Everything is doubled up. There is a magic word known to parents of several children and which is particularly important to first time parents: “planning”. Using common sense and preparing things with plenty of time, a journey with the family can be a pleasure.
The first thing to keep in mind is the safety of the children. From your first trip, when leaving hospital to go home, the babies must use a suitable child restraining system that is approved and appropriate for their weight and height.
You should therefore buy seats from group 0 (from 0 to 13 kilos), ensuring that you buy one that can be easily installed in your vehicle, installed in the rear seats and rear facing. This is obligatory for babies and is also the safest way to carry babies or children up to 3 or 4 years of age. If you are worried about not being able to see them, you can install a rear view mirror, which allows you to see them without having to turn around. When they are bigger this allows you to monitor whether their restraining system is properly adjusted. The mirror must be light and be firmly fixed to the vehicle ensuring it can’t fall off or be a hazard when braking or in a collision.
If you are about to embark on a journey-, here are a few tips to help it go smoothly:
- Avoid, if possible busy days and the rush hour.
- Try to coordinate the journey with the time they sleep. The time flies for sleeping children.
- Prepare a travel bag with everything you might need, diapers, wet wipes, dummy’s, bibs….and take a smaller bag with you in the car with whatever you may need to hand. The small bag should be held in place with a free seatbelt for example or anywhere in the vehicle where it can’t be a danger to the children when braking hard or in an accident (the floor of the vehicle or under the front seat). When you stop you will be able to access the bigger bag.
- Plan your stops before setting out. It is advisable to stop at least every couple of hours to allow the baby to leave the seat and move around freely for a while. If you include a blanket, it’s always useful when you stop.
- If you can, get a portable DVD player. Their favorite cartoons will keep them entertained, relaxed and cause them to be less conscious of a change to their routine, making the trip safer. Anything else that you have in the interior of the vehicle must be firmly fixed in place so it can’t be thrown around when braking hard or in a collision. (the best DVD players are those incorporated in the front headrests or if not use a support that is sold and guaranteed by the manufacturer of the vehicle).
- Take some of their favorite toys but ensure that they are soft and light and have no hard edges.
- Don’t forget your first aid kit. The probability of babies having repeated bouts of illness is high.
- Careful when it’s hot. Air conditioning is a great remedy but don’t abuse it. Put sunshades on the windows and don’t wrap the child up. Child seats enfold the body and give a greater sensation of heat.
- Be patient. If one of the children plays up, the other will usually follow. If they throw a tantrum, it is best to stop and comfort them till they get over it.
Remember, if they are happy travellers, in all probability you will be too. A comfortable journey is also a safe one., es también un viaje más seguro.