Infant Car Seat Safety
Bringing a baby into the world is an amazing experience. It is an emotional time for you and your family. You are growing a new life with so much possibility. Choosing how you want to bring your baby into the world is an important decision. Once your baby is here, there are so many challenges on how to keep them safe.
Infant car seat safety is a major topic of concern for new parents. You can’t even leave the hospital unless you have a car seat. Deciding what type of car seat that will work best for a baby that hasn’t arrived yet can be difficult. There is so much information online about what car seat is the best car seat for your baby. Consider consulting a newborn care specialist for all of your baby needs.
Doulas are also available to help in the birth and the aftercare of your baby. A Labor Doula is someone that assists you in bringing your baby into the world. They are there to support you from the first contraction to the arrival of your baby in making important decisions related to the birthing process. A Postpartum Doula assists you after the birth of your baby. This generally includes helping baby and you learn how to breastfeed, bonding with your baby, how to recover both emotionally and physically from the labor, and any other questions that you may have related to the care of your newborn.
A newborn care specialist is available to assist you even after you leave the hospital with your baby. This person helps with establishing routines, sleep training, and with tips for selecting the right car seat to ensure that your baby is safe. Some things to look for when selecting a car seat are that there are three types of car seats available. An infant only car seat, a convertible car seat, and a three in one car seat. Some companies even offer a four in one variety, but it has similar features to the three in one model.
An infant only car seat is just that, only for infants. It can only be mounted in the rear facing position and has a weight limit. Once your baby has exceeded that weight limit, you will need to get a new car seat. The benefit with this type of seat is that it has a carrying handle and an easy snap in base that stays in your vehicle. That way you don’t have to struggle with getting your baby in and out of the car seat in a confined space. You can buy multiple bases to mount in other vehicles as well. Some models are even available with a stroller so that the car seat can be locked into the stroller to make it easier to get out into the world.
A convertible car seat can be mounted either rear facing or forward facing. It has a higher weight and height limit so that you can keep your baby rear facing longer for their continued safety. This type of seat stays mounted in the vehicle. If you need to use another vehicle, you will have to remove it and remount it. Another downside is if your baby is on the smaller side; this type of seat may not hold them as securely.
A three in one car seat can be mounted rear facing, forward facing, and eventually become a booster seat. This type of seat also stays mounted in the vehicle. If you are considering this type of model, check to make sure that it is rated for infants. Not all models are designed with infant safety in mind.
All new models of car seats use the five point harness system for ensuring that in the event of a car accident, your baby will be safe. This means that there are straps over each shoulder, one on each side of the hips, and one between the baby’s legs. Older models used a three point harness system, but they are not as safe. It only has the straps over the shoulders and between the legs. The baby could be shifted from side to side in an accident. If you are purchasing a new model, this shouldn’t be a point of concern. If you are reusing a car seat, make sure that it has the correct number of harness points.
Vehicles older than 2002 are not equipped with the Latch system that makes installing a car seat easier. Make sure to read the instruction manual that is provided with the car seat for proper installation. You may even need to read your vehicle’s manual. According to a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, less than 10% of new parents install their car seats correctly. Consider having a professional help with installation, or at least check that the car seat is installed correctly. Police stations, fire stations, and hospitals often offer to double check car seat installations.
Even after the car seat is installed properly, many parents don’t use it correctly. Dressing your baby for a car seat involves not having them wear multiple layers. Take the coat off and don’t dress them in bulky clothing. Add a blanket on top of your baby after they are strapped into the car seat. The harnesses should be snug, but not too tight. You should be able to get two fingers between the straps and your baby’s collarbone.
Make sure that the car seat is at a forty-five degree angle. This will ensure that your baby’s head is able to stay upright until they have more neck control. For the rear facing position, the top of the harness straps need to be at or below the baby’s shoulders. Many car seats come with an infant insert that surrounds the baby’s head. This will help to keep their head from flopping around too much.
Other factors to consider once you’ve selected a model of car seat are the additional items that can purchased separately. While it may be tempting to add items to your car seat to make your baby more comfortable, it is not necessary. The car seat was crash tested as is and adding more items can make it unsafe for your baby.
Infant car seat safety is important. Choosing the right car seat for your baby doesn’t have to be an obstacle to overcome. Just follow these simple guidelines and ask questions if you need help. Being a parent doesn’t come with a manual. There are resources available to get you through any challenge.