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Baby on Board! 8 Road Trip Tips (page 2)

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Updated on Mar 12, 2013

Once you’ve planned, packed and prepped the car, you’ve already started out on the right foot. Keep these things in mind as you make your way to your final destination:

  • Roll with the punches. Be flexible—when traveling with a baby, even the best-laid plans can be disrupted. If you’re on the verge of snapping, pull over and take a few deep breaths to calm down before getting back on the road.
  • Stop when you need to. Trying to push “just a little farther” with a crying baby in the car can be dangerous—you’re distracted and nervous, and your attention’s on your little one instead of the road. Take the time to stop and calm your stressed child before resuming your travel plans.
  • Safety first. Keep your baby in her car seat—no exceptions. Many nursing mamas breastfeed their babies during trips, which can be dangerous in a moving car, even if you are both securely belted. There’s no way to foresee an accident, and your body could slam forcefully into your baby upon impact. Resist the urge to make “good” time, pull over and nurse your little one while he’s still in his car seat. That way, when he drifts off to dreamland, you won’t wake him up moving him back into his seat.
  • Never, ever leave your baby alone in the car—not even for a minute.

You may be so relieved that you lived through getting from point A to point B that you sort of forget the other trip ahead of you: the trip home. Organize the trip home as well as you did the trip out, and double-check that your supplies are refilled and ready to go a few days in advance. In addition, think about what you learned during trip to your destination that might make the journey home even easier—is there something you wish you would’ve had but didn’t, or something you would’ve done differently? Make any adjustments to your original travel plan now, and you’ll virtually guarantee a smooth, relaxed trip back home.

Parenting educator Elizabeth Pantley is the president of Better Beginnings, Inc., a family resource and education company. She is also the author of twelve parenting books, including the popular "No-Cry" series.

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