Most of us today belong to nuclear families & have no choice but to be self reliant and independent. When my son was born, I was lucky enough to have my parents and then my in-laws move in with us to help out in the first few months. After everyone left, I had to manage everything on my own. Since I live in a metropolitan city where distances are large it would be quite a problem when it came to getting out of the house & run any errands with my baby. I could no longer go to a nearby mall, meet a friend for coffee or go to my parents place as there was no one to hold my son in the car while I drove. It was then that a close friend of mine (a mother of two children) came as an angel to my rescue & suggested me to buy a car seat to immediately put an end to my misery!
My son was about four months old when I decided to buy a car seat so I got a convertible( 3-in-1) kind & believe me, it’s been such a great buy that I keep wondering why better sense didn’t prevail earlier?
How did car seat help me?
The best part about having the car seat is that my son is so happy in it.
He takes a nap in his car seat.
He plays with his toys while sitting
it is so much easier to feed him in a moving car without any mess.
I remember the time when I didn’t have a car seat before & we went out of town. It was only a three hour journey but, I was so tired of carrying the baby in my arms the entire time. My special thanks to the person who made this brilliant product and saved all the helpless mommies of the world including me and made our recent trip to a relative’s place which was a three hour drive so smooth and enjoyable with the baby.
You can find three kinds of car seats available in stores:
Infant car seat
This is a rear facing type of a car seat designed for new born babies. It can be used for a baby as old as 9-10 months and are usually portable.
Convertible car seat
These can be used for babies between three months to four years of age. You can change this seat from rear facing to front facing as your baby grows & has three adjustable positions.
Booster car seat
These are only front facing type of car seat designed for children above four year of age.
6 Tips to buy a car seat
1) If you have a new born baby, you can choose between a rear facing infant car seat (suitable for babies weighing up to 15 kgs) or a convertible car seat (suitable for babies weighing up to 30 kgs).
2) Look for a car seat which has a cushioned five point harness belt with shoulder, waist & a lap belt to hold the child in place & is very secure.
3) If you’re buying the car seat from a store, insist on getting it installed by a trained employee. Make sure the car seat is secured in position & does not move.
4) Always make sure the car seat is fixed in the rear seat of your car. Do not position a child on passenger seat fitted with a front airbag. Airbags deploy with a lot of force which can seriously injure or even kill a child.
5) You can choose a car seat with extra cushioning for the comfort of your baby.
6. Try & avoid buying a second hand car seat as it could have suffered more wear & tear & may not be designed to current safety standards. It is also possible that the instruction book could be missing which can make it difficult to install.
Here is a list of things you ought to keep in your car for a hassle free ride with your little one:
· 1) Rear view baby mirror to keep an eye on the little one
· 2) A few toys, some with light & sound will be good
· 3) Feeding bottles
· 4) Sun shades to protect the baby from the harsh sun rays
· 5) Baby blanket
· 6) Car seat pillow or head support
· 7) Soothing music to help the baby take a nap
As per safety rules in most countries, car seats are mandatory. Unfortunately, that is not the case in India & most parents would rather buy branded clothes or expensive toys than car seats that will insure the safety of our children. Hopefully our generation can change this typical mindset.
Your baby is the most precious thing and you need to ensure their safety. Install a car seat and give your little one a safe, smooth and happy ride.
Images courtsey: http://www.toysrus.com
This post has been contributed by Aanchal Goel. She is an interior designer by profession and comes from a family of doctors. She is mum to an adorable 1 year old.