Baby’s first car ride - All you need to know about that first drive home from hospital.
This is a day you will never forget – taking your new baby home for the first time. The shock of leaving the hospital unsupervised... as parents... with YOUR baby. You’ll be full of plans and looking forward to introducing the latest member of your family to everyone.
A few golden rules will help ensure your baby’s first trip in the car goes as smoothly as possible so everyone arrives safe and sound and ready to enjoy the celebrations.
Don’t forget that it’s compulsory to use an approved car seat for your baby – even new-borns. You can choose a capsule or rear-facing convertible car seat. Capsules such as our Maxi-Cosi Mico Plus have the added advantage of being used as a travel system with a suitable pram.
It’s a great idea to practise installing your car seat before your baby is born. It is also a great idea to practise harnessing a bag of flour or a doll into the seat – that way you’ll be confident enough to quickly and correctly fit your special passenger when the actual day finally arrives.
The safest place to fit the car seat is the centre of the rear seat as this reduces the risk of injury from a side-impact crash. However, this may not always be practical as the centre of the seat can be raised by the drive shaft and also harder to reach from the curb. Alternatively, use the right or left side of the rear seat, most parents install their car seat on the passenger side, as it is easily accessible from the footpath.
If you are unsure on installation, use Isofix fittings for your car seat. Most relatively new cars have Isofix which is much easier for installing car seats than the traditional seatbelt method. A vehicle equipped with ISOFIX will have lower anchors (metal bars in the seat bight, where the upper and lower cushions meet) and a tether anchor for securing the child restraint to the vehicle. Isofix reduces the risk of incorrect fitment and is therefore much safer.
Never hold your baby in your arms when travelling in the car – This is against the law in Australia and is very dangerous.
Small babies can become overheated or chilled very quickly. Make sure your little one is warm and comfortable, but remember that too many layers added to the seat may cause your baby to get too hot.
Sunscreens are a must in hot weather, even in while travelling in the car. Just make sure to never swaddle the baby before fitting into the car seat.