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Car Travel With an Infant

Items for Inside the Car

Some things that you should have for inside the car:
  • A trash bag is needed for dirty diapers and other yucky items, from baby wipes to your empty coffee cup.
  • Diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream, changing pad, or changing pad substitute (which is anything disposable or washable that you don't mind getting dirty).
  • Change of clothing for everyone -- you never know what may happen.
  • Beverages and snacks for everyone.
  • Novel and captivating toys for your baby.
  • Pacifier/blankey/lovey -- you know what your child's special item is; don't leave home without it!

Preparing the Car

The car itself is also going to need some prepping. Especially for trips over four hours, there are a few things that you will need or will wish you had.
Here are a few helpful suggestions:
  • Gas up ahead of time.
  • Use window shades to protect your baby from the sun. Depending on the location of the sun and the time of day, it can be a lifesaver.
  • Install a "fun" car seat. For babies younger than one and older than two months, "activity centers" that attach to the car seat can be a great investment if you travel often.
  • Using a rear-view baby mirror is a great way to keep an eye on your little one.
  • Make sure the car safety seat is adjusted properly. If the straps are too tight or the seat itself is off balance, it could make the trip very uncomfortable for your baby. It's usually the last thing people check as they are loading the baby in, but try to remember to do this well before the baby is in your arms and ready to go.
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