In this article, you will find the most important tips to ensure the comfort and safety of your baby during a long car ride. 👶🏼
It was made possible thanks to our collaboration with Securange. Visit their website , a gold mine of information, with detailed information on choosing car seats.
How to travel (well) by car with a baby?
Whether you're going to join your cousins at the family home for Christmas or renting a house somewhere in the sun, there's one step that everyone has in common: the car ride. 🚘 The drive to the vacation can sometimes be a long one, especially when everyone is on the road at the same time... ⏱ There are no cons to taking a long trip with a baby, no matter how old, even with a newborn, as long as it's done in the right conditions. 👌🏼
▹ Respect the back-to-the-road position
A child is 5 times safer travelling with his back to the road. In the event of an accident, the difference between a forward-facing and a backward-facing position is phenomenal. It is therefore advisable to leave the car seat in this position for as long as possible, ideally until the child is 4 years old and at least until he or she is 2 years old.
If your child is not accustomed to facing the road, there is no reason for him/her to be "bored" with his/her back to the road. To position your child facing the road often answers the desire to be able to see him/her... Yes, we have been there too, but there are tricks:
- If you feel uncomfortable not being able to see your child, place him/her next to you in the front seat, remembering to remove the airbag. 🌬
- If he/she is sitting in the back, small mirrors can be attached to the headrest to keep an eye on him/her.🪞
Good to know : A car seat is not necessarily too small when the legs extend over or touch the back of the car seat. This is neither dangerous nor uncomfortable for the child. 💺
Small interlude images-not-very-pleasant-to-look-at this video explains why it's safer to put your child in a rear-facing position.
▹ We recommend a car seat until your child is at least 10 months old
The natural position of babies, rounded back, is the physiological posture to be favored when they are in the car. There are car seats options that are adapted to newborns but the standard car seat remains the most suitable, at least until 10 months .For a newborn, you may be hesitating between a carrycot and a car seat, the recommendations lean towards the car seat, which remains the safest way for a baby to travel. 👩🏽🍼
▹ Make sure the harness is in the right position
The harness has to be sufficiently taut and not twisted and the small protective pads should not be removed. If you can fit three fingers between your shoulder and the harness, it is not tight enough. You should not be able to pinch the harness strap, otherwise there is too much slack. The height of the harness (or straps) is also important:
- If the seat is rear-facing, it should be at or just below shoulder height.
-Facing the road, at shoulder height or just above. 🚨
During the winter, remember to take off his/ her coat, jacket, or anything that is too thick. This will which force you to loosen the harness; and instead, use a blanket or a garment adapted to this situation.❄️
▹ Force yourself to take breaks
For infants and children, it is recommended to not exceed 2 hours at a time, after which your vertebrae will require some movement to keep them from being compressed. You can drive for 10 hours, as long as you take breaks to stretch your legs, children and adults alike! 🏃🏽♂️
And there is no need to worry if the baby sleeps 4 hours in a row, there is no risk if it remains occasional and if there are breaks. ⏱
▹ Stay focused and rest
A car ride with a baby can be stressful for some of you. 🥱
If your baby starts to cry stay focused on the road and and try not to turn around, at least as little as possible. Blow off steam, talk to him/ her, reassure him/ her (reassure yourself) and stop when you have the chance. 👩🏽🍼
And of course, do not drive if you are too tired. Your child's first safety belt is you and your good driving (no pressure, but we had to remind you!). Family, friends and vacations will be waiting for you when you arrive. 🥳
IN MY SUITCASE, THERE IS...
Our tip for packing your baby's bag without having to play Tetris to fit everything into the trunk: only take the essentials. Unless you're going to the middle of nowhere, you'll always find supplies on the spot.
To pack correctly, be sure to take:
• His/her health booklet 📔
• The first-aid kit: thermometer, saline, antiseptic lotion, mosquito repellent, sun block, arnica gel, ibuprofen , baby nasal aspirator, diapers, diaper bag and liniment, vitamins, treatment or dedicated prescription if needed 👝
• Clothes: this is where it gets tricky. It all depends on the length of your stay, but we advise you to take only 7 outfits (1/day for a week, that you will wash), a little more onesies (about ten) and 2 pajamas (one light and one warm). In terms of accessories, obligatory hat (if possible with wide edges) and, the most important item, sunglasses. 🧳
• If you are breastfeeding: your boobs and a breast pump in case of a little time away from your baby or a temporary feeding strike, so that you can leave with peace of mind! 🥛
The added bonus: a separate (small) bag to have the essentials close to you and not have to move heaven and earth to find the spare onesie.