Checking To Make Sure Your Rear
Tip : Practice Using The Harness And Straps
As well as providing safe and secure support, it is important that child car seats, harnesses and straps are correctly adjusted.You will be dealing with straps every day, so it is highly recommended to test the ease of use before you make your purchase to ensure safer harnessing.Some car seats also the feature harnesses that do not require threading/unthreading thus enable automatic shoulder height repositioning. These are important features that make using a car seat easier and less stressful.
Tip : Always Choose A Car Seat That Has Been Safety Tested
In a collision, infants, babies and children are extremely vulnerable if they are not properly secured in a car seat. Australias Standards for car seats is one of the toughest in the world to ensure better protection for our children.In Australia, it is illegal to purchase or use a car seat that does not comply with the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1754. Always look for the certification mark AS/NZS:1754 on the car seat you choose for your child.
- Britax Safe-n-Sound Unity ISOFIXSuitable for newborns up to 12 months . Only capsule in Australia suitable for low birth weight and premature infant without restrictive medical conditions. $0
- Our Most Advanced Convertible Car Seat Yet! $0
- Your Hassle Free Travel Companion $0
- Britax Safe-n-Sound Maxi Guard PROAward winner Harnessed Car Seat $0
- Safety For Your Child Beyond 7 Years $0
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Whether You Have A Newborn Or A Toddler Securing Baby In His Car Seat Can Be A Challenge But It’s A Necessity In Keeping Him Safe Follow These Tips To Be Sure Baby’s Buckled Into His Car Seat Properly
Chances are, your baby will not be happy about getting strapped into his car seat for the first time, just like he often cries during diaper changes and dressing. But don’t panic: Crying or even screaming doesn’t mean he’s in any distress, so don’t freak out.
Stay calm and use these tips to ensure that baby is buckled in safely:
How To Find Latch In Your Vehicle
When you’re looking for the LATCH system in your car, your first stop should be the vehicle owner’s manual. If you can’t find the physical copy, don’t worryyou can almost always find it online for free. Next, take a look at the back seat of your vehicle. Bring the owner’s manual with you and use it as a guide. The document doesn’t just make your search easierit will also help you avoid making incorrect assumptions.
The lower anchors are usually marked by little circles or tags with a LATCH symbol. If you only see two pairs of circles , keep looking. In some cars, the lower anchors are well-hidden under a flap or deep in the vehicle seat. If there are three sets of LATCH markings, that means there’s a set of lower anchors specifically for the center seat.
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Comfort: Is Your Baby Comfortable Enough To Sleep In The Seat
There is nothing worse than having a baby crying at the back of your car for an entire journey. If your child isnt comfortable in their seat, they will cry!The two most important things for comfort in an infant car seat are extra padding and material breath-ability. The UPPAbaby MESA is one of the best car seats in that category thanks to its soft, lightweight and breathable natural Merino wool fabric.
What About In A Crash
Many parents believe that the pillow-like inserts included with their babys car seat are there to keep the babys head safe during a crash. Surprisingly, this is not the case. A receiving blanket or other type of soft object placed alongside the head will compress in a crash to a degree that it will not limit the motion of the babys head and neck in a meaningful way. Limiting the motion of the head and neck must be done by a structural part of the car seat, like a built-in head restraint in the car seat that is close fitting to the childs head, as found on some car seats with no-rethread harnesses.
Its important to note here that rear-facing is the safest way to ride because it best cradles and supports the infants head and neck during a crash. In a frontal crash, while the forward-facing kids and adults are being thrown forward with their heads and necks being forcefully thrown forward away from their chests the rear-facing childs head is cradled against the back of the car seat, much like a baseball catcher catching a fastball. In a side impact the rear-facing position is also more protective because instead of the head and neck being thrown out of the side wings of the forward-facing car seat as typically happens, the rear-facing car seat pivots towards the impact and the rear-facing childs head and neck stay better contained by the protective shell of the car seat.
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Wait I Cant Fit My Infant Car Seat And My Forward
If you cant fit two seats right next to each other, you will have to use the two outside seats. There isnt really a preferred side for the infant as far as crash safety is concerned. There is virtually no difference between drivers side and passenger side in crash statistics.
One thing you may think about is, again, if you ever street park. If you do, you may want to put the child who takes the longest to get buckled in on the passenger side so you are in the street with the door open for as little time as possible. For instance, a toddler has to be put the seat and get buckled, whereas a child in an infant carrier just gets popped into the base already installed in the car. Obviously the infant carrier is a quick open the door, pop it in, close the door and youre out of the way of traffic.
Of course thats assuming the infant carrier fits behind the drivers seat in your car. Ugh, so many variables!
Keep Baby Warm Safely
New parents want to shield their babies from rain, cold, and other unpleasant weather. It’s OK to add a blanket to cover your baby, but you must put the blanket over the top of the harness. Never place blankets, thick clothing, or winter coats underneath the car seat harness. Since babies and children should not wear bulky clothes under car seat straps, they will often need more than a thin blanket on top to stay warm. In cold weather, dress your baby in several thin, close-fitting layers.
Thick padding and blankets under the harness don’t allow the harness to fit tight enough to be safe.
A blanket over the top of the buckled harness, then tucked in around your baby, is usually enough warmth for most situations. You might also consider a winter car seat cover if you need to be out and about with baby in cold weather. Choose one that goes on top of the car seatnever the type where there is a layer of fabric under the baby’s body.
Don’t add any other accessories to your baby’s car seat unless they’re approved by the manufacturer or they came with the car seat.
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Theres No Need To Reposition A Head Turned To The Sidethis Can Be Unsafe
When parents see their newborns head turned to the side, many parents rush out to buy infant head supports which try to keep the head looking straight. Because these supports have tons of padding around and behind the head, they can actually push the babys head down onto his chest, which is dangerous!
Why is it dangerous if the babys head is pushed down to their chest? When your chin falls to your chest its hard to breathe! Your chin actually blocks off your airway in this situation. Anyone who can sit upright unsupported can easily pick their head up off their chest to breathe more easily so if your toddler sleeps in the car seat with his chin on his chest hell be fine as he can pick his head up if he has trouble breathing, and so will you if you doze off in this position in the car. Because they cant sit upright unsupported, newborns cant pick their heads up, and the chin-to-chest position is a very dangerous one its dangerous in the car seat, the bouncy seat, the swing, the stroller, etc.
Many parents are surprised to learn that the head inserts that come in some infant seats and in particular the head inserts sold separately tend to make your babys head MORE likely to fall into a chin-to-chest position because there is padding placed behind directly behind the babys head.
How To Put A Newborn In A Car Seat
This article was co-authored by Jami Yaeger. Jami Yaeger is a Parenting Specialist, Doula, and the Owner of AustinBorn, an online community offering comprehensive and modern education to growing families. With 10 years of experience, Jami specializes in whole family support for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting. Jami earned her BA in Theatre Performance from San Diego State University and earned her Certification as a Lactation Education Counselor from the University of California, San Diego. She is a Certified Infant and Child CPR Instructor, Birth and Postpartum Doula, and Childbirth Educator. This article has been viewed 11,182 times.
Securing a newborn in a car seat can be intimidating, especially if youve never done it before. Its important to get the proper seat positioning and level of snugness in the straps to keep your newborn safe. Luckily, doing this is a lot easier than it might seem. Take a deep breath, take your time, and double-check everything.
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When To Move To An Adult Safety Belt
Legally, your child must be in an approved child restraint until theyre seven years old, but to reduce the risk of injury its recommended they remain in a booster seat until they can safely fit a vehicle seat and seat belt. Many children need a booster until theyre around 12 years old.
Its best to keep a child in a booster seat until theyre 148cm tall and pass the five-step test:
- your child can sit right back on the seat
- their legs bend comfortably over the edge of the seat
- the shoulder belt comes over their shoulder, not against their neck
- the lap part of the seat belt sits low on top of the thighs, not up around their stomach
- your child can stay seated like this for the whole trip.
If youre uncertain, talk to a child restraint technician for advice.
Swaddle After Strapping In
It’s dangerous to have anything other than the baby under the straps even a snowsuit or winter jacket so be sure to buckle just baby in to the seat. Once he’s strapped in, you can wrap a blanket firmly around her to give the feeling of being swaddled and keep her warm during winter.
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What If Theres More Than One
If you have two kids, you can place the newborn in the center position as they are more vulnerable. If its not possible to put two baby seats next to each other, use the outside seats instead. Consider which child takes longer to buckle in and out, then put them on the drivers side.
If you have three kids, fitting three car seats in the back seat could get tricky. You can get narrow car seats that will fit your car. Do keep in mind that children below the age of 13 should always sit in the rear seat .
Price: How Much Should You Spend On A Car Seat
Wondering how much a baby car seat is going to cost you? Typical prices range from $100 for entry-level models to $300 for more premium models. In general, the more you spend the more features and quality materials you may get.Regardless of how much you spend, every car seat sold in the United States meets the minimum safety standards. So why are some models nearly three times more expensive than the cheapest car seat? It all comes down to features, materials and finishing.The Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35, for example, is one of the cheapest models available on the market today . It will keep your baby safe in the car but we wouldnt recommend it for extended use as your child wont be comfortable in it.The UPPAbaby MESA, on the other hand, is more expensive but comes with a naturally breathable fabric and plenty of extra cushion to help your baby fall asleep while being in the seat.To decide how much you should spend on your seat, we recommend that you think about how youll be using it. The more time your baby will have to spend in the seat, the more money you should spend to make it a pleasant journey for everyone in the car.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created a handy little video to sum it all up:
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Practice Installing Your Car Seat Without A Base Before Travel
Dont let the first time you install a car seat with no base be when you need to. Practice makes perfect. Try installing the seat both with and without the baby in it before you travel. Practice before you go, more than once.
Practice installing the seat on both the center of the back seat and the sides. Studies have shown that the center position in the back seat can be up to 43 percent safer for baby. But some center seats bump out a bit, which can make installation tricky.
What is the right installation? One that you feel confident is secure. Go with what you feel most comfortable with.
TravelingMom Tip: Check your area for car seat fittings or workshops with a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician. You can call your local hospital, first responders and retails stores to locate one.
Check Age And Size Requirements
To keep your child secure as they travel the road ahead, be sure to choose the right car seat for their age and size. Babies start in a rear-facing car seat before moving to a forward-facing car seat and then to a booster seat as an older child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you keep your child in their rear-facing car seat until they outgrow it. When they reach the weight and height limits, then and only then is it time to graduate to the next seat.
This has more to do with your childs size, not their age. Dont rush the process.
For example, your baby can ride in the Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna until they reach 32.6 inches or 32 pounds. Until then, this secure and comfy car seat is the ticket.
Rest easy knowing that the Turtle Air by Nuna’s materials have been carefully developed and meticulously tested so that they efficiently absorb force and protect your little co-pilot.
And, since its compatible with the Bugaboo Bee 6, Fox 3, Donkey 5 , Butterfly, and Lynx strollers, the car seats ultra-lightweight design lets you move seamlessly from the stroller to the car and back again.
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Winter Coat In The Car
Wearing bulky clothes or winter coats can prevent a snug fit of the harness. You might think your child is securely snug in the seat when in fact the harness is not tight because there is so much air in the jacket. Adjust the harness while your childs coat is off, then put the coat back on and rebuckle. The harness may be tight, but it will fit properly.
Do You Need A Carseat On A Plane
Do I have to use a car seat on a plane? Youre not required to, but both the Federal Aviation Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend that you use an FAA-approved child restraint device. Whether you use a car seat or a harness, your child will need his own seat on the airplane.
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Purchase A New Car Seat
Since it takes a village to raise a child, youll probably treasure the special hand-me-downs from friends and family. That said, a few baby products are better brand new. A car seat is one of them.
Using a new car seat allows you to be sure that it still has all its parts and has never been in a crash.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you shouldnt use a car seat if its too old, has cracks, is missing the manufacturing label or instructions, is missing parts, has been recalled, or has been in a crash even a moderate one.
Purchasing new helps you avoid all of these problems.
Install the car seat correctly
Once you have your car seat, install it correctly for optimal performance. Since the exact installation procedures depend on the brand and model of your car seat, refer to the manual. If you tossed the manual in the trash , find it online.
If you want a pro to install the car seat for you or simply check to be sure youve done it correctly, turn to a Child Passenger Safety Technician. Theyre specifically trained in car seat installation and will put your mind at ease.
To find a technician in your area, ask your hospital or OBGYN.