I remember one of the scariest car rides I have ever had was taking our newborn home from the hospital. It was a cold and icy day and I was sleep deprived and anxious, not a good combination. Suddenly your brain starts working overtime; Is the car seat safe? Is baby strapped in safely? Are we driving too fast or too slow? Something I took for granted had suddenly become laced with danger. What I needed to do was take a deep breath and stay calm! If this sounds like you then read on for my top tips to ensuring car safety with your newborn.
Ensure you have a safe and securely fitted car seat.
A baby car seat is often one of the major purchases for a newborn however it is always worth getting professional advice prior to purchasing. Seek out a retailer that offers sound advice and a demonstration on how to safely fit your seat in your car. Major retailers such as Halfords or Mothercare should have a specialist in store to guide you.
Have a few practices before your due date to make sure you know how to fit it yourself so you don’t have to panic when leaving the hospital.
Avoid keeping babies in car seats for any longer than absolutely necessary.
There has been recent testing from the NHS which has found that newborn babies may be at risk of breathing difficulties if left in car safety seats for long periods, particularly when the car is moving and the seat is at an upright angle, according to new research. Naturally, parents will need to take long journeys from time to time. Regular breaks are recommended in these cases – or you could look for a baby car seat which holds your baby in a flatter position. Read more in this article from Which.
Check baby’s outdoor clothing
It is easy to wrap baby up in too many layers when they are going out. Beware that harness straps might not provide enough protection is fitted over over a baby’s bulky outerwear such as a snow suit. If it’s cold, dress your baby in a lightweight jacket and hat. Buckle the harness snugly and then tuck a blanket around your baby for warmth. Save the bulky outerwear for outdoors or in the pram.
Ensure your car is regularly serviced
Before the big day ensure your car has been serviced recently, or at least get the tyres and breaks checked if the annual service is not due. Once baby arrives you will have lots on your mind and the last thing you will want to do is have to take a trip to the garage with baby in tow.
Don’t get distracted when driving
A screaming baby is one of the most ear piercing sounds in the world however you do need to be focused on your driving and don’t let it distract you. Try to find a safe area to pull over and get baby settled with a feed or nappy change if required.
Think about installing a Vehicle Camera
Dashboard mounted vehicle accident cameras are becoming increasingly popular and can help to reduce your insurance premiums. They won’t eliminate danger entirely, but they may create a culture of doubt among fraudsters and dangerous drivers. If this makes the roads safer for the majority of drivers then that is a step forward. If you are interested in finding out more then this Guide to vehicle cameras gives lots more useful information.