Child Safety
Before Birth of Baby

When should you buy a car seat?


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2015-08-22 13:51:39
2015-08-22 13:51:39

If you think a baby shower will be held, you should definitely hold off on buying some things, including some larger items, in case you have very generous family or friends. But if you have definite preferences for certain brands/models of car seat, stroller, etc, you may want to either let relatives know this in advance, or maybe register at a baby store in your area.

A car seat is definitely needed before you come home from the hospital, I know some people drove around with them in the car for a few weeks (with a stuffed animal strapped in) before the baby was due to get used to putting someone/thing into the seat each time they got in and getting the item/baby out each time they got out.

Many hospitals will not even allow the infant to leave the hospital unless they vehicle they are traveling in (and the driver they're traveling with) has the proper infant car seat, properly strapped in. For coming home from the hospital (and for about 6 months, depending how quickly your baby grows), you need a NEWBORN, rear facing, harness car seat. The newborn car seats are those that tilt back and the baby is more in a lying position than sitting up. Even those car seats that are mostly sitting up and claim that they are for newborns are not the type of car seats the hospital staff will be looking for. I would also recommend getting a headrest for your newborn, as it will help to sturdy the newborn's head when placed into the car seat. The newborn is still so small in this car seat that it's poor little head can just flop around (plus he has no real support to rest it unless it's bent all the way down onto his shoulder). The head rest looks like an upside down U-shaped pillow, with backing fabric so that it too can be strapped into the car seat, and they are fairly cheap (less than $10).

You definitely want one of those infant car seat/carrier things. We had purchased two car seats that said on the box they were for infancy to toddlerhood (30 lbs?). Forget it. They didn't tilt back enough for a newborn.

If this your first baby consider if the newly pending grandparents are likely to spring for big ticket items ... also see if somebody will lend you one -- e.g. our cot has been used by 15 babies so far.

You are going to need a car seat from the day your child is born until he/she is around 8-12 years old.

Do NOT purchase a used seat. They have unknown history, and could fail in a crash.

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