From 4 months to 2yo Sofia was the fussiest in the car seat. After 2 it got WAY better simply because she got older and was able to play and distract herself more, however, the bigger drama since is getting IN the car seat.
Beckham was fine the first months like Sofia, fell asleep pretty quick with the movement. But as he grows, I can start to see how he is getting fussier... we will see!
MY MAIN LIFE SAVER TIP: strategically plan the rides around nap / sleep time. AND start doing it since the beginning, OFTEN, so they get used to taking naps in the car. That gives us a 2h radius of fuss-free ride. Which is enough to explore wonderful SoCal spots.
Here are my other tips:
1. They do naps more often, so have an awake window right before getting in the car.
2. Feed before you leave, so he/she is full, but have enough time for baby to burp properly, a few times, before seating in the car seat!
3. Buy some age appropriate car toys / books for a visual distraction, and teething toys if needed. (see here)
1. I always plan car trips during nap time and do it often so they are used to falling asleep in the car, with OUR toddler especially 4m-24m, it is the only thing that has made trips go smoothly!
2. Bring easy car snacks (safe) like pouches, and water.
3. Get a ton of travel-friendly activities, see this blog post to all of our favorite toys!
TIPS FOR BOTH
1. Have a mirror so you can see baby from the front seats, and it also keeps them busy!
2. Have window sun protectors.
3. Make sure they have proper blankets & clothes if the AC is on or it's cold and make sure they wear appropriate clothing
4. Stop for feedings, diaper changes and stretching if it's over a two hour ride.
5. If needed, during the early ride or extra fussy times, sit in the back and calm them down.
PS: Remember that keeping them facing backwards is MUCH safer until 4y old to reduce big spine and head injuries, which can be fatal / cause paralysis much easier if front-facing before then, as the toddler bones are still developing and not strong enough!
Remember to keep handy in the car:
- Diaper bag
- Age Appropriate Toys
- Change of clothes
- Empty bag for trash
- Snacks / water / bottle