Organize your Baby Capsule EarlyBy Ian Allan
Having your baby capsule organized well before bub arrives will ease the pressure that some families experience as a due-date approaches. You’ll be glad you did this, especially if bub arrives early. Around the beginning of your third trimester is a good time to do this.
OUR BUB’S FIRST CAR RIDE
We turned out of the hospital with our new bubba in the back. We were overwhelmed. Out of our depth. There were no hospital staff to ask for advice. There was no help. Just two amateurs responsible for a tiny baby. Who would have thought! My partner and I turned and looked at each other. The look of disbelief on our faces must have been comical. It was a surreal WTF moment! I laugh about it now, but I drove in the freeway’s slow lane all the way home. I recalled this trip with my partner over dinner last night. Her face lit up and she smiled.
Researching the right baby capsule for our family took time and effort. I’m glad we organized it way ahead of time. A last minute rush would have been stressful for our family. Having a professional fit and then train us how to use it was a big weight off our already overloaded minds on that first trip too.
Aside from all that, having the baby capsule sitting in bubs room a few weeks before she arrived was a good way to help us get our heads around our new lives. Instead of being a chore, buying our baby capsule was a fun and exciting way of easing into the idea of being first time parents.
THE RESEARCH TAKES TIME
It will take time to work out which capsule will work best for your family, and with your car. Capsules come in different shapes and sizes – a larger capsule can make the back seat squishy if you carry other passengers, especially in smaller cars.
These days most cars have baby capsule anchor points pre-installed and ready for the capsule restraints to just clip into them. For older cars, you may need a professional to install anchor points for you. Some cars come with only one anchor point, and so you may want extra ones to give you the flexibility to place the baby capsule in different positions. If your baby shop can’t help you with anchor points, often car mechanics and car tyre centres can.
DON’T USE A BABY CAPSULE IN THE FRONT SEAT
Ever seen The Blind Side movie with Sandra Bullock? Its based on a true story. There’s a car accident scene where the future football star Michael Oher plunges his arm between his pickup’s front-seat airbag and the young S.J. He saved SJ’s life.
Unless you have no other option, you should not use a baby capsule in the front seat of a car. That’s because front seat air bags are designed for adults, and in an accident, they can kill children.
There are ways to make your front seat safe for a baby capsule, but they differ between vehicles. Sometimes front seat passenger airbags can be disabled. Other times, they are disabled automatically for light weight passengers. You should consult the infant safety section of your vehicle’s user manual to find out how to do this. Most vehicle’s user manuals are online as well.
BUY YOUR BABY CAPSULE FROM A REPUTABLE SUPPLIER AND GET THEM TO FIT IT
The man who installed and trained us how to use our new baby capsule told us the story of a customer who arrived for their anchor point installation appointment. Their newborn baby was secured in its capsule…but the baby capsule was unrestrained and just “sitting” on the back seat of the car. Months later, the installer was still in disbelief.
If you’ve not installed a baby capsule into a car before, it’s a good idea to buy it from a reputable baby store. They will show you how to use it. Many baby stores also have a service to install anchor points if you need them. Baby capsules are simple to use once you’ve been shown, but can be overwhelming if you’ve not used them before.
A cheaper option is to buy a pre-loved baby capsule. If you do that, check the following…
- The date of manufacture label, to be sure that its not more than 10 years old. That’s because plastics degrade. Also, it may not comply with current safety standards.
- The buckles work and straps are not frayed.
- It has not been in a serious accident.
- That it has not been recalled for some reason. The Australian Government’s ACCC website is the place to do this.
Organizations such as StKilda Mums sell pre-loved baby capsules that have been safety checked. They have a list of similar organizations in other places in Australia, and the world.
Be sure to organize your baby capsule early. Finding one that matches your car and family situation can take time, especially if you have a smaller car. Make sure an experienced person shows you how to use it. And don’t use it in the front seat of a car without first consulting the infant safety section of your car’s user manual, and disabling the front passenger seat airbags.