When it comes to investing in items for your kids, it’s important to remember that all our needs are different. The items we choose are dependent on our lifestyle, our financial situations and what’s best for baby. When choosing an infant seat, find a reputable brand that you can trust, that has the highest level of safety… A seat that’s functional and comfortable for your child considering that they spend quite a chunk of their lives in various seats.
If you’re asking yourself the question, “Why do I even need a car seat for my child?” Then you definitely need to check out all the articles written on the basics of car seat safety.
The answer is simple, it’s an essential part of child safety and CAR SEATS SAVE LITTLE LIVES! If your precious baby is securely strapped correctly in their car seat… Their risk of dying in a car accident decreases. Kapish! The latest research says that 93% of children in South Africa that need to be in a car seat to be safe in a crash, are not in car seats. When a car crashes or suddenly stops, the body takes on the weight of the speed you were travelling multiplied by your actual weight. If your baby weighs 10 kg, and you are driving at 60km per hour… When you crash, your baby will take on the weight of 600kg.
I know that buying a car seat can seem like a very overwhelming task with the hundreds of options available out there. So don’t rush into it. Do your research by speaking to local experts, and if you can view them in person where you can actually touch and feel them. Think of your lifestyle! Is the big bulky seat conducive to your jet setting life? Is it a universal or compatible seat which could work with any travel system? Buying the most expensive seat doesn’t necessarily mean you get the best bang for your buck. Weigh your options before making that big ticket purchase.
So what do you look for when selecting an infant seat?
A baby needs to be in a rear-facing infant seat until they are 13kgs or their head is more than 2-3cm from the top of the seat back. This is usually until 75cm, unless stated otherwise. Not all infant seats last til then, so check the orange sticker on the plastic of the seat to make sure yours does.
An infant seat must be the bucket-shape with the carry handle. This design offers the best protection for your baby in their most vulnerable stage of development. Some infant seat carry handles even offer a secondary “roll cage” purpose… You can check the car seat manual to see if it allows you to pull the handle back towards the car’s backrest to provide this additional protection.
A way to save on costs when you are buying an infant seat is to use the seat without the base. The ISOfix base is not a safety feature, except to prevent mistakes of installation. It is a huge convenience, allowing you to simply click the seat into the base which remains in the car. The base often costs as much as the infant seat itself, so if budget is a concern, you can go without it.
When installing your infant seat, it is critically important to follow the manual’s instructions. Check the manual before investing in a seat, because you want a car seat that is easy to install to prevent any mistakes. If you do want a base, make sure your car offers ISOfix or the base is installable with just a seatbelt. Seatbelt installation bases are rare.
Car seat crash tests are done in very specific circumstances when following exact installation instructions from the manufacturer for that seat. The seats are only safe when you use the same installation. Any mistake could be fatal in a crash.
Your car seat may double up as a baby carrier for the first few months, when your stop doesn’t warrant unpacking the pram. The last thing you need is a heavy seat. Carrying the weight of the car seat and its precious cargo could definitely do a number on your back. It is always worth mentioning that a baby shouldn’t be left in a car seat for more than 30 minutes at a time. This is due to the position the seat puts the baby in, which is ideal for crash protection, but not for baby’s airways.
It is vital that you ensure you are using the correct seat in the correct position for your baby’s weight. Many seats will be grouped in weight ranges, i.e. Stage 0 seats are from birth to 13kg (ideally to be used 0 – 1 years). Stage 1 seats from 13kg to 18kg and stage 2/3 until your child reaches the seat belt safety height of 1.5m.
Choosing a car seat that is comfortable will make the car ride much more enjoyable for your child. Ask the following questions…
- What kind of material is used
- Does the seat recline
- Do a consumer test with other Moms
“You have the power to save a little life. One share, seen by one person, who straps in one child, saves a life. #CarseatFullstop. Every child. Every time. No matter what.” Mandy Lee Miller, #CarseatFullstop Creator & Director
About the Author
Lindsay is a working mom to two of the most awesome little boys, Daniyal, 9 and Joshuah, 5 and a newborn baby girl, Grace. She blogs over at Love Made Me, and she is a qualified Doula. She also works full time in a busy hospital.
Lindsay on Love Made Me
Love Made Me is a Parenting and Lifestyle blog for women and moms. I cover topics such as kids fashion, developmental milestones, challenges and experiences. I have a knack for gift ideas for kids and often share fun products to help make life easier. I’m practical, I’m real and I’m just an ok-ish Mom trying to survive the blessing of Motherhood.
Lindsay on #CarseatFullstop
The safety of our children’s lives should be our highest priorities. Using a car seat correctly is extremely effective and reduces the risk of your child’s death. I don’t understand the confusion.