For many parents, staying at home with a baby is challenge enough; venturing out with one is a prospect that can fill even the most adventurous soul with trepidation. Yet, you can never postpone all your trips. So go – but not before you've planned, planned and planned some more.
Generally, don't start a trip empty-handed. Keep a bag packed and ready to go whenever you leave home. Include nappies or an extra pair of underpants; wipes for convenient hand washing; a bib; a change of clothes and shoes if a toileting accident is a possibility; some plastic bags and a selection of portable distractions (books, crayons and pad, a favourite stuffed animal, doll, truck). Also carry on a snack, dry cereal, crackers, muffins or fresh fruits) and a drink.
With longer periods on the road - either by land, by air, by sea or by rail – you'll need extra amounts of the previous items plus a mini-medicine chest, a lovey or comfort object and may be music and stories to go.
Never start without the car seat
A rear-facing car safety seat should be used until your child has reached the highest weight and/or height allowed by his car safety seat, but at a minimum until your child is at least one year of age and weighs at least 20 pounds. It is best to ride rear-facing as long as possible.
A child who has outgrown her car safety seat with a harness (she has reached the top weight or height allowed for her seat, her shoulders are above the top harness slots, or her ears have reached the top of the seat) should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle's seat belt fits properly (usually when the child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 to 12 years of age).
Check this link for more information on car seats
Don't drive your toddler crazy
Plan to stop driving and give yourself and your child a break about every two hours.
Use rest stops for some light exercises and stretching can be refreshing.
Children can easily become restless or irritable when on a long road trip. Try to keep them occupied by pointing out interesting sights along the way and by bringing soft, lightweight toys and favorite CDs for a sing-along.
- Never leave your child alone in a car, even for a minute. Temperatures inside the car can reach deadly levels in minutes, and the child can die of heat stroke.
- All children under 13 years of age should ride in the rear seat of vehicles.
- Never place a child in a rear-facing car safety seat in the front seat of a vehicle that has an airbag.
- Set a good example by always wearing a seat belt.
- Get medical advice. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about medications available to reduce nausea. Some medications can leave a child drowsy, but if you want to schedule your driving time around nap time, this may allow for a smoother ride for the child.
- Plan your route along major highways instead of city or winding routes. This avoids the many stops and provides for a more stable ride. Take frequent stops
- Avoid an empty tummy. Being hungry can lead to a feeling of nausea and headaches. Have plenty of healthy snacks available and lots of water. Avoid sugary or extremely salty foods. Avoid carbonated beverages as these add to a feeling of bloating. Skip acidic fruit and juice. Greasy foods can aggravate motion sickness.
- Make sure the car is a comfortable temperature for all occupants. Individual battery powered fans or spray bottles can cool kids down as they need and are fun too. Fresh air from an open window can minimize motion sickness, as well as watching the horizon from a seat with view.
- Encourage napping
- Distract. Sometimes getting one's mind off one's stomach can help. Get toys, CDs, songs, talk, spotting games, and so on.
- Secure sea-bands, acupressure wristbands and copper bracelets help with some people, but they work best if worn about 2 hour before travel time.
- Be prepared for the worse. Pack some large zip-lock plastic bags. Also have an extra set of clothing and plenty of wipes too.
You can find more tips on safety regarding bicycles, skateboards and boating in our monthly newsletter. Register to receive our summer newsletter for tips on the most common summer problems.
Your Baby checkup
what are the vaccinations that he should have taken until now?
Generate a report for my baby.
Track Your Baby Vaccinations
Find Your Baby name
Al Sheikh Zayed