With COVID-19 vaccines arriving and travel restrictions easing, many families began planning trips again. But as Delta variant of the virus surges in youth populations along with younger children still being unable to get it because they’re too young for their shot yet (due out next year), more parents are opting for longer car rides rather than traveling on crowded planes or other public transportation today.
Road trips with infants can be a great way to see new places and explore the country. However, it is important not only for you as parents but also on behalf of your little one that all precautions are taken so he or she has an enjoyable trip.
Here are some helpful advice about traveling by car when bringing up children:
Make sure the car safety seat is adjusted securely and correctly
When taking a long drive, it’s important to make sure that your infant’s car seat is installed correctly. The manufacturer instructions will help you with this! Be sure the five-point harness system has been adjusted and pulled snugly around them at all times while riding in case of an emergency situation like sudden movement or stop/start traffic which could cause discomfort for little ones who are sensitive about their head position; they may move around less if there isn’t any force pulling on these parts (plus more security).
In the event that you’re on the go and need a place for your little one to sleep, use their car seat. Though these seats are designed not only to protect them in case anything happens while they’re napping away from home or traveling abroad but also tested by safety professionals so as long as it’s installed properly (and securely), then there should be no worries about what might happen if someone else tries taking overwatch.
The best way to ride with your baby is in the backseat
The best way to ensure a smooth ride for your little one is by having an adult or responsible older child in the backseat with them. This will help keep track of schedules, feedings times (if bottle), playtime, car sickness issues and know when it’s an okay to stop so that you can change diapers on the spot without tears! Being right there by their side helps avoid any upset feelings from happening during travel which makes these journeys much more enjoyable overall.
Take regular breaks
The key to keeping your baby happy and healthy while you’re on the move is getting them out of their car seat every few hours. It’s also important that they stretch, so try taking a break 2-3 times throughout each day for longer trips or after every couple diaper changes when going back into town (especially if it will be night). Breastfeeding should never happen in motion; always make sure there are plenty of breastfeeding opportunities outside where ever you may need some privacy.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared for anything when you’re on the road. Before hitting “road,” make sure that your car has enough gas and know where rest stops or hotels with baby-friendly rooms can easily get access in case something goes wrong at home (or if it just gets too hot). You could also bring along a bassinet so little ones aren’t sleeping alone inside of their own vehicle all day long.
Don’t forget the essentials
Pack a diaper bag or cooler for those unexpected moments. You could need:
- wipes, extra diapers, diaper cream, clothes, changing pad, garbage bags to dispose of diapers, or hand sanitizer
- formula or breast milk should be kept on ice and in a cooling bag. Bibs are necessary for protection against spills, drool & accidents
- a favorite soothing toy, pacifiers, books, and a device to play music
- a thermometer
Make sure you have plenty of snacks and water available for yourself, too! If it’s getting close to lunchtime then remember not to leave your baby unattended in the car even briefly. Children can suffer heatstroke very quickly when exposed improperly; make certain they’re always within view at all times with a monitor or GPS device so there are no accidents on this hot day out.
Consider when it is best for your infant to travel based on their age, schedule, and medical conditions
If you’re planning on taking your baby with you for a few hours of driving, consider an early morning trip when they might still be sleeping or during longer naps. If it’s going to be longer trips (more than 4 hrs.), try and drive at night so as not to trouble them by watching.
Remember that things may not go according to plan
While traveling by car allows for more flexibility and independence than other modes of transportation such as airline seats which have fixed reclining positions or trains where people must buy tickets upfront before boarding the train; there will still be times when these plans don’t work out exactly how they were expected too (elderly relatives who cannot get up from their table etc). The key thing is finding humor within all these minor setbacks.
Remember to talk with your pediatrician if you have any questions about traveling with an infant.
- Is it safe for my baby to travel in a car seat a few hours at a time? https://www.healthychildren.org/English/tips-tools/ask-the-pediatrician/Pages/Is-it-safe-for-my-baby-to-travel-in-a-car-seat-a-few-hours-at-a-time.aspx Adapted from Car Safety Seats Guide (Copyright © 2021 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information on this site is not a substitute for medical care and advice from your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that he or she recommends based on individual facts, circumstances or personal preference you have as an adult who is now taking responsibility of caring for another life stage alongside their own childhoods!
|Editors Choice: Top-list infant car seat|
|Best lightweight car seat (Rear-Facing 0+)|
|Best Chicco narrow infant car seat|
|Best convertible car seat for small cars|
|Best budget convertible car seat|