Travel systems – Prams, buggies, pushchairs, whatever you like to call them, have improved no end over the years.

There are now all-terrain buggies, jogging buggies, lightweight buggies and rear and forward-facing buggies, as well as the three in one travel system. The range is so extensive, I often wonder how on earth people choose!

Today, I am going to discuss the travel system. Many of these have a base with the ability to interchange the pushchair, carrycot and car seat. This can be a great product to buy, with the benefit that if the baby is asleep, you do not have to wake them up to move them.

In addition to this, rather than having to take additional equipment like a baby bouncer, you already have a car seat/carrycot, that they can stay in! Read on to find out more.

The pros and cons of travel systems

These travel systems are great, however, they do have a downside! It can be really too easy to keep your child in one position for long periods, without really thinking about it.

It is so easy to go from school drop off (for a sibling), with the car seat attachment on the buggy base, back home again (with baby still asleep), then baby wakes up, he or she is fed, changed, then back out in the car, (so back in car seat) you drive to the shops, place the car seat into the trolley, do the shopping, get back in the car and then home!

Sometimes life happens and yes sometimes we really need to do this. The issue is that in doing this, our babies haven’t been able to freely wiggle and move. They have been sat for too long, with their spine curved and the shoulders brought forward.

How long should a baby stay in a car seat?

When thinking about travel, according to The Lullaby Trust, there is no published evidence that sets out how long babies should be kept in a car seat when travelling.

They point out that infant healthcare professionals, safety experts and most car manufacturers recommend that babies should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time and they should be taken out frequently.

They recommend that if your trip involves driving for long periods of time, you should stop for regular breaks. Not only will this allow you to stretch your own legs but you can check on your baby, take them out of the car seat and let them stretch and move around.

In addition to this, they advise that ideally, a second adult should travel in the back of the car with your baby, or if travelling alone, use a mirror to keep an eye on your baby.

Moreover to this, they state, if your baby changes its position and slumps forward, then you should immediately stop and take them out of the car seat and reposition them before continuing on your journey.

Ways to give your child opportunities to move if you use a travel system frequently

  • Try and leave the carrycot part on the pram, until your baby has full head control so that they can lay down in the pram, allowing them time to wiggle and move
  • If you are using the car seat on the buggy, give your child regular breaks and longer time out of the seat, when undertaking activities such as feeding or changing nappies
  • Take a blanket out with you, so you can lay your baby on the floor at friend’s and family’s houses
  • Lay your baby on your chest if you are out sitting down, rather than leaving them in the car seat for long periods