I recently saw the below infographic, sharing the driving habits of new parents and was immediately transported back to 2011… Before we had kids, Hubby and I drove a Porsche Cayenne, (The big 4×4 version). It was an amazing car, but it was getting to the age where things were going wrong. When I saw this infographic, I realised we were one of the 66% of new parents who bought a new car in preparation of our new baby.
Driving Habits Of New Parents
We went from a ridiculously expensive to run Porsche, to a much more economical Vauxhall Insignia, just 1 week before Sam arrived! I was in so much pain with my pelvis and hips by this point, I didn’t drive the car until well after Sam’s arrival. (I think he was around 4 weeks old by the time I eventually put pedal to the metal).
Before Sam arrived, I had always been a really confident driver. I’d been driving for 7 years, and loved driving. It was a different story once Sam was in the car, though. He hated his car seat, and screamed constantly whenever he was in the car. Nothing comforted him… Until we had to return his faulty travel system and got a new car seat. It was like having a different baby in the car! He was still grumpy on most journeys, but didn’t scream constantly.
When it came to safety, we researched everything. We spent weeks looking at the safety records of potential new cars, as well as car seats. I never imagined the biggest hazard would be me losing concentration to soothe my distraught baby. Thankfully, I had the sense to always pull over, and we never had any accidents. I did get a speeding ticket once though, rushing to get to my Mum’s, to calm him down. It was the end of July, 2011. Sam was in the back of the car, screaming. I was driving and beyond frazzled. When we arrived at my mums, I burst into tears. It was awful! Nobody told me my baby could make driving such a stressful experience.
I can totally see why the driving habits of new parents can lead to accidents though – it’s so easy to be distracted by your baby crying from behind you. My biggest worry when driving as a new parent was always me. I was so tired, and Sam was usually screaming, so I had to force myself to focus, constantly.
Thankfully, once Sam was old enough for a forward facing car seat, driving became a pleasure once more! Guidelines have changed a lot in the past 8 years. Back then, forward facing seats were fine for babies once they were 15kg. Sam was a huge baby, so we moved him onto a stage 1 seat at 7 months old. The day we did this, driving became a pleasure once more! Sam would smile and giggle as we drove along, and calm was restored once more!
Finally, if you’ve enjoyed this post, check out more of my motoring content!