As a new parent, there are a lot of things that cross your mind. At every step of the way, your child’s safety is the most important thing. You go the extra mile in ensuring that you buy products from a good brand, so that it ensures safety for your child.
One such very important gear is the baby car seat. Travelling anywhere with the baby is a challenge in itself. To make it easier, you can always rely on a good quality car seat for your baby. However, there are some safety tips that you should follow to ensure that your child is snug and safe in his/her car seat.
As easy as it might look to keep your baby in a car seat might look, it can be a tough nut to crack. Here are a few tips for you to ensure that your baby is tucked comfortably in an infant car seat.
Babies take their time to adjust to changes and they take their own sweet time to adapt to these changes. So, don’t freak out if your baby doesn’t like being strapped in the car seat. He might often cry or scream. This isn’t the time to panic. It doesn’t usually mean your baby is uncomfortable; it could just be their response adapting to something new. Let them get used to it.
Invest in a good car seat
If you have already made a decision and are looking forward to buying a used car seat for your baby, ensure that it comes with instructions. It should preferably have the date of manufacture and the model number too so you can get it repaired if need be. Do not buy an expired product. It will only cost you more money later. Needless to say, do not even consider buying a seat that has broken or missing parts. You cannot compromise with the safety of your child.
Check the Buckle Position
Some baby car seats come with crotch straps and buckles. The strap goes between the baby’s legs and ends in a buckle. The position of the buckle can vary. While not all infant car seats come with an adjustable buckle, always look for one. This allows you to increase or decrease the length of the strap, allowing it to fit the baby perfectly as they grow.
It is important to note that there should not be any gap between the strap and baby’s body. You baby can slouch in gaps while the car is running. This can be particularly dangerous for sleeping babies because they might drop their chin on their chest, causing them to suffocate.
Make sure it’s the right fit
As a parent, your top priority is to make your baby comfortable while traveling. Wrong positioning of straps or length could cause distress to your baby.
Take care of the neck
Infants do not have the strength to keep their neck straight. This is why you need to make sure that the strap is not too tight and the baby is not entirely upright because, in such a case, the head might flop forward, causing suffocation.
You can prevent this from happening by keeping the straps snug. Newborns like to be held snugly so this will ensure that they fall asleep during the journey.
Recline the car seat optimally
In a rear facing setting, you must recline the car seat properly. This is important because especially because the angle of the seat’s back will determine how comfortably your baby rests. The chin must be off the chest.
Find the right spot
The front seat in cars is not a safe place to place your child’s car seat. This is because that’s where air bags usually are. Imagine how serious an injury it could cause if the airbag inflates with an impact. This is why it is always advised to place your child’s car seat in the back seat of your car.
Cover them up after strapping the belt
Don’t have anything between the car seat strap and your baby. It should be wrapped entirely around the body. Make sure that you don’t make them wear heavy winter clothing. Once your baby is strapped in, you can tug them comfortably in a blanket.
Give them some book/toy
Babies can often get irritated when they are tied to the car seat and can’t move about. Distract them a little with colorful books or a toy they like. Alternatively, you can play some good music or a song they like.
Don’t face the seat forward too soon
Contrary to what people earlier used to do, it is not recommended to keep your child’s car seat in the forward-facing position. We know parents like to keep their baby’s car seat placed this way so they can keep a watchful eye on them in the rearview mirror. But resist the temptation. Place the seat rear facing until your baby is big enough to support his own weight. Or you can buy a convertible seat if your budget allows.
Moving to a safety belt too soon
Kids are usually able to use seat belts by the age of 8-10 years. Know when your child is ready by observing a few things.
- Make sure your child reaches a height of 4’9”
- Your child should be big enough to place their knees at the seat’s edge while their back rests against the seat’s back.
- The lap belt should not rest against your child’s neck or face. It should instead rest on the pelvic region, while the shoulder belt goes across the shoulder and chest.
- If your child is 13 or younger, the back seat of the car is the safest place for them.