The drive home from the hospital after childbirth is another first in many that have come. But what will soon become a part of the everyday for you requires a little extra time and care to ensure the safety of your newborn.

Choose the right restraint

It’s the law that car restraints for newborns are rear facing and comply with Australian mandatory standards of safety. This means that they have an inbuilt harness and comply with Australian manufacturing standards. Retailers can also test the restraint in your car before you make a purchase to ensure it will fit.

Get your restraint installed by an accredited fitter

Accredited car seat fitters can install your restraint correctly so that it adheres to Australian safety laws. They will be able to manage any variations between cars, or advise you if your car cannot accommodate the restraint safely. They can also show you the process for removing and installing the car seat for future reference.

Position your baby seat for safety

Your baby’s car restraint must be positioned in the car’s second row (if it has two or more rows) and preferably on the passenger’s side. This means that, if you park against a kerb, you are not getting the baby out with traffic driving by.

Sit in the back with your baby

Don’t worry about making your support person feel like a chauffeur – they’ll probably be more than happy in this important role! Sitting in the back with your baby allows you to monitor them during their first car ride. If they start crying or you think they need to be fed – and your trip is a long one – pull over and stop the car in a safe place. Take the time to feed now rather than being tempted to remove them from their restraint with the car in motion.