It’s summer time here in the UK (well, sort of!) and you might be planning a trip away with your little one, which inevitably includes a long car journey. As you know, we recently went to Cornwall with Byron for our first holiday. Not only was it the longest distance I’ve ever driven, it was also the longest that my boy’s been cooped up in a car. Luckily for us, he slept the whole way there and back! Naturally, your life completely changes when you have a little person in it and you start thinking more about safety (and keeping little fingers & toes away from places they shouldn’t be!) It’s the same on car journeys too.
Where Baby Sits
Obviously, you need to make sure you have the correct car seat and ensure your little one is strapped in properly— it sounds obvious, but apparently, only 30% of car seats installed using an adult seat belt are fitted correctly! This increases to 96% using an isofix base. We use an adult seat belt and it’s really easy, if you’re doing it properly. NEVER place your baby in the front of the car, particularly if there’s an airbag fitted. Byron is still in a rear-facing seat, which protects his head and spine better than a front-facing one, but at the rate he’s growing, he’ll soon be into the next stage. He’s just so long!
Keeping Baby Cool and Comfortable
If you don’t have tinted windows in the rear of your car, make sure you attach some removable shades to the window, to stop your baby getting hot and sticky, as well as keeping the sun from going in their eyes. Even if it’s not sunny when you set off, the weather can quickly change within just a few miles.
The same goes for the clothes you decide to dress your baby in— make sure they wear lots of layers so you can add more or take them off as necessary, to keep them cool/warm and comfortable. Jersey and cotton materials are probably better than denim.
Car batteries dying are just one of the many things that could go wrong on your car on any journey, but they’re so easy to sort out and prevent beforehand. We’d been having problems with my car for a few months before our trip to the South West, so we got it serviced, not only because it was new (to us), but it hadn’t really been on a longer journey than the 10 mile round trip to the supermarket! It gives you piece of mind and reassurance that you’re not going to be stuck on the hard shoulder with a screaming little one, but despite that, anything could happen, so make sure you have adequate breakdown cover.
On The Road
Where You’re Going
Try and plan your route beforehand if possible, so you can look at good places to stop to stretch your legs, and feed baby (and yourself!) When you’re looking at your route, it’s also best to see if there are any planned roadworks that you need to steer clear of. Make sure you have the traffic reports on your car stereo too (even if it does interrupt your fav tune!), so you know about any accidents to avoid as well.
Pack all the things you normally would in your baby bag, plus a few extra clothes, nappies and milk, just in case you have to stop more than you’ve planned too or get stuck in horrendous traffic. It’s also a good idea to pack a first aid kit, just in case!
I don’t know a baby that doesn’t nod off in the car, but if you can, strap some toys to the car seat or the back of your seat to keep your little one entertained, if they do wake up. There are so many toys that are made specifically for travelling, as well as your baby’s fav teddies and rattles!