10. Chest Clip Incorrect Positioned
What is a chest clip? The chest clip is a positioning device intended to keep the harness straps in position on the child’s shoulders. Where should the chest clip be positioned when your child is secured in their seat? The chest clip should be positioned at the child’s armpit level.
Why is the placement of the chest clip important?The chest clip is designed to keep the harness straps properly positioned on the child’s shoulders; this is important because the harness is the component that keeps the child restrained in the car seat. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that 59% of child harnesses are not tight enough. If the harness is loose and the chest clip is too low, one or both harness straps can slide off the child’s shoulders, allowing the child to potentially be ejected from the car seat in the event of a crash.
9. Loose fitting Harness straps
We have all seen (and cringed) at the pictures of the Royal Baby leaving hospital strapped incorrectly into his car seat. This is such a common mistake and as a new parent and very easy one to make. The best way to check to see if your harness straps are too loose is the pinch test. Place your baby in their car seat and buckle them up as usual. Using your thumb and pointer finger, try to pinch one of the harness straps at your baby’s collarbone level. If you are able to pinch the strap, the harness is not tight enough. You should not be able to pinch any excess. Ensure that the straps are not too tight either as you do not want them digging into baby making them uncomfortable.
Why loose straps are a danger. Loose harness straps leave your baby/child at an elevated risk of injury during a crash as they may allow your baby to move out of position and it could even lead to ejection from the car seat during a crash.
8. Using an expired car seat
Most people do not know that just like food car seats also have an expiry date. Safety standards change over time as safer technology is developed. Expiration dates not only alert you to the possibility that your car seat may be worn out, but they also provide an opportunity for you to buy a new seat that is safer for your child.
What about buying a used car seat or accepting a second hand one?
Borrowing or buying a second-hand car seat is not recommended unless you can answer these four crucial questions:
1. Are all the parts and pieces still attached to the car seat?2. Are all the labels for proper use still attached to the car seat?
3. Has this particular car seat ever been recalled by the company?
4. Has this car seat ever been in a crash?
If you are unable to find the answer to these four questions then do not buy or use the car seat.
7. Dressing your baby in winter snowsuits or bulky outerwear
Harness straps might not provide enough protection over a baby's bulky outerwear. If it's cold, dress your baby in a lightweight jacket and hat. Buckle the harness snugly and then tuck a blanket around your baby for warmth. Save the bulky outerwear for outdoors. Also it might be worthwhile investing in a footmuff which will eliminate the need for heavier, bulkier clothing and keep baby snug and warm in colder weather.
6. Leaving baby in the car seat for extended periods of time.
A car seat is designed to protect your baby during travel. It is not for use as a replacement moses basket/crib in your home. In 2009 a study showed that sitting upright in a car seat might compress a newborn’s chest and lead to lower levels of oxygen. Sitting in a car seat for long periods of time can also contribute to the development of a flat spot on the back of your baby’s head and worse reflux. Although car seats are essential during travel it is best not to let your child sleep or relax in the car seat for long periods of time out of the car.
5. Facing your child forward too soon
This is definitely one of the mistakes I put my hand up and say I made. As a mother I was anxious to mark every milestone in my little mans live and though that as he had outgrown the weight for his Maxi Cosy car seat that I should run out and immediately buy a forward facing car seat. However in retrospect, this was not what I should have done. Studies have shown that babies are 5 times safer in a rear facing car seat. My little man would have fitted in his Maxi Cosy for at least another three to four months and all the while would have been much safer. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until they exceed the height or weight limit for their car seat. The danger: The bones that protect an infant's spinal cord are still forming. When a child is rear-facing, his back--the strongest part of his body--can better absorb the immense forces of a crash. Facing forward, an infant's relatively heavy head can catapult forward, causing his underdeveloped spine to expose his spinal cord and putting him at risk of paralysis or death.
The fix: Follow the rules. Keep your baby rear-facing until he's at least 2-years-old or has reached the maximum height or weight limit of the seat.
4. Washing your car seat straps
This was another mistake that I unknowingly made. We all know how messy babies and kids can be and if they are anything like my little man I am sure your car seats are covered in milk, juice and sticky stuff. I could no longer stand the sticky, dirty car seat straps took the whole thing apart and stuck it in the wash. What’s the problem with that I hear you say? Well car seat harness straps may to be washed, they are not to be submerged. Why not? Soaking the straps in even plain water can wash away the fire-retardant chemicals on the harness and there is no way to un-repair that damage. Also washing the straps in washing detergents can weaken the integrity of the straps, causing them to fail in an accident.
The solution: Wipe down the straps with a damp cloth. If it is a really sticky messy mess than your best bet is to use a mild soap such as dove sparingly. If like me you have already washed your straps then call the car seat manufacturer and request a replacement. It is better to be safe than sorry!
3. Using aftermarket accessories
If it didn’t come with the car seat or from the manufacturer than avoid using it. Using items such a strap protectors (you know the type -the little puppy heads that stops the straps irritating baby) or head stabilisers are not only potentially dangerous because they alter the seat or affect the harness fit but they may void the warranty from the manufacturer and put your baby at risk. If your car seat came with an infant insert by all means, use that as it has been approved and tested.
2. Not reading the car seat manual
There are many suggestions and recommendations on proper use for car seat usage but only by consulting your manual for your specific car seat can you really know what is right and what is wrong. There is a lot of useful information in it and is a worthwhile task to sit down and spend an hour or so reading it fully and understanding exactly how it works. After it could save your baby’s life!
1. Not installing the car seat correctly
You need to install your baby’s car seat so that there is less that an inch of wiggle at the seat belt path, and so that the recline angle is correct if the seat is rear-facing. You also must learn to lock your seatbelts to keep the car seat installed tightly, and you must be sure that at least 80 percent of the car seat’s base is on the vehicle seat. Nowadays many of the shops that sell car seats will also help you to fit it correctly. The Road Safety Authority in Ireland also has a “Check it Fits” Roadshow where experts will show you how to install your car seat the correct way. For further information visit: www.rsa.ie/childsafetyincars
Introducing your baby to new tastes is an exciting time. We asked leading baby food and nutrition expert Annabel Karmel to share her top tips on weaning to help you give your little one the best possible start.
1. Very first foods should be easy to digest and unlikely to provoke an allergy. I like to begin with root vegetable purées like carrot or sweet potato and butternut squash as these have a naturally sweet taste that babies like – after all, breast milk is naturally sweet. Orange coloured vegetables are a good choice for first purées as the beta-carotene they contain provides a rich source of vitamin A, which is important for growth and will also help your baby to fight infections.
2. Apple and pear also make good first fruit purées. Try freezing individual purées and flavours and then making your own combinations by mixing together cubes of apple and pear purée. Banana, papaya and avocado are brilliant ‘no cook’ baby foods and can simply be mashed to make a tasty purée.
3. If your baby is struggling to eat from a spoon, try using your finger instead. Sitting close by, simply dip a clean finger in the purée and then use your finger to feed your baby.
4. Your baby will be used to the closeness and warmth of breast- or bottle-feeding, so make the transfer to solid food an intimate experience by holding them close to you and giving lots of cuddles.
5. Steaming is one of the most effective ways to cook fruit and vegetables for your baby’s purées as this method will preserve the vitamins and fresh taste. Vitamins B and C are water-soluble and so can easily be destroyed by overcooking, especially when fruits and vegetables are boiled in water.
6. From around the age of six months, breast or formula milk will no longer provide your baby with all the nutrients he needs, in particular vitamin D and iron. At this age, the iron your baby inherited from you at birth runs out, so it’s important to introduce some tasty beef purée, or for babies following a vegetarian diet, lentils provide a good source of iron.
7. Oily fish like salmon is important for the development of your baby’s brain, vision and nervous system. Your baby’s brain will triple in size during the first year so it’s important to include oily fish in your baby’s diet from the age of six months. Ideally you should give your baby oily fish twice a week.
8. Eggs are very nutritious and fine for babies to eat from six months onwards, provided that the white and yolk are cooked until solid and there is no history of egg allergies in the family. If an egg does cause a reaction the effect will be almost immediate and the best advice is to keep your little one away from eggs and seek medical advice. Well-cooked scrambled eggs make a good breakfast for your baby.
9. Babies do not require the same diet as adults as they need more fat and less fibre. After the age of six months add cheese to vegetable purées along with proteins such as chicken, fish and meat. This will provide your baby with the calories they need to develop and grow.
10. Don’t be tempted to add salt or sugar to your baby’s food however bland you might consider the taste. Salt may harm your baby’s kidneys and sugar will encourage a sweet tooth. A baby is not used to these tastes, so will not miss them.
For more help from Annabel Karmel and to see weaning recipes from Annabel visit her website, http://www.annabelkarmel.com.
The one thing that is guaranteed to worry a new dad is the first attempt at changing a dirty nappy. As a new dad you can try to put it off but sooner or later you are going to have to change a nappy and probably get elbow deep in poop! Most new dads nowadays are happy to do their bit towards the duties required with a new baby but many are still squeamish about the smellier jobs that go with the territory. This is a guide for dads who have never changed a nappy in their lives.
- Preparation. Be Prepared! Make sure you have all the stuff you need at hand and that you are ready for the job. The best way to achieve this is to have a changing area ready before your baby is born. Keep all creams, nappies, wipes, nappy bags near your changing table and ensure you have a changing mat which is easily cleaned if your little one has a particularly messy nappy. Before you carry your baby to the changing area ensure you wash your hands and roll up your sleeves!
- Lay your baby gently on the changing table. (Take a deep breath at this point before opening a dirty nappy! Or use a balaclava!)
- Hold both feet away from the baby’s bum with one hand and with the other hand use the front of the nappy to wipe away the worst of the mess. Lift the feet higher in the air so that you can fold over the nappy and close it up underneath him/her.
- Use the attaching strips of Velcro to seal it up and the place it in the nappy bag. Ensure you have a good grip on the baby’s feet as once they get lose they will create a whole other mess! (If this happens your best option is to just bath the baby!)
- Clean-up: This is the clean up stage. Have a pack of baby wipes or cotton wool and water close by and use as many as require for cleaning the skin. Laura’s Top Tip: At this point, your baby will feel the great joy at the fresh air around their genitals and may celebrate by urinating or releasing the bowels all over the place. This can be anticipated before the wipe-up by opening a new nappy and placing it underneath so that any new mess can be caught before it goes all over your changing area. Always clean back to front and don’t forget to clean in the folds of skin.
- Exhale or remove clothes peg from nose.
- Now that all the wipes and dirty nappy is tied up in a smell proof nappy bag , all that remains is to finish to job before your baby does another one. Apply creams or powders that you have chosen for you baby. I find Caldesene Powder great for preventing nappy rash. The clean nappy has Velcro on the back part of the nappy (ok so if it’s on wrong, don’t worry, turn it around so that the Velcro is at the back – it’s ok you will get the hang of it soon) that is used to hold the nappy in place around the baby’s tummy. Ensure you don’t do it so tight that the baby can’t breath and not so loose so that it will leak.
- Wipe & Clean the changing table. Wash your hands. Your baby has just pooped! Start over again!!!
- Well done, you’re a pro!
'I felt like I failed my children...they were my inspiration for the business - I had lost sight of that'
Laura O' Mahony | Happy in your Nappy | Online Baby & Nursery Store
Read the full article here.