What You Must Know Before Buying a Baby Car Seat
As you might have guessed already, it`s not quite easy to find a car seat for your new baby, especially when it comes to the fact that they all have lots of guidelines and instructions about how to use them. And because the safety of your newborn should come first, you need to invest time and money to choose the right car seat in which your child will spend a lot of hours, hopefully comfortable ones.
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Before Buying your Baby Car Seat
1. Try to take a moment and think how you`ll use the car seat. If you only intend to use it for short rides and you`ll need to pull it out of your car often, then you should choose a light-weight car seat. When thinking about car shells, quite useful is the base that will be fixed on the car`s backseat and in which the shell will need to fit perfectly without needing to adjust the car seat belt each time you use the car seat. If you need to make longer rides, an adjustable baby car seat will be more helpful because it can be inclined so your child can sleep comfortably.
2. Decide on a car seat that will fit your baby`s height and weight.
3. Newborn babies should always remain in their car shell (group 0+), with the back of the shell faced towards the travel direction, until they reach 9kg and are able to stay on their own without needing any help. However, the longer they stay with their back at the direction of travel, the safer they`ll be. Once your baby has reached the maximum weight supported by the car seat`s group or when the head of your child passes the upper edge of his seat (no matter if his knees are bend or not), the transition to a car seat of a higher group can be made.
4. Baby car seats are manufactured for particular weight limits. If the child is too big for his car seat, he won`t be properly protected or he can even be injured in case of an accident. The child probably won`t feel comfortable in his car seat. If your child is too little, he can slide along the belts of his seat and can even be thrown out of his seat during an accident, and his car seat`s belt can even hurt him.
Baby Car Seat Installation Guidelines
1. It`s safer to install your child`s car seat on the backseat of your car, but if it`s really necessary, you can also use it on the right front seat of your car, as long as the airbag in front of your baby isn`t functional. If the airbag would trigger in case of an accident, it would most likely hurt your baby because the airbag would be thrown out with a considerable force.
2. Pay attention at the manufacturer`s instructions when you install the car seat.
3. Be sure that the car seat belt will pass through all the points mentioned in the instruction manual. In case of the belt being too short, some manufacturers advise alternative methods for extraordinary situations.
4. Place your knee in the car seat and use your force to tighten the seat belt until you are sure the car seat is secure. The belt needs to be perfectly stretched, without any remained loops on the belt.
5, The child car seat shouldn`t have any space to move back or forward, and it needs to be as firmly positioned as possible, as it would be part of the car.
6. The buckle of the car seat belt shouldn`t be lied upon the car seat`s frame. The seat`s belt buckle will be in tension, which means that in case of an impact, the belt can come out from his lock.
7. If you take the baby car seat out of your car often, install it and check it that is well adjusted every time. If it remains in the car for longer periods of time, check it from time to time. For the baby car seats from the group 0+, there`s a special base that can be installed in the car and to which the car shell can be added or removed depending on the situation. – Click here!
6 Common Mistakes when Using a Baby Car Seat
- Improper positioning of the car seat – The seat is always installed on the backseat of the car. It`s recommended for the car seat to be installed in the center of the car`s backseat with the child facing forward towards the driver`s seat.
- Incorrect installation of the car seat – The seat shouldn`t move more than 2 – 3 cm sideaways or towards the front when you grab it with both your hands and try to move it.
- Buying an used car seat – When buying a car seat for your baby, it`s important to know its history – if it suffered any accidents, has any manufacturing defects, if it was repaired, and so on. The seat shouldn`t be older than 6 years, it shouldn`t been involved in any accident and should present itself in a good state of function.
- Choosing an unsuitable seat for the child`s age – There are different types of baby car seat: shell, basket, etc. Every type is suitable and designed for a certain weight and age of the child.
- The straps of the harness are improperly introduced – When the child sits on his back, the devices that keep the straps fixed should be positioned somewhere near the shoulder or under him. When he sits on his buttocks, the straps should be introduced in the above slots (if the guidelines of the car seat don`t recommend otherwise).
- Harnesses are too broad – Every baby car seat is designed with harnesses or special belts to keep the baby safe. Sometimes, parents do the mistake of living these harnesses too broad, which isn`t recommended. You should always check if they are sufficiently fixed around the baby`s body so he doesn`t slip between them.