Bringing a baby into the world is a wonderful experience thing for every parent. You have been waiting to hold the new arrival in your arms for nine months and now your wish has come true.
However, it may overwhelm some of us, especially if you are a first-time parent and have doubts about how to get them home from the hospital.
Experiencing the joy of parenthood with your new baby is going out for rides, visiting friends and your favorite parks, and just spending time with them when you are out and about.
Nonetheless, before being used to having the baby in your car, you experience all kinds of mixed feelings. Most of the mothers share their fears while putting the baby in the car seat, especially while driving alone and you find yourself constantly stopping to check on the baby.
Keeping your baby safe at all places is key. Unfortunately, road injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children. However, this is preventable if only parents take the necessary precaution.
Proper use of a baby car seat, such as infant car seats, rear-facing car seats or forward-facing car seats, can reduce the risk of death by about 72 percent.
A lack of information is still is a challenge with two out of every four baby car seats not being properly installed. Choosing the right infant seat is very important as it depends on the weight limit and will ensure that your child is well protected.
Keep Your Baby Safe With These Baby Car Seats
1. Rear-Facing Only Baby Car Seats
The seat offers you great satisfaction that your baby that weighs about 20 to 40 pounds is safe. Toddlers and infants up to 2 years should travel in a rear-facing baby car seat but they do have a weight limit.
The toddler’s weak neck muscles and relatively large heads put them at a higher risk of getting spine and head injuries during a crash. To prevent this, ensure that you use the rear-facing seat as it effective in guarding against this particular type of injury.
For holding the seat, they have handles that will enable you to hold the child properly. You may probably be running late and still have to install you baby seat which will make you even more stressed.
However, with this seat, you will not have to worry about it as it comes with a base. This base is easy to use as you will just have to click in and out the baby car seat and off you go.
2. Convertible Rear Facing Baby Car Seats
This baby seat will enable you to keep the baby safe while driving to hospital check-ups or at the grocery store. This seat will give you value for your money as it is convertible.
This means you can convert it once your baby achieves a higher growth milestone and can now travel facing forward. However, when the child is an infant or toddler, you are recommended to place them facing the rear side.
It has the capacity to hold a higher weight of about 42 to 50 pounds compared to rear-facing-only seats. As a parent, you will also not have to worry whether your child is well fitted as it has a 5-point harness. This means that you can strap the harness at the hips, shoulders, and between the baby’s legs.
3. Three-in-one Baby Car Seats
This type of seat is going to offer you more comfort to your baby and, most importantly, safety. Apart from using it for rear facing, you can also use it for forward-facing and as a belt-positioning booster.
You will also not be forced to replace it very soon as it can handle more weight. The 3-in-1 seat is bigger when compared to the rear-facing only and convertible rear-facing.
Therefore, if your child is below 2 years but bigger than the average baby, then this seat will suit you perfectly. However, this baby car seat lacks a base or a carrying handle.
4. Forward-Facing Baby Car Seats
This seat is recommended for babies who are 2 years and above. The manufacturers also indicate the maximum height and weight that the child should have. At this point, the parent is also at liberty to place the child facing forward.
Most of these seats are convertible and hold up 40 to 60 pounds. The seat also has a harness and this will ensure that the baby stability. You can use this seat for as long as possible until the baby outgrows the recommended height and weight.
5. Combination Baby Car Seats
This seat will give you the much-needed service for a long time and you will not be forced to constantly make replacements. The seat initially safely holds the baby less than 40 pounds with a harness.
The 5-point harness will give you the confidence that the baby is well positioned. However, after the child reaches 40 pounds, the seat is converted by removing the harness. It converts the seat into a belt-positioning booster. You can use this seat until the child reaches 80 pounds and with the shoulder belt.
6. Booster Baby Car Seats
Babies grow first and by the time you know it, they cannot fit any more into that seat you brought them home with from the hospital. As a parent, you will have no choice but to ensure that their safety is prioritized at all times.
Replacing baby car seat is something that you have to experience in the journey of parenthood. The baby booster car seat is what you will need once the baby exceeds the forward-facing period.
At this point, they are able to support themselves on their own and require no harness. If your child is at this stage, you will have to use the belt-positioning booster seat.
At this point, your child may not fit in the vehicle seat belts properly and also not in the forward-facing seats. Therefore, you will have no choice but to use these booster seats.
This is a great way of ensuring that the child is safe while in the car and you can use it until they are 12 years old. Choose the right baby car seat taking into consideration the height and weight of the baby and you will be always confident that your child is safe.
7. Lap And Shoulder Seat Belt
At a certain point, you will have to make a choice of introducing the child to lap and shoulder seat belt. Previously, the child has been using the belt-positioning booster seat but it comes a time for them to move to the next safety option.
There are three things that will make you to definitely know that the child is supposed to start using the lap and shoulder seat belt. The first is when the child is able to sit in the car seat with knees being bent at the seat’s edge and this is without them slouching.
Moreover, the seatbelt should pass through the child’s upper thighs and not the abdomen. It should also not lie against the child’s neck but rather than the middle of shoulder and chest.
If all this is achieved, then it is safe for the child to ride without having a booster. This should be used for a child who is at 4 feet 9 inches tall.
Car Seat Safety Measures that Will Help You Keep the Baby Safe
The safest place to keep the baby seat is at the middle position in the back seat. It is considered as being safe as it is the farthest from windows and doors.
The type of clothing you put on the baby should also be considered. During the cold season, you may be tempted to dress your baby in a heavy coat. However, this is not advisable as it results in a poorly placed harness.
What you are supposed to do is to cover the child once you’ve placed the seat harness on. This ensures that your baby is properly secured and not either be tightly or loosely placed.
While purchasing a baby car seat, always check the recommended weight and height. Also, if you get the baby car seat from your best friend, ensure that it comes with a manual on the recommended weight and height for the baby.
This is because the seat can turn out to be problematic if not used correctly. The baby should not be taller than the seat as in case of an accident, chances of head injury are more.
Therefore, invest in a good baby car seat and you will be confident that the child is well protected. Usually, car seats are manufactured to be used for children up to the age of 13 years.
Children below this year are not expected to sit at the front of the seat but on back seat which is free from airbags. Furthermore, if you are using the rear-facing baby car seat, never place it in the front seat specifically if it has an airbag.
Baby car seats are an important part of the early life of the child. It ensures that the parent is able to protect the child while driving against injuries that may be caused by a car crash.