Image courtesy of kdshutterman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A road trip can be a great thing for the entire family. For babies and toddlers unfamiliar with the experience, however, it can be a tough experience.
The first thing to think about should be safety, and of course, no car ride would be with any peace of mind without an infant car seat. Research has shown that three out of four seats are not installed properly. Follow all the instructions provided with the product and don’t cut any corners. The top brands of child seats are designed to protect them from injury during normal driving and if there is an accident.
Setting Up the Ride
If you are riding in a car, or an RV, which might be better because there’s more space, you can keep your baby entertained. Keeping your baby occupied is important. You can do this by taping light toys from the ceiling or attaching them to a string run across the seating area. As long as the items are out of the driver’s rear view, it should be okay. Other tips include taping colored pictures to the back of the seat the child is facing and installing window shades to protect them from the sun.
Entertainment is a part of the routine when you take a baby on a trip. You will want to take sticker books, drawing boards, audiobooks, and sheets/panels that can work with magnets or crayons. A surface to hold loose items is important because things can roll and slide very easily in a moving vehicle. Research into toddler car toys can make the experience that much more pleasant.
The seating arrangement is another consideration. Where mom sits is very important to her infant, and planning ahead will give everyone a chance to be as comfortable as possible. When you rent or choose your RV, you can determine ahead of time exactly what you need. Even if it is two sisters renting a Class B RV from Outdoorsy, as two have done from California to Canada, safety and planning are important. Pack what you need for the climate. If heading to the mountains or where its cooler, take along jackets and hats; for warm trips, take beach towels, swimsuits, and the like, and anything that a baby needs to be comfortable.
Keep a Routine
Think about when your baby is most likely to nap during the day or night. This can give you a better idea of when to get on the road, so there are fewer distractions if they tend to cry in the car when awake. Plan for lunchtime pit stops when they can eat. Driving after bedtime is fine if you have no problem with late-night driving, but be prepared for a restless and sleepless baby.
Plan for Snack Time
You will want to bring along any snacks that hold up when traveling. Small pretzels and string cheese are good, and most babies are quite privy to cereals that are O-shaped. Dried fruit is good too, but if your youngster is finicky, stick to standard perishable baby foods you will find in stores.