Study finds desperate parents drive 1,500 km per year putting kids to sleep

Posted in Family.

Well this is news to no parent.

A study has found that we drive a hell of a lot to give our little ones some shut-eye.

1,500 kilometres over the course of a year, to be exact. To put that in perspective, that’s greater than the distance from Sydney to Brisbane.

But I don’t know about you, I reckon it might be even more than this.

Here’s why.

The lull of the car

Once babies get over that initial ‘hate the car’ phase where they scream and scream until you rescue them from their car seat, many parents resort to driving their little love to snoozeville at some point.

When every other ‘get em to sleep’ trick has failed, we grab the keys. We’re desperate.

The car sleep is a sure thing. Every bloody time.

The drive works, even when we DON’T want it to – say when you’re trying to get home in time so she can sleep in the cot. You look over your shoulder, and … out.

That engine hum is just irresistible to her and so the sleep fairies set in, whether you like it or not.

So you keep driving

When you FINALLY have a sleeping bubba in the backseat (no matter how badly you to need to eat or wee), you keep on driving. Lest you turn off the engine and they wake up from a short nap, thinking they’ve slept for two hours! If they do, the day’s routine is out.

“So sleep on, little one. I will just drive to your godmother’s house so I can wee while she minds you in the driveway,” you think to yourself. And also, “How bad is it to eat Maccas drive-thru again?”

The findings

This ‘groundbreaking’ (tsk, tsk) study was cleverly commissioned by Mycar, a tyre and car servicing company. They discovered that all that driving we do should mean we are on top of servicing our car.

Yep, add that to your to-do list (but really, we probably should).

The study also found three in five Aussie parents are using driving as one of their top methods to get their baby to sleep.

But what about SIDS?

Of course, whenever anything is written about babies and sleep, the SIDS question pops up. Which is always important.

The reason it’s not safe to let your baby sleep in a car seat that’s NOT moving (say one that you’ve detached from the car and brought inside with your baby still asleep in it) is because babies should not sleep in a sitting position. This is because when your bub is seated, her heavy head can fall forward, causing difficulty breathing and even suffocation.

All that jiggling in a moving car though seems to keep babies stimulated enough to promote breathing.

That said, after the car has done its sleep magic, it’s best to move your little one to a flat, firm sleeping surface as soon as you can.

The great transfer dance.

Just 1,500 km

When I think about all the driving I’ve done with my two boys to get them off to sleep, I question the 1,500 km distance.

Surely, I’ve driven further than Sydney to past the Sunshine Coast in a year of sleep drives?! Feels like it.


So yes, this study proves us parents spend a lot of time driving our kiddies to sleep. And while sleep experts and others want to educate us on why they think there is a better way, we are just too tired to listen

Driving works and we’re desperate for the quick sleep fix.

So please, pass the car keys.


Get more babyology straight to your inbox