There are many items that are essential for a new baby, such as a crib and stroller, but one of the most important items is the car seat. It is in this seat that you will place your baby when you take her home from the hospital for the first time. It is therefore vital that you buy a good quality car seat that will provide both protection and comfort for your child.
Things to Remember
A car seat must be appropriate for the age of your child. For example, car seats are usually designed to provide the adequate protection for the child, based on age and weight. Some seats are classed as infant-only seats and can be used for babies from birth up until they weigh around 35 pounds. Infant seats should never be forward-facing because forward-facing seats increase the risk of injury in the event of an accident. Children should remain rear-facing in a car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended by the car seat manufacturer, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Children can be placed in forward-facing seats when they have outgrown their rear-facing seat and should continue using this seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommendations. All children should then use a booster seat until the car shoulder and lap belt fits correctly. This is typically when the child is aged between 8 and 12, or when the child is a minimum of 4ft 9inches in height.
Mistakes to Avoid When Using Car Seats
A car seat provides protection for a child in the event of an accident and can ensure comfort when traveling. However, there are some common mistakes that could render the car seat ineffective. For example, not choosing a compatible car seat means it will not fit in the car correctly and could increase the risk of injury for the child in an accident. It is best to get advice from a knowledgeable store assistant who can fit the car seat for you.
Oftentimes, parents will buy a car seat online and will fit it themselves. But if the car seat is not secured correctly, it will not provide protection for the child.
Another mistake that parents unwittingly make is to put their child into the car seat with a bulky coat or jacket. The padding on these clothing items can mean that the harness is not secured tight enough, which is unsafe for the baby as it creates a slack on the harness.
Babies often fall asleep when travelling in a car seat and because rear-facing car seats can be easily removed from the car and taken into the house, many parents will just leave the baby to sleep in the car seat. This is actually very dangerous because the car seat can tip forward when placed on the floor, potentially causing the baby’s head to flop forward too. This could impact their airways.
If you want your baby to stay asleep when taking her from a rear-facing car seat, you could try the fantastic car seat swaddle from CozeeCoo. Designed to wrap around the baby like a blanket in the car, it does not affect the way in which the car seat works and makes it easier to remove the sleeping baby without waking her. It is just like a wearable blanket.
In conclusion, a car seat is designed to protect babies and children when traveling by car. However, it must be used correctly, or it could become ineffectual. Always choose a car seat that is compatible with your car and make sure it is fitted properly.