It felt like I was going on my first road trip. Oh, but it was, with a newborn that is!
Our first road trip with our 8-week-old baby was to the Kalahari Farmhouse. Turns out, it was a perfect choice! Not only was the accommodation great, but the staff was super accommodating to our little one.
And because I know parents with a little one have limited time; I’ll keep this short. A newborn, in another new environment, requires extra care and attention, and chances are your routine will change up. But that's okay—you're on vacation, after all. Here are some practical tips to help manage expectations!
Lizy and mommy
Preorganization and planning are key. Be prepared for anything, especially the unexpected. What if you need to stay at the lodge another week because the country’s gone on lockdown – didn’t think that would ever happen, till covid!
- Plan your route. A usual 3-hour trip with long enough stops for a relaxed feed, burp, and nappy change can easily take double the time. This will also be a welcomed ‘stretch’ for the baby from the car seat.
- There might not be a store/pharmacy close to the lodge and pack accordingly. Medicines, tonics, ointments, drops, diapers, wipes, clothes (for all seasons), formula/breast milk, breast pump, more than enough bottles, pacifiers, lots of blankets. And all the apparatus you might need like medicine dropper, nose cleaner, thermometer, pumps and if you can humidifier.
- Try to do most driving during your baby’s usual nap time.
Lizy sleeping on the Farmhouse lawn
A newborn is as unpredictable and ever-changing as the weather at the coast – so pack for all four seasons, any possible sickness, blowouts from top and bottom, and everything in between. Just get a trailer because you’re going to need to take along EVERYTHING!
- Pack a separate bag for on the road with everything you’ll need for a stop on the road – remember a changing pad and extra set of clothing.
- Keep your luggage organized. So that both parents know where to find what, in the middle of the night or during a fussy baby episode.
- Remember your baby monitor, white noise machine, and all their chargers and plugs.
- Enjoy watching your child experience the new smells and scenes, but also pack any scents or textures from home for familiarity, especially during sleepy times.
Lizy doing tummy time with daddy
If you’re reading this and haven’t purchased a stroller yet, save yourself a lot of hassle and choose a lightweight one. A stroller that folds up easily is essential for traveling with a baby.
And then after an unusual amount of time in the car seat, a massage of light pressure and circular motions can relieve your baby of any soreness and is a great way to connect and help them calm down. Some paracetamol and a drop of a calming tonic can help with a good rest too.
Lizy sleeping in her pram at the pool
This will forever be your first trip with your little one. They won’t remember it, but you will, so relax and take in every moment of this wonderful milestone. Babies are adaptable and will be entertained by the simplest things in this new environment, the dancing shadows, singing birds and floating butterflies, slow walks, rutted roads, and of course all the new voices.
You’ve got this! Everything will be fine, if not, luckily you brought along that trailer!