Most people believe that babies bring good fortune. Therefore, if you have one, you most definitely want to take him/her out with you as often as you can. When you do so, you surely want to ensure that your baby’s car seat strap placement is accurate.
Also, the innocence and fragility of your baby equally require you to pay attention to his/her need for special security. Hence you need to ensure adequate safety at all times.
One of the most difficult situations you might find yourself in is keeping your baby safe during a drive. When you are driving with your baby in the car, it could be quite difficult as you would have to focus on the road and on your baby to ensure he/she doesn’t rollover.
This article provides you with full information about car seat strap placement for Babies and all you need to know.
How do you strap a baby in a car seat?
Easy as it may sound, strapping your baby in a car seat requires caution and much care. It is quite unfortunate that most car seat users often get the Car seat strap placement all wrong and consequently put the life of their baby at risk.
Here are some factors you should note if you want to get your baby strapped incorrectly.
Don’t be in too much of a hurry:
The first rule to a correct strapping in is that you must not do it in a hurry. Being in a hurry does not save your time, it only keeps you in acute consciousness of horror and whatever you do at such point is most likely going to go wrong. Hence whenever your outing involves your baby, be sure to prepare ahead of time.
Ask yourself – what is my Baby wearing?
Most car seat users care less about this, but it is actually of great importance. This is because puffy, large, or thick clothing will make sitting in the seat harness correctly and firmly quite difficult. Such clothing could interfere with the harness locks.
Consequently, the harness would easily give way when a collision occurs and, as a result, put your baby in danger.
Therefore, in cold it is most advisable to cover your baby with a blanket after strapping him/her in or dress him/her in coats with warm thin layers.
Check the Heights:
The length of the harness must measure up to the height of your baby. In other words, you must choose the right harness that can travel firmly and conveniently over your baby’s shoulders, (where the car seat is forward-facing) or below your child’s shoulders (where it is a rear-facing car seat).
If there is an imbalance, either with a higher length or a smaller one, the straps become either too loose or too tight. In such situations, the purpose of the harness is lost, and it results in nothing but your child’s inconvenience and insecurity.
Most parents choose the 5- points harness. This is because it secures both shoulders, the hips, and the crotch of the infant.
Ensure the harness is not twisted:
In the course of use, the harness of a car seat will most likely get twisted. In such a case, it is important that you take notice of the shell and cover each time and untwist it. A twisted harness will present you with a function less of its original expectation, therefore do not take it for granted.
Make sure the chest clip is on the armpit level:
You must note this. Most Parents ignore the fact that the positioning of the chest clip has a lot to do with the overall output of the car seat.
When you place the chest clip too low, it affects the correct sitting of the harness strap over your baby’s shoulders. And when too high, it can form a compression on your infant’s throat.
After ensuring that each of these factors is duly considered, all you need to do is strap your child in, do the ‘pinch test’ and you’re ready. The ‘pinch test’ involves trying to pinch the harness horizontally to confirm its firmness. You can also do this by slipping two-finger flat under the straps.
How tight should my baby’s car strap be?
The security of a car seat for your baby is above all other things. The car seat is secure only when it can absorb the energy from a collision and protect your baby from getting hurt. However, the convenience of your baby is equally a priority.
Therefore, when determining the tightness of the harness straps, you must have it at the back of your mind that it must neither be too tight nor too loose.
The most applicable measure to determine the tightness of your baby’s car strap is the pinch test. We briefly mentioned this above. Although there’s the two fingers test, we have ultimately affirmed that the pinch test provides a higher level of accuracy.
To carry out a pinch test, all you have to do is:
- Place your fingers on the harness around the child’s collarbone area.
- Pinch the harness strap. If you get a good pinch between your fingers, it means the harness is not tight enough. If you don’t, it means the harness is tight enough, and your child is properly strapped in.
How to buckle your newborn in a car seat
Generally, everything that involves a newborn requires special attention, care, and patience. This is because they are highly fragile and would cry/scream during any process whether they are inconvenient or not. This includes the strapping process.
Therefore, if your newborn cries when being placed on a car seat, don’t fret, here are some tips to help you out:
Follow the rules:
The basic rules of strapping are equally applicable here. Avoid puffy or thick clothing, you can swaddle after strapping in, make sure the straps go conveniently over or below the shoulders, and ensure the chest clip is armpit level.
Watch out for the positioning of the seat:
The major difference between a newborn and a regular infant is their level of strength and fragility. The neck of a newborn might not be able to hold up his/her head still, therefore you need to position the car seat in such a way that the head can rest backward and relieve the neck of much stress and ensure a free flow of breath.
Make him/her at ease:
During and after the strapping process, you must make your baby relaxed either with soothing words or toys to reassure him/her of your presence and protection. This would help to control his/her panic and cry.
A journey of a thousand years begins with one step. The bid to achieve maximum protection of your infants begins with its potential “know-how” and here it is. Take this piece and enjoy your drive experience with your child.