Important Safety Tips for Car Travel with Small Children
Once you bring your infant home from the hospital, you will likely want to show him off to all the relatives. This means making the rounds between your husband’s family as well as your own. But that can be one heck of a long road trip, especially with a fussy newborn. And while you have been packing for yourself for years, you might not have the slightest idea what kind of precautionary items you’ll need for a baby. So before you embark on your cross-country road trip, here are just a few things you may want to consider packing.
1. Sunshade. You have the ability to pull down your visor, put on sunglasses, cover up, or turn on the AC if the sun streaming through the car windows bothers you. Your baby has none of these luxuries, so it’s up to you to keep an eye out for him. Of course, you can avoid a lot of hassle by simply placing an easy-to-install, pull-down sun shade in the back window. It is generally secured with suction cups so that it can also be easily removed without causing any permanent damage to your vehicle. And it will protect baby’s sensitive skin from the sun (without you having to slather on sunblock every hour).
2. Plenty of food and diapers. Food shouldn’t be too much of a problem if you’re breastfeeding, but if your infant is a bit older (around 4-6 months), you may also want to bring some jars of food (which can be administered with the baby securely in his seat, without the need for a stop). An adequate amount of diapers should also be planned for, and you should pad this number by 20% (in case you get stuck somewhere along the way).
3. Warm clothes. Even if it’s the middle of summer, you need to bring at least a couple of warm items for your baby. He gets colder more easily than you and can suffer from a chill. Bring a light blanket and a warmer one, as well.
4. Medication and teething ring. Talk to your doctor about securing adequate medication for the trip. If your baby gets motion sickness, suffers from allergies, is starting to teethe, or has any other health conditions that could necessitate the administration of medicine, it’s much better to have it on hand than to have to scramble to find it in an unfamiliar locale.
5. Toys and other distractions. Your infant might sleep for much of the trip (babies tend to be lulled by the rocking motion of the car), but there will certainly be times when he’s awake and antsy. Bring along some of his favorite toys, along with anything that might distract him, like a colorful mobile.
6. Frequent stops. Some babies can go for a few hours without a feeding, but most of them get hungry every couple of hours. It is illegal to nurse your baby in a moving vehicle since you probably have to take him out of the car seat to do it (ditto on diaper changes). That means you’re going to have to stop to nurse. You could preempt this problem by pumping for days in advance to get enough bottles to sustain your little tyke on the go, but you’re going to have to find a way to keep them cold. In some cases, this may not be entirely feasible. Just in case, prepare for stops by marking out safe and accessible locations on a map beforehand. That way if you have to pull over, you can do so with less hassle.
Sarah Danielson writes for Car Insurance Quotes where you can find cheap car insurance rates that will suit your needs.