There's no denying that having a child transforms your life! You have to be more aware of what you're doing, especially when your baby becomes a toddler. If you own a car, it's likely your son or daughter will come with you on your travels.
The thing about toddlers and cars is that it's not always a winning combination. Some kids will love going out in the car while others loathe the prospect! You want to make sure your toddler enjoys going out in the car. But, what can you do to prevent a full-on meltdown from them? And how can you make sure they are as safe as possible on the road?
In today's blog post you'll learn some of the top tips that I use myself with my car. Here is what you need to know:
Make sure you have the right car for the job
First of all, you need to ensure your vehicle is up to scratch. If you drive around in a small hatchback, it's time to upgrade. An ideal vehicle is a people carrier like the Vauxhall Zafira or the Renault Espace.
Sure, you can get by using a smaller car. But, you need to think about all the cargo you must carry in the car. For example, you'll need space for your toddler's pram, changing bag and spare clothes. And let's not forget things like toys, snacks and so forth.
As you can imagine, carrying that amount of stuff in a small hatchback can be a challenge. It's even worse if you need to carry other cargo like shopping, boxes or suitcases!
It's possible to upgrade to a bigger car without paying more money. Spend some time looking at sites like AutoTrader and eBay to find the right family car for your needs.
Ensure your car is safe before you travel
It doesn't matter whether you're going on a short trip to the next town or a long motorway journey. What does matter is your car is safe and roadworthy. Just because your vehicle has an MOT doesn't mean it'll always be safe on the next test!
First of all, do a quick walk-around of your car. Are your tyres in good shape? If the tread on them is low or they show signs of cracking, get them replaced with some all season tyres.
Next, take a look at the brakes through your wheels. If there isn't enough disc or pad material, get a garage to check and replace them where necessary.
Finally, make sure no warning lamps stay on your dash when you start the engine. If they do, have your local garage find the fault and repair it. Especially when the fault is to do with the ABS or airbag systems!
You don't need me to tell you how many different car seats are available on the market! But, how do you know which one is best for your toddler?
Find out which group car seat you need. That's because different seats are available for different age/weight categories. You should then check reviews on the latest car seats available for your needs. I recommend looking at the Which? reviews if you're a subscriber.
You could also look at the reviews on Amazon.co.uk and blog sites like this one!
Make sure your toddler gets entertained throughout the journey
There is only so much looking out of the window your toddler will do before he or she gets bored. That's why it is important to keep them entertained until you reach your destination!
What you use to entertain your toddler will depend on what interests them the most. A selection of your child's favourite toys is a good place to start. Keep them within easy reach of your toddler.
If you're tech-savvy, you might wish to set them up with a tablet computer like the Apple iPad. You can get handy tablet holders that fix onto the back of the front passenger seat. Some cars even have monitors built into the headrests!
Most parents will agree that the BBC iPlayer app is a godsend for toddlers! You can now download your child's favourite shows onto it. So, it doesn't matter if they like In The Night Garden or the Twirlywoos. You can keep an offline copy of their favourite shows to entertain them as you drive.
In an ideal world, you'd have someone sit next to them and not use a tablet. But, when you're the only person travelling with your toddler, needs must!
Thanks for reading my blog post today. See you soon!