Driving alone with a baby should be illegal

By 15:10

Squeak's first car ride was when we brought him home from hospital. The scrawny little thing barely fitted in the newborn setting of the car seat but we strapped him in tight. Nervously, The Husband drove off following every precaution to ensure we transported our precious cargo safely.

Soon after that Squeak accompanied me to necessary doctors' visits and for all of those outings, I drove alone with Squeak in the backseat.

I was super prepared, diaper bag and handbag all packed and in the car ahead of time. All I needed was a freshly changed and well fed baby. But the moment I put him in the car, he would wail. The poor baby didn't know where he was or why he was alone. He'd scream for someone to save him.

Four months later, nothing has changed. Some days, he might have a little snooze once we hit the highway. Other days, he'd scream his head off for the entire duration of the car ride until we reached our destination and I rush to the backseat to cuddle him.

I sound so understanding of my baby but it's a stressful drive and every time I get behind the wheel, I can't help but think that driving with a baby should be illegal.

As a new mother, I am not programmed to ignore the sound of my baby crying. From the driver's seat, I try everything to soothe him. I play music while navigating the route, talk to him while waiting for the traffic signal to change, sing while overtaking so I can get home faster. When the screams get louder or there is sudden silence, I try to look back at him wondering if he is not strapped in too tight or whether he stopped breathing. I should be looking ahead at the road!

We have so many rules to ensure road safety. Don't text and drive - one look away from the road could be fatal. Don't hold your cell phone to your ear so you can act quickly when you are not distracted. Take frequent breaks during long trips so you don't fall asleep at the wheel.

Driving alone with the baby brings all these risks and more in one drive. I take my eyes off the road to look at the baby. I am distracted by his constant crying. I am an exhausted sleep deprived new mom.

It's not just people texting and driving, unruly taxi drivers and fatigued truck drivers that we should be wary off. Moms driving alone with their babies are also a hazard on the road.

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  1. The issue is also the fact that the infant car seat faces backwards. I understand there are safety reasons for this. It gets sooo much better when they're old enough for the Stage 2/Front Facing seat.