As a parent of small children, you will need a lot of diapers for road trips. You want to make sure that you are getting the correct ones. How to properly use them to prevent leaks. Whether you are taking a long road trip or a short one will also factor in the diapers you need. Not all diapers are created equally. Knowing which ones work best for the road will save you time, money, and a wet kid.
You can’t forget about your car seat when taking long car rides. Having your young children be comfortable will be essential in how long you can go between rest stops. If you are looking for personal experience taking a road trip, click here to read my blog post about the essential items needed when your baby is under two months old.
This post is about diapers for road trips.
Preparing for a Long Car Ride
This goes without saying, but you should never plan a long trip when you lack of rest. You don’t need to take a lot of stuff on road trips. Most of the time, you can get many items at your destination. If you are taking a road trip, items are accessible. As a toddler mom who travels between New Jersey and Washington, DC (where I’m from initially), you need to be prepared to travel for 30 minutes or 4 hours.
Being the planner in the family, the essential things to map out are when you are going to do diaper changes. When you will take bathroom breaks and how often you will take these breaks. You also want to designate a family member to be in the back with the child. Especially if they are under the age of 3, so that you can monitor them.
Dirty diapers are going to happen. Diaper rash can become more common. You may want to stretch having them in a diaper for a long time but keep an eye on it. After all, they develop quickly.
It’s a good idea to map out where food is and if it’s something that the whole family can eat. Based on the child’s age, you will think about the breaks in a half hour increments. For infants, you know they must feed more often, so you know at max you can’t go more than 2 hours without taking a rest stop.
Fast food restaurants are always a safe bet but going to a sit-down restaurant is even better since it gives everyone a chance to stretch and take a break. If your child is still bottled fed, it won’t matter.
Bringing a Change of Clothes
This is not just for the children; this is for the adults. You never know what can happen on your way to the destination, so having something extra will reduce stress. Having a good diaper bag that can carry the essential things will be critical to a long drive. I have a blog post and a youtube video about this topic because it’s so important. To read the post, click here and watch the video below.
You also want to make sure you have enough room in your car to keep extras. An excellent approach to this is to have a small bin or bag of essential items like extra snacks, a first aid kit, and small bags if you have to throw things out at the last minute. They also come in handy for blowouts. These are the road trip essentials for kids that you have to know for traveling long distances.
A hack to checking a child’s diaper is to feel along the sides and the back of them. Doing this ever so often will let you know where you are in the diaper-changing phase. If they mess up and you need to change their clothes, I would never change your baby at gas stations. It’s not hygienic, and you would be better off just changing them in the car, putting everything in a garbage bag, and throwing it out later.
When to Schedule Diaper Changes?
Diapers can be a debatable topic because their price of them varies. If you want to ensure that you have the best chance of not having any issues with blowouts, peeing through the diapers, and making a mess, Pampers is the best.
Pediatricians recommend Pampers, and because they come in so many different sizes and shapes, you can find them everywhere. I don’t have experience with cloth diapers, so I can’t provide feedback on them. I’ve only used the disposable diaper, which I would recommend for traveling long distances.
Here are the Pampers diapers that we have used in our travels, and we will continue to use Pampers until our toddler is entirely potty trained. If you are potty training while taking a long road trip, if it’s longer than 2 hours and you have just started the potty training, it’s recommended to put them in diapers. Potty-trained children shouldn’t be put back in diapers. You will have to build in a bathroom break more than you usually do.
You also want to have a good changing pad. Here is the changing pad that we use. We’ve had the same one for over two years that I received at my baby shower, and I swear by it. This also works when we have to use a changing table since it’s not too long and has a headrest to keep your child comfortable.
Most of the time, we adults will go off to the side of the road to handle our business, but I wouldn’t recommend it with small children unless they are older children.
Baby’s Skin Hacks For Travel
There will be different opinions about how long car trips are or what is considered a long trip but anything over 45 minutes to an hour is considered long for small children. You never want your baby in a wet diaper for an extended period. This is why having people in the back seats monitor small kids under 3.
You want to always keep urgent items needed for your baby’s skin in your glove box. A great option is to keep everything small in your diaper bag and glove boxes like ointment, bags, and wipes. Travel wipes are a great option since they come in different sizes and can be used more than cleaning the baby.
If your baby is under a year old, make sure you check every two hours to make sure they are dry. You might be on a mission to get to your destination, but the whole time you are doing that, your baby’s skin is beating, so always remember to check, check, check.
What Makes a Successful Road Trip?
The first thing you want to do is remember that it’s a family road trip and to make it memorable. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember that you can find a rest area on most major highways, so after an hour drive, you should be able to find a place to rest if needed. If it’s your first time taking a road trip, my favorite road trip tips are here.
Hand sanitizer is going to be your friend on the road. Especially for public restrooms since they often don’t have soap or paper towels. For children, hand wipes will be best to keep their hands clean. Also, pay attention to signs for convenience stores since you never know when you might need items urgently.
Dollar stores sell diapers and wipes and urgent items you may need. So even though it might not be a name brand, it will get the job done for the long journey ahead.
Putting them in adult diapers can also save them from messes with senior adults. Like younger children, seniors might not be able to go long stretches without taking breaks. So prepare for them in your travels.
If you can start the trip when it’s the children’s nap time, you have a higher chance of being able to stretch your stops longer. You also want to think about the end of the trip. If you have mapped out your journey correctly, even if rest stops are a long way from your destination, you will still feel in control of the trip.
Planning For Your Next Road Trip
After completing a few road trips, the ultimate test would be to make a trip during the holiday season. I wouldn’t recommend making your first trip during the holidays because so much can happen that not being able to think of all the variables can be very stressful for new road travelers. If you are making a short trip, that is fine, but on long trips where you have a lot of people who need diapers for road trips, I don’t recommend it. The heavy traffic can also cause unneeded stress.
If you have a potty training-aged toddler, consider getting a travel potty. This is the one that I currently have. I got it from Amazon, and it is so easy to put together. You can watch the assembly and first impressions on my Youtube channel below.
For new parents, make sure to apply the lessons from this trip to the next so you can have smooth travel next time. Having a happy baby is the goal, so even if you have some slight discomfort, think about ways to make the family travel even better.
Have you thought about doing hotel rooms for your next trip? Think about hotels with a changing station in the lobby bathrooms. Just in case your baby’s diaper doesn’t hold up until you check into your room. This could be another great way to decrease the time on the road. To help with having to change the baby on the road.
At the end of the day. Remember that family travel is about having a good time with the people that you love. Whether you have older kids that don’t need to worry about diapers for road trips or babies or seniors, proper planning can make it so that it’s not the last trip you take with your family. Everyone can have great memories for years to come.