From the moment I became pregnant, I started listening to Pregtastic podcasts. When I was out walking, while taking a shower, while making a meal, on car trips – everywhere. I. Learned. So. Much.
I was very sad when I reached the end of the 250ish episodes, but I discovered the continuation of Pregtastic: New Moms, New Babies. Unfortunately it seems both shows are on a hiatus right now, but that doesn’t mean the information isn’t great. NMNB has been great to hear from new moms and how things are going, and the topics covered are really educational.
If you only listen to one mommy podcast in your life, this one should be it: Child Seat Safety, Proper Installation and Seat Recommendations.
I really know absolutely nothing about car seats, yet their job is of utmost importance. I know the baby has to be buckled in and I know that it’s wise to go to the fire/police station to have them verify that the car seat is installed properly. But in this podcast, there was much that I didn’t know that might end up saving my baby’s life someday. (A tough phrase to say/type).
The podcast is led by Robyn Siminoff, a Child Passenger Safety Instructor, and she shocks even the moms in the studio with some facts about carseat dos and don’ts. Some of the rules seem a bit extreme, but when you think about the role the car seat is playing in your child’s safety, this is serious information.
Here were a few pointers that I took away and packed into my brain:
-Never put your car seat insert in the washing machine (SHOCKER! All the moms had done this!) Anything other than wiping/hand washing will ruin the fibers of the straps so that in a crash they would not spring back as they are suppose to and the baby can fly out if the straps break.
-Even if you are in a fender bender and your car is not damaged, the impact from just you slamming on your breaks is enough to “wear out” the single-use straps. You need a new seat, or at the very least, new straps. (Soooo annoying, but remember we’re talking life or death here. If you were in a much more severe crash a few weeks later and those straps didn’t work…you’d probably wish you had addressed them after the first bump).
-Straps need to be secure and tight at ALL TIMES. Whenever the baby is in the seat. This includes when grocery shopping or in strollers. (Note car seats should never go in the top part of a grocery cart – they can tip out no matter how heavy it feels!) A lot of car seat accidents happen when the baby isn’t even in the car but because mom doesn’t put on the straps for a quick carry.
-Robyn does not recommend a mirror to see your baby’s face. This distracts mom and makes a car crash more likely a la texting while driving. If your baby is upset, you will hear him cry and whether you can see him or not you will likely take the same action (pull over to nurse/adjust or ride it out till you’re home). The mirrors can also fly around in the car in a serious crash.
-Speaking of flying debris, if you would not want to hit your baby in the face with an item yourself, don’t have it loose in the car. Stuffed animal = probably OK. Stroller, cooler, heavy purse = not OK. She suggested strapping your purse in with a seatbelt.
-The angles of the car seat are very important. The baby’s head should not fall forward and the base should be totally even. Don’t add any layers to your baby that would allow him to slip out like a big snow suit – the suit would stay in the car seat and the baby would fly out of the suit. Instead put your baby in in no more than 2 layers and then put all the warmth over him and the straps.
-Always have your car seat checked out if you put it in a different car for the first time. Tight isn’t always right.
Safe baby transport to all!
PREVIOUS 26 week posts