I was also wondering about travel tips for newborns. I know that we will have to stop a lot more often but we want to visit with family over Christmas and give everyone a chance to see the baby. The down side is they all live 9 hrs away. I was thinking of getting a portable playyard and letting the baby sleep in that. I'll also be breastfeeding so we wouldn't need bottles.
New babies are easy to tote in the car. It's harder when they get old enough to want to be amused.
pack outfits in baggies, in case you need to change 'em in a hurry, diapers kept close. Don't stress about bringing enough diapers. There's sure to be somewhere to pick up a pack when you're there. Keep wipes in a ziploc bag so they don't dry out.
I have driven with a newborn for 12 hours and all I can say is that expressing milk and having it in bottles ready to use is worth the effort and would have been a godsend for me if I'd known about it at the time. Instead I had to stop every hour for anywhere between 30-40mins. My baby was going through a growth spurt and needed feeding frequently. In Australia we are not allowed to travel with a baby not in a capsule or safety seat so breast feeding my baby in the car whilst travelling would have been illegal!
I was inexperienced on my long journey with my baby but soon learned for the trip home and had expressed milk to go. I just sat in the back of the car and feed my baby (in the capsule) with a bottle, while someone else did the driving. We travelled home in 3/4 of the time! Less frustration all round!
When away from home babies can become unsettled for no apparent reason so even having bottles with you for emergency situations can save your sanity.You never know when you might need them.
Disposable nappies will also help.
I did a 7 hour car trip with my daughter when she was 6 months old. She refused to take bottles, so I ended up sitting in back with her and leaning over the carseat to breastfeed. Not the most comfortable, but it worked! She slept most of the ride. Make a CD or tape of your baby's favorite lullabies--that can help if he/she gets fussy. Those bars that go over car seats so you can clip on toys are good distractions, too. Play-yards are great for older babies (who can roll), but if your baby is still pretty stationary, he/she'd be pretty safe on a couch or folded blanket on the floor (pillows are great barricades if you need them).
In the car--take a few breaks for air and exercise, but you shouldn't have too many problems.
At your destination--try to keep everything as home-like as possible--feeding schedules, routines, etc. But you might be surprised--babies are VERY flexible. :)
Are you sure you don't want to take bottles? It might be a little awkward to breastfeed with so many family members around. I know you could sneak off somewhere and find privacy, but you never know when a curious little one will go looking all over the house for something to do. And relatives might enjoy feeding the baby, too.
How old should a breastfeed child be before you start using bottles? I've heard about 10 wks or so, so there is no nipple confusion. Our due date is Dec 1 and we are planning on leaving on or around the 19th-20th. I just don't want to have any problems with that end of it.
There is less than 3 weeks between your due date and when you want to travel. I'm sure you want everyone to be able to see your new baby but that is a very long trip to try to make after a delivery. You may not feel up to it and although you can bottle feed them at that age, learning to pump milk and yours and the babies well being, winter weather, and all the holiday hubbub, it might be best not to try to take the trip.
You could plan one for a few months later when you know more, how your baby travels for short distances, how long between feedings, and knowing he/she will sleep through the night. Let the relatives do the traveling or buy a video camera and send them a video to watch so they can see the new addition to the family.
Having had 4 children, I know I wouldn't want to try a trip like that with my new baby. Just my 2 cents but you might want to reconsider.
Susan from ThriftyFun
Jeggie, there shouldn't be much of a problem breastfeeding, as long as you "mind your manners." I always carried a sweater or extra blankets to cover up. Be sure to have the car stopped when feeding....safety first! And because you are still in your post partum trimester, you'll need to stop for cleaning and general stretch time. Bottle some just in case, but carry lots of nursing pads! I was in the car for twelve hours with my 5 month old (luckily eating some solids) and by the 11th hour I was wet and in MASSIVE pain!
Never use anything but an approved carseat with your baby. They can relax in it just fine. Take it from me, never ever (and I do mean never) take your child out of the carseat to feed him. I did one time because our only child was crying (7 mos old) and was holding him feeding him a bottle. We had an accident and he died a week later. You don't want to ever have to go through this when you know it could be prevented. Make sure your car seat is properly installed and use the straps properly. It's better to hear your child cry than to never hear him cry anymore. My son would have been 25 yrs old now. The hurt never leaves. Take my advice & buckle yourself up, too. It's the only reason I'm alive because I was buckled up.
I just wanted to tell you this might be the most restful trip you take with your child. My son we adopted in Iowa was 2 weeks old when we brought him accross country to Massachusetts. I totally agree to make sure the child is strapped in. I say good luck and go for it. Your baby will do fine, so the question is will you be ready?
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