Travelling long distances by car is also a possibility with babies and toddlers – provided, of course, they’re well secured in their safety seats. Though when travelling with young children, parents’ expectations of the distances they can comfortably cover in a day should certainly be lowered.
Long car journeys are strenuous for adults, let alone for young children. To ensure your car trip remains as stress-free as possible, it’s important to be well prepared. As parents you must try to keep your cool at all times in the car. The better prepared and calmer you are, the more relaxed your child and the overall journey will be.
Below, we have put together a few tips and “distractions” for your infants to make your holiday drive as relaxed and enjoyable as possible:
- Organise some protection from the sun before you set off so that your child doesn’t get too hot.
- Plan a 20-minute break every two hours: Fresh air and a little exercise are good for both you and your child.
- Pack enough provisions, especially drinks. There’s nothing worse than having to queue at overcrowded motorway services with hungry, impatient kids.
- Taking the right kind of snacks is also important: e.g. baby food, fresh fruit, finger foods, raw vegetables and sandwiches – ready prepared bite-size portions stored in a cool bag are a great option.
- Try to stick to the child’s normal mealtimes and sleeping patterns (e.g. travel in the evening or through the night for more moderate temperatures)
- Have several changes of clothing to hand in case your infant is sick or has a leaky nappy.
- Prepare games, songs and surprises.
- Don’t forget your child’s favourite cuddly toy.
- Take enough toys to keep boredom at bay (music, audio books, picture books, drawing books etc.)
You should also prepare for the worst-case scenario so that if you do get stuck in traffic for long periods, the experience doesn’t turn into a fraught and unhappy nightmare:
- You could, for example, pack a baby bottle warmer that can be operated using the car’s 12 V power socket.
- Also take a “lucky-dip bag” filled with different objects (mirror, small cars, etc.)
- When the sun’s beating down on the car and you’re stuck in traffic, the protective foil sheet found in most first-aid kits can help. Simply spread it across the top of the car and hold in place with the windows – it will reflect much of the heat.
Our blog contains many other interesting features about child car safety.
We wish you a good, safe and stress-free journey to your holiday destination!
THE CHILD SAFETY TEAM AT CYBEX