Chances are, if you have kids, you have a vehicle. In fact, in the U.S., only 8.7% of households did not have a vehicle in 2016, and used car sales have been on the rise for the past seven years. Many of us live in areas where owning a vehicle is crucial to getting to work and getting household necessities.
Though cars make our lives easier, taking young children and infants for even short drives can be frustrating and time-consuming. If you’re a parent who has places to be and errands to run, use this short list to find accessories that make riding with kids a bit safer and a whole lot simpler.
For Squirmers: A Childproof Chest Clip
Many toddlers learning to use their hands quickly discover how interesting their car seat straps are to touch and wiggle. However, as they get older, harmless wiggling can turn into full-on escapes from their car seat. If your little one is something of an escape artist, look for an attachable car seat chest clip. These clips have locking mechanisms that require more deft adult fingers to detach. A chest strap can keep your child safely buckled in her seat, and keep you from driving distractedly.
For Snackers: Spill-Proof Snack Bowls
Long car rides and trips between meals often leave kids feeling hungry and grumpy. Keep cheerios and chicken nuggets away from your car’s upholstery using spill-resistant clippable snack dishes. These bowls come with silicone flaps that prevent goodies from flying when the car hits a bump. The attachable mount means you can clip the bowls to a car seat or stroller for on-the-go mess-free snacking.
For Kickers: Kick Mats
Does your youngster drive you crazy with constant seat-kicking? Hang kick mats designed for the back of your front seats, which protect the upholstery and soften the annoying thuds on your back.
For Peekers: Car Seat Mirrors
Your infant most likely faces backward while riding in the car. Unless yours is one of the families responsible for the 18% of vehicle sales that are pickup trucks, you can’t see your child’s face in the rearview while driving. Rear-facing car seats are essential for infant safety, but it can be frightening to not be able to see your baby. Hang an infant car mirror on the seat so that you know if your little one is sleeping, awake, crying, or content.
For Snoozers: Window Sunshades
Window glare can keep a baby uncomfortably hot, blinded by a bright light, or even cause a sunburn. Help children stay cool and sleep comfortably in the back with a full-window adjustable sunshade.
For Trainees: A Portable Training Potty
Potty training is a rough road for many families. Make sure your car trips don’t hinder your toddler’s progress by bringing along a training toilet for the car. You can even find collapsible cardboard toilets for smaller vehicles and roadside emergencies.
Traveling with kids is tough. With smart parenting prep and the right gear, you can help the whole family have a safer, cleaner, and happier car ride.