If you’re expecting a new baby, you’ve probably spent a lot of time on readying your home and the baby’s room for your new arrival. Besides making sure your house is baby proofed and your friends and family are ready for the new addition, it’s also essential to get your vehicle ready for a new baby. The way you drive and go about your daily commute will change drastically once you become a parent. Here are the most important ways you should prepare when a new baby is coming.
Choose the Right Car Seat
Your baby’s ride in your car centers around the right car seat. Before your baby is born, you have to purchase an infant car seat and install it properly, otherwise, the hospital personnel won’t release your new addition. There are different car seats available on the market, but many new parents go with an infant seat that pops out of a base for the most convenient carrying options.
Understand Car Seat Safety Practices
Car seat safety is also incredibly important to ensure your bundle of joy arrives safely at each destination. You should install your car seat rear-facing for your newborn and keep it like that for as long as possible. For one child, consider placing the car seat in the middle of your back seat. If you’re not sure you have installed it properly, visit your local fire station for help.
Consider Other Baby-Friendly Car Accessories
Besides a car seat, you can feel a little safer driving your little one around with baby-friendly car accessories. Consider installing an additional rearview mirror above your baby’s seat to give you a view of her during your drive. Window shades are also popular accessories to keep the bright sunlight out of her face and eyes during sunny days.
Swap Out Your Car
If your current car isn’t up to the task, you should upgrade to a more family-friendly car vehicle. It’s a must to have a car that has four doors, to make loading and unloading the baby much easier. Many families who want to have more than one child go with a minivan to make driving and loading up the kids even more convenient. Make sure you check out crash safety ratings before committing to a make or model.
Put Down the Phone
Another vital tip for new parents is to put down the cell phone when you’re driving. Distracted driving is a serious problem, and you don’t want to cause a crash which could potentially injure your little one. If you’ve struggled with ignoring your cell phone while driving in the past, let the act of becoming a parent and trying to protect your baby help you put your phone down once and for all.
Keep Kids in the Back
As your child grows, resist the urge to be lax with car seat safety. Most children should remain in a booster seat well into elementary school. Additionally, the safest place to ride for children is in the back seat, so never let your child sit next to you up front. Practice safe driving habits so that one day, when your child begins driving, she’ll learn by your great example and avoid risky driving behaviors.
Never Leave Your Baby Inside
Finally, new parents can be stressed and tired, but don’t let the exhaustion make you accidentally do a tragic mistake. Always make sure you check your back seat when driving, even without your little one. Every year, there are reports of horrific scenes of exhausted parents accidentally leaving their children in the car in hot temperatures. This can be a deadly mistake.
Get your car ready for your new status as a parent with these tips. Aim to create the safest environment for your little one on the road.