With our baby’s arrival at the start of flu season, we held off on flying anywhere until after the three month mark. Instead, we decided to get away by car, heading on different road trips each weekend. After showing Riley Ann every state in New England, we partnered with Zipcar on an adventure to Montauk, New York, to share some tips on road tripping with a newborn.
I have been using Zipcar for years, as Matty and I only have one car, and their car-sharing program is the perfect solution for city living. And, more importantly, getting out of the city on the weekends!
Having received so many inquiries on my Instagram about long drives with babies, I thought it would be helpful to share what has worked for us:
– Do not have a schedule: With frequent stops for nursing and diaper changes, time can get away from you. Rather than worry about how soon you’ll get to where you’re going, it’s much better to relax, and to let the drive be part of the fun.
– If you must have a schedule, work backwards, and add on 1-2 hours: It takes longer to do.. well just about everything with a tiny babe! For our trip to Montauk, we had a scheduled drive-on ferry, so we worked backwards from our ticketed time, and then added on another 1.5 hours. We ended up at the dock with time to spare, and were able to grab coffee, sandwiches and relax in line. Much better than missing the boat!
– Pack it all, and then some! When it comes to packing, driving trumps flying for ease and convenience every time. If you think you’ll need it, throw it in! We reserved an SUV from Zipcar for the space, and it was so nice having everything we needed so accessible and in one place.
– Use the car as your mobile home: Need to nurse? Swap your clothes? Change the baby? Take a nap? A car is the perfect space for calm, quiet privacy. And it is always there! Especially in the winter, when it is too cold to do much outside, our Zipcar was the ultimate home away from home.
– Pack plenty of snacks and drinks: Not only will you be hungrier and thirstier while breastfeeding, but a well-fed partner makes for a happier journey, too!
– Plan out rest stops: Nothing is worse for a new mom than hearing your little one cry.. especially when they are strapped into a carseat and you can’t cuddle them or nurse them. Plan out your stops ahead of time, based on when the babe will start to be hungry. Tears be gone!
– Talk! Most newborns will sleep all day those first few weeks, and many babies will nap best when in a moving car. It is so nice to use a long drive as a time to talk and laugh, as two adults, about a whole host of stuff – some baby related, and some not! Being in a car with someone you love can be just as romantic as a long conversation over dinner, so I recommend making the most of that precious “alone” time.
Hopefully some of those tips are helpful, and encourage you to hit the road with baby in tow. And if you don’t have a car – or the right car – Zipcar is the perfect solution. Happy driving, friends!
Thank you to Zipcar for collaborating on this post, and to you for reading! As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.