In this article we will discuss a few facts about how soon can a newborn travel long distance by car.
People usually are of the view that you should avoid travelling with a newborn but as per the recommendations of most doctors, newborns must be kept away from crowded places until his/her immune system develops fully. According to experts, there can be risk of infections and colds when newborns are taken on a drive or travel by train or plane as their immune system is not developed fully to resist all these things.
When is it safe to travel with a newborn baby?
Usually doctors recommend not taking babies to crowded places before they are three months old as they can be at risk to get infected by cold or other options due to their weak or underdeveloped immune system. Before travelling with your newborn you must wait until its immune system develops fully.
For a full term baby this waiting period can be one month to three months but this period can be longer in case of premature babies as they may have breathing problem due to problem in their lungs or heart. So before planning a trip with your newborn you must consult your doctor to ensure whether it will be safe for him/her or not
How soon after birth can a baby travel by car?
In fact road trips are not a problem with newborns as they usually arrive their home in a car still it is better to travel with the by car after fully development of their immune system. But if you have to travel with your newborn due to some unavoidable circumstances then you must follow the tips provided here under.
Tips for travelling with a newborn
Feel comfortable while driving: If your baby has a sleeping schedule then you should match your travel time with his/her sleeping time. To make the infant comfortable you should dress him with loose pajamas and other clothing and use blankets to keep him cozy while traveling. To keep him away from the sun you can use removable shades on the car window. You should adjust the temperature inside the car to allow the infant to sleep comfortably.
Take practice trips: Instead of taking long distance rides with your newborn you should initially take short trips to know what is better for him/her. Your short trips will also tell you about the time your infant will feel comfortable in the car seat as well as the supplies you may need while traveling.
These tips can make it easy to travel with a newborn by car.
First car ride with newborn
While going on the first ride with a newborn you will have to make some arrangements to make your ride fun and relaxing.
Be ready to wash clothes: Though babies need a lesser number of outfits than adults but they must be clean as they can be ruined frequently by vomiting etc. So you should be prepared to wash the clothes of your newborn promptly especially if you are staying for several days and a laundry facility is not available nearby.
Make short schedules: It will be easier for you to make instant adjustments if you make short schedules for daily activities. You must give time to everyone with you to unwind even if you are on a vacation trip with your newborn by ending your routine activities earlier. You should not continue your activities if you fail to achieve what you want as it can create a stressful situation for everyone.
Choose an easy destination: While traveling with a newborn you should avoid going to crowded, loud, and over-exciting destinations so that you can enjoy with your youngest companion. A resort with family suites or large rooms or a retreat at a beach can be the right destination while traveling with your infant. You can make your ride more enjoyable for everyone by keeping it simple even if your family may like destinations with a lot of activities and over stimulating crowds.
Take turns: While taking care of your infant on the ride you should make arrangements with others with you to handle your baby turn by turn so that everyone can have fun.
Take care of yourself: While enjoying a trip with your newborn you should also take care of yourself while traveling it will help in increasing your stamina and energy. You should avoid eating sugary snacks and do exercises to reenergize yourself instantly and easily.
Relax: If you are facing an unexpected situation on the trip then instead of panicking you should stay flexible and relaxed to figure out things amicably.
Trust yourself: You should trust yourself while soothing and calming your baby even if you have spent a lot of energy on him. You should close your eyes and breathe deeply to control yourself if you think that you cannot handle the situation.
Traveling with a 2-week old baby by car
Though it is not recommended by doctors to travel with a 2 weeks old baby but if it is very urgent then instead of getting panic you should handle things leisurely instead of making hurry. You should rent a comfortable and spacious car and take as many breaks as you want to depend upon the time of travel.
Use a car seat: To keep your baby safe while traveling you can use a car seat so that he can sleep in it during the ride. But you should not use a car seat as an alternative place to sleep. You must take your baby out of the car seat as soon as you reach your destination to make him sleep on a proper flat surface. For the first six months, a Moses basket of a cot can be the best place for a baby to sleep when you are not on a ride.
Though there is no hard and fast rule in this regard still it is not recommended by safety experts and child healthcare providers to keep your baby in a car seat for over 2 hours at a stretch. You should frequently take him out of the car seat to make him feel better.
Take breaks regularly: If you are traveling with your infant for a long time then you must regularly take breaks not only to check your baby and make him feel relaxed but also to move around and stretch your legs.
Keep an eye on the baby: Whether you are traveling alone or with an adult companion you must monitor the activities of your baby even if he is sleeping in the car seat. You should stop the car and take the baby out of the car seat if he slumps forward or changes his position. You can continue your journey after repositioning your baby.
8-hour car trip with newborn
Though it is not safe to travel for 8 hours at a stretch with your newborn but if you have to do it then you must follow the tips discussed here under.
Avoid carrying your infant in your lap: Your baby can slip from your lap and his head can hit any nearby surface in case a harder brake is applied to the car. You must have a proper baby seat in your car to keep your baby safe and secure for a long time.
Drive comfortably: While on a long trip you should drive comfortably instead of making hurry. You should take breaks to breastfeed the baby and let him burp, change his diaper, or calming the crying baby by stopping your car every now and then. If you have to take your baby out o the car seat then you must stop the car as it can be dangerous to take him out of his seat while the car is moving.
Make sure the air conditioner works: Any change in temperature in the car can be harmful to a newborn even if the car is moving and the baby is sleeping. So before going on a drive for 8 hours you must ensure that the air conditioner is in proper working condition. It will help in keeping you and your baby comfortable throughout the journey.
Feed your baby frequently: Though moving car works like a cradle for newborns as they can sleep for a longer time than usual in a smoothly moving car still you should feed your baby after every 3-4 hours even while he is sleeping. It will help in making the long trip shorter for the newborn as he will feel relaxed by getting breastfeed in between.
Road trip with newborn
While planning a road trip with a newborn you will have to take some careful steps like:
Use the backseat for playing with your baby: At least for some time, you can get into the backseat to play with your newborn if you are traveling with an adult companion who can handle your car in the meantime. It will not only help you to relax your muscles but also improve your bond with your baby. You should bring some suitable toys with you while traveling with your newborn.
Take it easy: While planning a road trip with a newborn you should prefer short trips as they may not have the patience for long rides. According to experts, short trips are the best for babies. You should plan your long daytime trips during the nap time of your newborn so that you can enjoy your trip when your baby is enjoying his sleep. You can manage your journey with infants by taking breaks for eating and playing.
Ensure the safety of your family members: While on a road trip with your infant your priority should be to reach your destination safely. You should ensure the maintenance of your car by changing its oil etc. so that roadside emergencies can be avoided. You should also check your emergency kit to ensure it has medicines, bandages, and other useful items like a flashlight, etc. which you may need at the time of emergency.
Keep supplies close at hand: If you are traveling with your infant for several days then you might have everything required to survive packed in a large suitcase. But if you need somethingimmediately to take care of your infant while on the run then it will be difficult for you to stop the car and dig into your suitcase.
So to avoid such a situation you must keep all the essential supplies in a kit within your easy approach so that you can easily get them when required. Your kit must include a packet of wipes, 2-3 diapers with a portable changing pad, 2-3 small toys, bottles of breast milk or formula milk, an extra blanket, and a portable sound machine, etc.
Bring a bucket: While on a road trip with your newborn as well as toddlers you must bring a small plastic bucket which is usually used for pail works on the beach and keep it within your reach so that you can easily use it if your baby is suffering from stomach flu or motion sickness.
Avoid scenic routes: People usually choose scenic routes while on road trips with their family to enjoy the beauty of nature but at such routes, it becomes difficult to get any help when required. So while planning a road trip with a newborn you must choose a route where you can frequently get round-the-clock gas stations, food, service areas, and restrooms.