We’re getting closer and closer to our due date and, even though we’re planning on a home birth, we’re also making sure we’re prepared in case we have to go into hospital. One of the most important things on the to do list is to make sure that we have a car ready and equipped for a new arrival. Here, then, are my tips for how to get your car baby ready.
Buy the right gear
The most important thing you’ll need to get before your baby is born is a car seat. You won’t be allowed to take them home without one, so make sure you choose one that has good reviews from other parents. It must be new because a second-hand one could have been damaged in an accident – meaning that it may no longer be safe. You may also want to stock up on other child safety accessories such as safe view mirrors and ‘baby on board’ signs.
Install it properly
The safe installation of car seats has been a hot topic lately, so make sure that yours has been put in properly. It’s all very well buying a top-of-the-range one, but it won’t be as safe as it’s designed to be if there is any movement. If you’re in any doubt, double check against the manual. If you prefer video tutorials, most brands have installation guides on YouTube.
Check your car
If you haven’t had your car checked for a little while, now is the time to make sure it’s in tip-top condition. Book it in at a garage and also make sure you regularly check your oil and water levels as well as your tyre pressure and treads. Of course, these jobs should be carried out frequently, but it’s especially important with a baby imminent!
Know the route
You’ll probably know the most direct route to your local hospital, but what if there are road works or other traffic problems slowing things down? You don’t want that! How well do you know the surrounding area? Are there other roads that you could use to safely steal a march on the other traffic? Are there roads to avoid due to painfully slow level crossings or speed bumps that mum may not enjoy? You may want to try a few practice runs to make sure.
Don’t run out of anything
If you’re anything like me, you’re good at putting things off until tomorrow. Don’t take such chances with petrol! You don’t know when your baby is going to be born – they’re a nuisance like that! – so make sure you top up regularly in the weeks approaching your due date. Similarly, you don’t want to be fumbling for change at the hospital car park so make sure you have plenty of coins on you.
Disclosure: this is a collaborative post