Car Seats - Baby Toys and Baby Safety
The Necessity of Travel with Baby
Today's parents often find it difficult to remain in the home to care for their children. The pressure to earn enough money to sustain a reasonable lifestyle often means that mothers of infants and young children are in the workforce as much as anyone else. While some mothers manage to have a maternity leave that allows them to remain home for several months, most have to return to work before the baby is even a year old. All of this necessitates quality baby gear to ensure the safety of the baby and older children as they are driven to and from the respective caregivers and schools. Then, of course, there are the family days and shopping trips as well as long-distance trips to see relatives - all of which require proper car seats to keep the children safe.
Types of Car Seats
Car seats have evolved over the years, from a one-size-fits-all to high-tech baby carriers that require some expertise to fit into the vehicle (even though they all say "easy to install'). Now, to ensure the maximum safety for children from newborn up, car seats come in a wide variety of styles and designs. They are available as a unit on their own, or as part of a car seat and baby stroller duo that allows for easy conversion from car to stroller. These car-seat-baby-stroller combinations are especially great when it comes to day trips and shopping adventures, when baby has fallen asleep in the car seat. You can simply remove the car seat from the base and set it into the stroller frame and away you go. Baby keeps on sleeping and you're mobile. What a great invention!
Initially, and until the baby is about a year old and weighs in at 20 to 22 pounds, it is recommended that a rear-facing infant car seat and baby carrier is used. An infant car seat may be a better fit for newborns than the convertible models. You can purchase some models with the stroller and base system or buy one that is just the base that fits into the car. It is recommended that, if possible, a child should remain rear-facing of as long as you can manage it. There are convertible car seat models that are rear-facing and can handle up to 30-35 pounds. These, again, are the safest for little ones and will work until the child's head is higher than the back of the seat.
Britax, Fisher Price and Graco - Top Names in Baby Gear
Convertible car seats can be used in both rear-facing (newborns and infants) and forward-facing positions (toddlers). The Safe Voyage car seat by Fisher Price was one of the top selling items until it was discontinued. However, Britax continues to uphold the one-year warranty of the car seat by Fisher Price as long as there is a dated receipt of purchase. Britax makes a number of excellent convertible car seats, one of the most popular being the Marathon model which can handle a child forward-facing up to 65 pounds. Graco, makers of baby toys, also make car seats with the same weight capacity of Britax. Graco was the first in the US to feature a 40 pound rear-facing weight limit and continues to provide quality car seats for growing families.
Keep Baby Content
When it comes to traveling with a baby, one of the considerations is keeping baby entertained. Some babies fall asleep the instant the vehicle is in motion, and others - well - they just like to spend more time awake. How do you keep them quiet and happy during a trip in the car? Since the baby will be properly strapped into the infant carrier or car seat, facing the back of the vehicle, it's kind of difficult to play - especially if you're the driver. If there are older children who can entertain the baby, then you're good to go. However, if you're traveling alone and the baby is fussy, then the trip can be a ticket to a nervous disorder.
Car Seat Toys
Many of the top selling toy manufacturers offer a wide array of toys for car seats and strollers. There are arches that have clutch toys affixed to them, and there are straps of toys that fit across the front of the car seat. One excellent item that seems to work well is a mirror attached to the end of the car seat (not glass) that allows the baby to see your face and you to see baby. Babies love to see and hear their parents' voices - so singing and talking with the baby, as well as being able to see him will go a long way to keeping baby quiet. Music is another effective way to travel. If your baby enjoys a certain CD, then bring it along and play it while you drive. The music is often enough to keep baby entertained and might even put him to sleep.
The most important aspect of traveling in the car with an infant or toddler is the child's safety. Make sure the car seat you are using is the right one for your child, and if possible, keep him rear-facing - it's just safer.