According to the Telegraph, 46% of parents in the UK use their ‘Baby on Board’ stickers regularly. This is whether they have kids in the car or not. That goes to prove the significance of these stickers. Driving around with a baby or toddler can be quite a challenge. That’s why you need to learn some relevant tips before you get onto the road with them. If you want to keep your baby safe at all times, consider some of these tips below.
Use the right car seat
Car seats are designed for different age groups, although some are created to serve from birth to age 12 or until they are 135 centimetres tall (4ft 5in). In UK law, car seats are a legal requirement as long as you drive around with kids. Failure to comply with the law can attract fines. Specifically, in Ireland, safety experts push it further to 150cm or 4ft 11in. The issue of appropriateness is based on country standards and specifications. In other words, the car seat you buy must be UK-approved. Therefore, any brand or model approved in the US or the EU cannot be used in the UK.
Furthermore, before using a baby car seat, its rear-facing design is a critical element to look for. These styles support your baby’s head, neck, and upper body if anything sudden happens while driving. More importantly, ensure that the model you purchase is compatible with your car and can be fitted without difficulty. At no point should you place your rear-facing baby car seat on the front passenger side of your vehicle. Apart from it being illegal, your baby will not be safe there. Last but not least, it is recommended to buy a new baby car seat as a second-hand one can be faulty.
Use a suitable sunshade in the car
Sometimes, all it takes is having too much glare in the eyes, and your baby will begin to fuss, causing a distraction while driving. Even for adults, too much sun while driving compels you to pull down your car’s sun flap to improve concentration on the road. Therefore, the sunshade should be fixed to the window closest to your baby. Aside from preventing glare in their eyes, the sunshade will block the direct heat emanating from the external environment. That helps your baby to maintain the correct body temperature.
Get a backseat mirror
With your baby in the backseat, it is not easy to see what they’re up to there. It’s even more challenging when your baby is in a rear-facing car seat. To resolve this, it helps to install a mirror in the backseat area. This will provide you with a safe view of your baby (intermittently) without having to turn around and taking your eyes off the road to look.
Feed baby and change baby before getting on the road
Usually, babies cry because they’re hungry, need a diaper change, want body contact, or are just sleepy. However, what you can deal with before driving is to check for a quick diaper change and feed them. With a full stomach and a comfortably dry diaper, you are most likely to drive to your destination with a satisfied and happy baby.
Another option you have is to get a trusted friend or family member to sit in the back with your baby. That can resolve the issue of driving with a fussy tot or feel compelled to make unplanned stops to attend to your baby. Last but not least, be mindful of your speed limits when on the road with them. That baby’s life and safety are in your hands. Therefore, every action (or lack thereof) can have lasting effects.