How to Survive a Long Road Trip with a Newborn

Mom and Dad live in Santa Fe. Your little family lives in Phoenix. You decide to take an 8-hour car trip with your newborn to visit them over the holidays. It’s Baby’s first road trip, and you’re as excited as a hamster gnawing on a new cardboard tube. That excitement quickly turns to nervousness upon realizing that, even though you hold steady with that stoic game face of yours, you really have no idea how to take a long car ride with an infant, let alone how to parent.

Hey, every new parent’s been in your shoes. Sure, parenting is difficult — perhaps the most difficult task a person can tackle in life — but try you must, because Mom and Dad want to spoil see their little bundle of snuggles (their grandchild, not you) this holiday season. 

One great idea is to think pragmatically about taking a long car journey with a newborn. While it may be true that life never goes as planned, you can always prepare yourself for as many of life’s curveballs as possible. Doing so takes an epic amount of determination, willpower and, of course, organization, the latter of which is where this checklist comes in. 

The Ultimate “Long Road Trip with an Infant Checklist”

Long Road Trip with Infant Checklist

As you prep for your long-distance adventure with Baby in tow, take advantage of this packing checklist for new parents to ensure you don’t forget anything. And remember: You’ve got this!

  • Properly installed infant car seat (read more about Arizona’s child car seat laws)
  • Diapers (at least 1 diaper per hour drive)
  • Baby wipes
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Portable changing pad
  • Baby food and spoons (if baby is old enough)
  • Cooler with ice packs to store milk
  • Extra formula
  • Gallon of purified drinking water
  • Baby clothes (both light and heavy, for layering)
  • Convenient baby carrier
  • Fold-up stroller
  • Diaper pail or trash can
  • Rearview monitoring mirror 
  • Backseat organizer (view recommended car accessories for parents & grandparents)
  • Portable Pack-and-Play/Sleep-and-Play
  • Baby monitor
  • Extra batteries for devices
  • Towels
  • Bibs
  • Rear window shades (click to order OEM Honda window shades in Phoenix)
  • Resealable plastic baggies
  • Trash bags
  • Nose aspirator
  • Nursing pillow
  • Breast pump
  • Baby hygiene items (shampoo, soap, nail clippers, etc.)
  • Thermometer
  • Several sanitized bottles and nipples (plan to have more than you expect)
  • Plug-in bottle warmer
  • Infant toys
  • Soothing music or sound/sleep machine
  • Pacifiers
  • Swaddle blankets
  • Extra car seat cover and liners (diaper blowouts will happen…eventually)
  • Stain remover
  • Medications
  • First-aid kit

More Expert Advice for Parents Traveling with Newborns

2022 Honda Odyssey Tri-Zone Climate

  • Utilize tri-zone climate – Babies are temperamental with temperatures. Too cold, and they’ll cry. Too warm, and they’ll cry. Just perfect, and they’ll probably still cry, but maybe not as loudly? A vehicle like the parent-pleaser 2022 Honda Odyssey EX comes with a standard tri-zone automatic climate control system, which includes dedicated 2nd-row controls, a special humidity control feature, and air filtration.
  • Plan for lots of stops – This includes your own bathroom breaks and time to feed and change the baby. You can even map your route in advance and choose a few good pit stops.
  • Sit in back – You can alleviate your anxiety and help calm your newborn down by having someone sit beside Baby’s car seat.
  • Drive when Baby sleeps – From personal experience, we’ll tell you that driving with a newborn is so much easier when they’re napping or sleeping. In fact, if you can make the drive overnight, or whenever Baby normally sleeps, you may save yourself lots of headaches.
  • Double check Baby’s car seat is installed correctly – Car seat education for parents is important. Make sure you know how your infant’s seat works and bring it to an official car seat inspection station to ensure it’s securely installed.
  • Practice makes perfect – Ramp up your drive-time with Baby a few weeks before your big trip. Start with shorter drives — an hour, tops — and then take a little longer trips out of town.
  • Get your vehicle serviced – The only thing worse than having to take a long car ride with a newborn is having to deal with your vehicle breaking down while taking a long car ride with a newborn. Get your oil changes, tire rotations, and routine services taken care of early. Click here to schedule auto service near Phoenix.

Before you know it, Mom and Dad will take over parenting duties while you nap in the recliner. Now, enjoy your visit and rest up; you’ve still got the car ride home to deal with. Good luck.

About Valley Honda Dealers

Valley Honda Dealers proudly serve the Arizona cities of and around Phoenix, Peoria, Mesa, Avondale, Chandler, Tempe, Prescott, Surprise and Scottsdale. If you need your vehicle serviced before a road trip with the baby, or if you need a new safe SUV or minivan to join your family, we’ll gladly help. 

Contact any of our Arizona Honda dealerships today to request a quote or schedule a test drive.