For some parents, the thought of taking your baby on your first long car journey can be a bit stressful. But with some helpful tips, you can minimize the stress and maximize the enjoyment of your adventure.
- If possible, place your baby’s carseat in the middle of the back seat of the vehicle. That is the safest place for it to be.
- Keep everything you might need for the journey handy in the front of the car. You don’t want to discover that all the diapers, or your sling, or your baby’s favourite toy are buried deep in the trunk.
- Plan ahead for keeping the sun off of your baby while driving. Which direction are you going? Where will the sun be at that time of day? A receiving blanket or larger sheet that can be draped to block the sun can be helpful. But remember to check that the driver can still see the car’s blind spot.
- Plan for plenty of nursing breaks along the way. Not worrying about being late can make the journey much more relaxed.
- Pack lots of water and snacks, or perhaps meals. This way you can eat what you have packed when you stop to nurse. You won’t have to risk waking a sleeping baby by stopping the car at a restaurant. And you won’t have to take extra time to find one.
- Try to keep the seat beside your baby’s carseat empty. If your partner is driving you can sit beside your baby. If you are travelling by yourself with your baby, it is nice to have a seat in the back where you can comfortably nurse when you are parked. That way, if your baby falls asleep while nursing, or if it is raining outside, you don’t have to get out of the front of the car to put your baby back into the carseat.
- Do not feed your baby in a moving vehicle. Some parents are tempted to unbuckle themselves and lean into the carseat to nurse while the driver keeps going. This is not safe. Planning for extra nursing breaks can help reduce the stress of arriving on time.
Making your baby’s need to nurse a priority on the journey and during your holiday can help your family to have an enjoyable time away from home.
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Updated June 2022