As a new first-time mom -- yes, I'm typing this with one hand -- I'll be exploring the often stressful, always magical first six weeks of little one's life with the scoop on things like car seats, cradle cap, cuddle time, and other newborn issues in CafeMom's Baby Boot Camp.
Flickr: Photo by Treehouse1977
Before Kavya arrived on February 6th -- just 11 minutes past her February 5th due date -- I had nary a contraction. So needless to say, we hadn't bothered to take the car seat out of its box, let alone install it! As if we didn't have enough to stress about.
So that last-minute panic was left up to my enterprising husband, who gamely strapped the hulking plastic monster into my parents' tiny Civic hybrid. But when we strapped little Kavya in, the thing didn't seem secure. And with car crashes being the number one killer of kids, I wasn't about to put my newborn at risk.
My husband had followed the instructions, but according to the security people at the hospital, who are certified to inspect car seats, it wasn't installed properly. In fact, according to a 2009 National Highway Safety Administration study, 80 percent of car seats are installed incorrectly.
Luckily, the security rep at the hospital was kind enough to show us how to do that before we took Kavya home. For those without such guidance, though, these sites offer an excellent primer.
- Information on how the new system called LATCH works
- Car seats stats for kids of all ages
- Dad-friendly tips
- A handy-dandy car seat video
Armed with all that information, your car seat install should go a lot smoother than ours did. If not, you can always give my husband a shout. He's now an expert. And may I recommend making car seat installation a priority before your little one's arrival? It sure would have saved us a lot of stress.
Did you have trouble installing your child's car seat?
Got a newborn dilemma you'd like to see addressed in Baby Boot Camp? PM me! And stay tuned for more scoop on baby's first six weeks.