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You’ve got the toys, the nappies and a shed load of snacks – all ready for a ‘please don’t have a meltdown’ journey ahead.

But what if we told you there are few other things that can keep you and your kids content?

Yep, car seat gurus Graco reckon they have the ultimate guide to nailing happy journeys for parents who are here there and everywhere. Read on to find out what they suggest.

And no, it doesn’t include earplugs (although maybe it should).

Graco’s ‘Ultimate Guide to Happy Journeys’

Clean up their act

We thought we were the only ones who had crumb filled car seats, but according to research apparently, 82% of parents also wish they could keep their child’s seat clean. But who has the time to thoroughly wash off mashed up melty sticks amidst a precision car pack? Not us! Well, what if we told you your child holds the answer? No, we’re not expecting them to do it. Graco says a basic wet wipe is all you need. One quick swish, and you’re good to go. Honestly, it’s something you’ll do and wonder why you’ve procrastinated over it for so long. Well, we did anyway.

Keep this in your locker

Next up on the list of things that keep your trips void of screams, is entertainment. Whether you opt for their favourite new toy or a good old-fashioned sing-along, keeping your kids amused is a great way to get from A to B. But if you’re one of those people who can’t get past the chorus of ‘Head shoulders knees and toes’ without messing it up, you might want to keep Graco’s Spotify playlist Kids in Car Karaoke to hand. One extra tip: Play this at the end of the trip. Otherwise, you may hear “Mummy, mummy, again, again” and have it on loop for hours.

Comfortably safe

If you know your child is safely secure, you can relax a little bit more and concentrate on driving. Plus, we reckon if they’re strapped in correctly, then they’re less likely to complain. Well, you’d hope. But when you’re in a rush, juggling shopping bags, keys, and a to-do list as long as your arm, safety can often get overlooked. And you’re not the only one, as 56% of Graco’s Instagram followers admitted the same, which is why Graco have devised a five-step H.A.P.P.Y safety checker.

Graco’s H.A.P.P.Y safety checker

  1. H – Harness and Handlebar
    Are your straps too high? Always make sure your child’s harness is level with their shoulders. Then if you’re travelling with a baby or toddler and using an infant carrier, always keep the handlebar upright as this acts as an extra safety measure.
  2. A-Airbag
    Graco recommends that children under the age of 12 always travel in the back. But if there’s no more room and you need to place a child’s seat next to the driver, always make sure it’s rear-facing and that you’ve deactivated the front passenger airbag. It’s SO important that it’s a legal requirement. So don’t forget.
  3. P – Pinch test
    A whopping 60% of Graco’s Instagram followers don’t know how to test if their little one’s straps are too loose. Also known as the two-finger rule, the pinch test is when you take the belt strap and see if the fabric bunches in your fingers. If it does, then your harness is too loose.
  4. P – Passenger side
    Always position your youngest traveller behind the passenger seat, the reason being is that if you’re in an accident, you are safer leaning in to remove your baby from the car while standing on the other side. Clever stuff!
  5. Y – Years, height, weight
    If you’ve had your car seat for a while it could be time for a change. Double-check your child is in the right size for them by reading this easy to follow guide from Halfords.
    Once you’ve made a new purchase (if needed), get in touch with Halfords as they have a team of fully trained RoSPA-accredited car seat fitters (aka the best) who can offer advice on the correct seat and fit for you, and your vehicle.
    Read More
What’s left?

Now your kids are safe, in their lovely clean car seat with a shiny new Spotify playlist ready to go. The only thing left to worry about is whether there will be wine when you get there.

Share your stressful journeys

Ever had an eventful journey with your kids? Who hasn’t! Graco is inviting parents to share their pet peeves, stress triggers, genius hacks and hilarious mishaps. Share and tag your stories with @Graco_UK, and @halfords_uk and use the hashtag #GracoHappyJourneys Need more advice? Graco are partnering with Halfords to drive home the most important messages around safety to find out more head to http://gracobaby.eu/uk/car-seat-campaign-blog?utm_source=mum-club&utm_medium=sponsored&utm_campaign=car-seat-campaign-blog&utm_content=branded-article

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