Young baby on rough roads

Hi All

Just after some peoples experiences with travelling rough roads with 3-5 month old babies.

We are well travelled in a good safe and comfortable vehicle. But am talking about In particular the Anne Beadel HWY Tanami.

I know common sense prevails with speed,driving to conditions, epirbs etc.

Thanks in advance

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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 22:44

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 22:44
Hi J.T.

first up, I reckon you should talk to your doctor and heed the Doctor's advice, whatever it is.

secondly, contact your doctor.

Hoo roo,
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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:45

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:45
I agree with Steve.
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Follow Up By: wato35 - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 13:43

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 13:43
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Reply By: Member - Josh- Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 23:52

Thursday, Jul 12, 2012 at 23:52
I don't see any issues with doing it. As you said you using common sense as far as safety goes. Our youngest used to go to sleep on rough roads then wake up when it got smooth and complain cause we weren't 4wding. On thing might be worth thinking about about is taking some pillows or similar to pad around the head to stop the babies head rocking from side to side. We met a couple who had 2 kids while on the road full time. They travelled with the babies as new born. The kids were amazing, so confident and full of life. As mentioned above, have a chat to your doctor, we did this before we travelled and he gave us some scripts to get filled out just before we headed into remote areas for things like anti histamine, pain killers, anti inflamatories ect just incase something happened it would help until medical help arrived.
Have fun

AnswerID: 490770

Reply By: splits - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 00:15

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 00:15

Do you know the story behind the surveying of the Connie Sue Highway that crosses the Anne Beadell? Baby Connie rode in a padded tea chest in the back of Len and Anne's Land Rover for months while Len planned the course for the road. The temperature would easily freeze water when they started and was 120 degrees F in the car when they reached Rawlinna in November. You can read about it in his book titled Bush Bashers.

Babies have been travelling in cars on rough roads since the early days of motoring and in horse drawn wagons prior to that. Take note of what Josh said, use plenty of padding, take it easy and you should not have any problems.
AnswerID: 490771

Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:58

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:58
This is meant to be a constructive critism not destructive. So please take it in that light from someone who is VERY susceptible to infection.

I am sure that babies have died out there as well. That is irrelevant. What is relevant is the susceptability of such a young baby to infections and diseases. And the time to get to a doctor, hospital or even professional help on site.

A radio of satellite phone may be okay but the time to get to treatment or a hospital may be the killer. Even for me at my age it is a worry. My wife and I needed the doctors approval first as the chemo knocks the immunoglobulin suff to buggery. Any tiny infection could be deadly as it may also be for a 3-5 minth old. It wasn't until the tests last thursday that I could get their okay for ouyr Simpson crossing next month.

I hope all will be fine but we would never do it. Why not wait a year or so. You are young and have the rest of your life (I don't have time) to show them this place. And then show them these remote places at an age when they will be able to appreciate them.

Just my opinion and good luck.
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:55

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:55
Another option is to ask the 4WD question : "do I really need to do that/go there now". The track will still be there in a couple of years time, by then your young baby will be able to enjoy the trip with you.

Judging by some of the doctors around here many probably would not have a clue about outback corrugations. I doubt that talking to a doctor would be much use unless you know one that has outback experience and can understand the implications of extended travel over corrugations.

Others have suggested that its OK because babies have been travelling outback roads for a long time. While it is true about babies travelling while young the conditions between travelling in a wagon or even over an unmade road would be quite different from a short trip along a known heavily corrugated track. We also now know the dangers with shaking a babies head.


J and V
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Reply By: Aussi Traveller - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 09:47

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 09:47

At 5 months they are 4 months older than my boy when we took him on his first trip, since then we have travelled extensively with him and he loves the bush.

People tend to wrap their kids in cotton wool way to much, as a doctor once told me " a little dirt never hurt" I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, kids that go camping and fishing don't steal or deal.

Just take them and have fun be careful and enjoy your time with them.
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 11:14

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 11:14
J T,

As the kids are past new born stage I say go for it. You will be looking after them, and at least they won't wonder off, like a toddler might. As far as travelling, sudden stops, such as hitting washouts, would be far more damaging to them, than continual corrugations. Being in their car seats will be far more comfortable than what you adults might be.

We had 3 girls survive all their life, up to boarding school age, on remote stations in NT & Qld. The worst injury being a deep cut on the forehead, needing stitches, when the eldest was about 3 yr old.

If you don't have a satphone, I'd be hiring one, just for the trip. It would be comforting to be able to talk to the flying doctor, if you might be at all concerned about their welfare, while on the trip.

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These two survived this trip, and many more, and are now in their 30's.


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Reply By: J.T. - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 11:38

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 11:38
Thanks for the thoughtful comments and experiences
I spent a lot of time growing up in old series Landies like Beadells and travelled a lot of outback roads in them too.

I guess the last thing a parent wants to do is place any risk on there babies life.

Having said that you wouldn't drive or cross the road or swim in the ocean with the chances of crashing, eaten by a shark or mugged. ( Perth)

The reason we are keen to go now is a small window of opportunity to get away in a month for 2 months before a new job begins.

What we might do is a brief 2 day trip over some roughish ground to see how the baby travels and assess it from there.

Will seek the doctors advice and we also both have senior first aid training.

Many thanks


AnswerID: 490808

Reply By: Boags - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:16

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:16
Hi J.T.

We lived in a remote place not far from the CSR we took our oldest at the time only 5mths old and stayed overnight here and there without a sat phone. Our next one did most of the CSR at about 7mths old (this child also did the Hay River road at 10ths). As long as you have enough warm clothes for them they are fine much better to keep confined at this age before they crawl/walk. All their food impliments give a good wash and rinses with the fresh boiled water. We bathed them just as you would at home nice warm bath inside the tent. Just make sure if using the same tub for washing to give a clean before washing baby bottles etc in. Also just like us they need to stretch out of the baby seat their bottom gets sore laying in the same spot for too long as well and sometimes one of you may need to sit beside them to entertain them. Besides all of this you will get to see heaps more as when they walk they can't quite walk the long distances for some years to come.
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Follow Up By: Boags - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:17

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:17
Sorry pressed submit before ending

Have fun

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Reply By: ExplorOz - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:34

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:34
These days, the rear-facing child restraint seat has the perfect support for a baby - including offroad situations so my considerations for your intended trip would be the health of the breast-feeding mother (sufficient hydration, access to fresh water, minimising infection risk etc) and if bottle fed baby, then adequate sterilisation of bottles (ie. boiling water, or cold water sterilisation tablets). I have travelled extensively in remote areas for extended periods with both my baby girls as they grew up although the big trips were initiated when they were 8 mths old and upwards. Happy to answer any other specific qns but sounds like you've got it covered. Best wishes

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Reply By: Member - John and Lynne - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:46

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:46
With sensible driving and a well designed vehicle for the job the actual driving should not be too much of an issue so long as you do not try to drive for too long at a time..A small baby should not be confined to a car capsule for hours at a time - check with appropriate experts before planning your trip. The major issue will be climate and possible dehydration especially if you are running the car aircon constantly. You will need boiled water for the baby. Also be equipped for protection against flies and mosquitoes. With careful prparation and a modest itinerary you should be OK. However I would consider a less demanding trip while the child is so young. Why put yourselves through extra stress when on holiday. There are many great places to go that are not so isolated. We had our children in very isolated places and I know how easily things can go wrong. Lynne
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Reply By: gbc - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 13:26

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 13:26
In a lot of ways our kids were easiest to travel with when they were infants - breast fed, no cooking up concoctions or stopping to heat stuff up, so in that way, make the most of it - it gets harder before it gets easier.....
3 months is pretty wee, and their heads not exactly under control yet. Heaps of padding in a rear facing capsule is not ideal because they can smother. I'd most certainly leave enough room next to the capsule so one of the parents can sit back there and keep watch. They sell inflatable neck rings which are a godsend for a toddler sleeping in a harness seat because they can pass out without their heads falling over - don't know how it'd go with an infant but would be worth a look.
As others have said it'll sleep best when it's rough, but at 3 months I'd be extremely careful. I'd still go, just be extremely careful.
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Reply By: J.T. - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 15:03

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 15:03
Hi All Again.

Really appreciate reading your thoughtful responses.

Definately err on the side of caution. Have a lot to think about. We have a Prado and a camper trailer. far cry from the old Series 2A Landy we got about in. Might leave it until September when the bub will be 6 months old. Would definately be slow cruisy drive with lots of stops. Thats suits us parents also. Stretch the legs and look about and have a cuppa.

As said above have done a lot of remote travel over the years and always been very prepared/careful/paraniod about all things safety wise. water, fuel, health etc.

To throw a spanner in the works I havent mentioned my "dear old Mum" might be joining us for her 75th bday. She can walk and therefore wander off. She might need a gps tracking device put in her hearing aids! ( When she wears them)

No horror stories on travelling with mums/mother in laws please. Ha ha.

Thanks again.

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Reply By: andoland - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 17:47

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 17:47
No reason not to do it. Friends that travelled the CSR with us last year had a 6 month old she handled the trip just fine. Just have a good quality car seat that supports their head well.
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Reply By: Ray - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 22:50

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 22:50
You will find that at that age and travel conditions especially corrugations they will bleep a lot more and spew a lot more and could get badly dehydrated, so keep a close eye on them and don't forget to take your disposable nappies home and don't dump the in the bush.
AnswerID: 490881

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