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Riding in the car may terrify some babies while others love the experience. No matter where your baby falls, your goal is to ensure your baby enjoys the ride.
As an automotive lover, you may have long driving hours and it would be great if you were to carry your little one with you. While distracting him or her with toys is a good starting point, you will need to do more to ensure your baby is calm and comfortable all through your journey.
Each baby is unique so some of these suggestions may not work with your child. To make sure you drive safely with your child, use any number of the following tips and tricks you find the most useful.
Make Ready Your Car for the Drive
Traveling with a baby presents unique challenges that require you to prepare the car WELL before embarking on your journey. Make sure the vehicle’s performance, safety, and accessories are ready for a long ride.
The things you must do include, checking tire pressure, filling up the gas tank and changing engine oil (if needed). Imagine what would happen if the car breaks right in the middle of your journey. I can imagine A LOT of tears coming from everyone.
Pack with Utmost Wisdom
I know you know the usual baby stuff you need to carry whenever you travel with your babies like diapers and wipes.
But for a long, comfortable and enjoyable trip, you will need to bring along a change of clothes, something that will help your baby have a nice, good quality sleep, snacks (if he or she is weaned) as well as a trash bag for dirty things.
Remember To Carry a First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is vital whenever you are traveling not only with your baby but also at all times. Although you may not want anything terrible to happen, it is good to be prepared.
Take along a first aid kit containing any long prescription med that your baby may need, juvenile Tylenol for fevers (especially if your baby is teething), bandages, diaper rash cream, and a first aid ointment.
Keep Toys and Food Away From Your Kid
To improve safety, avoid giving your little champion toys or food during the trip. In case of a sudden halt or accident, toys can become dangerous projectiles that can harm you, the baby or someone else in the car.
Food is necessary for long journeys but do not give it to your baby in the car. Food presents a choking hazard unless there is a third party in the backseat to feed the baby. You cannot rely on the backseat mirror to help you keep an eye on your baby while they are eating.
Entertain Your Baby through the Journey
Even young children love music and other forms of entertainment. A good trick to make sure your baby enjoys a long ride is to provide them with soothing music. Listening to a favorite album or literally singing to him or her works great.
Remember babies have their own tastes and preferences so make sure you provide yours with the form of entertainment that he or she finds enjoyable. An older baby or toddler may also appreciate watching their favorite show on a portable DVD player. I know I would.
Stop at Rest Stops
While you may be able to handle being behind the wheel for hours, your baby probably does not. They most likely do not appreciate being cooped up in a car for extended periods of time.
Map out a few rest stops every so often to give the kid some car seat free time. Schedule stops around the time your baby needs feeding to make the journey easier.
Choose the Right Car Seat for Your Baby
With the many sizes, types, and styles of baby car seats currently available, it may be difficult to know the right one for your baby. Depending on the needs, age, the body size of your baby and your personal preferences, you can choose from convertibles, infant seats, backless boosters or full-sized boosters.
Choose a car seat that is the right size for your baby, properly fits in your car and has excellent safety ratings. Also, ensure the seat is compatible with the model of car you are driving.
Apply the Recommendations of the American Academy Of Pediatrics
They recommend all children should rear-face until they are at least 2 years old or until they achieve the maximum weight or height for the car seat.
Avoid the temptation to turn your baby on their first birthday. Just let them stay rear-face as long as possible. The longer the better!
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.