1. Check car seat size and installation.
Only 80 percent of car seats today are properly installed, according to experts. Ask your pediatrician, EMS, the police, or fire department (many local fire and police stations offer free seat-checks) to examine placement and verify that you correctly installed it.
2. Pack extra entertainment.
Bring a goody bag full of soft books, stuffed toys and animals, a video or two, and other favorites. A variety of different types of toys is best.
3. Bring an extra set of eyes along for the journey.
Buy a rear view mirror that lets you monitor the back seat action. Better yet, recruit another adult to come along for the ride and keep an eye on baby. Prevent road fatigue by changing drivers.
4. Plan the drive time wisely.
Minimize stress by scheduling your trip when your little one would normally be sleeping or napping. Plan rest stops around mealtime and snack time. Be sure to pack a few of baby’s favorites just in case you can’t find any baby-friendly road-food.
5. Expect the unexpected.
Stash a travel bag in the car with: Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, bandages, antibiotic cream, gauze and tape. To that add: baby’s regular meds, a thermometer, options for fever and pain, diaper rash ointment, hydrocortisone cream, and aloe vera gel. Toss in an extra pacifier or two.
6. Skip the baby designer luggage.
Pack clothes that your baby needs-- pajamas, tees, tops, bottoms, socks, sweaters and jackets--in the family suitcase, and then toss in a few extra outfits. Use small bags to assemble baby’s things together. This way, you’ll avoid burying your little one’s stuff under everyone else’s possessions.