Leaving the house with little one!
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Michael Macintyre does the best sketch about leaving the house with and without children – if you have time for a giggle check him out on youtube!
A Car Seat is one of the the most important purchases you will make for your baby. It is one of the only things that you HAVE to buy as if you are driving you will not be allowed to leave the hospital with your new baby without a car seat.
I recently did a great training course by Child Seat Safety which has given me a great insight into the world of car seats. I would strongly encourage you to do your own research but I will be sharing the car seat I have bought and my reasons.
Have a look at the below website for latest tips advice and support
Over the years as a Nanny and maternity nurse the brand that I used the most was Maxi Cosi.
They are one of the safest seats and have a range of options to meet your needs. I love the Pebble car seat, and their customer service really is above and beyond.
Maxi Cosi Pebble
I would always recommend buying the ISOFIX base for the seat, this is the safest option as there is a much smaller margin for error when installing the seat. The Isofix is a base that is secured into your car with the Isofix points. (Check if your car has this option before you go out and buy the base!)
If possible I would also recommend getting your car seat of choice fitted into your car and make sure it is compatible. Mothercare and Halfords offer this service.
I believe that the best first seat for your baby is an infant carrier. This is designed from birth to approx 15months and it will give your baby the best support. There are other longer term options – for example seats that are suitable from birth to four years. This is a great investment but in my opinion they are not the seats most suited for newborns.
The classic car seat is not an ‘ideal’ position for your new baby to be sitting in – oxygen desaturation can happen if they are not supported properly. It is for this reason that it is safest for an adult to be in the back seat of the car to watch baby.
The best piece of advice that I learned from the course is that;
CAR SEATS ARE FOR THE CAR!
Life can be easier now that car seats can attach to prams/ shopping trolleys but try to be mindful that laying flat is the best position for baby and that a baby should never be in the seat for longer than two hours. Ideally not for longer than half an hour for smaller babies.
Of course this is not always possible, which is why it is best for an adult to sit in the back of the car with baby just to check on their positioning.
Another option is to look at a car seat that has a ‘Lie Flat option’
This is great if you know you need to do long journeys in the first six months. Maxi Cosi offer a great solution with their Lie Flat Jade option, Sleep, Slide and Go. This is however only suitable up to six months so has a short shelf life, but if you need to do long trips could be a great option for you.
Another great option that does lay flat IN the car is the Joie i-Level – Just make sure you have enough space in your car for this to happen!
Remember not to put little one’s in thick padded coats in the car. The seatbelt needs to be tight (you should not be able to pinch any of the seatbelt, if you can its too loose).
The best option is a blanket tucked in or a nodpod, these are great little blankets with legs that you can easily wrap little one in.
The best place for the car seat is always in the back seat of the car if possible. This is due to the risk of the air bags being deployed in an accident, even if the button is off there is a chance it may happen. Safety first.
A mirror can be useful so you can safely check on little one, just as long as this isn’t too distracting for you! Never ever leave your baby with a bottle in the car, it is not safe to feed in the car seat.
Leaving the house
Preparation is everything!
From my ‘Laura Poppins’ days I did a lot of travel with newborns, this meant being super organised – planning for everything that could happen before it happens!
I would recommend having supplies in the car -A little bag prepared with a couple of nappies/nappy sack/wipes and a change of clothes – also keep some snacks in there for you.
Your pram system may come with a change bag that you can use. To be honest, I feel that you can adapt any bag that you already have.
However, if its time for a new bag here are my favourites;
Jem & Bea – The Jemima bag – I have always loved tan and this is on my wishlist!
Tiba & Marl – Their rucksacks are so popular and have great reviews.
Pacapod– I have used this with families and it is practical and easy to organise.
It can be great to get a small nappy change bag that holds nappies, wipes, change of clothes, just so you can always put that in the pram or your bag. I like the Bumgo by Shnuggle.
For a great selection of change bags, have a look at;
They have amazing customer service and a great selection of bags to look at if you are in the area.
What should be in my change bag?
- Nappies, wipes and nappy sacks
- Change of outfit (keep a check that this is the right size!)
- Snacks for you
- Sterilised bottle and ready made formula if using, nipple shields if needed
- Cover for breastfeeding or big muslin
- Etta loves muslin – so many uses and also a FAB toy for early development
- Sterilised dummy if using
- Small pack of tissues
- Hand sanitiser / milton anti bacterial wipes can be very useful
- Empty ziplock bag just in case of ‘nappy explosion!’
- Purse of coins for car park – you never know when you may need this!
The best option to see what kind of sling suits you most would be to contact your local sling library. This is especially good if you are looking at baby wearing (having your baby in the sling on you for a lot of the time).
My personal favourite has always been the Baby Bjorn sling – It gives great back support which is vital for your health as little one gets bigger.
The Baby Bjorn One can also be worn on the back.
Baby Bjorn Baby Carrier One Air
However in the early days it can be nicer to have a softer, close to you sling – my favourite is the Caboo, organic cotton.
Caboo Organic Yarn Dried Multi Positional Baby Carrier
I will be reviewing this shortly. Please click here to see all my reviews!