Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Traveling with a Baby: Car Travel
State law requires that you ALWAYS use a car seat when you
take your baby or child under 4 years of age in the car.
When your baby learns from the beginning that car travel is
always in the car seat, there won't be much protest. If you
are not consistent, you can expect continual problems.
If you are planning a long car trip (over an hour), here are
some ways to keep your baby interested and occupied:
- Using ribbons or yarn (no longer than 12 inches), hang
toys from the clothes hooks in the back seat.
- Tape some pictures facing your baby so he has something
interesting to look at.
- Tie some toys on elastic or short string and pin or tie
them to the car seat. Your baby can enjoy the toys
without requiring retrieval every 5 minutes.
OTHER HINTS FOR CAR TRAVEL:
- Take a break at least every 1 and 1/2 hours unless the
baby is sleeping--then stop as soon as he wakes up.
- Cover the car seat with a beach towel or a purchased seat
cover to prevent the metal parts of the car seat from
getting hot in the sun and burning your baby. A cover is
also much more comfortable in winter than cold, brittle
- Babies don't like the sun in their face any more than we
do. Use either a wide brimmed hat or block the sun with
cardboard taped to the car seat and/or window. (Make sure
you can still see out of the car!)
- Keep a wet washcloth or towelettes in the car for sticky,
sweaty baby hands and faces.
- Bring snack foods for your baby. Bagels are good for
babies who are teething because they don't make many
- Bring snack foods for yourself and for older children in
case your baby decides to sleep through scheduled dinner
stops and you decide to make time rather than stop and
wake the baby up.
- Always keep cold water in a Thermos and bring disposable