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I was interested to read the research by Britax that reveals the trials and tribulations for new parents travelling with young babies and I was delighted to be asked for my advice on travelling with babies.

Having a baby is one of the most exciting life events, but expecting parents will inevitably be forever late from the moment their bundle of joy arrives, as a new survey reveals parents take an average of 48 minutes longer to leave the house than they did before they had children 🙂

In the study of 4,000 new and expectant parents across Europe, it was revealed that British parents take longer to leave the house now that they’re parents than any other country, taking 55 minutes on average. In some cases, British parents admit to needing an extra two hours to prepare for journeys with their family (23 per cent).

The most common reason for a delayed journey is an emergency nappy change – something 56 per cent of parents have had to do at least once just before leaving the house. A further 42 per cent of parents said they’d become more forgetful, starting a journey only to turn back because they’d left a vital item at home. Over a third (35 per cent) of Swedish parents blame toddler tantrums for making them late, while eight per cent of German parents are often late because they fall asleep!

The research, commissioned by Britax to launch its new BABY-SAFE i-SIZE car seat, looked at the first journeys parents take with their newborns. It also reveals 28 per cent of parents have cancelled a trip abroad because they didn’t want to go through the chaos of travelling with their child. British mums are more likely to cancel a trip (52 per cent) than dads (45 per cent). Nearly half (47 per cent) have also cancelled a long trip (of an hour or more) at least once.

Dads feel more terrified than mums at the thought of travelling long distances with their newborn, perhaps because 12 per cent worry about forgetting their child in the car or at the airport (compared to 6 per cent of mums). Other concerns about travelling with a young family include the child disturbing other passengers (34 per cent) and not knowing how best to keep baby safe in transit (28 per cent).

On the other hand, despite the stress and chaos of family travel, 31 per cent of parents secretly love the idea of taking a gap year or sabbatical to go travelling with their families. Some parents even love to travel in the car with their baby as they can play music and not be judged on their musical tastes (18 per cent). Swedish parents are by far the most relaxed about going on any journey with their newborn – 38 per cent say they have no worries about travelling long distances with their child, compared to less laid-back Brits who say they feel stressed about leaving the house with a newborn (43 per cent).

Sue Atkins, parenting expert, said: ‘There are some challenges you expect when you embark on parenthood for the first time, like the sleepless nights and tantrums. But those first trips you take with your baby can sometimes be overlooked as attention is paid to what seems like bigger moments on the journey to parenthood. Keeping baby safe and comfortable – and also having confidence that you’re travelling in safety – is hugely important and having this knowledge and peace of mind takes some of the pressure off new parents’.

Researchers also found that when leaving the hospital for the first journey with their precious cargo, the top concern for parents is fitting the car seat correctly (30 per cent). However, British parents are most concerned about other drivers on the road (32 per cent) while easy-going Swedish parents said they did not have any concerns at all (28 per cent).

The majority of parents wait until their baby is five months old before taking their first long trip. French and Swedish parents are the most eager to get on the road with their families – 18 per cent and 16 per cent respectively say they have taken a long trip when their baby was just one month old, while cautious Brits on average wait until their little ones are at least six months old before taking them on their first long journey.

Moritz Walther, Marketing Director EMEA at Britax, said: ‘The journey to becoming a parent is incredibly exciting but also highly emotional. For many parents, there’s an overload of information available on how to keep their babies safe on the move and, with complex regulations on car seats, it’s not surprising that many parents feel nervous about travelling with their children. The introduction of the i-SIZE regulation is a big step towards simplifying car seat safety in particular for new parents. We’re delighted to be launching the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE, which aims to help new parents feel more confident as they take journeys with their new and precious cargo’.

Designed with 50 years of experience the BABY-SAFE i-SIZE infant carrier is suitable for newborns up to 15 months, with 83cm of space. The BABY-SAFE i-SIZE can be used with one of two new bases, including a one-of-a-kind FLEX BASE that allows parents to adjust the angle, providing an ergonomic, flatter position for their baby as they grow and develop. The infant carrier is manufactured in Britax Römer’s new state-of-the-art facility in Germany.

Why not join me on Twitter for Q & A on Thursday 6th October at 8pm about travelling with little ones.

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