In the Fall, we happened upon a stellar flight deal to Denver, Colorado (thank you Thom from simplifly.io), so we immediately reserved a rental car and started planning a long weekend in the Rockies. The flight, from Detroit, was a short one and was going to be a nice trial run for when we flew to Europe for Christmas [more on flying with Baby to come].
This was a typical type of trip the two of us would normally take, so it was exciting to embark on an international adventure for the first time as a family of three. And it went so smoothly, was so beautiful and no less enjoyable than if my husband and I were traveling alone. Thus, I am convinced that a road trip is the ultimate trip to take with an infant under 8 months.
From Tracy Hogg’s The Baby Whisperer I had our Baby F on her suggested routine of Eat, Activity Time, Sleep [inspiration behind our store’s Collection titles] so even when travelling, this cycle just continued. I was still mostly breastfeeding throughout the day so because the trip was strictly on our own time, we’d pull over (and take in the views) whenever it came time to feed. We did quite a bit of driving each day in order to see all that we had planned to, but he was so content in his seat, that his awake Activity time was looking out the window, at himself in the mirror or sometimes playing with a simple toy. When he had enough he’d snuggle into his favorite blankie and be lulled to sleep by the motion of the car. After waking he would start to get a little restless, so we’d pull over, and I’d feed to start the cycle again.
Due to the nature of traveling by car, there were a lot of stops along the way, which meant a lot of getting Baby F in and out of the car. Our baby carrier came super handy to have him securely strapped in front and keep us agile while hiking trails, exploring rock formations and even visiting the busy botanical gardens. We opted to keep the baby car seat strapped in the back seat most of the time, as without a car seat base, it was quite a hassle to re-strap the car seat into position. The only times we took the car seat out was when we knew we would be using the stroller for most of the day, such as when we were exploring the city of Denver. All in all, we had a great time road tripping with our little one. Our trip was a combo of finding the best mountain views, walking some simple trails, sight-seeing downtown Denver and driving up to the top of Pikes Peak at 14 thousand feet!
Here are the top reasons why a road trip is the ultimate trip with an infant:
- You make the schedule! You are free to slow down, pull over and stop as necessary or pick up the pace and check your destinations off your list, hit-and-run style.
- Baby does not require much to be stimulated. Under 8 months, an infant is young enough to be entertained by a toy or simply by looking out the window and should be content in their seat.
- Motion of the car is soothing and lulls Baby to sleep.
- All your belongings are with you in the car at all times; what you bring is not limited to baggage restrictions.
- Your Baby is not exposed to the weather. You create the ideal comfortable temperature in the car, where you’re spending most of the time. In the winter, you bundle Baby accordingly but during the drive, can remove some of the bulk (like unzip jacket, remove hat, blanket etc.). For times outside of the car, you can enclose baby in their own bubble of warmth with a rain cover on the stroller or with a carrier cover if you’re baby-wearing.
- Baby feeding is still pretty simple at this age. Our little one was still mostly breastfed (except a banana for breakfast and a pureed bed time snack at the hotel) so meal times with him were not very involved. It was a matter of pull over and breastfeed every 3 hours.
- You choose where to eat. Whether you try out the local restaurants, do groceries along your route or a combination of both. A camping Bunsen burner and small pot is all you need to be able to warm baby’s bottle and solid food at your rest stops - and to cook up a quick, warm meal for a picnic with your grown-up traveling companion(s).
- You’re exploring the world! You learn a little more about places outside of your comfort zone, and you pass along that sense of adventure to your child.
- a car seat and stroller combo can be checked for free with most airlines
- car seat base is not necessary to take, as baby car seats are designed to be strapped in by seat belts. Otherwise, at the airport, when you’re using the car seat in the stroller, you’re stuck carrying the base around
- most hotels are able to offer a complimentary baby bed. In our experience, hotels have given us a playpen as the Baby bed. When ours was under 6 months, I preferred to bring his own familiar (and clean) bassinet.
Stay tuned for the 4 day itinerary of our Colorado trip! Like our Facebook page to follow our travels and to share your own tips and adventure stories!
Be passionate about seeing the world, and take your babies with you!!