Learn what to do in order for your road trips with the baby to be safe! Right after leaving the maternity to get home, the baby will experience his first car ride – but you will not drive, but instead you can stay with him. But what to do you when it’s just you and the baby in the car – you will drive, the baby will cry …
Some tips for traveling with the baby:
- Most importantly, buy one of those baby car seats! For babies up to one year old, you use a a kind of baby cart that you’ll turn with the back to the direction of travel. With this, the travel with the baby in the car will be safe, if you do not forget the security system. When looking for such an accessory for babies, make sure you buy a new one, and if you find one that was used, document yourself if it has been somewhat removed from the market and if it still meets the latest safety requirements. Before you buy it, try it to see if it matches the car (some models are attached and detached from a system you install in the car). Or you can choose a kind of combination between the baby cart or the baby seat: so, you buy a cart that has attached the seat.
- The car seat for an one year-old baby. When he reached the age of one year, you need another type of chair for traveling with the baby in the car – he does no longer fit in his old seat. What you can choose is a convertible one – the baby can use it for a longer time, because of its great height and weight limits.
- Purchase a removable cover. Make sure you have a removable seat cover, that you can take off and wash. The cover should be comfortable, with two sides and filled with soft material.
- System security. This system for baby car travel refers to a system of anchors and straps, rings and hooks that are used as a belt. The modern models of car seats should come integrated with this system. And all the new cars, made after 2002, should have built-in hooks from which you attach the system. If you have an older car, you can make the necessary changes in order to catch the safety system. Or you can use the seatbelt if you can fit it well around the baby’s seat; however it is best to use the new security system.
- Learn how to install the baby seat! It seems that many car seats are installed incorrectly. Seek advice from an experienced person if you know that you’re not too good at this. What is important: first of all, to install the baby seatr in the back, preferably on the middle seat and not ever forget the security system or at least the seat belts. The chair must be installed in the car at an angle of 45 degrees (if you put too much in the back, the baby can slip between harness and if you put him too much in the front, the baby won’t have a head support).
The new models offer the chance to adjust the angle as you wish. After you install the seat, you must let down the carry handle. If you purchased a model that is already installed in the car, make sure you always fix well the seat at the base. A baby seat for car travels should not move more than 2 inches if you shake it. When you pass the harnesses through the openings, make sure they are well stretched and fixed.
- Position. If you put the baby in the car with the back in the direction of travel, pass the harnesses through those openings at or below shoulder level, and if facing the direction of travel, pass the harnesses at or above the shoulder level.
- How do you keep him busy? The biggest problem when you take your baby to ride in the car is that the baby can get bored, upset or scared because he stays all alone in the back or he even has car sickness. If you think that the latter is the cause, always drive slowly, without sudden turns and check in the mirror if he vomits. But what do you do when the baby cries out of boredom or anger? Find special toys – soft stuffed toys that can be hanged from the chair’s harnesses. Always leave in the back of the car some soft toys, soft plush balls and possibly leave a shirt of yours near the baby, so he can feel you close.
- Music. You can use the car CD-player to play music to relax your baby or you can sing! If you find it hard to sing happy songs and be careful on the road at the same time, make a few playlists suitable for your baby. In the first months, he will be more attracted to very simple, regular, rhythmic sounds – for example, drum beats and only that! Rhythmic noise like a vacuum cleaner, washing machine, fans seem to calm him down (regular beats reminds him of your heart beat in-utero).
So look for a CD created especially for babies if you find any – if not, just record such rhythmic sounds. And another solution for you as well to enjoy the music, not only the beats: play the music you listened to while being pregnant! Besides swing songs, you can try some jazz, folk, slow songs and classical music. See whose style your baby is a fan of and what kind of music soothea him. Remember: use music in your car unless it doesn’t get on your nerves and distracts you!
- Interactive platform. A little expensive, but very effective: you can use an interactive platform that attaches behind the front seat. There are special platforms for babies, with buttons, lights, globe lights that keep him busy. If you know where to buy such a screen, you will keep your baby busy all the way (it does not work if your baby is still too little, under 5-6 months of life). But beware: these platforms and screens can make him hit his legs in the chair, so set them next to the driver’s seat!