LIFE & BABY
Car seat Chaos!
Why didn’t anyone tell me that shopping for a car seat is more difficult than finding your perfect jean? You know that magical one (almost like the one in The Sisterhood of the Travelling pants), which fit seamlessly around your waist, make your thighs look thinner and your butt more perky? By the way check out Forever New mid-rise skinny jeans… they get pretty close…
But that’s beside the point… so there we were! Standing in Baby City in front of literally hundreds of car seats. There’s infant and toddler, front and rear-facing and even something called a booster? The only booster I know of, is the one I drink if Minki decides that she wants to play outside and it’s 4’o clock in the morning?!
Okay, so this is easy. I’m just gonna go for the pretty one (pink with flowers), obviously Minki would love to ride in it and it definitely would be save because… well it’s pretty. Fortunately my practical husband was standing next to me and my dreams of Minki chillin’ in her pretty little floral seat vanished.
Even though the shop assistant was helpful, I was confused! 6 – 12 months, or 12- 36 months? Which mean I must go through this experience again in a few months PLUS pay THAT amount again. NO way!
So, as always I use my own (horrible) experience and try to help some of your Mamas out there. Maybe you’re a car seat expert, please comment and let me know! But if you are like me… well then this blog is for you!
Let’s break it down:
The first two car seats that you will own:
The Infant Seat and the Convertible Seat.
The Infant Seat:
Technically you can start baby out in certain convertible seats BUT just picture the following scenario:
Baby is finally asleep, in her convertible car seat, sussed off to dreamland by the hum of the car and Jacaranda (sorry 5FM), in the background. Images of you strolling through the mall with your little sleeping angel flash through your eyes and you can’t help but smile… then you park at the mall and surprise! You can’t just take out the convertible seat and hatch it on your pram, no no no you have to take baby out of the seat and put her into the pram. Your happy dreams of shopping is shattered when baby wakes up and start screaming!
If you’re happy to go about town with a cranky, sleep deprived baby please save some money and just start out with a convertible, but if you are like me and every sleeping minute is precious, then it’s definitely worth buying an infant seat.
It’s the safest option!
You can drink some coffee or play put-put while baby is sleeping away…
Hint: When you buy an in infant seat look for the maximum weight/height limit because baby will outgrow it very quick!
Good advice: Lots of prams comes with an infant car seat like our Bebe Confort Stroller. This is a win-win situation, because it’s not only a fabulous pram (you can steer it with one hand), which means one is open for shopping)! And you can put your (sleeping) baby from the car directly onto the pram and hit the nearest streetmarket.
As mentioned above an infant seat is the safest seat for baby, so if you decide to go that way then a convertible would be your second car seat.
This seat can still be installed rear-facing.
It can be flipped around, when the time comes.
Most convertibles are quite heavy and it’s a bit of a mission to remove from the car.
Okay, so when is it time to switch from Infant to Convertible?
This one is easy!
When the weight/height is maxed out!
Use your eyes (and common sense) – if baby looks uncomfortable, then it’s time to make the switch!
I always thought that rear-facing is required until baby turns 1? Turns out no! The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that children younger than 2 are 75 percent less likely to be killed or injured in a car crash if they’re in a rear-facing car seat. That’s some serious stats!
Now both the AAP and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend children face backward until they outgrow their seat. Simply put: Most children should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they’re at least 2 years old.
When kiddo outgrows the height and weight limits of a rear-facing infant seat, you still have the option of moving her into a convertible seat with a higher height and weight limit. That way, you can keep her rear-facing a little longer, and when she’s ready to ride facing forward, the convertible seat will still fit her.
What the Booster?
The idea of a booster is just to raise kiddo up, so that the seat belt restraints are on the right place on their body.
When do you switch from convertible to booster?
When kiddo is big AND mature enough to sit in the booster. Meaning: No slumping, slouching or trying to wiggle out!
Always keep weight/height restrictions in mind!
Minki is still sitting in her convertible but when the time come, she will sit like this, in her booster.
How pretty is my heart-adorned car seat protector? It even got holes to put the seatbelts through. Practical and Pretty!
You can find it at Kids Emporium!
In a nutshell:
Invest in an infant seat (it’s safe and convenient) -> time to switch? -> buy a convertible -> keep baby rear-facing until at least 2 -> turn the same seat facing forward->mature enough?->switch to booster seat.
Now you’ve got the perfect car seat(s), but unfortunately baby just hate driving! Stay calm Mama, here’s some tips to keep you from swaying into ongoing traffic.
Baby Hates Car seat Tip 1: Keep Calm
This sounds so obvious and I know, it’s gut-wrenching to continue driving while baby is screaming her little lungs out. At the beginning I was that crazy Mom-driver who would just rush to the first available spot, slam down the brakes and get out to comfort baby.
Great mothering skills, but not SAFE!
Repeat to yourself baby will be fine, it’s just some tears. Take a deep breath and concentrate on the road. You and baby’s safety is more important than stopping her from crying right away.
Tip 2: Get a backseat mirror:
Constantly glancing over your shoulder, means you’re taking your eyes of the road. Not wanting to be pessimistic or anything but all it takes is a split second for an accident to happen.
Invest in a big (and cute) backseat mirror so that you can constantly keep an eye on your (screaming) baby. Like this Miss Piggy mirror from Kids Emporium.
Tip 3: Play some songs or invest in a DVD player
Music is soothing (for both of you) and may distract baby from crying. If not it will drown out the screaming and help you calm down! If you’re against screen time for babies stick to the radio. If you are desperate enough invest in a DVD player. NO judgement here!
Tip 4: Check baby’s comfort levels:
Is baby too hot?
Is the sun shining in baby’s eyes?
I’m loving this fabulous mesh car shade from Kids Emporium. You can measure and cut it so it fits your window perfectly. Plus it’s so pretty! Who doesn’t love a mermaid!?
Last but not least…
You gonna want to turn baby around but fight the urge. Just repeat to yourself: Rear-facing is the safest way to travel for baby! Experts recommend keeping your baby rear-facing for AT LEAST 15 months.
Just remember pretty soon baby will be driving off to university or college and you’re gonna wish she stayed little just a little longer…
Available from Kids Emporium:
Little Miss Piggy Backseat Mirror: R275
Magic Mesh Mermaid Car Shade: R295
Heart Car Seat Protector: R315.
Find them here:
Crossings Shopping Centre, Shop 68, Corner of N4 and Madiba Drive.
Stay Stylish (and drive safe)!