This feature came to me on our loooooong road trip out to the Cotswolds last weekend. More on that later, but in the traffic on Friday night, I had plenty of time to come up with ideas for Before the Baby. It’s likely that your first parenthood challenge outside the hospital will involve your car, and the baby’s car seat. They won’t actually let you leave hospital unless you carry your baby out in its seat!! The first time we handled our Maxi-Cosi Car Seat, I felt I was dealing with an impossible foreign object, so it’s worth playing around with it before your baby arrives. My husband was brilliant at fitting the ISOFIX into the car, so we could just click in the seat and go, but that definitely isn’t something you want to be doing in the hospital car park. If you’re inexperienced, it doesn’t click in straight away, and it’s counter-intuitive that the chair faces backwards. I felt so sorry for Prince William – he had to fit his baby seat in the glare of the world’s press…..he did it first time, so I reckon he’d been practicing in the grounds of Kensington Palace! He still wiped his brow with relief though! {Watch from 3 mins in}.

{I want this!} Clockwise from Top Left

 Maxi-Cosi Car Seat, approx. £93 – We chose the Maxi-Cosi because it fitted with our Stokke Xplory pram. All you do is add these adapters, and instead of having to transfer your sleeping baby from the seat into your pram, you can transfer the whole seat across. For what it’s worth, we never actually did this, and I ended up selling the adapters on eBay. Unlike most babies, Ivo never loved his car seat, and certainly wasn’t keen on the idea of spending more time in it. Also, we tend not to take the Stokke Xplory in the car. We keep a Baby Jogger City Mini in the boot instead – they’re smaller and they fold with one simple movement {I’m quite passionate about the Baby Jogger!}.

2. Britax Sunshade (2-Pack), £4.99 – in the summer, you’ll be surprised how worried you’ll get about the sun hitting your baby. It can get pretty hot pretty quickly in the back of the car, and most babies are vampires, and hate the bright light. The Maxi-Cosi car seat has a shade, but we didn’t discover that until Ivo was about three months {worth reading the instructions!}, and even so, I’d recommend buying these for extra shade protection.

3. Lamaze Activity Spiral, £11.93 – We keep a few toys in the car all the time, just in case I forget to bring some down each journey. This spiral has kept Ivo happy for many a journey, and it attaches easily to the car seat handle, so he doesn’t lose it down the side of the seat. He’s also a big fan of the Lamaze Firefly, and Captain Calamari the Octopus Pirate.

4. Sunshine Kids Easy View Back Seat Mirror, £12.95 – In the early day, as soon as Ivo went quiet, I started to worry about whether he was okay. Occasionally I’d even stop the car, just so I could have a look at him. This mirror solved all that, and now he’s bigger, he likes to look at himself in it. A must-buy.

5. Maxi-Cosi EasyFix (ISOFIX) Car Seat Base, approx. £72 – As mentioned above, this is key for fast fitting. It’s also more secure, and therefore safer, than just hooking the seatbelt around the car-seat.

ALSO  An Emergency Pack – One day you’ll be out in the car, and you’ll realise you’ve forgotten something essential. It might be a bottle, milk, or extra nappies. So I keep an ’emergency pack’ in a bag in the boot. So far it’s saved me twice from having to go home, and made me feel super-organised when I could help out a couple of other mothers. Here’s a list of what I keep in it.
* a sterilised Tommee Tippee bottle
* a carton or two of Aptamil First Milk
* a couple of Ella’s Kitchen pouches {now Ivo’s older}, plus a bowl & spoon
* a changing kit of several nappies, wipes and bags
* a spare blanket
* lots of plastic bags {you never know when you’re going to have dirty clothes / pram wheels, etc}

P.S. Now Ivo is bigger, we’re going to buy him a Besafe Izi Combi Isofix Car Seat. I’ve read lots of research, and it appears that it’s five times safer to keep children facing backwards – right up until their four! This one’s pretty pricy, but it gets great reviews on Mumsnet, and it looks like it’ll click right into our Isofix.

More posts like this one:
✽ Pregnancy Diary – Recording Your Baby Bump
✽ Five Favourite Baby Announcement Cards

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