By Kaitlyn Silvestri Ellis, CPST
Take this checklist to the hospital with you to remember what to do and look for when strapping your newborn in their car seat for the first time, and every time.
✔ Is the baby wearing light clothing? Remember no snow suits or jackets! (a warm blanket can be placed over the baby once they have been buckled in properly on cold days)
✔ Are the shoulder straps at or below the baby’s shoulder level? If no, can the harness be lowered?
✔ Is there any slack in the straps around the baby’s thighs? (Pull up at the shoulder level to get slack out of the thigh area)
✔ Is the harness sung around the baby? The straps should be “unpinchable” between your fingertips.
✔ Is the chest clip even with the baby’s armpits?
✔ Remember, DO NOT to add anything to the car seat that didn’t come with it, including strap covers and extra seat cushions (They haven’t been crash tested with your seat).
✔ When placing the seat into the base did you hear it click into place?
✔ Is the carrying handle in the correct positionfor the moving vehicle? (Check your manual to see where this is for your individual car seat)
✔ Is the base installed at the correct angle for a newborn?
✔ Is the base installed so there is less than one inch of movement at the seat belt or lower LATCH anchor pathway?
✔ Have you double checked your installation with a certified CPST?
**The American Academy of Pediatrics and The NHTSA both recommend keeping your child rear facing for a minimum of two year, but ideally until they have outgrown their *convertible* car seat.
Contact Kaitlyn and learn more about car seat safety on her Facebook page.