One thing that you may need to think about before leaving the hospital? Car seats! Make sure your baby’s safety equipment has been checked. You must now take care of your newborn by securely placing them in an infant car seat before leaving, so they are safe while traveling back home with you.
When you’re ready to put your baby in the car seat, make sure that both harness straps are threaded through their lowest slots. Loosen the harness, but be careful not to damage anything. To make sure that your baby is always safe and comfortable, put them in the seat with their bum firmly against the back place. Make sure that the harness straps are over your baby’s shoulders. The straps on your baby should be located at or slightly below shoulder level so that they wrap around the shoulders.
Once you have the chest clip connected, insert one end of its harness tongue into a buckle between your baby’s legs. When you put your baby in the car seat, make sure to adjust the straps as closely around their body by pulling on them at both feet. The harness straps should feel like they’re barely there, and can’t be felt anywhere on your baby’s body.
The chest clip should be adjusted so that it’s just below the level of your baby’s armpits. The baby’s armpit or nipple level of your little one’s chest is the safest place for their clip in case anything happens. The chest clip should be high enough so that it doesn’t choke the baby. If low, then there is a risk of damage to vital organs. The baby’s feet are safe from touching anything but the seatback. His or her legs may be slightly bent as needed for proper position and comfort.
Using Baby Car Seat: Special Precautions
- As you know, baby car seats should never be used as cribs. They are not safe for sleeping and if your little one falls asleep in their seat then transfer them into the bassinet or cradles carefully so that they do not get hurt.
- Within the first few months of life, babies should never be left sitting in car seats for trips lasting more than one hour at a time. If you plan on leaving your baby in their car seat for more than an hour at a time, take frequent breaks to change positions and hold them.
- It’s important to make sure your baby has a well-compressed coat and straps that are adjusted correctly during winter months. Some car seat manufacturers have special requirements about what type of clothing is best for their seats, so be aware if you live in cold weather.
If you have any questions about how to place your baby in the car seat safely, please ask a nurse or ask on CIUSSS Centre-Ouest / West-Central Montréal youtube channel.
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