Road trips with newborns or toddlers can be stressful. Not to mention the usual challenges road transport users face on a good day in Nigeria. So how can one manage these stresses to arrive at their destination in one piece? Here are a few tips to bear in mind when planning a rod trip with babies:
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1. Work around your child’s sleep cycle
Make sure you feed your newborn or toddler before the trip so they can sleep easy during the ride. Car rides often make kids sleepy. So time their sleep schedule so that it coincides with the trip. Besides diaper change, temperature discomfort and feeding, newborns are easier to manage on a long trip than toddlers. But if you keep toddlers engaged for at least an hour before or during the trip, they can easily fall asleep for the rest of the trip.
2. Keep supplies close by
Just like you have a carry-on bag for flights, keep a baby bag handy. It should contain freshly expressed breast milk for your baby (if you do not want to breastfeed in a public transport), a baby shawl, extra diapers and clothes, wipes, diaper disposal nylons, toys, hand sanitiser, etc. Whatever supplies you will need to take care of your child during the trip should be close by.
3. Make sure snacks are available
A cranky child or stressed out parent can make the journey very unpleasant and hunger is a major culprit for both child and mother. In between meals, have a snack to keep your blood sugar levels up. Also keep a small bucket nearby in case of spilled meals or liquids, for rinsing baby food containers, or for cooling hot food.
4. Have extra space
When travelling in a private car, get a car seat for your child and sit with them in the back. In a commercial vehicle, you can pay for an extra seat to have more space for your baby. Seat near the aisle so your child can have wiggle room to play or move about when they are tired of sitting in a place.
5. Keep your babies entertained
Babies are easy to please. Give them a pacifier, their favourite plush or plastic toy to play with. Carry colouring books with crayons or colour pencils, notebooks, picture storybooks, digital games, and any other travel game you can find for your toddler. Also, playing a movie or music for kids will help keep your child calm when on a trip.
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6. Take care of potty issues
Properly dispose of used diaper or make diaper change at designated stop areas. Use a changing mat to cover the car seat before making a diaper change for your infant. Have your own set of toiletries. Take extra care if you have to come in contact with public restrooms. And make sure you all wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser thereafter.
Featured image source: The MOM Trotter
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