5 Mistakes to Avoid on the Road with Your New Baby
That first drive home from the hospital with a newborn is something first (or second or third) time parents will inevitably stress over. Having your tiny human in the backseat can make the whole drive more nerve-wracking than trying to parallel park on your driver’s test. If the idea of driving your little one home is making you break out in hives, we’re here to help. Keep reading for 5 mistakes to avoid on the road with your new baby.
1. Not double-checking the car seat.
Installing your baby’s car seat securely in the back seat of your car is the most important thing to do before driving away from the hospital. You might never want to put your LO down, but they need to be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat whenever the car is in motion. Avoid any stress at the hospital and have your installation double-checked by a car seat technician.
2. Driving distracted.
Keep your eyes on the road whenever you’re driving. We get it – you want to spend every moment looking at your baby’s precious face but driving safely is the priority. Instead of turning around for a quick peek, have someone sit in the backseat and keep a close eye on baby so the driver can focus on the road ahead.
3. Taking a long drive without any breaks.
Your infant doesn’t have the muscle strength to hold themselves up yet, and sitting in a car seat for an extended period can put a strain on their developing muscles. If you’re taking a longer drive with baby, make sure to stop for breaks at least every couple of hours so your LO can chill out of their seat for a while.
4. Putting blankets or jackets underneath baby or between baby and the harness straps.
Especially with winter babies, your first instinct might be to bundle them up like a little burrito before buckling them into their car seat. They need to be kept warm, right? But you shouldn’t put anything in the seat with baby. The harness should be snug against baby’s tiny body without any slack – adding bulky layers between them and the harness can create the illusion they’re snug as a bug even when there’s still room. Instead, place a blanket over top of the car seat to keep them cozy.
5. Not warning other drivers about your precious cargo.
Few feelings are as terrifying as the moment a parent puts their baby in the car for the first time. Mostly because, no matter how safely you drive, you can’t control other drivers. But you can let them know you have a little one riding with you. Our iconic Baby on Board sign adheres to car windows and reminds others to drive safely.