by Justine Deputy, RN, MSN
Photo: Ali Lawrence, Birth Center Mama
Going home after delivery can be nerve-racking as you put that tiny little newborn you love so much into the car. The best thing you can do to prepare to bring your baby home safely is to ensure your car seat is installed correctly. Statistics show that seven out of every 10 car seats are installed incorrectly. This can be because the car seat is too loose, the angle is wrong, the car seat does not fit the measurements of the baby, the latch or seat belt system is being used incorrectly, or another reason. We are going to share a few car seat tips with you here and recommend that you get a car seat check if you have not gotten one before. It is also helpful to get a check when you get a new car seat or even a new car. Every seat is different and every car is different.
Your car seat journey begins when shopping for a car seat. Some families opt to begin with an infant bucket seat while other families may opt to start with a convertible seat suitable for infants. The car seat you choose may depend on a number of factors including what type of car you have, if you have other children and other car seats, and where you plan to position the seat.
Securing the Car Seat
There are methods to secure a car seat in your car. Many of us may throw manuals away that come with some of the products we buy, but a car seat manual is essential to installation and something you should always keep in your car. Along with the car seat manual, you should also have your car manual. Your car manual may tell you things like where the seat would be ideally placed or what type of method is appropriate to secure the car seat in certain seats.
Securing Your Little One
We all want our children to be as safe as they can be especially in the car. Properly securing your child allows them to be as protected as possible in the event of a crash. It is important to understand the guidelines related to your child’s age as well as refreshing your memory as they grow and their safety needs change.
Guidelines for Securing Children in a Car Seat
Guidelines & Other Resources
Make sure you are educated on car seat safety and get a car seat check prior to delivery!
Car Safety from Birth to Driving
Car Seat Fitting Stations
Resources for Help During COVID-19
Although in-person car seat checks are temporarily cancelled due to coronavirus precautions, each state is still offering phone and/or video assistance with car seat installation. Delaware Maryland Pennsylvania