Summer travel might look different this year but no matter your plans, the odds are a road trip is in your future. Long car rides can be a challenge with the under-three set, which is why you need a stash of supplies to keep those littles happy and fed! We’ve got you covered with a list of what to pack when you’re hitting the road with a baby or toddler on board. Keep reading for the essentials to a smooth ride.
1. First Aid Kit
Buy a ready-made kit to keep in the car or put your own together with the essentials. Bonus: A box of bandages can keep a toddler busy in a pinch. Simply open up the box and let your little one take out the strips and put them back in, over and over. If that loses its magic, they can peel and stick bandages all over their shirt, or your car. Probably your car, but it’s an easy fix.
2. Bags to Hold Dirty Clothes
With babies and toddlers, laundry can feel neverending, and it’s no different on road trips. Whether there’s a blowout or a spit-up, having a few of Wash.It.Later’s Soak & Save Bags gives you a place to stash dirty things until you can toss them in the wash. They’re pocket-size, leak-proof and have built-in stain-busting solution inside them.
3. Sun Shade
Who doesn’t get cranky when they’re too hot? You can easily attach one of these sun shades to your car window to keep them cool and block UVA and UVB rays from their delicate skin, ahh!
4. Quick Change
When you’re dealing with a dirty diaper on the go, LinnieLou’s 3-in-1 compact disposable changing kit is a game changer. This grab-and-go kit is made for travel and includes a changing mat, wipes, and baby-powder scented diaper sacks that lock in wetness and odor, for when you don’t want your car to smell like, you know. No more digging through bottomless diaper bags looking for changing necessities in a panic! Now your trip just got a whole lot smoother.
5. Extra Blankets
Muslin swaddling blankets are lifesavers on long road trips, and in general. They can keep your baby cozy when it’s nap time, act as a light and sound-reducing cover, mop up messes, and can even be folded into a makeshift diaper in a pinch. Add this lightweight packable and portable Monkey Mat to the mix and now you’re covered should a picnic opportunity arise!
6. New Toys & Old Favorites
Pack your little one’s favorite toys, especially a lovey, and throw in a few newbies, too. Cruise the aisles of your local dollar store to build up your small toy stash to keep them engaged. We recommend putting a cardboard box or a plastic bin on the seat right next to your child’s car seat and filling it with a mix of grab-friendly toys, like this Oball Shaker. Toddlers will be entranced by a drawing board and a brand-new toy truck or miniature doll. To maximize the wow factor and keep them busy longer, wrap each toy before the trip. If you’re feeling extra crafty, make your little one a quiet book, a soft fabric book designed to keep toddlers busy and encourage fine motor skills. For more ideas, read The Best Baby & Toddler Toys for the Car.
7. Mini Vacuum
Crumbs and toddlers go together like peanut butter and jelly. If all that mess drives you nuts, grab a portable vacuum cleaner with a car-compatible power plug, like this one.
8. Disposable Bags for Diapers
Got a baby butt? Then you’ve got dirty diapers, loads of them. Keep your ride fresh when you can’t locate the elusive trash receptacle on the road with these LinnieLou baby powder scented disposable diaper sacks. We love a good twofer: these can double as mini trash bags to clean up the inevitable cracker/cookie/juice mess as you go!
9. Extra Outfits—for You & Your Babe
Bring at least two or three easily accessible changes of clothes for your baby. Keep a clean shirt nearby for yourself, too, as there’s a good chance you’ll get soaked in spit-up. It’s the law of the road.
10. Board Books
A few board books are perfect road-trip distractions for babies and toddlers. Littler ones love to gnaw at Indestructables, drool-friendly books featuring faves like farm animals and smiling faces. Interactive lift-the-flap books and texture-packed books like See, Touch, Feel are made to mesmerize toddlers. For more ideas, read 25 Board Books Every Baby Needs.
photo: Alex Jumper via Unsplash
11. Tunes for Days!
Your favorite jams will help put everyone on board in a good mood! No need to resort to the Wiggles; put on any music that makes you happy, and chances are your baby will bop along to the beat too. Just be sure to put together a lullaby-packed playlist for nap time.
Road trips always induce snack attacks, no matter what age you are! We have some smart travel-friendly snack ideas here. Worried that all this eating on the go will fill your car with goo? Pack these LinnieLou disposable 3-in-1 feeding kits that include a placemat, bib, and wipes for a sanitary set up, and super simple clean up.
13. Baby Yoda
Okay, maybe it’s not a necessity, but this Baby Yoda Car Decal will make everyone smile.
This post is in partnership with LinnieLou, who provides on-the-go solutions for wherever life takes you.
—Oz Spies & Jamie Aderski