Let's face it, being a new mom can be scary. Your life changes in a flash.
Suddenly, you are responsible for making sure that all of your baby's needs are met, that they are kept safe from harm and that their world is filled with love.
There is so much that parents must consider, it's no wonder that you may be feeling anxious. After all, you want to be sure that you are doing everything that you can to make sure that your baby has the best start.
While it's impossible for any mom to get it all right all the time, when it comes to matters of your tot's safety, you want to be sure that you are giving them the best protection possible.
A car seat offers your baby that protection.
Read on to learn how to choose the right infant car seat for your bundle of joy!
Your Guide to Choosing an Infant Car Seat
Car seats save babies lives every day, all over the world.
Luckily, today's car seats are safer than ever. But, with so many available on the market choosing the right infant car seat can present a challenge.
When choosing an infant car seat, there are several things to consider.
Not every car seat is safe for newborns. And, it is imperative that any child is buckled properly and that the seat is secured correctly for it to do its job. These specifications vary according to the type of car seat and the child's age and weight brackets.
Keeping your little one safe on road trips can turn into quite a complicated task. Just ask any mom or relative who has struggled with a baby's seat. Believe it or not, it's a common frustration and many people find themselves confused, especially during baby's first year.
What's worst is that many parents don't realize just how taxing the installation of a car seat can be until it's time to buckle up and hit the road. Then, upon dealing with straps and buckles and attachments and positioning, it hits them.
Laws and Regulations
You need to know the car seat laws and regulations. If you do not follow the mandated requirements, you could be charged with breaking the law.
These include the following:
- The labels, information, and instructions to be provided in both of Canada's official languages
- The minimum weight requirement to use a booster seat is 18kg (versus 13.6 kg in the U.S.)
- Use a tether strap for front-facing child seats
- A mandatory inversion test is necessary for both infant and child seats
- A unique booster deflection test is also a must
- The lap/shoulder seat belt testing requirement for all types of car seats should be followed
- Energy absorbing materials are required
Car Seat Safety Tips
Following these tips can help make your baby's first car trips smoother.
Rear or Forward Facing?
Up until the age of two, your child's car seat should be rear facing. This means that they should be facing the rear window.
Follow the Appropriate Weight Recommendations
Whether you choose to use an infant car seat or a convertible car seat that adjusts as your child grows, it's important that you observe the weight guidelines that are listed on the seat.
Infant Car Seats
Infant car seats are usually only for newborns up to 6 months. However, your child's weight or the specifications for a particular seat may be less than 6 months. So, make sure you are informed about the exact recommendations for the seat you choose.
A Convertible Car Seat
Once your baby has outgrown their infant car seat, they will need a regular car seat. These are often equipped with harness straps that can adjust to accommodate them as they grow.
When to Buy a Booster Seat
Once your child outgrows their forward-facing car seat, usually around the age of four, they can graduate to a booster seat. A booster seat is recommended for children who are between 4 and 12 years old, depending on their size and weight.
Car Seat Installation
Depending on the car's make, model and year, you will either need to attach the seat using the rear seatbelt or the car's LATCH system. LATCH stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. These come standard on most cars manufactured on or after September 2002
Additional Car Safety Rules
Avoid Using a Secondhand Carseat
Never buy or use a secondhand car seat unless you have it properly inspected by either your local children's health professionals, hospital, or fire department. They can recommend whether or not it is safe. In addition, if the secondhand seat has ever been subjected to a car accident, then you should not use it.
Set an Example
Always set a good example for your family by buckling your own safety belt. If you make sure that you do this from the time your baby is born, it will become second nature to you, and to them.
Check for Recalls
Check for recalls when you purchase a car seat and then at least every few months to ensure that yours has not be recalled. Baby equipment is commonly recalled, so it's a good idea to refer to this list regarding other items such as your baby's stroller, bed, and other belongings.
Your Baby's First Car Seat
It's a good idea to buy your infant car seat and properly install it in your vehicle well in advance of your due date.
You should also familiarize yourself with the straps and buckles so that you know the correct techniques without a doubt when it comes time to buckle up your new arrival.
Are you looking for the perfect car seat for a newborn?
Check out this selection of infant car seats for a variety of styles and price tags to fit anyone's taste or budget!