As new parents, the thought of driving with a newborn can be both stressful and nerve-wracking. You are no longer just responsible for yourself but for the life and safety of your baby in the back seat. While driving was once an easy part of your day, you now see danger lurking at every corner. From non attentive drivers to busy highways and unsafe road conditions, what you used to be unfazed by is now causing you dread and apprehension. However, since you can’t control what goes on outside of your car, it is critical to limit distractions and stay laser focused when behind the wheel.
Distracted Drivers are Dangerous Drivers
According to the Federal Communications Commission, nine people are killed, and over 1000 people are injured daily in the United States due to distracted driving. Since you now have a baby on board, nothing is more important than keeping your eyes on the road.
Common Driving Distractions
- Cognitive distractions- Anything from lack of sleep, daydreaming, and deep thought can distract drivers.
- Phone use- Whether it is checking directions, changing a song, texting, or calling, cell phone use in the car is one of the biggest distractions facing drivers today.
- Reaching for an object- From water bottles, phones, and purses, reaching for an object can take your eyes off the road and lead to dire consequences.
- Eating and drinking- While sometimes necessary, eating and drinking can cause a significant distraction and must be avoided when possible.
While these are the most common distractions drivers face, driving with a newborn baby can be even more distracting. From your baby crying, to your will to check on them, driving with a newborn brings a whole new wave of distractions.
So whether you were just blessed with a newborn or are just preparing yourself for their arrival, here are the most effective tips to minimize distractions while driving with a newborn.
Pull Over To Calm Your Baby
As a new parent, there is nothing more heartbreaking than the sound of your newborn baby crying. However, as much as your maternal instincts tell you to comfort them immediately, it is essential to wait until you can pull over. Reaching to the backseat while driving will not only take your eyes off the road but will affect your grip on the wheel. For the safety of you and your child, make sure you always pull over to comfort and soothe them.
Feed and Change Before You Go
One of the best ways to avoid distractions with your baby is to make sure they are as comfortable as possible before your trip. Since hunger and dirty diapers are some of the main causes of baby discomfort, it is vital to make sure they are well fed and changed before you strap them in their seat. In addition, the best time to drive your baby is when they are tired, and feeding your baby beforehand may encourage them to fall asleep.
Don’t Use Baby Mirrors
While the idea of baby mirrors may sound like an easy way to keep an eye on your baby, they are actually quite dangerous while driving. If you do use baby mirrors, you will subconsciously keep looking at your baby. While it may seem like a harmless gesture, every moment you look at them is another second where your eyes are not on the road. Even if you don’t use baby mirrors, make an effort to resist adjusting your rear view mirror to check on your baby.
Use Sun Shades
Aside from hunger and dirty diapers, the sun shining in your newborn’s eyes can turn them into a fussy baby. The best way to avoid this is to apply sunshades on your back windows to block out the sun’s bright rays. However, it is important to note that sunshades that come with suction cups can easily slip off and end up falling on your baby. Therefore you should always invest in sun shades that clip onto the top of your windows.
Know When To Stay Home
As a parent, there is nothing more important than the safety of your baby. If they are having a bad day and a temper tantrum is inevitable, consider staying home or waiting until your spouse comes back. From doctor’s appointments to work meetings and any other responsibility, everything should come second to your child’s safety.
Make Sure You Are Insured
On top of limiting distractions, it is crucial to make sure your car is properly insured. If anything were to happen, you want to make sure that any medical expenses are covered. In addition, having a newborn baby can get expensive, and you shouldn’t have to pay ridiculous prices just to be insured. Consider comparing your rates to find a car insurance plan that fits your budget so you can have more funds for diapers and food.
A Safe Baby Is A Happy Baby
The best way to ensure your baby lives a long, happy life is to make sure they are protected at all times. Following these tips and limiting distractions will help you stay focused and keep you and your baby safe.