5 Car Seat Tips
It's natural to feel like most car seats are relatively similar, but there are some distinct differences when it comes to certain car seats and their intended uses. When you're familiar with car seat requirements, you're better able to keep your child safe while traveling. Bringing your baby home for the first time is one of the most exciting moments in your life, but be sure to keep these car seat tips in mind as your child grows.
Familiarize Yourself with Rear-Facing vs. Front-Facing Car Seat Styles
It seems easy enough to carry any car seat around and use it in either a front- or rear-facing direction, but this isn't safe unless the car seat manufacturer states that it's okay for the specific seat model. It's important to know how to use these safety seats correctly, starting with an infant car seat model. Get up close and personal with car seats by checking out different options. Models must match the age and weight requirements for your child, and many styles include a design to fit children at various stages of growth. Be sure you use the seat you choose exactly as intended to keep your baby as safe as possible.
Protect Kids from the Elements
It's important to protect children from surrounding elements when they're traveling in a car seat. Young children, particularly ones in rear-facing car seats, can't shield their eyes and bodies from the sun. Adding a shade canopy to a car seat protects sensitive skin and eyes while also keeping your baby insulated from any chilly air. A car seat canopy is one of those essentials you should always keep handy.
Know When to Turn the Car Seat Around
Knowing when to turn the car seat into a front-facing position is essential for keeping your baby safe. Car seat manufacturers give information on age and weight requirements, so be sure to stick to the specifications. As a general rule of thumb, it's usually appropriate to turn the car seat around when your child turns 2; however, always make sure to follow the weight requirements as well. Keep your child comfortable by providing them with gear that's appropriate for the weather and climate.
Know When to Use a Booster Seat
When children reach 40 pounds and are 4 years of age, it's usually safe to move them to a booster seat. Also, your child should be mature enough to sit responsibly in the seat and not try to unlatch any safety equipment. If you have kids that are restless, try giving them toys that are safe and entertaining for the car.
Use All Safety Features
Last, but not least, be sure to use all the safety features that come with the car seat. Keep straps and tethers firmly in place. If your child fusses without any apparent reason, it's usually not the car seat hurting them, even if it feels snug. Make sure to pack a bag for your child that includes snack containers or other feeding utensils, changes of clothes, diapers and any other items necessary for the outing.