Travelling is enthralling, and everyone has a bucket list with various destinations. Still, as you enter parenthood, you are responsible for ensuring a tiny munchkin’s safety during travel.
It is natural for parents to get flustered as there are numerous aspects involved while travelling with a kid, but do not worry, we are here to help you with the crucial preparations, and according to us, baby car seat safety tips are on the top of the list.
We will discuss and highlight the essential safety tips and guidelines to smoothen your travel experience and keep your little explorer safe. So, let us begin and list the critical details to relieve the inquisitive parent and traveller within you.
Challenges of Travelling with a Car Seat
A baby car seat is a must-have, but in India, these are optional, and parents neglect their necessity and relevance. Since there is little awareness about this safety product, you may not know a few challenges that restrict you from using a car seat in the best possible way.
- Installation in different vehicles: When buying a baby car seat, you should know that the installation mechanism in each product varies according to the brand and model. This scenario means one seat may not fit well in different vehicle models. If you have not researched well, you may put money into the wrong product and regret the decision later. Thus, check anchoring in your vehicle beforehand if you are searching for a seat.
- Transporting through the airport: Several brands are promoting their products as best in the category, and you may easily fall for the visual appeal of a seat, but there is more to it. Do you know that a car seat can be used during air travel as well? It might not sound practical to you at first, but we would like you to know that using a quality car seat in an airplane keeps your child safe and relaxed. So, if you have not bought a model as per the FAA infant car seat safety guidelines, you will end up facing issues.
- Keeping clean: Like any other baby product, car seats also need regular cleaning and maintenance, an aspect that most parents tend to ignore. An unclean seat is compromising your child’s health. On the other hand, if you invest in a seat that is difficult to clean, you may have to struggle and end up regretting the purchase.
Why Does Car Seat Safety Matter?
If you are confused about the significance of car seat safety for newborns, you should ponder upon the following points:
- Primary protection in crashes: You cannot fasten the car seatbelt for your child, so the car seat proves to be a saviour as it protects him in case of a crash or mishap. A seat from a reputed brand can be used until your child is intelligent and old enough to sit independently.
- Avoid injury in turbulence: Travelling on bumpy roads is equally irritating for your child, and it is dangerous as well. The car seat helps in avoiding jerks and injuries due to turbulence.
- Proper support for baby: When you travel with your newborn, you need to be extra cautious about his posture since his bones are fragile. A car seat renders appropriate support to the baby’s backbone and keeps him in place during long trips, letting him be comfortable and happy during the journey.
Tips for Airplane Travel
If you plan to explore new destinations and need to travel by air on a frequent basis, a car seat is a significant investment. Below are a few tips that you need to follow for hassle-free boarding and travel:
- Check your seat model for FAA approval: Not all car seats qualify for air travel since the airlines follow strict FAA guidelines. Thus, when you are searching for a model, read the specifications carefully and make sure it matches the FAA guidelines.
- Request a seat belt extender: All airlines are well-equipped with car seat installation facilities. Thus, you should request a seat belt extender before the flight takes off. This will help avoid last-minute issues and make the travel easy.
- Gate check the seat just before boarding: Put your car seat for a gate scan rather than waiting for the last-minute boarding process.
- Bring a car seat bag to protect it: We recommend you carry a bag to protect your car seat when not in use. Avoid direct contact at the airport to keep the baby safe from germs.
Also Read: How To Choose The Best Baby Car Seat
Tips for Car Rental
If you do not prefer carrying your car seat while travelling, you can even opt for renting it. Leading car rental companies include car seats as they recognize seat necessity to ensure safety. Thus, you are saved from the efforts of carrying the product everywhere. Here are pointers that you should consider when renting a car during travel:
- Confirm car seat availability in advance: When you connect with a car rental company, check for the car seat availability in advance so that the company can make all necessary arrangements before your arrival. You should discuss all the details and concerns openly to avoid any errors.
- Do not use the seat if it is damaged or expired: When you take the delivery of the vehicle and seat, make sure to check the condition and expiry date. Ask for an exchange if you feel that the seat isn’t in good condition or has expired, as this would mean compromising safety.
- Review seat manual for proper installation: Once you have taken the rented car and seat, read the installation manual carefully so that you anchor it appropriately. Understand that every seat has a different mechanism, and thus, it is necessary to know it beforehand.
- Request a seat that fits your baby's age or size: Ask the car rental company to provide a car seat according to your baby’s weight and age. There are several seats designed for babies of different age groups- some are specifically for infants, and others can be used for toddlers as well. Thus, you should discuss this aspect carefully and convey your requirements.
Best Practices During Travel
For memorable travelling experiences, prepare a checklist in advance and make sure to follow these practices. Remember, the aim is to keep the little one safe and comfortable and, in turn, stay stress-free.
- Never check in the seat as luggage: When travelling by air, do not put the car seat with luggage. Most airlines allow you to carry the seat with you through the gate check. If you put the seat with luggage check-in, there is no way to get it during the flight.
- Assign caregiver to baby during travel: Make sure that one of the parents or a caregiver is available to take care of the baby even if you use a car seat during travel. If your baby is small, he might need constant attention.
- Stop often for diaper changes and feedings: If travelling by road, stop over at regular intervals to change the baby’s diaper, let him breathe in some fresh air, and feed him during the halt.
- Bring extras like car seat toys and covers: Children tend to get bored quickly during travel. Hence, you should bring along some toys to keep them engaged. Also, carry the seat covers to protect the seat from dust when not in use.
Now that we have covered all the essential pointers related to travel safety, we would like to emphasize again the importance of using a car seat during travel in India. Check for FAA approval and correct the installation process when buying a car seat. Also, ensure that even if you use a seat, someone should always attend to the baby’s needs.
If you are searching for the best quality and feature-loaded car seat, consider buying R for Rabbit’s baby car seat. There are many models for the comfort and safety of your child, so you can easily choose one that matches your travel and baby’s needs. Hope you create fantastic lifetime memories with your baby.