10 Tips For A Tassie Road Trip With A Baby
Tasmania can be daunting when it comes to traveling with young children, particularly if a baby is on-board. Distances between major regions can be up to four hours at a time with limited places to stop and find shelter to feed and change. Having lived on the West Coast of Tassie for a long time, we are used to travelling long distances with our babies to major cities. Here are some of our great tried and tested tips and tricks to help make that round trip so much better!
- If you have more than the baby in your family, plan your trip around your baby's sleep and feed times. If you stop for food wake your baby, feed her and change. We guarantee that if you choose to let them sleep they will wake hungry once you get back on the road! Plus toddlers and older kids are much more easily entertained should they wake from a slumber!
- Plan to be on the road when your baby sleeps the longest. Our kids always slept best first thing of a morning, even when they had a great nights sleep. We always, even now, plan to depart early morning, and if we cant, no later than morning tea.
- Buy a good road map with toilets and petrol stations marked out. Not knowing the area you're travelling in can be stressful if you are trying to find somewhere to stop and change/feed your baby. A petrol station will always have boiling and bottled water for bottles, toilets and basic baby supplies. It is also likely that there will be undercover parking should you have a car where you can change your baby in the back on on a passenger seat.
- Buy a good quality thermos and take boiling water with you on your trip. We always have one for bottles and face washers to clean up with.
- Be prepared to change your baby in the car. We very rarely use a public change room, unless you need a key to unlock it. (Burnie has a great one in the CBD). We ensure we have a change mat, warm blanket to lie the baby on and room in the boot to lay them down. Obviously when travelling on holiday this isn't always ideal as the boot is packed tight, so a rolled up blanket placed where the back rest meets the seat, with a change matt on top, generally levels out a back or front passenger seat good enough to change a baby on.
- Check that the toys attached to the capsule wont swing and hit your baby when you travel around corners. We learnt the hard way with this and lucky for us it was a plush Lamaze clip on, and didn't hurt him. Babies 4months+ will generally try to grab toys, so a soft, small toy that cannot smother them is best, with no hard parts that could potentially cause an injury. Tasmania has loads of corners. Queenstown to Strahan has over 300 and the distance is only 43 kilometres.
- Be prepared for mess. Accept it. Deal with it. If you are driving a lot, there may be the odd vomit after a feed if the roads are windy. Our biggest mess was when one of our daughters wet through her nappy and clothes in the capsule. We always made sure she had a clean nappy on before she went into the capsule but sometimes how babies hold their legs and hips can impact the flow of wee, and unfortunately for us, it went out the sides. Be sure to pack a few changes of outfits.
- Dont dress up the baby if travelling long distances. Think of how you would be if you had lots of layers on, or frilly or lumpy clothes that raised your back enough off the seat to become uncomfortable over time, as you travelled for two+ hours. All of our kids travel in singlets that button up at the bottom (helps hold the nappy in snug and keeps their backs warm) and a onesie or romper. Nothing sticking into their belly or their backs. Also makes changing so much easier. Keep it simple for a greater success rate.
- Always have wipes next to your capsule. The door pocket is a great spot. Every parent knows the magic of baby wipes.
- TRIPLE CHECK THE CAPSULE IS INSTALLED PROPERLY. If you are in a hire car or hired a seat this is really important. Check all the straps are tight and no loose hanging ones that could end up around your babies head or limbs. By checking again that your baby is secure, you lessen the likelihood of a holiday ending tragically.
Have any travel tips to share? We would love to see them in the comments box below!