24 Oct Common Car Seat Mistakes
Buying a car seat is the first step in ensuring your child’s safety, but just having one isn’t enough. It’s important to also know exactly how to use it and what mistakes you should be avoiding. Even though Axl is almost 4 years old, I am constantly learning (and often left ashamed of my ignorance!). So, today, I thought that I’d share some common car seat mistakes that you have probably made and how to avoid making them.
Not installing the car seat properly
Installing a car seat can be overwhelming and according to professionals, a vast majority of parents are driving around with car seats that are incorrectly installed. Mistakes that you should look out for are making sure that you’re using the seatbelt correctly, that it’s secure and that the car seat doesn’t move around. Using an ISOFIX base does make taking your car seat in and out a whole lot easier and simplifies the installation, but you should make sure that it’s secure and that the car seat clips in completely every time – thankfully, my Maxi-Cosi 2wayFix base has 3 light indicators that beep when the car seat has been clipped in.
Change to a forward-facing car seat too soon
When Axl was born, we had a rearward-facing car seat that clipped into our pram, but he soon outgrew it – or so I thought! According to Maxi-Cosi’s website, you should only switch to a larger toddler seat when the top of your baby’s head comes over the top of the infant carrier seat. We also made the mistake of changing to a forward-facing car seat too soon, on the shop assistant’s suggestion, which I naively thought nothing more of. Don’t be like me, before purchasing a car seat, be sure to research the right car seat for your child’s age, weight and height – talk to a variety of people, reach out to professionals and make an informed decision. Thinking back, I now realize that I prematurely upgraded our car seat and that Axl should have stayed in a rearward-facing car seat until he was at least 2 or even 3 years old.
Not tightening the straps properly
As parents, we always want our children to be comfortable, so we leave the straps a little looser as we’re scared of pulling them too tight. Remember that your child’s car seat should protect them in the event of a car accident, so it is important that the fit is snug. To test to see whether the strap is tight enough, make sure that only one finger fits between your child’s collarbone and the strap.
Wearing bulky onesies and jerseys
This is one mistake that I see made so often – and one that I made too! Bulky onesies and jerseys are fairly common during winter, but they put your child in danger as there is no way that the straps can sit securely on their bodies. Rather put a warm blanket over your child, once they’re securely strapped in.
Have you made any of these car seat mistakes? Don’t worry! I won’t judge – I have made them too! If you read my last blog post, you’ll know that the secret to making sure our kids are safer on our roads, is by talking about it and sharing our experiences.
You can also help raise car seat awareness by sharing this post with your friends, family and mommy-networks. For more information on which car seat I use, head on over to read my review of the Maxi-Cosi Pebble Plus.
Be sure to check out #CarseatFullstop for more information, tips, and advice on choosing the right car seat, how to install them and see why the campaign has the support of award-winning local parenting bloggers, media, and brands. You can also follow #CarseatFullstop on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I am the creator behind By Megan Kelly, mom of two boys, named Axl (4-years old) and Eli (1-year old), and local business owner of Dr. Design. I live on copious amounts of coffee, spend my free time listening to podcasts while I garden or journal, and really enjoy baking fresh treats for my family. On the weekends, you’ll likely find me exploring our local city, looking for new family-friendly places for our kids, but that’s only if I am not already shouting at the soccer on TV. I support Tottenham and enjoy pretending to know what I am doing in the Fantasy League, but really I am just in it for the laughs. I can be bribed with chocolate and will never admit to having too much makeup – although, I probably do.