Newborn babies are a bundle of excitement. However, parenting can sometimes feel like a whirlwind. With so many things to organise, purchase and look after, the last thing you need is another decision to turn into a headache.
One of the most critical purchases you will make is a baby car seat. Purchasing the correct car seats is vital for keeping your little ones safe on Australian roads.
To save you time and energy, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to make choosing your first baby seat as simple and easy as possible.
Australia’s Car Seat Laws
In each Australian state, laws exist that dictate the level of car restraints required for each age. Vic Roads, for example, outline specific guidelines for children aged between 0-4. These laws are in place to ensure that your baby always receives the optimum protection.
Exploring Your Options
The first important aspect to note is that baby car seats come in a variety of styles that match a baby’s progression to a toddler. Of course, the baby must be in the back and not the front of the vehicle. Back seats differ in positioning, support and size. The three most prevalent types include;
1. Baby Capsules
Until the baby reaches the 6-month point, a baby capsule is required. Baby capsules are a convenient way to ensure that the baby stays safe, sound and strapped in for each journey. You can also remove the capsule without having to take off the harness – particularly valuable if you don’t want to disturb your baby’s sleep.
Baby capsules can typically handle a weight of up to 9kg. Remember that all capsules must have the Australian Standard sticker certification. This system exists because overseas manufacturers are not legally recognised in Australian conditions.
2. Rear-Facing & Forward Facing
This option is not only legally required, but also the most appropriate for newborns and babies between 6 months to 4 years old. Fitted with an inbuilt harness, the forward and rear facing baby car seat offers excellent protection for the neck, head and spine. In the event of an unexpected crash, your little one will be in the best position to remain healthy and unharmed.
Another benefit of this style is portability. The forward or rear facing seat is easily removed for use in prams and strollers.
3. Convertible Seats
Convertible car seats can be purchased and used in the earliest stages of a child’s life as well as the subsequent years that follow. Convertible car seats can flip between rear and forward-facing positions. When your baby reaches the appropriate size and you feel comfortable, you can switch the seat around.
Installation and Fit
Our next area of focus is critical. Whether you are purchasing a baby capsule hire, convertible or forward-facing baby car seat, all must be installed correctly in your vehicle. Proper installation will directly match the spatial and functional requirements of your back seat area, ensuring that seat remains safe and fastened for all car journeys.
This generally occurs prior to the birth of the child, meaning that you are well prepared for travel from the hospital to home.
We cannot understate the importance of correct fit and sizing. For this reason, baby car seats come with shoulder height markers. These markers indicate whether your child is big enough to remain secure and in place as the vehicle moves. In this sense, you can remain flexible and adapt as scenarios change. If your baby outgrows their prior seat, you can move them on to a larger style.
Speak to a Baby Car Seat Supplier
Like any newborn item, selecting a baby car seat is a major decision. The good news is that you don’t have to make this call alone. As they deal with expecting parents on the daily, baby product suppliers will hold significant expertise in this area and offer sound advice. An experienced supplier may also be able to recommend a suitable pram option to complement the seat purchase.
Arrange a Car Seat Fitting
One of the other stipulations of Australian child restraint laws centers on the baby car seat fit. The car seat must fit the dimensions and layout of your vehicle before any trips take place. installation of baby car seat in australia can be arranged through a specialist provider or at the time of acquisition.