For most new mothers, one of the biggest challenges they face is learning how to properly secure their little bundle of joy into their car seat for trips to the doctor, grocery store, or grandmother’s house. The first and most important tip is to make sure the car seat is the right size for your baby.
There are different seats for infants and toddlers based on their age, weight, and height. If you are not sure which seat is best, please feel free to stop by Apple Babies and we will be more than happy to help you select the right car seat.
Once you have the right car seat, you want to make sure it is correctly installed in your vehicle and faces the right direction. Some newer cars come with car seat tie-down straps and these should be used along with the seat belt restraints as they keep the seat more firmly in place. If you are not sure how to install the car seat, check in your vehicle’s owner manual or car dealer for help.
Now that the seat is installed, you want to be prepared your baby may cry and scream while you are trying to buckle them into their car seat. This does not mean there is anything wrong, they are just voicing their objections to being restrained.
While you want to make sure your baby is comfortable, you also want to ensure they are safely secured into their car seat. The straps should fit between the legs and allow them to freely move their legs. The upper straps should go under their arms and/or slightly below their shoulders without any obstructions around their neck. They should also be able to freely move their arms and hands.
The straps do need to be snug, but not overly tight. You should be able to place your pointing finger under the strap. If there is more space than that, the straps need tightened. Otherwise if they are left too loose your baby could get tangled up in the straps, get out, or worse, fly out of the car seat if you were to get into an accident.
The car seat should also be placed into the car at the right angle because your baby has not yet developed full control over their neck to keep their head in an upright position. You may need to recline the vehicle’s seat slightly so the car seat leans back. If you notice your baby’s head is falling forward onto their chest, this means you need to recline the vehicle’s seat.
When buckling your baby into their car seat make sure they are just in their clothes with no added layers, like winter jackets or snowsuits. These items can pinch your baby’s skin and body when left on and buckled into the seat. Instead, place them into the seat, then wrap a blanket around the baby to keep them warm.
Using the above tips will help you become a car seat expert in no time! For car seats, strollers, carriers and other essential baby items, remember to stop by your baby specialty store in Toronto, Apple Babies or call us at 416-546-8483 today!