Baby on Board! 12 Road Trip Essentials for Trips with Babies & Toddlers

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If a road trip with your rugrat has you stressed, relax. A smart stash of supplies will keep your little one comfortable and content on your travels. Find out what to pack for a smooth ride when you’re cruising with your kid.

photo: iStock

1. First Aid Kit

Buy a ready-made kit to keep in the car or put together your own with the essentials (adhesive bandages, antiseptic pads, gauze pads, tweezers, cold packs, scissors). 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, let them peel and stick bandages all over themselves and the car seat.

2. Bags to Hold Dirty Clothes
You may be leaving your house, but you’re not leaving laundry behind, unfortunately. Pack a few plastic bags you can use if there’s a blowout or spit-up situation. Better yet, buy Wash.It.Later’s Soak & Save Bags to give you a place to stash dirty clothes until you can toss them in the wash. These bags are 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? That air conditioning doesn’t always reach the back seat. To keep kids cool and block UVA and UVB rays, attach one of these sun shades to your car window.

4. Diaper-Changing Kit

When you’re dealing with a dirty diaper on the road, 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 Baby 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.

6. New Toys & Old Favorites

Pack your little one’s favorite toys, especially a lovey, and throw in a few newbies, too. Put a cardboard box or plastic bin on the seat next to your child’s car seat and fill it with a mix of easy-to-grab toys, like this Oball Shaker and a drawing board. Small trucks and dolls are always a hit too. To maximize the wow factor and keep kids busy longer, wrap each toy before the trip. For more ideas, check out The Best Baby & Toddler Toys for the Car.

photo: iStock

7. Mini Vacuum

Crumbs and toddlers go together like peanut butter and jelly. If all that mess drives you nuts, buy a portable vacuum cleaner with a car-compatible power plug, like this one. You’ll use it (and love it!) for years to come.

8. Disposable Bags for Diapers

Got a baby butt? Then you’ve got dirty diapers, loads of them. Keep your ride fresh when you’re not near a trash receptacle 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 changes of clothes for your baby, and keep it easily accessible. 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 on Indestructables, drool-friendly books featuring faves like farm animals and smiling faces. Interactive lift-the-flap books and texture-packed books are made to mesmerize toddlers. For more book 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.

12. Munchies

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.

This post is in partnership with LinnieLou, who provides on-the-go solutions for wherever life takes you. 

—Oz Spies & Jamie Aderski


10 Top Tips for Road Trips with Babies

30 Incredible Road Trips to Plan Now

The Smart Mom’s Guide to Traveling with Babies & Toddlers



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