25 April 2014

Baby on board

Have you ever wondered why Baby on Board badges exist? They were a constant mystery to me before the boys.

Things I thought they meant before...
  • Maybe the driver wanted to show off that they had a baby... Seemed unlikely...

  • Was it a request for people not to drive in to the back of you? Hey, lunatic murderous driver intent on causing danger to other road users, you wouldn't purposefully kill a baby would ya? .... Surely not.

  • Or... A morbid alert to police/ ambulance men that there might be a baby in your car if you were dead or unconscious?.... I sincerely hope that emergency services would check vehicles for babies in the event of a crash anyway? Perhaps more so vehicles with child or baby seats in the back.... The sign is unlikely to change their protocol!

So maybe it means all those things. But it might also mean a whole host of other things...

If you see a Baby on Board sign, be nice. Consider that the driver is probably sleep deprived, emotional, possibly recently given birth and hormonal. Don't beep them! Don't drive up close behind them. Just be nice. A beep of the horn and a cross look could just tip the poor driver over the edge. (We've all been there right? Crying because someone in a car frowned at us?... no? Just me?)


Sorry I'm doing 40 on the motorway - I'm busy! I know it's a bit annoying to you that I'm driving slowly down the M4, but better that than you spy me doing the full actions to Wind the Bobbin up in the fast lane no?

Or peeling a banana. Or making a toy spaceman dance. Basically, the Baby on Board sign means that the driver is driving at the same time as doing at least 3 of the following things

- singing to a screaming baby
- screaming at screaming baby
- trying to find the "man song" to placate a grumpy toddler
- working out what the "man song" is and that it's on a cd in someone else's car
- trying to convince a toddler that the "bird song" is cooler than the "man song" anyway
- confiscating a tippee cup that's being used as an in car sprinkler
- feeding raisins one by one to someone on the back seat
- retrieving a toy from the footwell of the back seat
- threatening time out for wriggling out of car seat straps
- trying to work out how to do time out while driving

If there's a baby on board, a car is no longer merely a transportation device. It is at once a parent's best friend and worst enemy due to the "Will the baby fall asleep in the car" conundrum.

If you want them to sleep in the car, they'll wake at every corner, lane change or click of the indicator. If you want to keep them awake in the car no manner of loud nursery rhymes, interrogation or persuasion will stop their little eyelids drooping.

Therefore the Baby on Board sign could mean:
"Sorry I'm going fast but I need to get home before the child falls asleep! If they sleep in the car my whole nap routine might be ruined."
"If the car comes to a complete stop the baby will wake up so I have to crawl really slowly towards traffic lights or speed through them."

"Please overtake me, the baby is asleep and I need this journey to last as long as possible." [Just last week I took a little detour (around the M25) to keep the boys asleep for longer!]

So next time you see a Baby on Board sign, my advice would be to steer well clear of that car! If not only for the scary truth of a multitasking parent driver, then for the possibility of toddler launched missiles as they work out they can throw their shoes out of the window!


  1. Haha I'm not a driver but this sounds very true, if a little alarming :) x

  2. Haha yeah :) it's amazing how good you get at multitasking eh?

  3. Talking on a mobile phone while driving is practically a safety measure
    compared to having kids in the car. Especially ones that can get out of a
    car safety belt specifically manufactured for talented escapees and
    named "The Houdini strap".

  4. I know!! How do they contort their arms to get out of those harnesses?! It's impressive!

  5. Yes of course! Boy1 also demands food, then won't take it when I stretch my arm back to give it to him. Then asks for it again 10 seconds later. (And repeat!)