car seat question

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Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852
car seat question

We are moving this next weekend and Safiyya will be a month old. I will have to drive with her alone in the van and I feel nervous about that because even with the mirror I can't tell if she is ok or not. Would it be better to ride where I can hardly see her or put her in the front seat strapped in properly - in her carrier, of course. We have to drive about 4-5 hours.

Any advice?

MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218

(((((HUGS))))))) Aw..... moving time! Ideally, it would be great if even one of the other kids could ride with you but obviously that doesn't seem to be possible.

To answer your question, she is safer in the seat behind you (in the center preferably.) I totally understand that desire to be able to see her and know you both would likely feel more comfortable if you had her in the seat beside you -- but it is unsafe due to the airbags and in most (if not all) states, I believe it would be illegal for you to have a baby in a rear-facing car-seat in the front seat of a vehicle with active airbags. You could be at risk of either being pulled over and ticketed or having someone driving past you on the highway report you for child endangerment. Far worse, while I am sure you would be driving cautiously, unfortunately there are many other idiots on the road that don't care about their own life - much less you and your baby. Seriously, in vehicles with front passenger airbags, even a low impact crash may cause the airbag to deploy. The result in that force striking a rear-facing carseat can be tragic with a high risk for serious brain injury or death.

My suggestion is to get a baby safety mirror that allows you to mount it to the back of the vehicle seat where your baby's car seat is in. Then you will be able to glance in your rear-view mirror and be able to see your baby. With most, you may have to tweak the placement and angle just a little (the larger ones are easier than the smaller) so don't wait 'til you are driving out of town to get it. Here is one that I have heard a lot of positives about and I believe it is available in

SafeFit Jumbo Mirror (Look at the various images to get a better idea of how it works.) It appears that it may be available at Target if you have one nearby.

We had to travel once cross country when one of our dd's was 10 days old. I remember sharing your same concern during the periods when I had to travel in our van alone as well. I FULLY understand that temptation as I HATE how when they are so young they seem to slump oddly and need more readjustments. The mirrors do work (I think they are better now than they used to be!) I also remember trying to plan to feed her... then immediately get on the road to try and travel as far as possible in between feedings. I did stop as needed though (even if "as needed") meant simply long enough to pull over and take a peek to be sure all was well. (*Warning though -- if memory served correctly, stopping the car (and the movement) seemed to wake our little one! Argh! LOL )

Best of luck with your move! I know that this is stressful for you but I hope you are all settled in your new home soon!

All the best!


MissyJ's picture
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3218

P.S. I meant to also say Congratulations on the birth of Safiyya!! Beautiful name!

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

Hi Missy! Thank you dearly for your advice and wishes Smile

I don't know how you managed that long trip. My mom was telling me what they used to do when we were little and it scared me half to death. She put me on pillows in the back of our station wagon to drive. Back then there were no car seats or anything that she knew of. Lots of images popped up in my mind.

What I ended up doing was yesterday while my parents were here, we all drove to pick up my husband from the other city and he parked his car securely. Safiyya was a little fussy along the way but at least I could sit with her and make sure she was ok.

So, we just have the van now and we'll all drive together. It was looking stressful so I thought we'd have an outing - though it was a long drive there and back. My parents are leaving tomorrow to go home.... goodness am I ever going to miss them. Smile

Anyway thanks again; I just wanted to be sure of what was the best thing to do.

VixB's picture
Joined: 05/07/08
Posts: 1435

Like Missy said, your new daughter HAS to be in the back seat (in the middle is better too). I traveled 11 hours with Hunter when he was 2and a half month. It was hard but it was for the best.

Good luck with moving and congrats on your new baby.

mujul79's picture
Joined: 01/22/05
Posts: 1843

Congrats on your baby and your move. Bill is in VT and I am in NY, since having Simon life is no diff then it was before that means that starting at 2 weeks old Simon rides in the car with us for the 3 hour trip. Now I will tell you that our 3 hour trip takes 4 hours with him because when he yells I let him go for about 10 miles/15 min to see if he will fall asleep if not we stop and I get him out. He mostly just hates the seat and wants to be held and it has nothing to do (he refuses if I offer every 10 miles) with eating. But pulling over taking him out and a hug or 2 and letting him air out (we have no AC and he gets hot in the car) is all he needs and the stops are less then 5min before we are back on the road and he has stopped crying for a little bit.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

It's actually illegal here to put an infant in the front seat. Even if it wasn't, I would recommend that you keep them in the back seat with the seat facing the back, as that's the safest place for baby. I know it will be hard having to stop whenever baby needs to be fed or changed, but it's much safer for them that way! Good luck with your move BTW!