Mummy says….’With four children, I have a lot of driving Milestone Moments to remember, spanning over 21 years!
All of their first car journeys were when they newborn from hospital to home. From my eldest, MeeMee being five days old because I had a caesarean, to Pickle, who was less than a day old. These were the most exciting and nerve wracking journeys ever!
As parenting expert Suzie Hayman explains:
‘At a few days old, babies eyes won’t be coordinated and they may keep their fists clenched. In fact, they’re not even sure at this stage where they end and you begin which is why they investigate their own hands, fingers and toes with as much curiosity as the bits of you they can reach. But they recognise your voice and show a preference for it, and want to be held and rocked and to hear you. Safety comes first in a car however so they need to be strapped into that seat, but keep a hands-on close connection and sing and talk to them on the trip home and go back to cuddling and holding as soon as you can.’
Living in the country, we use the car every single day, for every journey. Other milestone moments I remember are:
A big one last year, when Pickle was three and I drove to France from our home in West Wales – what an epic journey, I drove over 1000 miles. We also make our annual journey ‘up north’ of over 200 miles each way to see my nan – who is now 96. These are great tips from Suzie for long journeys:
‘Small children may sleep through long journeys but older ones can make the experience absolute hell. So prepare in advance. Start a countdown days ahead and get them to help plan packing, travel and what you’ll do when you get there. Ask them to think about ways of passing the trip happily – their favourite toys, games, videos, music. Use a mix of digital media and traditional games such as I- Spy and 20 Questions. The best way of avoiding ‘are we nearly there yet’ is to keep up a running commentary and once they’re old enough, have them look at the scenery and maps and work it out themselves. And allow plenty of time on your trip for stops so every two hours – 60 to 90 minutes for younger children – you can all stretch your legs.’
Driving around a Safari Park when Lea was very small, (she is 17 now!) and she needed a wee! The keepers closed the tiger and lion enclosures so we could get out of the car in a small enclosure in between! I will never forget this. And another at a Safari Park hand feeding the giraffes through the sunroof of the car.
I don’t just have Milestone moments from when they were very young – MeeMee’s school prom when she was almost 11 is also a fantastic memory – I drove her to have her hair and make up done properly, and picked her up from the prom. She had a corsage made by her first boyfriends mother. It was so sweet!
Lea, my youngest daughter was so excited for her first trip away from home with the Brownies. I drove her to the outdoor centre, feeling so happy for her but full of worry too! She had an absolute blast!
As Pickle has just started full time school, I still have many more years of school runs and first trips to make more Milestone Moments.
It is so important to have the correct car seat for your children – one that is perfectly suited to their size and age. The Graco Milestone All in One Carseat does just that, growing with your child from birth to 12 years (0 to 36kg), keeping them safe and secure for all their Milestone Moments.
What Milestone Moments do you have? I would love to hear them.’
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