Now, as most of my family live over an hour away from me, travelling is something that Bubs has had to get used to, and from quite a young age. Travelling with a baby can seem daunting, and to start with I was too scared to get out of the house! Driving with a baby can also seem rather daunting too. However, I have overcome my fears, and me and Bubs have travelled to Somerset, Hampshire around Bristol together with little difficulty. As a family we also flew up to Glasgow to see some of Dan’s family too.
I thought with this post I would share some of the experiences we have had, and what we have found works, when travelling with a baby 0-6 months old in the car. I will do others posts for Flying and also on a Ferry!
In The Car
Travelling in the car is something we all have to get used to. Personally, I put Bubs in her car seat in the back, on the opposite side to me. It is important not to get distracted from driving, so I find this is the best way. I have used a mirror which you can then glance up into your rear mirror and see Bubs, but I am afraid the mirror kept falling off, so I just don’t bother now.
Babies will usually sleep in the car (thank god!). If they are awake though, it is useful to have a few things in the car to occupy them, for them to look at (I always think the back of a car seat must be very dull indeed).
We have the Maxi Cosi Pebble Car Seat and I think it is really good. It is snug enough for Bubs, but she also has enough room too. There is an attached sun canopy to the seat, and the harness is easy to adjust. There is a storage compartment as well. For newborns there is a pillow and a cushion as well, when they are older you can take these out. I use the seatbelt to attach to the car seat, and it is very easy to do. I have had no issues with this car seat so far.
We found this Taf Toys Infant Car Toy and think it’s great. To start with, it was just something for Bubs to look at, as it was so colourful. As she has grown, she has been able to reach for it, and play with it, and within seconds of being put into the car she will start to play – she used to cry a lot as we strapped her in, but this has changed all that! It has music as well which is activated by the baby kicking the feet (but it does also go off over bumps in the road) and there is a little flashing light in the feet too which also adds to the attraction. All in all, I think this was a great buy, and I really think it has helped with occupying Bubs on long car journeys.
Hanging things from the car seat handle are also a great idea. We had detachable hanging bits from Bubs’ play mat which we attached. She loves to hit them, grab them, shake them.
One great buy was Jacques the Peacock from Lamaze. We bought it when I was pregnant, not really having an idea what it was. I clipped it onto her car seat, and she loved it! The colours, the mirror all meant she was fascinate and would look at it for quite a while when a few months old. The wings are all textured, or make a crispy noise, the buttons squeak and rattle. It really is an all-in-one solution to occupying your child in a car seat. It clips on nicely, and I would recommend this item, or one like it, as we have had so much use out of it.
I always make sure that Bubs has her favourite blanket with her in the back, and also one of her favourite soft toys, as that provides some comfort and security for her, and also may help her to get to sleep. I always try to leave the house just after a feed so that I know I have a few hours. As I am bottle feeding, I always make sure we have a bottle and powder ready to make one once we reach our destination, or when we stop at services.
Some people may like to put on children’s music, but I don’t have any at the moment! So I tend to put on poppy songs that I like to sing along to, as I think hearing my voice is also soothing for Bubs. Sometimes she even tries to sing along!
Dress for Travel
I always dress Bubs lightly for being in the car; she can get very sweaty in the car seat, and so I tend to put her in a short-legged romper, or leggings and a short-sleeved vest. As I said I always make sure her blanket is with her too, but if it’s a really hot day I won’t put this on her. I always change her bum just before we leave too, I don’t like the thought of her being uncomfy sitting in the seat!
Take a Break!
If we are travelling for 2 hours, I always stop after an hour for a break, and to change and see to Bubs, if she is not asleep. I looked on the Maxi Cosi website as I have a Pebble car seat, and it says to take a break every 2 hours when travelling, but check your car seat manufacturer for specific information.
So this is what I do when we are travelling in the car with Bubs. Do you have any other tips and hints? Let me know in the comments below!