As a parent, driving gets a whole new meaning when you have a child in the car. It goes beyond arriving at your destination. It also translates to both you and your child’s safety, and fellow road users as well. Additionally, they also watch and might mimic your behaviors – if they are at an age where they understand such happenings.
More often than not, you might have several distractions running through your mind, especially with a child. Such thoughts, especially when driving, can be catastrophic. It is not time to remember when your baby last drank water, or if they did their homework- quite far from the truth. When you get behind the wheel, let your mind concentrate fully on the road. Do you have endless calls that seem like an emergency? Pull off the road and respond to them. Avoid texting too.
Have Enough Sleep Prior
Enough sleep is vital, especially if going for a long-distance journey. Think of what could happen when you accidentally fall asleep when driving. Additionally, it would help to embark on the journey quite early for long drives to avoid over speeding. If you feel tired and keep falling asleep, get off the road, and rest. A power nap will do you a lot of good. You can also ask someone else to drive you or take a cab.
Child Safety Seats are Essential
Never underestimate the role of children’s safety car seats, even when doing a short drive. Additionally, you can incorporate car seats that you can double up as strollers. Check the bundles here on what suits your baby. Remember to use the right car seat, concerning the age of your child. When buying a car seat, check out their bundles and purchase from a reliable manufacturing brand. As your child develops, they transition from rear-facing seats to forward-facing car seats, and finally booster seats. A booster seat is applicable when your child is old enough to leave the child’s car seat before sitting on the car seat on their own.
Make sure you adjust the child’s car seat appropriately. Furthermore, your child should also sit securely in the seat. The straps should firmly be in place. Please place it in the back seat and ensure your child is comfortable before you start to drive. After strapping your baby to the car seat, make sure to latch the seat belt.
Never Leave Baby Alone for a Quick Stopover
You only need to grab a few essentials from the departmental store a few blocks from your home, and your child can stay in the car- wrong. No matter how fast you think you will take in your stop, never leave your child by themselves in the car.
Accidents can happen at any time, and it would be unfortunate. Imagine a scenario where the car overheats and your child is inside. Babies have different temperature regulations compared to adults. However, sometimes you might be busy with a lot on your mind, and you forget you have a child at the back of your car. To rectify this, you can always try placing an item you would need when stepping out of the vehicle. It could be your car keys or even purse.
Kids Learn Through Actions
Sometimes, you might think children do not see what you are doing, but that is quite far from the truth. They watch and learn. How you drive as a parent will influence how they interpret driving experiences when they are older. Before taking off, buckle up your belt, and ask them to do the same. Additionally, follow all traffic rules as by the law. If you see someone breaking a traffic law, point out to your child and remind them that it is wrong. Become the role model they would want to emulate when they start driving someday.
Sometimes, Kids Misbehave
You are following all the appropriate road rules as a diligent driver. However, your baby is giving you no peace by making endless demands, being restless, making your driving experience a nightmare. Before embarking on your journey, ensure you have adequately addressed your baby’s needs. For instance, kindly ensure they are well fed and also comfortable in their diapers. If your child is older, prep them too. They can also visit the restroom to relieve themselves before starting the journey. In other instances, your baby will make endless demands to have things their way. Maybe, asking for a snack or drink.
For whatever reason, never multitask by attending to them and still drive. Be firm yet gentle with how you relate with your child when they are mischievous. You can also apply delayed gratification. Promise them that if they don’t disturb you when driving, you will give them their favorite snack- maybe strawberry ice cream. If your child needs some immediate help, pull over first and attend to them. Afterward, you can get behind the wheel. Remember, safety comes first.