Let’s talk about Car travel with babies. It takes some preparation and imagination to have a pleasant experience when traveling by automobile with a baby or toddler.
Let’s look at some strategies for getting ready for the journey and how you may all have a fun and safe voyage.
When traveling by automobile with a baby or toddler, your child may fall asleep for extended periods of time, giving you the freedom to drive, converse with your traveling companion, read a book, or even sleep.
Or, it may be hellish if you have a wrathful infant that starts crying nonstop as soon as you put them in the infant car seat and won’t go to sleep at all. After then, you’ll decide whether to travel by plane the following time or remain at home for the following few years.
Here are some suggestions to make driving with a baby as simple as possible.
Car Travel With a Baby or Toddler: Safety
Of course, safety comes first! Make sure your child’s car seat is safe and that its installation is proper.
Ask about airbags when renting a vehicle to avoid accidentally placing your child in a seat that has one. Ask about the type and age of the infant car seat they can give if you don’t have your own. Never let a vehicle seat beyond the age of five.
Also, if you are extremely tired, avoid driving. If you’re traveling with someone else, alternate taking rounds. If you begin to feel even the slightest bit sleepy when driving alone, pull over and take a stroll.
Expect to stop frequently if you’re driving by yourself with your infant! Additionally, make an effort to set up mirrors so that you can view your child without taking your eyes off the road.
Regular Stops Are Important in Car Travel With Babies
Plan for many pauses and be aware that the trip will probably take significantly longer than if you weren’t traveling with a baby when driving.
Newborn infants in particular shouldn’t ride in a car seat for too long. Premature and young newborns who spend too much time upright seated, such as in a car seat, may experience back pain, respiratory problems, and even an increased chance of SIDS, according to recent studies (cited below).
Babies shouldn’t spend more than 2 hours a day in a car seat, according to the 2-hour rule, which is frequently mentioned. Although there is no evidence to support this precise time limit, it is obvious that young babies should spend as little time as possible in a car seat.
Therefore, stop frequently so that your child can nap on a blanket or in the stroller. Older infants and toddlers require some time to utilize their bodies for activities they love, such as jumping or crawling. Make sure to schedule a few stops along the journey where your toddler may play in parks or other outside areas.
Related post: 10 Ways To Get Your Baby To Sleep
Playthings That Are Ideal for Cars
Pack a bunch of toys! A week or two prior to your trip, either remove a few of your favorites or think about getting some new toys. Here are some suggestions for toys for every baby month.
One suggestion is to thread the items together. When your child drops or throws their toys, this will make your life so much simpler.
Of course, an iPad can be a terrific diversion for babies or toddlers who are old enough.
Simple Feeding During Car Travel With Babies
If you breastfeed, feeding your child while driving is key. Even though it might be tempting, resist the urge to pick up your hungry infant and feed him while someone else is operating the vehicle.
(Yes, I am aware that this is completely absurd, but when a baby is screaming at the top of his or her lungs, you can come up with all kinds of desperate notions!)
Don’t take any chances if hearing your baby cry causes you a lot of worries. Feed him or her a little earlier than normal. If your infant is old enough, you can also bring formula, baby food, or finger foods.
Teaching a baby to eat cold food makes it much easier to feed them while traveling. Consider purchasing a bottle/baby food warmer, such as this one from Amazon, if that doesn’t work.
Also, don’t forget to pack plenty of paper napkins and a baby bib!
If your infant is old enough to sip water, bring some for you as well! Dehydration will simply make you tired, and if you nurse, it could reduce milk production.
However, avoid giving water to a small child. This could result in water toxicity.
Music Helps With Car Travel With Babies
I spoke with a mother who had to play “Are you going to San Francisco” the entire six-hour drive to prevent her child from weeping. No other song was effective.
Your baby may be entertained by music for a while (or for six hours…) if you play it for them.
Before you leave, create two Spotify playlists: one with energetic music and one with lullabies.
Make sure to include any favorite tunes your infant or toddler has, perhaps from taking music lessons.
Additionally, playing together in the automobile while singing and dancing is a lot of fun. Songs like “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” are enjoyable for an older infant or toddler as a game. Begin signing it at home so kids may begin to love the motions prior to your trips.
Contents of the Diaper Bag
Don’t forget to pack a towel in your diaper bag in addition to, of course, sanitary napkins and diapers. A folding changing pad can be extremely useful.
Bring additional clothing for your infant as well as a top for you and your traveling companion (if he or she also attends to the baby). On the go, feeding and changing diapers can be messy!
Advice For Team Play
With the possible exception of newborns, most infants and toddlers love playing with their parents. If there are two of you in the car, one of you can sing to your child, tickle him or her, play peek-a-boo, and try to entertain them while they are awake. Your infant will be happy and sleep better in the future if you do this.
You can get suggestions for activities and toys based on your baby’s age by visiting our Baby Development section and browsing the various months (as well as milestones). Here are some articles about toddler development milestones.