, you can place a blanket on the window and secure it by closing the top of the blanket in the window.


Going on a road trip with a new baby is something that can be daunting for new parents. However, by using these tips you can make it go a lot smoother. So, are you ready to travel?

Caroline KastnerCaroline Kastner is a loving mother and child activist from Vancouver BC Canada, who wants what’s best for children. She has contributed to Active Baby and loves to write about anything child or parent related. She enjoys spending time with her loving family and loves to mix with other parents.


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