7 Tips for A Road Trip with a 7-Month-Old

Recently, my husband and I took a road trip to Sandestin, Florida with our 7-month-old. Traveling with a baby adds an entire new element to traveling and quickly feels overwhelming. There are so many more items we needed to bring with us without mentioning the obvious (our tiny human). While we definitely had our fair share of meltdowns, the drive went a lot better than I thought it would.

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Here are some tips that helped us survive our long drive, complete with unexpected traffic delays and diaper disasters.

1. Create a diaper changing station.

Honestly, this is number one on the list for a reason. If you stop reading now, please know this will help your car ride become infinitely easier! Before having a baby, I judged people for changing their babies in their car. I thought there was nothing grosser. (Ha, ha, ha…)

At home, we have a diaper changing station upstairs and downstairs. As I was looking at an empty Water Wipes box and wondering if there was anything I could do with it other than tossing it in the garbage, I noticed it seemed like a perfect size for a car diaper changing station. This made diaper changes so much easier without needing to fumble through the diaper bag each stop. Here’s what I included in our station:

  • Diapers
  • Two packs of wipes (You never know when disaster will hit!)
  • Disposable changing pad (see above)
  • Changing pad
  • Extra outfit
  • Burp cloth

I thought about decorating it to make it more appealing, but I have other tasks that took a much higher priority.

2. Toys, toys, and more toys.

We brought a canvas bag filled with tons of toy options ranging from teethers to stuffed animals to rattles to a mirror. This was key because we could quickly toss everything back into the bag when we arrived at our destination to help keep the car clean.

If Samuel was fussy, I tossed a new toy back to him, which would entertain him for an undetermined amount of time until he was ready for a nap, a different toy, or a stop.

3. Stop often.

Stop early and stop often. We stopped if we were kind of getting hungry or if we thought he needed a diaper change. Stopping before he really needed us to saved us! At one point, we decided to make a last-minute stop for a feeding and restroom break, and we were so thankful we did. When we got back on the interstate, we were at a standstill for about 30 minutes. That would have been a nightmare with a screaming babe and a full bladder!

4. Have flexible seating.

We borrowed my dad’s SUV, so we were able to spread out a little more than we would have in my Buick Encore. I was so grateful for the extra space!

Even if you don’t have extra space, you will definitely have a seat open for yourself. If needed, you could move the items in the backseat to the front seat and then back again. This is another option to entertain your baby.

Samuel loved having me in the back with him! (Another thing I thought was so ridiculous before having a baby…) I also love sitting in the front with my husband, so it was nice to be able to move back and forth with ease.

5. Break the travel up.

A 12-hour drive is long with or without extra cargo, so stopping after 5-7 hours of being in the car helped to make the car ride bearable. I’m sure we could have made the drive in one day, but it wouldn’t have been enjoyable, and it likely would have taken much longer (see tip 7).

Stopping along the route allowed us to recharge, and I would highly recommend it if your timeframe and budget allows. We were able to walk around, eat a meal that wasn’t from Chick-fil-A, and most importantly, rest.

6. If the baby is sleeping, all rules go out!

One of my personal rules is to drive as much and as far as possible when the babe is sleeping! If you’re hungry, did you pack any snacks you can munch on? If you have to use the restroom, can you wait?

Our little guy typically wakes up if there’s a major change in movement, so it’s easier to keep driving when it makes the most sense. We somehow had a nearly four-hour stretch of nap time, which isn’t ideal for night sleeping, but is ideal for covering major ground while driving!

7. Plan for a much longer drive.

Before traveling, I read to take the length of time needed and multiply it by two to get a realistic (and hopefully, greatly exaggerated) time it will actually take you. I found that by having 20ish hours in mind for our 11-12 hour car ride, it helped make the drive feel shorter.

There were plenty of moments in the car when it felt like we were never going to get to our destination, like when Samuel was screaming in his car seat, but knowing the end was in sight helped us push through without giving up.


I hope those tips inspire you to take a road trip with your baby! You CAN do it!

What is your best tip for traveling with a baby? Leave a comment below!

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24 Hours in South Haven, MI with a Baby

Traveling to South Haven, MI is one of my husband’s family traditions. South Haven is a charming town on Lake Michigan with iconic lighthouses. This year, we took our 4-month-old son along for a quick overnight trip! Here’s what we did during our 24 hours in South Haven.

SouthHaven_Lighthouse

Day One

When we arrived, we immediately headed to Subs N More for lunch. This is a great spot to grab a sandwich (or pizza). We ate outside and then drove to South Beach! Zach and I took turns hanging out with Samuel, and we convinced Zach’s sister to watch Samuel while we took a quick walk in the sand. Our beach tent was the perfect size to keep Samuel covered!

SouthHaven_Beach

For dinner, we sat outside at Bricks and ate thin-crust pizza. Some of the restaurants had a two-hour wait, but we pleasantly had hot pizza in our hands in roughly 20 minutes. Bricks is very kid-friendly and even has activities to keep them entertained while waiting for dinner.

After dinner, we obviously headed to Sherman’s. If you’ve ever been to South Haven, you know how delicious it is! And if you don’t, I hope you’ll prioritize going there. My husband and I tried two different flavors, toffee fantastic and turtle (typically, we share chocolate chip cookie dough!). Both were delicious! However, neither of us could finish our single cones. Opt for the kid size, unless you’re sharing with someone.

SouthHaven_Family

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset on North Beach, and Rocky, Zach’s brother-in-law, took one of my favorite family portraits to date! Samuel is such a cutie, and we feel so lucky to have him.

Day Two

We woke up early and headed to Eclectic for coffee and then met the others at Brown’s Bakery for donuts to take to the beach. What is better than eating donuts and drinking coffee at the beach!?

SouthHaven_Donuts

SouthHaven_DaddySon

After some fun, we got cleaned up and headed to Phoenix Street Cafe for breakfast. Then, it was time for blueberry picking! Before going to South Haven for my first time in 2015, I had never picked blueberries. Since then, it’s something I look forward to each summer. The blueberries are absolutely delicious, and picking them is satisfying. I wore Samuel in my Tuck and Bundle wrap which made picking blueberries a breeze. He napped almost the entire time, and we left with nearly three pounds of blueberries.

SouthHaven_Blueberry

We then headed to lunch at Su Casa. A bonus to eating lunch at an off-time meant that we didn’t have to wait for a table! The guacamole there is delicious! Tip – Ask for some spicy carrots. You’ll be hooked. We looked in a few more shops and then it was time to head home.

SouthHaven_Shopping

Your Turn!

  • Have you been to South Haven? What’s your favorite activity to do there?
  • If you haven’t, where do you love to travel to each summer?