Home 9 BABY & TODDLER 9 Getting your car seat ready for travelling on holiday
Dad putting newborn in carseat Getting your car seat ready for travelling

Getting your car seat ready for travelling on holiday

March 2, 2023

Taking your newborn on their first holiday can be a very daunting experience. You want it to be memorable, and you don’t want to forget anything. One of the most important things to ensure is that your child’s car seat is suitable for your child. It must be correctly installed in your car, and that the harness and head rest are in the correct position. Check out our guide to getting your car seat ready for travelling during the holidays. 

Is my child in the correct car seat?

You are about to embark on a long journey with your precious cargo, so now is the time to double check that your child’s car seat is correct for your child. Most will have a sticker on the side of the seat (or underneath) that will indicate suitability. Depending on your seat, its suitability will be dictated by weight and/or height. Check the manual or the sticker on the side of the seat.

Is my car seat harness in the correct position?

putting baby in car seatYou have checked that your child is in the correct seat, but now it is time to make sure the harness is in the right position. If your child is rear-facing, this should ideally sit on their shoulders or just below. If forward-facing, the harness should ideally be on their shoulders or just above. Many people do not realise that harnesses are adjustable. Some will require rethreading, but more modern seats will be fairly easy to adjust.

When adjusting an infant carrier, you may need to open the back up to be able to see how to adjust the harness. If in doubt, consult your manual (most manuals are available online too). If your little one is in a high-back booster, the seat belt should be sitting as close to their shoulder as possible. On highback boosters, you often adjust the headrest using a handle on top of the seat.

How tight should the harness be?

Once you have checked that the harness is in the correct position, it is time to check that you are tightening the harness correctly. This should be tighter than you think (especially if you have a young baby). Slip two fingers under the harness near the little one’s collar bone; you should be able to get your fingers in easily but not twist them around. In a seat with a harness, the less movement you have of your child in an impact, the better. Once they are using the main seat belt, the seat belt retracts on impact, of course. It is important to note that your child should never be wearing a snowsuit or thick coat whilst in the car seat as this affects the function of the harness. 

If you are not sure that you have your car seat correctly installed or harness in the correct position there are a few things you can do. Either pop into your local retail store or contact the brand on social media. If you have followed the three steps above, your little one should be ready for their holiday adventures. Don’t forget that whatever their age, you may want to break the journey up into more bite-sized pieces. The recommendation is no more than 2 hours before stopping for a comfort break (a little stretch of the legs). If you are travelling with a newborn below 4-6 weeks, these breaks should be more frequent. It is recommended that you stop every 30 minutes. 

Happy travels everyone!

 

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