Are you travelling in a camper with a young baby? Here is how to do it.
Our suggestions to avoid any problem on board and enjoy the beauty of a family trip.
When you go on holiday with a young baby you have two main worries: making sure the baby is comfortable and you manage to carry all you need. The camper is the ideal solution for both, and if you have decided that your baby should immediately enter the world of motorhomers, congratulations, you have made an important choice! This is why you need a detailed analysis: here are a few tips to help you avoid any problem and enjoy your family holiday.
When the camper is on the move
When the camper is on the move, the baby must be sitting on a baby car seat, correctly fastened to thecamper seat, with its safety belt on. You can place the baby seat on the dinette, facing rearwards. You can also choose to place it on the passenger’s front seat (only if the airbag can be deactivated). We recommend placing the baby at the back, because it is safer (also more shaded, in the summer) and more comfortable for the person who needs to look after the baby during the journey: in the back it is easier to distract a whimpering baby with a toy, or freshen up a sweaty baby, or calm a crying baby without having to stop. For very young babies, and when the furnishing set up allows, it is possible to insert the travel bed where the dinette table is. Once folded, the bed takes very little room.
Living on board
The interiors of Recreational Vehicles are not always built to deal with children, who continuously explore their surroundings. Just like at home, it is better to safeguard against the danger of particular structures and devices. You should carefully look around your vehicle, assessing any risk or danger. Your ‘safety test’ should fail any sharp edge, or pointy corner between cabin and living space, or on the door. Make sure there is no element in the cell that could cut.
As for the camper’s entry door, which can become a dangerous ‘launching pad’, the first recommendation is to use the additional butterfly clasps, or install them if they are missing. Other precautions, valid for everyone, include:
- suitable flame barriers for the stove;
- double lock bolt for the entry door;
- suitably protected electrical system, transformer and 220V socket inside in particular;
- gas leak detector.
For bigger children, who can eat at the dinette’s table, baby seats clipped to the table top are a good idea; obviously the table needs to be securely fixed to the wall or floor. And for the driver’s peace of mind, it is good to have an inside review mirror, ineffective for manoeuvring the vehicle, but ideal to check on the children sitting in the back (if there is no inside review mirror, stick-on mirrors can be applied on the sun visor).
Luggage and things to bring on camper
In addition to the child’s standard luggage (clothes, nappies, creams, baby bottles etc.) the large objects you need on holiday include: baby seat, stroller, baby bath, baby-safe travel mattress, bottle sterilizer. Many of these can be stored in the camper’s storage, to avoid cluttering the vehicle. Naturally, when stocking the camper, you will need to take extra care about anything you bring on board; dangerous substances (WC cleaning powders or liquids detergents, medicines etc.) need to be stored on high shelves or cupboards, out of children’s reach.
Safety is paramount, not just on board, but also when it comes to the camper’s characteristics. Driving comfort and optimal visibility are key risk reducing factors. On Fiat Ducato Camper, quality braking system and reliable suspensions come together with active safety technologies like ESC and rear camera. This way even the liveliest child can easily be detected, even in the blind spots.
Before a long holiday with a child, however, it is advisable to begin with a test trip: a day trip first, then a full weekend, then a mini-holiday. You will be able to understand how the child adapts to the journey and tune his or her needs with yours.
Children, even the youngest, easily adapt to new and different surroundings. After all, travelling in a camper is like having a mobile second home at your disposal.
What is better than that?