Tips for brand new baby drivers

There are learning curves and then there’s the ‘we’re having a baby and we need to know everything’ learning curve. Even though it’s all really exciting, it can sometimes feel like a lot to take in.

Firstly, you’ve absolutely got this. Just take it step by step and you’ll be brilliant. Secondly, we’re going to give you a few tips that’ll help with driving and car safety when it comes to your new arrival.

Getting prepared

You don’t have to tell your insurance company that you’re pregnant, it doesn’t change your insurance one bit. Although you might want to check to see if they cover baby seats. At LV= we do, but not everyone does.

If you’re having a C-section, always follow your doctor’s advice on when you can get back behind the wheel. You’ve had a major operation and it can make braking difficult. So before you drive, try a few emergency stops to make sure that it’s easy and painless. Besides, it might be nice to be chauffeured around for a bit.

Car seats

There’s such a brilliant range in terms of features and price to choose. Our advice is to go into a store and have a chat with someone who really knows their stuff. See how different seats feel in your hand and really think about how you might be using it. Take the time to find the perfect fit for you and your family.

All children in the UK need to use a car seat until they’re 12 years-old or 135cm tall, whichever happens sooner. The seat should be rear facing until your little one is 15 months old. And it’s best to put your car seat in the back, but if you do put it in the front, make sure you’ve disabled the front airbags before you fit it.

We’d always recommend you stay away from second-hand car seat or even hand-me-down ones. It is tempting because car seats can be expensive. But all car seats have to subscribe to really strict safety guidelines. When you get a brand new one, you’ve got that reassurance.

There are two different categories of car seat. One which does it by age, the Group system, and one that does it by size, iSize.  Both are safe. With the Group system, there are 3 Groups with Group 3 for the oldest. You’ll be looking at Group 0, which is designed for birth up to 15 months.

ISOFIX or seat belted?

This is all about how the seat is fixed into the car. ISOFIX attaches to the car chassis with two metal clips and then anchors itself at the top or the bottom of the seat. It’s really easy and reliable.

You’ve probably pictured the moment you walk out with your new baby a million times. So, make the car seat bit easy by thoroughly reading the instructions and practicing at home.

With the seatbelt method you wrap it around the seat in a particular way and then click in the belt.

They’re both safe, but the seatbelt method can be a bit fiddly, and you really have to take the time to get it right every time.

After a few weeks of night feeds, you might feel that the ease and reassurance of ISOFIX is worth the additional cost.

On the road

If you can, put your baby in on the pavement side. It’s safer and easier. And before you pop them into their car seat take off any jackets or bulky clothing, so they’ll be safe and comfy.

You shouldn’t have your baby in a car seat for longer than two hours within a 24-hour period

Car seats are brilliant for safely transporting your baby, but you should limit how long they spend in their seats. Most healthcare and safety experts believe you shouldn’t have your baby in a car seat for longer than two hours within a 24-hour period.

And if it’s a long drive, anything over 30 minutes, make time for breaks so you can all stretch your legs.

Sometimes when you arrive at your destination, your baby will be asleep. Even though babies can sleep in their car seat, that’s not really what they’re designed for. Try easing them out and on to a flat surface so they can stretch out and get nice and comfy.

Finally, as your baby grows, their car seat will also need to grow with them. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they grow. Regularly check the seat to make sure it’s still comfortable and fits.

We hope this has helped. Congratulations in advance. You’re about to go on one of life’s wonderful adventures and we wish you the very best.

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Don’t forget to check whether your car insurance covers car seats, and if it doesn’t or you just want to compare, give LV= a call on 0800 681 6470 or visit NCT membership.

NCT Members can save 5% on LV= general public prices* (excluding what LV= quote on aggregator sites). Login to NCT Membership/LVCarInsurance/ to get a quote online.

This article has been authored by and comes from LV= for use by NCT membership. Offer correct at time of print.