Your car used to be sacred. It used to be yours.
It needs to be prepped as a vessel to transport that small human being you are now responsible for. Like preparing to be a new dad, traveling with a newborn is definitely something you need to be ready for!
Some of the prep will actually help preserve the car from being a complete child-created mess.
You need to prepare your car for the imminent biological attack induced by having a baby on board.
Milk, mud, sick…amongst other bodily fluids will leak everywhere in your car. You will also become accustomed to the generic smell of a car that regularly transports a baby.
You need to prep your car for traveling with a newborn baby. This is where I can help you out!
10 Things Your Car Needs For Travelling With A Newborn
- Car Seat
- Cleaning Equipment
- Spare Stuff
- Sun Covers
- Interior Covers
- Air Freshener
- Car Seat Toys
- Baby On Board
1. Car Seat
Yeh, you will need one of those for the baby to sit in!
I imagine you already have a car seat in mind, or you may have already bought one. If you haven’t, I urge you to consider getting a car seat that is easy to take out and easy to attach to the baby stroller.
Life is so much easier when you can take the car seat out and snap it into place on the stroller, all without waking them up!
2. Cleaning Equipment
I can’t emphasize this enough. As a parent, wet wipes are a constant friend to you.
Take them everywhere with you. Please have at least one packet in the car; they are awesome for cleaning stuff up from clothes, upholstery, and faces!
Don’t just stop with the car, have them everywhere. Always have at least 5 packets of them scattered around the house.
Never allow yourself to fall below the 2 wet wipe packet-level!
Also – while we are on cleaning, it is well worth investing in some anti-bacterial spray to keep in the car. Anti-bac has been extremely useful when cleaning up puke. Trust a Dad!
3. Spare Stuff
I had put this under spare ‘stuff’ because I used several items to keep in the car when my son was a newborn.
I needed every single one of them during his time as a newborn, and some of them are STILL needed even to this day!
Here is a rundown:
You should have a spare set of clothes with you wherever you go, and keeping some in the car will ensure you have some in an emergency. Go the full hog, from top to bottom, and include nightwear too!
You should be checking every 3 months that the spare clothes still fit.
A spare blanket is a great item to keep in the car. You may decide to make a quick stop somewhere that involves getting the child out of the car. If it gets a bit chilly, you have a spare blanket!
Medicine and Thermometer
Kids pick up bugs just by looking at them. In the first 2 years of your child’s life, you will be running through coughs, colds, and sickness bugs constantly. You never know when one is going to hit. If you have some medicine and a thermometer in the car, at least you are prepared.
Diapers/Nappies + Disposable Sacks
Again, you are likely to be carrying some around with you anyway, but where is the harm in more! Don’t forget the sacks, too, because if there is nowhere to dispose of them, then you will want to wrap it up!
Pacifier (If they have one)
My son had one of these, and it was an awful experience if we ever went out without his pacifier!
Keep at least one spare in your car to stop them crying, and the stereo isn’t drowning them out.
You have a car full of ‘stuff,’ you might as well have it in an organized manner.
Use one of these seat organizers, they strap onto the back of the driver’s or passenger seat, and you can store all the equipment you will need in here.
As an added tip, make sure you keep it on the back of a seat that your kids can’t reach, or it will end up all over the car when they are older!
Talking of them being older, a bracket to hold a tablet is an awesome idea!
5. Sun Covers
My Son has regular arguments with the Sun as I drive him around. Even though I have sunshades on each window close to him, it can still sneak in the gaps!
Cover the sun up, it can frustrate your kid, and the constant bright light could end with a headache. Save yourself the grief and get some sunshades for the car.
6. Interior Covers – For The Stroller
Getting a cover for the inside of my car was such a great idea!
When you are taking them out for a walk in the local park or wooded area, you will get mud all over the stroller’s wheels.
When you get back to the car, you will give it a bit of a clear, but getting every bit of mud off every time, is a challenge.
Get liner to protect the inside of your car for the stroller to go on. Save yourself and the car from getting too messy!
Every so often, you can pull out the cover and wash it. For an easier life, it is a sound investment!
The safest position for a baby to ride in is rear facing.
But how can you keep an eye on your newborn when they are facing the wrong way…or the right way……you know what I mean!
We had a mirror that strapped to the headrest of the seat. That gave me the option to look in my rear-view mirror to check on them from time to time.
I must admit, I didn’t use it often because my wife would usually sit next to him, but during the times I was driving on my own with him, it was reassuring to know that I had the option if I needed it.
8. Subtle Air Freshener
t is tempting to buy the strongest smelling air freshener, but I advise against it!
Your baby has a brand new, sensitive nose.
So refrain from buying a super smelly air freshener until they are slightly older. You can go for something subtle and baby-friendly, like a clean cotton air freshener for your car.
9. Car Seat Toys
For those long journeys, you need something to entertain them, and they are too young to be sticking an iPad in front of them!
A car seat toy gives them something to look at. It may seem boring to a grown-up, but newborns love watching things move; it is all new to them. If you get a car seat toy, then your newborn will be a little more content.
As a bonus, when they realize they can reach for things, they can while away the hours grabbing the various dangly toys!
10. Baby On Board Sign
C’mon, you need one of these!
You get a lot of idiots on the road….you know, the ones who try and attach themselves to the back of your car because they want to go faster. When I added a baby-on-board sign to my car, it reduced the number of idiots who were trying to push my car!
It didn’t remove it completely, unfortunately.
Driving that close to someone is dangerous, and anything you can do to avoid having an accident is well worth it.
I had every single one of the items above in my car when my son was a newborn. If I lose my mind and decide to have another one, I would have them all again.
Luckily, my son was an excellent traveler, but there were times I was grateful that I prepped the car like a boss.
Since being born, my son has traveled many miles in my car. Without thinking too much, I can count 8 times he has been sick, and I really do not have time to count the number of times he has thrown food and spilled his drink in the back of the car!
Every few months, I have to remove his car seat to get underneath and clean up the crumbs!
I wish someone would have given me these tips before my wife gave birth……..
I highly recommend every one of the tips above if you will be traveling with a newborn. If you can think of any more, please let me know by leaving a comment below!
Good luck, Dads!