Van Life With A Baby: What You Should Know


Van Life With A Baby kids at seashore

Travelling is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give to your child. In fact, according to a recent study done by Contiki tourOpens in a new tab., which can also be found on Hammond Psychology And Associates P.A.Opens in a new tab., letting your child experience travelling can help them become a well-rounded person in the future. But it is also not easy, especially when you’re a new parent and living in an R.V. full time. There are so many sacrifices and adjustments you must make but worry no more! Because in this article, you will find all the tips and things you must have in your R.V. to have a smooth trip with your baby.

1.Ultimate Must-Haves When RVing With A Baby

RVing with a baby can be very challenging, especially if you’re a new parent. Existing things and accessories on your R.V. won’t work anymore, for you will have to invest in what you and your baby will need while on the road.  Here are some of what you must have and do to have a smooth ride with your baby.

2.Bring A Stroller Or A Baby Sling Incase You Need To Run Some Errands

The first thing that can help you with your travel is to have a stroller, baby sling, or a baby mesh carrier.

When your baby turns 5-6 months old, he can be energetic and grumpy at the same time. In this stage, what’s best to have is a baby sling or a baby carrier that lets you hold your baby while doing some of the chores or when you go outside of your R.V. Also, these ages are the ones that need a lot of attention and leaving them playing at the bed or crib will not be ideal.

Another one is to have a parent-facing stroller so that you can bring your baby with you while you are outdoors. Studies show that a parent-facing stroller helps the baby sleep more even if they are outside because they know their parents are with them. 

Aside from that, having this kind of stroller lets you be connected with your little one, keeps the bond between the two of you, and you can monitor the baby easily. The reason why a parent-facing stroller would be better than forward facing.

There are tons of these baby accessories to choose from in the market made from materials that are hard to tear and a piece of quality fabric to keep the baby safe while he is wrapped around your body. 

3.Let Your Baby Enjoy Books

Next on our baby must-have list are baby books. Babies are brilliant in their little ways.

Reading is vital for the baby’s brain and would also be one of the perfect activities to bond with them. And if you read books aloud to babies as early as four months, it helps them learn reading earlier than other kids who are not exposed to books.  

When you read a book to your baby, it encourages them to participate with you; they become more aware of the expressive sound as they hear you, you improve their language when they copy you as you read books aloud. And you also help them with their thinking skills everytime you show pictures for them to recognize. Another one and the most important is you avoid them being exposed to radiation from phones. 

Reading should be an everyday activity or habit to connect with your baby. But don’t expect perfection from them. Let them explore and let them pick the book they would want you to read. Have books anywhere in your R.V. and let that strong bond connect you with your baby. 

4.Give Them Something To Munch On

RVing with babies means more snacks on the road. Babies love to munch on anything they will get, so it is better to bring baby snacks for them.

A study says that snacking helps boost a baby’s nutrition, and from the time your baby is turning one, your baby will ask for more of the snacks you used to feed him. Giving him the right amount of nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron, vitamins, and minerals helps him grow healthy and maintain his blood sugar to stay active and stress-free throughout the day. 

You can buy many snacks at the market where you stop, but make sure they came from fruits or vegetables. Some of the best snacks are yogurt and puffs that have low sugar. I recommend Cerelac’s Puff as the best snack. It has different flavors that your little one might love. Biscuits and crackers are good too, but if you are a parent who wants your baby to eat only natural food, you can make fruit snacks, or fruits that are cut into bite-sized and boiled veggies. Feed them every three hours and let snack time be one of the moments that your little one will look forward to when RVing. 

5.Let Them Have Their Bed

When RVing with a baby, it is also essential to make room or space for them. Co-sleeping and sharing a bed with your baby surely help him to sleep faster, unlike when he is on his bed. It also helps nursing moms to feed their babies at night. But what’s dangerous in bed-sharing is you might roll over to your sleeping child, baby can get suffocated by thick beddings, or fall on the floor without you noticing it that can lead to SIDS-Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. 

If you want to look after your baby and be hands-on, even when your baby’s asleep, room-sharing is better instead of sharing the bed with your baby. Staying in the same room but putting him in a different bed is the concept of room-sharing. In that case, the baby will be safer. Just be sure that your baby is about five months if you are going to choose room-sharing. Still, put them to sleep, use lesser amounts of mattresses and avoid putting too many toys in his space. Also, you can put light-blocking curtains and mosquito nets to protect him from insects. 

Letting your baby have their own space is not just helping him to be independent in the future; it can also give parents the privacy that they still need. 

6.Bring Their Favorite Toys

This one is pretty simple but effective way to have a smooth trip with your baby. Bringing their favorite toys on the road helps them be relaxed and not grumpy, for it keeps them entertained throughout the whole journey. Toys can be a great companion for kids, and it helps them with being imaginative, creative, and improve motor skills.   

You got to choose the best toy for your baby to focus on and not get bored while you adults also have your time RVing. When selecting toys, be sure to pick an educational one that can get your baby’s interest, such as blocks, boards, crafty bits and pieces, and/or teach them to collect things or anything they can get while on your trip. 

7.Create A Playpen For Them

For R.V.s with ample spaces, you can try creating a playpen for your little ones. By having a playpen in your R.V., you provide them with a safe place that lets you do some tasks like cooking, cleaning, or you want to look after your baby while having some tea. 

Playpens also act as a portable crib because you can fold it over when it is not in use. Putting some of your baby’s toys inside the playpen will entertain him. 

Playpens are also ideal when going outdoors, like beaches or parks; make sure that the area where you put the playpen has no rocks or tree roots. And bring a mat, interlocking tiles, or soft mattresses for extra protection. 

8.Purchase A Car Seat

Car seats were proven to protect babies if any accidents happen while on the road. And not just that, this will also act as your baby’s own space while inside the R.V. 

The safety and comfort it gives to your baby while also giving you parents peace of mind is the best feature you can have from the car seat.

Car seats are available in different sizes, and since babies are growing faster, car seats that are not adjustable are also not ideal. The good thing is that there are car seats called “the forever car seats”  that were designed to be your forever companion so you won’t be buying another car seat if your baby is big enough.

Keep in mind that you will need to look into things you should also consider before buying one, like can your baby suit it comfortably, does the car seat support his weight and height, and even for its space inside your RV.

It can also be beneficial to check if it is easy to install and uninstall, so you can use it when required and remove it when not in use to save some space. Be sure to read its manual carefully and follow all the directions in it. 

One last thing when purchasing a car seat, only buy from a trusted manufacturer even if it means spending a lot more. We are talking about ensuring your baby’s safety, so it will not be too much to spend a little more from your budget as a parent.

9.Let Them Have Their Own Closet

Even before you bring your baby into the world, admit that you’ve enjoyed shopping for his clothes more than buying groceries. Having a baby means having more clothes such as playsuits, dresses, everyday clothes, shoes, etc. And sometimes the baby wears and has more clothes than you. 

We all know that R.V.’s space is not like what we can have in a typical house, and making a closet for your baby might be a bit off. But if you think about the benefits of having a separate cabinet or drawer for your baby, you will surely want to make one without having any second thoughts. 

One of the benefits of making a separate cabinet for the baby is having an organized R.V. It will be such a sore in the eye if your clothes are mixed up with your baby’s, and it will be harder for you to pick what clothing your baby will wear that day. 

To organize his clothes, start by sorting them out. Have space for shorts, playsuits, outdoor dresses, everyday clothes, and undergarments. It is also better to have a small cabinet for accessories. 

If you think you’ve bought too many or your baby already has outgrown clothes, throw away or give away some of them to have more space in the cabinet. By that minimalist style, being confused about what baby should wear will be lessened a bit. 

In addition, folding and preparing the clothes that your baby will wear can maintain being organized. Folding it together with its undergarments can save you time, unlike when picking on the spot.

Cleaning your room is already a tiring job, so start being organized by making room for your baby’s clothes.

10.Bring Sunscreen, Insect Repellent Lotion, And Mosquito Net

Whenever you stay on campsites or go swimming, ensure that you have something to protect your child from direct sunlight and bug bites. 

You can apply sunscreen to babies when they are 6 months old and older. As soon as your baby turns 6 months, it is ok to put on sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. And to double the protection it gives to your baby, as much as possible, put them in a shaded place like under an umbrella and dress them in protective clothes. Apply a generous amount of sunscreen to your little one’s skin 30 mins before letting them enjoy the beach or playing in the sand. And then reapply every two hours or more often if your baby spends more time in the water. 

There is no doubt insect repellent can protect your babies from bugs and mosquito bites. If you use a sprayed insect repellent, shake the insect repellent first, spray 15-20 cm away from the skin. As OFF! said, you won’t need to set it for it works immediately. 

Another must-have when going outdoors are mosquito blankets. It will double the protection for your little one aside from using insect repellents, so always bring these and put it in your baby bag.

11.Don’t Forget The First-Aid Kit

One of the most essential must-haves on our list is the first aid kit. Like surprises, accidents happen where we least expected it, and kids will be kids. They like playing, jumping, and putting themselves into danger without them even realizing it can harm them after.

A first aid kit was designed to be your perfect companion if an accident happens. Put it where you can easily find it in your R.V., such as inside your bathroom drawer or kitchen cabinet. 

Even a minor injury can become big, and big injuries can cost you more medical bills. So, have a first aid kit, and worry less.

12.Baby Proof Your R.V.

Last but not least is to babyproof your R.V. Since not all R.V.s are designed with baby proof features, it is better to babyproof it yourself. One thing you can do is to keep outlets covered. There are tons of outlet covers available in the market that you can put to every outlet in your R.V. and your baby won’t get hurt even if they touch it. 

Keep Heavy Equipments In A Safe Place. Heavy types of equipment should be placed where it is safe and out of baby’s reach. You’ve designed your Rv like a house, and I know there are rooms for Dad’s toys. You can put them in the space at the back of your R.V., under your bed or in its particular room. 

Keep Bathrooms Locked At All Times. There are cases where babies get drowned in the bathroom, and it became every parent’s nightmare, so make sure that your toilet is locked all the time to avoid this from happening. 

Use Corner Guards On Tables And Chairs. The last thing I can advised you is to use corner guards on every edge of your tables and chairs. Babies love roaming and exploring things around them. And sometimes they bump into tables edges that can hurt them. With these corner guards, you can ensure your baby’s protected even inside your R.V.

Baby proofing a regular house is already a challenge, and baby proofing an R.V. is another level. Being extra when it comes to your baby’s safety will never be too much, so go and baby proof your R.V. and show your baby how much you love him.

What It’s Like When Traveling With A Baby

It’s Not Going To Be Your Schedule Anymore

When you have a baby, your time is not yours anymore, especially in the first months. You will have to stick to your baby’s schedule and make more things for them. Sometimes, you will also have to make modifications on your R.V. that are also for the baby.

Pros

Now let’s talk about the pros of traveling with your baby. When you travel with your little one, you let them explore the world and go on an adventure. You will also be together with your baby all the time and have more moments with them. 

When you are a parent who works remotely, you can have the chance to look after the baby even when you are working. 

Babies who always have their parents by their side as they grow tend to have good social interacting traits and handle their own lives well as they grow older because you are always there to guide them.

Cons

If you are a new parent, you surely are still adjusting, and changes in your lifestyle are still considered as cons. The activities you can do freely and places you can visit when you are still not a parent are now limited. Also, being a parent means adapting more of your child’s life and sacrificing things you love for the sake of your baby.

What Psychology Says About Traveling With Children

According to a study done by Contiki tour and summarized by Hammond Psychology And Associates P.A.,. Children who travel will be eager to learn more and become open-minded about the things around them. They are also more confident, connected to the environment, tend to be an achiever growing up and healthier than non-travelers. 

Traveling At A Young Age Can Boost Self-Esteem

Who would have thought that traveling can also boost your child’s self-esteem? Study says that traveling boosts self-esteem by improving one’s ability to interact. When a child already tried many different things at a young age, they can share their experiences with others and tend to be happier and more appreciative of what they have. They are more outgoing, and it also proves to a child that they are not alone. 

Traveling Makes Them More Adaptable

Bringing your child to adventures helps him to learn new things like there are differences in every person. You also help them go out of their comfort zone and be more open about the world. They also handle changes a lot easier and help them adapt to cultures and other people’s lives.

Traveling Gives Lessons Best While They Are Young

In this final part, traveling gives lessons and ideas to what life really means. Children who have traveling experiences have a broader perspective about life because they are already exposed to different environments and met many people in their lives. Sometimes the people they had an encounter with are also those who will give them a big lesson.

Help your child be more open about the world by showing him different cultures, places, people and let him listen to other’s points of view. 

Enjoy RVing With Your Little One

Babies are growing up too fast, and the next thing you know, they are no longer the ones who would always want to cling up to you. So treasure and enjoy every moment you can hold them in your arms.

The lessons and experiences you gave to them while on the road will become some of the best memories they will have with you. Travel, explore and make the most out of all the things you wouldn’t want to miss in your baby’s life.

Ash

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