Infant Car Seat For Long Travel: Make Your Road Trips Safe and Enjoyable
When riding with a baby on a long car trip, the only way to make the trip safe and enjoyable for them is to use a baby car seat suitable for long-distance travel.
But there are so many options that finding a portable car seat for travel can be difficult.
This article will tell you all about infant car seats for long travel.
Let’s get started!
At what age can you start traveling with a child in a car?
You can travel with a child of any age in a car, even newborns. But doctors advise that you wait 3 – 6 months to allow the baby’s immune system to be better developed.
If you ride with your child, finding the best travel car seat is important for:
- Safety. Only a suitable car seat will help to protect your child in a frontal, rear, side, or rollover crash.
- Comfort. Only a suitable car seat will make your baby comfortable and stop them from crying all the way.
6 tips for choosing the best infant car seat for long car travel
To choose the best infant car seat, you need to pay attention to the following:
Make sure the baby infant car seat meets safety requirements as defined by the relevant authority in your country. If in the US, ensure that the car seat is approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
A car seat of the right size is essential to keep your child safe in the event of a crash. So check the manufacturer’s weight and height requirement, and ensure that your child is within these.
Go for car seats with good padding. And ensure that the material is breathable, so your baby does not sweat all the way.
4. Easy installation
First, ensure it’s a portable car seat that’ll fit in your car. You may also want to go for car seats that can be easily attached to your seat using either a belt or LATCH.
For optimum safety, ensure it has some way of confirming that it’s correctly installed.
5. Stroller compatibility
Go for a car seat that’s compatible with your stroller so that it is easy to use out of the car.
Opt for car seats with easily removable and machine washable seat covers.
The best portable car seat for travel
Some of the best portable car seats for travel include:
1. 2018 UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car seat
The 2018 MESA infant car seat is rear-facing and suitable for infants weighing 4 – 35 lbs and up to 32” tall. The headrest is optimized for side impact protection.
This portable MESA measuring 26.5 x 17.5 x 23 inches is one of the best infant car seats.
You can install it using either seat-belt or LATCH.
Importantly, it has a smart security system featuring an indicator that turns green when the seat is installed correctly. So, it gives you visual confirmation that the seat is well installed.
2. Chicco KeyFit 30 Zip Infant Car Seat
This Chicco KeyFit Infant car seat measures 27.5 x 17 x 24 inches. The portable car seat for travel is designed for infants between 4 – 30 lbs in weight and up to 30 inches tall.
It’s designed to keep your infants comfortable in any weather.
For example, the extendable canopy has a zip-open mesh window to increase airflow in hot weather. These comfy features make this Chicco KeyFit the ultimate travel infant car seat.
3. Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat, Gotham
If you’re looking for the best convertible car seat for travel, this Graco Extend2Fit convertible car seat deserves a look.
Its rear-facing harnesses are designed for children between 4 – 50 lbs, while its forward-facing harnesses are designed for children weighing 22 – 65 lbs. Thus, not only does this baby infant car seat grow with your baby from rear-facing to forward-facing, but it allows you to keep your baby rear-facing for longer.
How long can a baby be in a car seat on a road trip?
As a general rule, babies can stay in a car seat for only up to two hours within a 24-hour day. It’s the 2 hours rule.
Having a baby in a semi-upright position for longer can result in:
- a strain on the baby’s still-developing spine
- a restriction of airflow to the baby’s lungs
But pre-terms and newborns should not be allowed in a car seat for longer than 30 minutes.
What additional tips are there to make traveling with your baby on a road trip more comfortable?
- Install the car seat properly.
- Match your baby’s sleeping schedule. For example, hit the road in the early morning hours or at night when your child may still be sleeping, or during long afternoon naps.
- Ride in the back with your baby. When riding alone in the backseat, especially the safer rear-facing option, a child can easily become bored. So, try riding with the child in the back whenever possible. That way, the child gets to see and hear you.
- Take breaks regularly. Sitting in a comfortable baby infant car seat for a long trip can be tiring for a child. So, take short walks with your baby.
- Have baby essentials nearby like a pacifier or a soothing toy to keep the baby busy.