5 Steps to Preparing Your Car for a New Baby
When it comes to owning a car, there are the usual preparations you need to make throughout the year, such as paying for your insurance, taking it for an MOT and keeping your tax disc up to date.
When you have a new baby on the way though, there is additional preparation needed in order to ensure your car is safe and comfortable for everyone on-board, especially your new little one.
In 2006, the government changed the law so that any child under the age of 12 must use some form of car seat unless they are taller than 4’5” tall. Choosing the perfect car seat can be tricky though, so make sure you do your research and read lots of reviews.
Babies that weigh 13kg or less are legally required to be in a rear-facing car seat when travelling in the car. Children weighing 15kg or more can use a forward-facing car seat or a booster cushion when they reach 22kg. Make sure when using a rear-facing car seat that you disable the airbag in front of the seat though, as they can be very dangerous in an accident.
There are actually no legal requirements when it comes to child locks, but for many parents it simply provides peace of mind to know that their car doors are securely shut, however much their child might try and fiddle with the handle when the car is in motion.
The majority of newer cars will come ready with a child lock feature, but if you are thinking of buying an older model before the arrival of your baby, then it is definitely worth checking with the seller whether it comes with child locks or not before buying the car
No one likes having the sun in their eyes when they are travelling in a car, so make sure you invest in some window blinds to prevent your child from too much sun exposure during the sunnier months.
The blinds come with suction cups so you can attach and detach them whenever you need to and change which side of the car you need them on. Also consider having a first aid kit stored somewhere in your car, as you never know when you might need a plaster or a spoonful of Calpol when travelling around.
Driving around is actually a great way to send your baby to sleep, as the rocking motion and ambient noise are the perfect combination to help them nod off. When they do get older though you are likely to hear the familiar chant of “are we nearly there yet?”
Make sure you have some toys and games in the car to keep your child entertained, and if they do tend to fall asleep in the car regularly then consider buying them a travel pillow to help them sleep upright.
However short the distance you are travelling is, it is important to make sure you take all the essentials you need for your baby with you – you never know when you could end up breaking down or unexpectedly having to stop.
Take a bag with you and ensure you pack food and drink, spare nappies, extra clothes, a dummy or two and a blanket. It is also a good idea to take some wipes with you wherever you go, as they are clean and hygienic, and can clear up any spills in the car.