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BLOWING BUBBLES, TIME TRAVELLING AND CREATING A TREASURE BAG

The unusual but effective guide to stress-free travelling with babies 

Travelling with children can be taxing, but a leading parenting expert has revealed six tips to make the car journey less stressful during the last week of the school holidays. 

Sophie Pickles (Parent Coach and Early Years Expert) –  in partnership with global baby brand Munchkin – has given advice to parents who may be feeling anxious about travelling with babies, especially for those that may not have ventured afar due to lockdown. 

She recommends blowing bubbles in the car, coinciding journeys with nap time and creating a treasure bag full of unusual toys, as just some of the ways to keep babies entertained to ensure a peaceful and safe journey. 

She explains: “Lockdown has had a huge impact on babies, and if they’ve never been anywhere before, then a car journey, even for a couple of hours, is going to be particularly straining for both baby and parents. 

“They will be much more prone to fits of crying and meltdowns, because they’re now in an unfamiliar routine. New places, new settings and new people can even affect tiny little babies. There is a lot of sensory stimulation, which can be incredibly over-stimulating and parents can end up with babies they cannot calm down.” 

To avoid this whilst in the car, Sophie has devised a list of unusual tips mums and dads may not have yet tried.

Blowing bubbles 

To occupy babies, holding a bubble wand to the central air vent in the car to create bubbles can be a great way of passing some time. Make sure this is done through the vent in the car that blows directly into the passengers in the back, not towards the driver. 

Time travel 

Time your journey so it coincides with nap time. Babies are out of their normal routine when travelling and this can cause disruption and restlessness, therefore venturing out in line with their usual nap routine can make things easier all round. 

For babies that are over one years old, it can be helpful to travel overnight too, meaning they will hopefully sleep and the car journey will be less stressful. 

Create a treasure bag 

This is great for babies six months+ but also toddlers and young children too. Create a bag full of toys that the children have never seen before to create interest and intrigue. It won’t work if you use the same old toys, however if the toys are new, it’s a good idea to pull these out of the bag every half hour and give them to children so they can explore the textures, feels and smells of the toy  – it will be a great distraction. 

Some good ideas are spoons, such as Munchkin’s soft tip infant spoon, a hair brush or even a spice jar filled with rice – the more obscure and colourful the better! 

Mirror their sleep environment 

It’s important to replicate what you do at home, as much as possible – whilst travelling and while on holiday. Babies might sleep for two hours at home in the cot, but this might change to only 40 minutes in the car. 

Make sure it’s dark by having a car blind up such as The Brita by Munchkin White Hot® Sun Safety Shade as this will help keep the sun out and ensure it’s a cosier environment. Take a white noise machine and attach it to their car seat and think about things such as a sleeping bag, so you can dress babies like they’re going to sleep. 

Create mess free snacks and drinks 

If you’re heading off on a relatively long journey, then it’s important to think about snacks. For babies over six months, feed them foods which won’t create too much mess such as dried cheerios, raisins or bananas. 

It’s also worth thinking about liquids and investing in a spill proof cup, such as the Munchkin Miracle 360 cup, which automatically seals when a child stops drinking – perfect for those bumpy roads. 

Safety is paramount 

Before setting off on your journey, be aware of car seat restrictions. Babies should not be in a car seat for more than two hours at a time, so it’s important to plan out your journey ahead and take this into consideration. If you’re on your own, it’s always a good idea to use a car mirror so you can keep checking at all times. 

Take regular breaks and remember to take your baby out of the car seat and lie them flat, so they can stretch their legs and have a play. 

Diana Griffiths, Marketing Director at Munchkin added: “Travelling with children can be tiring, so it’s really important to consider all aspects of the trip before you set off. 

“With the added pressure from lockdown, this is all new for babies. We’re delighted to partner with Sophie to offer parents real life guidance and helpful tips to make travelling this bank holiday less stressful.” 

To view the full selection of Munchkin products, please visit: https://www.munchkin.co.uk/