Long car journeys with a baby: how to best prepare

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Philippe Gloaguen
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Tips for long car journeys with a baby

Long trips by car with a newborn: Yes or no? Sooner or later it happens to all new parents to ask themselves this question. Obviously the answer is yes, but by organizing the travel itinerary in the best possible way and preparing everything necessary to make the journey by car with infants safe, easy, pleasant for everyone.





During a long journey, in fact, it is necessary that the newborn is placed in maximum safety, it is important to have a bottle, pacifier and toys at hand to entertain or calm him if necessary. And it is essential to have the possibility, during the itinerary, to make stops to change the diaper, give food, break the journey with the smallest of the family.

In this guide he gives you all the tips on how to best plan long car journeys with babies.

Newborn in the car, carrycot or carrycot?

First of all, it is essential never to hold the child in your arms during car journeys, whether it is short or long journeys. It is essential that the newborn is put in safety in the car from the first weeks of life. 



There are two safe devices allowed by the highway code: carrycot and baby car seat. Both can be used in the car, even for long journeys, as long as they are properly fixed to the seat inside the passenger compartment.

The spacecraft, for example, it must be fixed using a special kit, which is provided when the carrycot is purchased or which, alternatively, must be purchased separately. The carrycot kits include specific hooks to prevent the baby from being tossed around once in motion. The carrycot, however, will be positioned parallel to the rear seats and will be fine for carrying children up to 10 kg.

The number 2 alternative for safe travel with the little ones of the house is the egg. The latter can be fixed to the car in various ways, most of the time it has a base that is fixed to the seat through the isofix system and allows you to conveniently attach, with a simple click, the car seat every time you get into the car.

The car seat can also be placed on the passenger seat, but only if the airbags are deactivated.

For the first weeks of life, a reducer must be applied to the egg that allows the newborn to assume a correct and non-dangerous position.

Destinations for travel with babies by car

What trips can be organized with babies? The restrictions are not many, it takes common sense, of course, and to choose fairly quiet destinations, which can respond well to all the needs of the little ones. It is usually suggested to do not leave in the first 10 days of life of the baby, this is because it is a very delicate phase, in which weight loss could occur, jaundice could appear, it is the phase in which breastfeeding is starting, therefore, only in particular cases, first consulting the pediatrician, you can leave in this very early stage of life.



For the rest there are no ideal destinations. A newborn can be carried the sea like in the mountains, even if the countryside is perhaps the ideal place for mild temperatures and average altitude. In fact, it is not recommended to expose newborns to the sun, and to take them to places where temperatures are too high, just as it is not recommended to take children under 12 months over 1500 meters in height.

A nice trip in the countryside or on the hills of our country, between Lazio, Umbria, Tuscany, Emilia the city, for example, could be an excellent idea.

How to organize the car for a long trip with babies

Once the destination has been chosen and the best device to secure the baby during the trip has been identified, all that remains is to organize the car, inserting everything you need inside it.

Let's start with a thorough one car cleaning: Before traveling with a small child, it is advisable to have the car washed inside and out.

What should not be forgotten: surely the necessary to change the baby, from the diapers to the necessary changes to keep the baby always clean and dry. Very useful are the soaked wipes, bibs (also disposable), sanitizing detergents to be able to sanitize bottles, pacifiers and other baby items. A cover (or more than one) to cover it from cold or air conditioning. 

Never forget the pacifier, the doll with which he sleeps or all those accessories that are a safety for the newborn at the time of the lullaby and beyond. 

What to do if she starts crying and wants to be in her arms?

It may happen that in the middle of the journey, perhaps after sleeping for a while, the baby wakes up, starts complaining and to cry. What to do?

First of all, a mother always knows why her baby is crying: is it hungry? Then better approach and breastfeed him in a service area. It has the dirty or wet diaper and does it bother him? Also in this case it is good to stop at the first rest area and change the diaper to help the little one find peace of mind.

Does he cry because he is bored, tired of sitting in the egg or lying in the carrycot? He cries because would like to come in her arms? In this case it is good to take the ace out of your sleeve: the pacifier if babies are used to taking it, or alternatively that doll, that piece of fabric that has the magical power to reassure the little ones.

If, despite all this, the baby does not calm down, you can try a music cd: prepare at home, before departure, a cd with relaxing music, lullabies, songs that you usually sing to the newborn to make him fall asleep.

Last option may be to download an app that reproduces the so-called "white noise". The "white noise" is none other than the noise of the hairdryer, the microwave, the waves of the sea. A continuous and constant noise that has the power of babies. It is so called by analogy to white light, which is the sum of all the colors of the iris: white noise is the sum of all audible frequencies.

Medicines to take when traveling with infants

When you leave with a child in general, with a newborn even more, it is good to take those with you drugs and parapharmaceuticals that might come in handy. From ointments against the redness of the bottom, to the physiological solution for nasal washes, from creams to protect the skin from the sun, to those to keep insects away.

Also consult your pediatrician about the possibility of wearing a antiepiretico, which can be administered in case of fever. A good advice, before leaving for long trips with newborns, is to make an appointment with the child's doctor, explain the type of itinerary you will take and ask if it might be useful to bring some specific medicines with you.

What you need for a car trip with a baby

In summary, therefore, for a I travel by car with a newborn you must:

  • carrycot or car seat attached with kits and safety systems permitted by the highway code
  • necessary for the change of the baby: diapers, change
  • cover to protect it from cold and air conditioning
  • wet wipes and handkerchiefs for every occurrence
  • pacifier, baby bottle
  • toys, puppets to entertain him
  • drugs and parapharmaceuticals recommended by the pediatrician

To this list we add the serenity of mum and dad: if the little one feels that he is in a peaceful environment, free from anxiety and fears, he will experience the long journey by car without problems.

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