Baby-proofing your car is important both to protect the car from the child and, of course, more importantly, to protect the child.
One of the most important ways to keep your child safe in the car is to get a good car seat. It is legally required for children to be in car seats or booster seats up to the age of 12 years in most states in the country. The car seat you get for your infant should be comfortable and should be installed properly to fit correctly so that it can protect the child in the best way possible. Make it clear that unbuckling is not an option when the car is on the move.
If you are buying a previously used car seat, check to see if the harness straps have been washed. Harness straps have chemicals on them that are fire retardant and washing them could strip them off these chemicals. Also, washing them might loosen them and they might not keep your baby fit in snugly enough. Some car seat manufacturers sell straps should you need to replace the harness. The best way to clean the harness would be to use baby wipes and then dry them out in the sun. If you ever check your car seat in an airplane, ensure there are no damages on it before you use it again for your baby. If it is a previously owned car seat, ensure that it has not been involved in any crashes. Also, check for expiration dates on car seats so that they are in the best possible condition to be used on your baby.
There are three kinds of car seats for newborns. The first is the rear-facing only car seat. The second is a convertible car seat and the third is the multimode car seat. The rear-facing car seat has two parts: a base that will be installed in the car and a detachable carrier that can be attached to the base when required. They are usually sold along with a stroller. While attaching the carrier to the base is the safest way to use them, the carrier can also be used without the base making rear-facing car seats quite convenient to take while traveling in planes or cabs. One can also buy multiple bases so that grandparents or baby sitters can use them while looking after the baby. However, they are known to have the shortest durability and life span compared to the other two kinds of car seats.
Convertible car seats are those that are both forward facing and rear facing. These are heavier, higher and have to remain installed in the vehicle. They come with a range of inclines to adapt to a growing baby. They also have more durability and last longer. They do take up a lot of space and are limiting because they cannot be uninstalled and carried about.
Multimode car seats have three or more modes: forward facing, rear facing, and booster, either with a high back or a backless one. They can be used for several years and have a range of inclines for a growing child. They have to remain installed in the car and could take up a lot of space.