The long family holidays…we’ve been dreaming about them for weeks. But at bedtime, a question puzzles us: what if this long drive turns into a nightmare? Because taking to the road with young children can sometimes make you think of the Koh-Lanta experience…Here are some tips for your trip to be the best with a BABY ON BOARD.
A good car seat is at the base of a good trip (isofix or not). Above all, privilege safety and comfort! For babies weighing 2.5 to 13 kg, it is better to choose a car seat that is installed back to the road (5x safer according to Securange) rather than a basket. Our best of? The Cybex and Besafe seats, known for their safety and quality. Insider tip: prefer a model that attaches to the frame of the stroller. You will gain space in the trunk and will not wake the baby when you get out of the car. For older children, investing in a car seat group 1/2/3 with shield is a revelation. Not only have crash tests proved that this solution considerably reduces the risk of injury in case of impact, but in addition, the children can sleep with their head upright. If you do not always have the opportunity to tilt the seat, the shield serves as a headrest.
Tested but not approved: Personally, I do not recommend the new headband that everyone is talking about that is supposed to hold your baby’s head. Why? Either he slips and crushes his eyes or else covers his nose and mouth (preventing him from breathing properly), or he goes back up and opens his eyes, breaking his peaceful sleep (and you have to keep your eyes fixed on the road!). Reminder: put a sun visor in the back and/or lower the hood of the seat shell so that your baby is not bothered by the sun. Well, where are we going anyway? In order to help you in the preparation of your next holidays with baby, Little Guest has selected the most beautiful luxury hotels with baby club.
It may seem futile to wonder how we will dress our children to stay locked in a car. And yet, for a long journey, it makes sense. Indeed, his outfit will ensure his comfort (also affecting the quality of sleep and his mood!). For example, to prevent him from sweating, stuck in his car seat for hours, there are several tips and tricks that we learned during the second or third journey.
First: it is useless to put on the air conditioning all the time, your child could catch cold and the holidays would start badly! So, we choose instead 100% cotton clothes – especially no synthetic materials, loose cuts, 100% comfortable for sitting and allowing him to be freer in his movements. For girls, a dress is often more comfortable than pants. Also plan for a small blanket/tetra to cover the legs during nap time. We also removed shoes and chose small socks. For toddlers who are still in a Maxi-Cosi or another seat of the same kind, you can choose a pretty summer cover that pleasant to the skin and easy to wash.
Highway areas and restaurants, let’s talk about it! Depending on the age of your small passengers, it would be good to providea travel bottle warmer from 0 to 18 months. Several systems are already on the market: Thermos at Tommee Tippee, with a cigarette lighter socket at Chicco (which is also suitable for heating small pots), or – for large nomads – the Autonomous Star of Babymoov that works without water and without electricity. An innovation that can change the life of a parent!
18 months and +: « smart » snacks, that is to say, no small pieces that the child could swallow and which are easy to eat alone without putting mess everywhere. The best example? Compotes to drink. The worst? Chocolate melts on your fingers (unless you’re thinking of repainting the back of the car). In case of « turbulence », you can also take out of your bag, as if by magic, a sweetness that he really likes very much: a lollipop, for example, allows you to enjoy an average of 18 minutes of silence. It feels better, right?
Finally, do not forget to keep water at hand/or juice in a carton. A good all-around parenting idea: you can store them in a cool, insulated cooler, made of fabric, which will no doubt follow you to the beach or walk for the holidays.
Attention: drinking and eating in the car increases the risk of frequent pee stops or « accidents in the pants ». If your child has been cleaned recently, give him or her a nappy to make your journey easier.
An individual storage space to hang on the front seat can be very useful. Thus, children have what they need at their fingertips. You slip cuddly toys, pacifiers, books and toys to occupy them over the miles … Plus: the insulated pouch to keep his favorite drink cool. Another cool idea: equip the seat with a child’s steering wheel to imitate Mom or Dad who are driving !
Choosing the right toys and activities for the car (and the rest of the holidays) is an art. The proof : for us, there is no long journey without stickers. It has become a tradition that amazes them, strangely. Like the embossed stickers… Whenever you hit the road for more than 2 or 3 hours, be aware that the sticker pack, containing stickers that they can stick in a postcard-like decor (or on the windows) is very effective. Or colouring with water as the funny Aqua Doodle n ‘Travel notebook. Another choice is the Lunii History Factory: A favorite, which allows the child to choose himself the heroes or the framework of the story that he wants to listen to. It’s great: children from 2 to 9 years love the adventures of Suzanne and Gaston. In addition, when you want to have a cool evening – having finally arrived at your destination – you will be able to skip the evening’s story without any resistance! We prepare also a puppet. Sometimes, when it is a nice dragon who rules the car, the children are more friendly. And then, shhhhhhhhh, we should not risk waking him up… Finally, why not a playlist of nursery rhymes? Being a parent is also learning how to mute your radio or listen to nursery rhymes. In any case, it’s always better than crying.
When he wakes up from his nap, his snack has been eaten, and that cuddly toy has finished his gym session after memorizing Tchoupi’s story, you have to innovate. At least until the next tank of gas… The game of red cars: From 2-3 years, they will love the game of red cars (or trucks, it’s a matter of taste). The first who sees a red car says « red car » and it is the one who has seen the most who wins! It may sound a bit basic, but it’s rather interesting to learn to count and recognize colours. Variation: You can do it in English, Spanish, Dutch, or French ! There is also « The King of Silence » (no need to explain the rules). « No yes, no » or the famous « Riddles ». Help !
Plan B: When you fight back, classical music can help. The Mozart * effect should relax the most impatient, and according to some studies, contribute – or not – to their brain development. After all, as long as it calms them…
Magali, 36 aged, mom of 2, from Waterloo