Monday, August 4, 2008

So What Is a Baby-friendly Car?

To make sure what’s the best car for your newborn, or your soon-to-be kids, you need to follow six steps to ensure that you have a well-suited car for your teeny-weeny Junior.

Here are the six steps:

Check on the car seat of your brand-new car. It may be better to buy a new car seat and fit it yourself to the new car; this is to make sure that you know how to do it. 80% of cars in the United States are said to have improperly installed car seats. This usually is the cause of death or injury of babies straddled on cars. A correctly installed car seat doesn’t move an inch. Almost all of the new cars have the ISOFIX system or the LATCH system. To double-check on the installation of your car seat, you can bring your brand-new car seat and install it at the dealership; let them judge if you did the right thing. You can check on the rear and front-facing installation for your convertible. If you doubt on the exactness of the car seat’s installation, you can check it out with a free child seat inspection center.

To make things easier in picking out the right car seat, you can avail of the baby travel system; it’s a prepackaged set that includes a car seat, baby stroller, and a car seat base.

The second step concerns moving your baby in and out of the car. For cars that have detachable carriers, try putting on some weight on the carrier, about 15-20 lbs or 7-9 kg, and pull it out and put it in the car again in this some kind of role play for travelling with a baby. If your carrier is not detachable, try to put a life-size baby doll on it and pull it in and out.

Try to choose a car that would allow the stroller to fit in snugly and leave room also for grocery bags and other stuff you do when you get to buy stuff with your little kiddo along. But that is just not enough; you have to make sure also that even with your baby and the other stuffs are inside the car, you can still move them freely.

Check out the rear windows. Avoid cars with deeply sloping windshields since this will allow sunshine to stream down on the baby at the rear seat and might cause heatstroke and sunburns.

Next step is to get into the role playing part again. Try to hoist that diaper bag on your shoulder; and do the getting in and locking and getting out and unlocking of the car with the carrier or stroller with corresponding weights on it.

Another scenario to be considered is when an extra adult wants to sit beside the carrier or the stroller. Putting yourself in the shoes of that person, you need to put in the stroller or carrier with the corresponding weights and sit beside it. Try to feel if you’re comfortable in that arrangement.

Choose a car with enough space in front to stand over and reach out for the carrier or stroller at the back of the car.


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