Every new parent faces a period of adjustment when they welcome a baby into the family, from buying new laundry detergent for your baby’s clothes to overhauling your sleeping schedule.
You might even change the way you think about your driving. When you have a baby in the backseat, you may start driving more cautiously while also being more distracted by your bundle of joy. With so much happening in a parent’s mind, it can be wise to take preventative measures to ensure your baby is as safe as possible.
Check the car seat
Make sure your child’s car seat is safe and properly installed. To do this, you can:
- Check the expiration date on the seat
- Visit a child seat inspection safety center to have trained technicians check your seat
- Make sure the car seat is not part of a recall
- Install the seat in the back seat
You will also want to make sure your child is safely in the seat. Remove bulky clothing and make sure the straps are in the proper position and secured.
Further, take a few moments to ensure your child has everything they might need before you start the car. Tuck in blankets and attach a pacifier to a clip that makes it easy for them to grasp independently. Hang up a mirror or other toys to keep your little one occupied.
Check your own driving habits
Every driver has some bad habits; having a child can trigger people to change these habits. When you have your child in the car, you might:
- Drive slower
- Give other vehicles more space
- Keep your anger or frustration behind the wheel in check
- Turn down the radio
- Put away your phone and other distractions
Making these changes can keep you and your child safer.
Beware of dangerous drivers
Keep an eye out for other motorists who are not taking the same precautions you are. Look out for dangerous drivers who are swerving, speeding or following you too closely. Practice driving defensively, and if you find yourself sharing the road with someone you suspect is a threat to you, avoid any potential confrontations.
Keeping a new baby safe when you are driving is a big job. However, you can make it easier by taking these simple precautions.