Travel Blog + Dining Blog + Frequent Flyer Tips Blog

Keep on Truckin’ – with Babies?

Disclaimer: I don’t have kids (except two hounds), I don’t know how to take care of anything but myself (and I struggle with that), and I don’t particularly understand why anyone would want to travel with anything any one under the age of 18.

My friend Allye loves to travel and since she has some kiddos, she sometimes has to take them with her. Allye and her husband recently moved across the country and offer some tips for roadtrips with babies (or toddlers, or kids, whatever). Take it away, Allye:

Last August, my best friend (of almost 30 years) and I made a 12-hour roadtrip with my 10-month-old daughter and her 5-month-old son. It was supposed to take 8 hours, so there’s your first tip: Add hours to however long you think it will take you.

Maddy take the wheel!

Maddy take the wheel!

Do we enjoy torture? Why else would two intelligent, young(ish) women choose to be in the car with two infants for 8 (12!) hours? Well, because we have a long history of adventurous, BFF road trips. There was the Moving from Montana to Texas Road Trip of 2003, during which my friend may or may not have have had a tornado-induced panic attack and I may or may not have driven the entire 1700 miles by myself. There was the Texas to Tennessee Hallucinating Cat-Whiny Boyfriend Road Trip of 2003, during which my beloved feline, Liu Wang, tripped balls on tranquilizers that were supposed to relax him, but instead made him howl for 15 hours while my friend’s boyfriend complained about everything.

All of this brings us to our 2nd tip: Love the person/people you are going on the road trip with. When you throw two infants into the mix, you best love your driving partner enough not to murder him or her on the way because there will be trials and tribulations.

On this trip, we got about an hour away from our destination when traffic came to a dead stop at the I-40/I-24 split. Seriously Nashville? y’all STILL don’t have that fixed?! Who do I need to have a prayer meetin’ with to get the dang road repaired? After a bit of a detour, we eventually made it home in one piece. All in all, I am SO happy we did the road trip, for the experience and especially for the fellowship with my best friend and her baby.

The best advice we can give you for traveling on the road with babies is prepare ahead of time and bring lots of stuff.

Here is a checklist of stuff I will use for my next road trip with little ones, all of which you should keep close at hand and easily accessible:

Food – formula, pumped breastmilk, boobs for giving breastmilk, and lots of snacks for adults and babies who might be eating solids. Some foods I recommend are: fruit squeezes for a quick fix, small crackers, pieces of fruit/veggies, and cereal. Oh and Reese’s PB Cups, White Cheddar Popcorn, Honeybuns, and Diet Sundrop for the adults, hee hee. What’s a roadtrip wiithout crappy road food?

Breastfeeding Pillow, if you use one. Boppy? Brestfriend? Whatever floats your boat. If these words mean nothing to you move on. Nothing to see here.

Diapers – obviously, but it’s worth mentioning. Disposables + extra just in case. If you’re using cloth diapers, bring a big stack of those and something to put the dirty ones in for washing when you arrive at your destination (this is our favorite diaper wet bag).

Wipes – bring more than you think you need. We were not on the road 5 minutes before my daughter had a giant explosion in her pants. The girl really knows how to have a good time.

Binkies – pacifiers, suckers, dummies. Have extra so you can hand them back at a moment’s notice.

Bottled Water – for mixing formula and for drinking.

Paper Towels – who knows why, but bring ’em. For instance, I needed a paper towel to wipe my mouth after puking in a gat station parking lot because of morning sickness. Oh, did I mention I was pregnant with my 2nd child during this trip? Yep. We are hardcore. Whatever you can do, I can do pregnant with two infants in tow.

Extra Outfits – for you and for the babes. See Wipes, above. You don’t want to be stuck in the car for 12 hours with poop on your shirt or theirs.

Music – Lord, thank you for Bob Marley, who saved us on this particular road trip. I think we played Three Little Birds for 7 of the 12 hours on the road, and while the song is now burned into our subconscious for life, it got us through. Find some music your kiddos like and stick with it. Even if hearing that music even 8 months later makes you throw up a little in your mouth. It will be worth it when the kids knock out for a few hours and you can haul ass down the road without stopping every 100 yards.

And finally, pat yourself on the back for having the cojones to take a trip like this with infants. Enjoy the time with your buddy and your babies. Think about how amazing it is that you were once 5-year-old little girls together, and now here you are, almost 30 years later, rolling down the road with your own little monsters, laughing and lamenting and singing and such. May the circle be unbroken, forever and ever, Amen. And most importantly, keep on truckin’!

This post was written by Allye Ratledge ( | and Kendall Lynch.

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