here are so many things to buy once the baby comes in our life. In my family, we have a tradition that only the New Mommy’s parents will buy pram (‘paalna’) for the baby. So even I got a nice, sturdy pram gifted from my parents, we bought another ‘light-weight’ stroller especially for the travelling purpose. Then we have a rocking chair, high chair and recently entered in the world of ‘tricycles’. Out of all these possessions,I believe the one thing worth investing upon is her car seat. And yes, it’s not a status symbol or fashion statement; it’s a crucial necessity!
In India, there is a little trend of having a car seat especially in the smaller cities. Many people do stare and talk amongst them when they see me checking my phone while my baby remains buckled up in the car seat, “poor baby” ,” they have got extra money”; some might think so. “Why you need the car Seat, do you feel uncomfortable to carry the baby?” These are the general questions people ask but it’s not about how much comfortable a mother feels but about the comfort and safety of the precious child.It all started when my daughter turned a little older (9 months) and we were still thinking whether to buy her a car seat or not. We somehow skipped to purchase it beforehand but as we travelled back once from our hometown (Nanital) to Gurgaon; that long, tough car journey with my baby on the lap made me realize that continuously holding the baby in the arms without any safety gear can be really dangerous. She was constantly moving her hands and legs and it was very tough to manage her; and though I had my seat belt on, I was clueless about her safety. We decided that we really need a car seat immediately and before we plan for the next trip or better by then, we should travel by train only.
I further made the second mistake and thought to buy a second hand piece. But sooner I realized that unless it’s really available in good shape, you must not buy a pre-cared car seat. This is not the thing where parents can skimp about; it’s about the baby’s safety. Some parts may have gone missing with broken or lost clips, dirty or ruined seat bed, latch issues, fitting problems, lost manuals and so on. And like any other products, they do have an expiration period (Yes, that’s true). Though I screened few but at last we bought a nice convertible Car Seat with Safety Certified by European Nations ECE R44/04 Safety Standards.
Now the big question will come in your mind- Did my baby adjusted well with the Car seat??
Well it certainly took some time. Initially she sat just for few minutes but gradually she picked it up. We bifurcated her attention with the nicely teddy bear imprints on the car seat and carried her toys to play with while she gets buckled up. As we strived to keep her busy with toys or food bites or showing the outer world, she started to support us back and then slowly; minutes moved to hours. Nonetheless she does resist sometimes and literally moves her hands up to take her out; we have learned to manage these hurdles.
Sometime I have to put her on my lap too when she gets scared or starts to sob inconsolably. But many times, we plan to drive just before her nap time so that she has ample of time to sleep comfortably in her car seat. While as a parent we are a master of all such arts, it’s important to notice few things:
- Install Car seat correctly with proper manual read: It appears simply but it’s actually not. And every car seat is different.
- Getting a bigger car seat for the baby: Car seats are available for the infants too but buying a bigger one or a smaller one and adjusting thereafter is not advisable unless you are going for a convertible car seat. And car seats are built to suit your baby’s head, neck and the entire body fitment so keep that in-mind. You can always have a small pillow or cuddle sheet to support but a right fit matters most!
- Buying the cheapest or most expensive one: Self-explanatory one, please go for safety certifications rather the price tag. Also a 5-point harness is must to buckle the baby nicely in the seat: Two above the shoulders, two at either side of baby’s hips, and one between baby’s legs.
- Front-facing or Rear-Facing: Extremely important to check your baby’s age group before installation.
With the growing road accidents and scary news; it becomes essential to have something like a good car seat against any God’s forbidden incident. Honestly two weeks before when my husband was out of town, I took out the car, put my girl in the car seat and drove at my friend’s place; and that was a real fun, comfort and ease I relished as a Mum. I really felt less dependent because next time, I can certainly go for another trip!
Honestly, I know we delayed in buying it, but certainly you can take a smart move beforehand.