4 Tips For Commuting By Taxi With An Infant

If you do not have your own vehicle, traveling with an infant can feel like quite a chore. If you are adequately prepared, however, taking a taxi to your destination is definitely your best bet. Unlike buses, taxis have seat belts you can use to buckle your infant's car seat down securely. The private taxi ride will also give you the freedom to care for your baby since you can have the driver pull over as needed. Here are four tips that will make the taxi ride with your infant as safe and stress free as possible.

1. Bring Your Own Car Seat

You should bring along your own car seat while taking a taxi around town. Holding your baby in your arms is not a safe, or legal, way to travel, as a hard impact could force your child out of your arms. In fact, using a suitable restraint system for your infant can reduce the chance of death during a collision by more than 70%. You can always have an adequate restraint system on hand by using a stroller with a detachable car seat. Before leaving the house, make sure your child's chest straps fit snugly with the middle clasp pulled up to nipple level.

2. Learn To Correctly Latch The Seat

The ability of the car seat to protect your infant in a crash depends on correct installation in the taxi. You must latch the car seat down in a rear-facing configuration until your child reaches two years of age. Facing the seat toward the rear of the car reduces the chance of severe injury or death in an accident by 75%.

Before strapping the car seat down, check the level on the side of the base to make sure it sits at the exact right angle. If not, place a rolled up security blanket under the back edge to bring it up to the right level.

If the car seat comes with a lower anchors and tethers for children, or LATCH, system, use the supplied tethers for an extra layer of protection. Taxi drivers can often help you get situated if you have trouble figuring out the car seat buckling procedure or LATCH system requirements.

3. Pack Comfort Items For The Ride

Keep several loveys and binkies on hand to help sooth your child during the taxi ride. A lovey is a blanket-stuffed animal hybrid that infants like to grasp tightly in their hands. A binky satisfies your infant's need to suckle, which often soothes the mind and body in new situations.

In addition to providing comfort, binkies help infants develop their sucking strength, which reduces frustration for the child while feeding from a bottle or the breast. Despite common belief about nipple confusion, giving your child a binky supports your ability to exclusively breastfeed, if you chose that form of feeding. Always have extra binkies and loveys on hand, so you can put away any that accidently hit the floor or seat during the taxi ride.

4. Don't Hesitate To Ask To Pull Over

Whether you breastfeed or provide a bottle of formula for each meal, you should not feed your infant in a moving vehicle. Feeding your infant without burping him or her several times during each meal can result in pain from trapped gas bubbles. In addition, if your infant is prone to acid reflux, he or she could experience worsened symptoms from drinking in a semi-reclined position.

As a result, you may need to ask the taxi driver to pull over to tend to your child's needs. Taxi drivers will happily find a place for you to feed or change your child as needed. The meter, however, will continue to run to fairly compensate your driver for his or her time.

If you take the above measures for each taxi ride, your child will stay safe and secure throughout the trip.