When you have a baby, kitting out your car is about more than ensuring you have the best sound system and a crystal clear dashcam that will enable you to record any wrongdoing on the road. It’s about something much more than that – comfort and safety.
When you have a baby on board, you want to ensure that he or she is as happy and safe in the car as it is possible to be, and this means making a few choice purchases. There is an endless amount of gadgets and gizmos that can be bought for your baby, but if you want to keep costs to a minimum, here are the essentials for keeping your baby safe and comfortable in the car:
In this country, you are legally required to transport your children in a car safety seat until they are either 12 years old or at least 135 centimetres in height. Doing is very important because it will give them the best level of protection against a crash, ensure that you don’t get into legal trouble and help you should you need to make a compensation claim with Lavent Law. However, you can’t just buy any old car seat and expect it to be fine. If for example, your child is under 13 kilos, you will need to purchase a rear-facing seat and, ideally, you should have it professionally installed. When your child is 25 kilos or more, a booster seat may be more appropriate. If in doubt, always seek expert advice before buying.
A Baby Capsule
As well as a car seat, if your baby is very young, you might also want to consider purchasing a baby capsule, which will increase your child’s comfort in the car and make it a lot easier for you to transport him or her between the car and your home, especially when they are sleeping. Car baby capsules also cause baby to be jostled around a lot less, so if you want them to be comfortable and you want a peaceful journey, they’re definitely worth the investment.
A Pregnancy Seat Belt
Car seats and baby capsules will do a great job of protecting baby once he’s born, but what about before that? Pregnant women need extra protection when they’re in the car. Auto experts universally agree that using the vehicle’s seat belt correctly when pregnant is essential to protect mother and baby, but it’s not always possible to do this because the lap part of the seat belt simply won’t fit comfortably under the belly and this can cause the placenta to be torn in an accident situation. That’s why it’s never a bad idea to buy a pregnancy seat belt when you or your partner is expecting. At the very least, it will make the journey more comfortable and give you more peace of mind.
A Neck Rest
When your baby falls asleep in the car, it will often be the case that her head will fall forward or to the side. This could cause discomfort, or even injury in some extreme cases, which is why it pays to invest in a comfy neck rest, that will give her more support during those long car journeys.
A Seat Belt Tightener
The seat belts in your average car aren’t always exactly designed with young children in mind, which means they can often be uncomfortable and not quite as effective as they might be when it comes to protecting young kids. One way to counteract this problem is by installing a seat belt tightener, which will give a safer, more comfortable fit.
A Window Shade
You’ll know just how hot a car can get, especially when it’s sunny outside, and if you’re going on a long trip, this can get pretty uncomfortable, to say the least. That’s not too much of an issue if you can turn the air con on or open all of the windows, but then you still have the problem of the sun’s UV rays getting into the car and penetrating your kids’ sensitive skin. By buying a car window shade you can keep the sun off them. This will help to avoid your baby getting sunburn or heatstroke on those longer journeys.
A Baby View Mirror
Using your rear-view mirror is great for seeing the traffic behind you, but it is hardly ideal for being able to quickly check on your baby while you’re driving, which is something you might need to do for a variety of reasons. That’s why more and more parents are adding an extra baby view mirror, which lets them keep a closer eye on the back of the car, to their vehicles. Doing so is a great way to ensure that you can drive safely and look after your baby at the same time. It could also help to cut down on the number of babies who are accidentally left in the back of vehicles – something which can be fatal, but which is blessedly rare in this country at least.
A Baby on Board Sign
Okay, so this might not be strictly essential, but it is a classic piece of kit, and there is some evidence to say that these signs will make other drivers on the road take notice and perhaps behave a little better than they otherwise might, knowing that there is a baby in your vehicle. It has to be worth a try.
A Travel Tray
Again, this isn’t exactly essential, but it will make car journeys more comfortable for your children, by giving them a space where they can play with toys and crayons. By keeping them busy, not only will they be more comfortable, but they’ll be less likely to mess around and potentially act in an unsafe way in the car, especially when they get to that tricky toddler stage.
The best travel trays are those that have high sides, to stop toys from rolling off, which could cause your child to try and get down on the floor to retrieve them or simple drawing boards, and these which have a soft bottom for extra comfort.