packing for a weekend away in the car with a newborn

My Experience

My husband wanted to get away for the weekend thinking it would be nice to relax (maybe for him!) after our baby girl arrived.  We booked a hotel in the New Forest for the weekend and it was about a two hour car drive there.

Needless to say while it is nice to get away you quickly learn as a new mom that relaxing is no longer has the same meaning – it’s hard to relax when you still have to pump and feed at the same times which limits your mobility.  Packing for a weekend was probably the same effort with slightly less stuff than if I were packing for the week.  Babies have a lot of gear and if you are pumping or formula feeding then you have even more stuff to pack.

How I Coped

Because I don’t have luggage yet for my daughter and I wasn’t exactly sure what I needed at first or how much room it would take up I used my creativity for a packing solution.  I decided that for her not only did I need to pack the usual – clothes, diapers, pj’s, blankets, muslin cloths I also needed to pack a towel, bathtub, her nighttime bedding, sleep spray, white noise bunny, elephant that projects stars, lambie she sleeps with at night . . . then it was on to stuff I needed to pack for her breast pump, breast pump gear, bottles, bottle brush, plastic bowl to wash the bottles in, dish detergent to wash bottles.

Some people may think I’m crazy but sleeping in a hotel room is a totally different environment so I wanted to try and replicate her sleep routine just in another room so that she would understand it was time to go to bed.  If I was going to be traveling on a plane I would have to be more careful about everything I could pack but I’m also not sure that I would travel on a plane with a baby under six months and a breast pump.

Anyway I chose to use her pop up mesh laundry basket to pack everything in because it is easy to carry, easy to see what’s inside it, and it has a couple pockets on the sides for other stuff you need handy like diapers.  I packed her bedding and blankets on the bottom and then added clothes and the bottle equipment I placed in the bowl on top.  It was actually the perfect size and fit everything I needed for her.

When I got to our hotel room I set up in the bathroom the bowl, dish detergent, and bottle brush and cleaned bottles in the bowl and then dried them on a hotel towel on the counter. I used the mini-bar fridge to store the milk I pumped.  Overall I was actually quite pleased with myself once we arrived and she did in fact sleep the same as she does at home for both of the nights.

The difficult part is that in a hotel we’re all in the same room again and you can’t just leave your baby and go off on your own so you either keep them up so they are tired and grumpy or you’re in for the night by 8 or 9pm – my husband for some reason didn’t realize this and he thought going away meant the same thing as pre-baby.  I knew it wasn’t going to be relaxing and probably a little more stressful for me but it was nice to be in a new environment for the day.  I don’t think it will really be less stuff until she is one when the bottles and pump are finished and she will be eating the food that we eat not special baby food.

After we had to spend the night in a hotel the second time it was much easier.  We figured out that our blow-up bathtub is even better for traveling.  Our Fisher Price whale tub is still awesome but she outgrew it around five months and my husband searched for a replacement and ordered one without my knowledge.  I’m not sure if I would have ever even known about inflatable baby bath tubs without him but it has been another amazing purchase.  It is fantastic because she is still unable to sit up on her own and I didn’t want to put her into the regular bath after the whale that didn’t seem right.  Even though she can no longer really fit laying down as she likes to bathe, it’s definitely the perfect size for her till probably one year old when sitting.  It’s cushioned with air on all sides and the bottom so when she does wobble it’s not going to hurt – you just have to make sure you are next to her at all times when she’s sitting because she can still fall over and bump her head on the actual tub or fall face forward into the water.  The other benefit to packing this inflatable tub is that you know what’s been inside it – which you can’t say about hotels and your baby isn’t bathing in the chemicals they use to clean their tubs which is most likely industrial and maybe bleach.  Additionally, not al hotel rooms have bath tubs anymore – our last room only had a shower so it came in quite handy to still be able to give her a bath without a bath tub.  There are a bunch of inflatable bathtubs out there but we have one my husband found on Amazon called Baby Calin it’s French – so I have no idea what else is available or if this would be the best of them but we have no complainants about it and I’m not sure what you really can complain about when it comes to inflatable baths maybe the durability.d940b5-1267747610_1_160.jpg


The other thing we found out is that it may be possible to put her to bed in our hotel room and leave to go to the hotel bar by using a baby monitor.  My husband found an app, Baby Monitor 3G  that allows you to pair two iPhones or iPads that have the app downloaded together using wifi or 3G and it turns both devices into a regular baby monitor that you can hear everything through your phone speaker and even watch video.  We tried to use this in the hotel but we didn’t have good 3G service and the hotel wifi was the kind that kicks you off if it doesn’t detect activity, so we weren’t able to use it properly but when we travel to my parents or a friends house for the night where there is reliable wifi then it will definitely come in handy to be in a different room or hanging out outside nearby.


What I Packed:



For more details on my nighttime and nap routines My Sleep Through the Night & Baby Burrito Daily Nap Routines

What I use for bath time and why  My Bathing & Grooming Routine

Or if you will be traveling on a plane How To Conquer Long Haul Flying & Jet Lag


What are your tips for packing for a newborn or young baby?


#baby #babygear #babyholiday #travelbathtub #babyinflatablebathtub #iphonebabymonitor #newmom #millennialmom

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