A newborn brings a lot of changes in a parent’s life. It’s a tricky feat to have to adapt to having a new member of a family that needs a special kind of care and attention.
That’s why some parents don’t dare to do some things that they used to do, like distant traveling by car. They’re afraid that it would be too much hassle, or take too much time, or that it’s too dangerous.
However, traveling with a newborn doesn’t have to be stressful. You only need to make appropriate preparations before the trip and to keep in mind situations that could occur on the road. If you follow these simple tips, you’ll definitely have an enjoyable trip with your baby.
1. Planning the trip
If your baby sleeps well in the car, then make sure the trip begins when it’s time for nap time, or even bedtime. If that’s not the case, then plan the trip to start after the nap or early in the morning.
Try to break the trip up by planning a few stops. The longer your baby is forced to sit in the car seat, the more restless it will get. Taking shorts breaks every now and then will not only help you stretch your legs, but also help to ease your child’s nerves.
Be aware that there could be some unpleasant surprises along the way, meaning your arrival time could change. A dirty nappy or two could hold you up, as well as the need for a feed or rest along the way.
A few simple items will make sure that your baby feels more relaxed in the car, including:
– baby-friendly music on in the car
– a bottle warmer and a cooler for drinks
– window shades to protect the baby from the direct sun and to help it fall asleep more easily
– a rear view baby mirror so that you can monitor it (if you’re alone in the car with the baby).
– baby books to read on the road.
2. Car safety tips
Here are the necessary safety measures to make sure your baby is free of any danger on the road.
First of all, make sure you bring a flashlight if you’ll travel at night.
Next, always keep your baby in the car seat. There are important car seat safety tips that many people are unaware of. For example, never breastfeed your baby while the car is moving. It’s better to pull over for 10 minutes than to risk hurting the baby while it’s out of its seat. Also, you need to make sure the car seat is appropriate for your baby’s age and that it’s firmly fastened.
Next, if your baby is very nervous and crying, don’t postpone the break. Stop as soon as possible – a crying baby can make you feel distracted and nervous, which could lead to an accident.
Lastly, under no circumstances should you leave your baby alone in the car, not even for a minute.
3. Entertainment in the car
To keep your baby entertained in the car, string a line from each side inside the car and attach toys to it. Just make sure they are small enough not to block the driver’s view on the rear window.
You could also tape colorful pictures on the back of the seat that’s facing your baby.
If you’ll be alone with your baby, and the baby is old enough to reach the toys on its own, then place a box next to the car seat and fill it with toys.
If there will be somebody sitting next to your baby, you could bring a lot of baby-friendly books so that the other person can read them to your baby.
If you have an older baby, then you should definitely brink drinks and snacks that are appropriate. In case you have also planned to stop somewhere to have a proper meal, mind the baby. In case it happens that the baby is sleeping just when you were planning to make a break and eat, then opt for a drive-through. That way, you won’t interrupt the baby’ sleep and risk making it fussy and cranky.
The baby music you’ll carry will help the baby calm down and fall asleep more easily, while other types of music should be played quietly while the baby is asleep.
Traveling with your newborn doesn’t have to be a nightmare and it’s definitely not something you should avoid. The most important thing you should do is to go through the above steps carefully and to take the unpleasant surprises into account. By making sure your baby is safe and entertained in the car, there is no need to worry about the trip experience. You can all relax and enjoy the ride with your cute newest member of the family!