Stress-free Travel with your Baby
Posted 15/11/2016 by BrightHouse Social Team
When you’re a new parent, long distance journeys with your baby can seem like a scary prospect. Even going further than a walk down the road with the pushchair can sometimes feel like it involves a huge amount of organising and potential stress.
However, travelling with a baby can be easier than you might think, and with our guide you can get some useful tips so you’ll always feel confident and in control.
Travel according to their schedule
For long car journeys with babies and very young kids, it’s best to travel when they usually sleep. This makes the journey must less stressful for everyone involved, as your baby can sleep through it peacefully. Travelling at night can also be an option for toddlers who get restless on long car journeys, so they can happily sleep through it too.
This becomes more important as a baby gets older too, as younger babies are less sensitive to routines and their environment. As long as they’re warm and comfortable, they’re happy! Once your baby is more mobile and you start getting into daily routines with them, you need to work within these routines when you travel.
Take frequent breaks
Babies shouldn’t spend more than an hour or two at a time in a car seat, so take breaks often. Once you have parked the car take them out of their car seat and allow them to lie on their back for as long as possible, as this helps to relieve any pressure on their spine. Just holding them in your arms and moving about a bit is fine.
Of course it’s also very beneficial to the parent doing the driving, as this gives them a chance to stretch their legs and refresh themselves so they can stay focused and alert on the road.
Take familiar toys
This is important for giving your baby some familiarity when away from home, as well as to keep them entertained. You can also take a couple of new toys to help keep them happy and engaged when they’re awake, but the familiar will help to keep them relaxed.
Safety in the car
Before setting off on any car journey you should ensure everything is safe and comfortable for your baby. The most important thing is to make sure your baby’s car seat is properly installed. This should be a rear-facing seat on the back seat, with seat-belts threaded properly as per the chair’s instructions. Never put the car seat in the front of the car if you have an activated passenger airbag, and it’s generally safer on the back seat even if you don’t.
For slightly older babies and young children, make sure there’s nothing within their reach that could cause them harm if they grabbed it during a journey. Modern cars have child locks built in, so make sure these are activated. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/child-car-seats-the-rules/using-a-child-car-seat-or-booster-seat)