Driving with a Child – the best tips
Driving in a car with a Child is a thing of its own. On the one hand, as a parent, you are extremely careful with your child – and rightly so – and you definitely don’t want the Child to feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, you have a child who is extremely emotionally driven and with whom you can’t do anything with arguments (“we’ll be there in a moment”, “there is an ice cream at home”), no matter how conclusive they may be.
Some Children even really like to drive – at least for a while and as long as the car is not stuck in a traffic jam or at a traffic light. Some sleep particularly well in the car. However, many protest as soon as they are strapped into the Child seat and with some Children driving is extremely unpleasant for a long time.
How should a child sit in the car?
Children have to be transported in a special child seat against the direction of travel. Front passenger seat is only allowed if the front passenger airbag is deactivated, however it is not really recommended.
As for the child seat, make sure it is both comfortable and sturdy. Make sure it fits perfectly in the back seat and when strapped in it does not slip. In case of emergency if you need to remove the child quickly it is easy enough to do so.
You can get quality children seats in specialty stores or even on amazon. Speaking from personal experience I found Eddie Bauer XRS 65 reviews to be greatly satisfying and have been using it since then. However, you can go for another seat if it fits your needs more perfectly.
Accessories for the car
A few purchases in addition to the Child seat make sense to prepare the car for the journey with the Child:
- A base, for example, with which the Child seat can be locked in place, makes loading and unloading the Child much more convenient than fastening it with a belt. This base station is usually connected to the body of the car with the Isofix attachment, which provides additional security. Slipping of the seat is hardly possible any more.
- A sun visor for the window next to the Child and a “sun sail” if one is not integrated in the Child seat. Both protect from the sun and calm your Child.
- A rear-view mirror, if the Child rides in the back seat. This rear-view mirror is usually attached to the headrest above the Child seat and allows you to have eye contact with your child while driving.
Entertainment for the Child
There are several ways to calm your child down or even to distract them:
- If the Child is in the back seat, having a passenger next to them is ideal. This can calm and occupy the Child.
- A mobile over the Child seat and an elastic band with gripping toys that are stretched over the seat in front of the Child (like with a stroller) have proven effective.
- Music can calm your child – whether from a music box, a CD or a mobile phone app.
More tips for traveling with a Child
- It is best to clear the car completely and park the car in the exit direction before you pack the Child in the child seat. Your child should be strapped in and then the journey should begin.
- For a longer journey with a Child, the following should be at hand: a drink, food, the pacifier (if necessary), toys, the cuddly toy, a blanket, wet wipes, as well as, just in case, the diaper bag and a complete set of Child clothes to change.
- Do not dress your Child too warm in the car. On the one hand, many Children sweat in their child seat, and on the other hand, the belts no longer fit optimally when a Child is wearing a jacket that is too thick. A warm blanket is the better alternative here.
- Take breaks from all journeys if your Child screams. On longer car journeys, you should ideally base your own meal breaks on the Child.
- Include your Child’s sleeping and waking times in your travel considerations.
- No matter how much a Child likes driving the car – at some point even the most patient infants will have enough. For this reason, you shouldn’t undertake to travel too long a day. Or you drive at night when your child is sleeping anyway.
- If your child is still very young or cannot cope with driving at all, then the train is an alternative. Children are often comparatively easy to care for, even when traveling by air.