Planning any long summer road trips or just spending more time in the car now that your baby is more active? The American Academy of Pediatricians recommendations keeping your child in a rear facing car seat as long as possible. Car crashes are the number one cause of death for children under 14 years old and rear facing car seats help to spread frontal crash forces over the whole area of a child’s back, head and neck. Young children have big heads and small necks, rear facing seats prevent the head from snapping relative to the body in a frontal crash. Those are some pretty serious facts that you don’t want to mess around with. So rear facing it is! Now how do you deal with that crying child in the backseat that can’t see their mommy? Use these tips to stay sane while keeping your baby happy and safe rear facing:
1. Find a mirror set up that works. There are lots of different mirror options out there that are set up so that you can see your baby and they can see you. Try several varieties until you find the one that works best with your vehicle.
2. New and interesting toys. Keep a basket of entertaining objects in the front seat that you can choose from to pass back to your baby without having to turn around. The items don’t have to be toys (as long as they don’t present a choking risk) so get creative; random household items work great. Keep these items reserved for “car-only” and rotate them out regularly so they will always be new and exciting to your child.
3. Soothing Music. Find out what kind of music or radio station soothes your child and preset that station to #1. It’s also a good idea to keep a cd that they like handy. We discovered on a long road trip that our baby loved Norah Jones. When she got fussy, we’d just crank it up and she would fall right to sleep.
4. Get a strap for their pacifier or favorite teether. Does your child take a pacifier or have a favorite toy to gnaw on? Get one of those straps that clips onto their clothing and always remember to attach it before you hit the road. This will ensure that they don’t lose their favorite comfort item somewhere in the back seat when you are going 65mph and can’t get to it.
5. Keep them company. If you are fortunate enough to have another adult riding with you, take turns sitting in the back. You can even bring along the family dog to entertain the kids in the back. If you are traveling solo and baby starts to fuss just try to stay calm (I know, easier said than done) and talk them through it until you can pull over and calm them down.
Writer | Blogger | Mama of two, Bryn spends mornings savoring her daily latte and evenings counting down to her next caffeine fix. A Texan at heart, she and her husband are now raising their two kids on the Oregon Coast and eternally in search of a decent margarita. You can find her on Facebook or oversharing on a daily basis on her blog, Her Own Wings.
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