You were prepared for sleepless nights. You knew you’d spend the GDP of a small country on new baby kit. You’d braced yourself for the avalanche of lurid plastic about to descend on your beautiful home.
What you might not have fathomed was that your driving life was about to change forever. From the type of car you own to your driving style with baby on board, taking the car on the open road will never be the same again.
What sort of car should I buy?
You may be proud of your sporty little number, but one quick glance will tell you that its barely-there back seat’s not nearly big enough to take a car seat, let alone a modest-sized stroller.
Even if you’ve got a more sensible three-door car, getting a baby in and out of the back while clambering over the front seat gets old very quickly, believe us.
So if you’re in the market for a new family car, what should you look for?
Safety: It’s amazing how vulnerable a newborn seems, especially when you’re on the motorway with cars zooming past you at 70mph. Before you buy any car, check out its Euro NCAP crash safety ratings to give you an idea of how protected you’ll be in case of an accident. Bear in mind that statistics tend to show that larger, heavier cars are safer than smaller, lighter ones.
It’s also a good idea to choose a car that lets you use the middle seat in the back – you may need it if you have three children, or even if you’re ferrying their friends around. The safest option here is a car that has a full diagonal seatbelt, as opposed to just a lap strap.
Comfort: A comfortable child is a quiet child, so make sure there’s enough leg room for them when they’re in the car seat, as well as a place to put a toy tidy. And getting a car with air conditioning can seem less of a luxury and more of a straight-up necessity when you’re all sweltering in a traffic jam on the M25.
Practicality: If you’re buying a new car, take along your pram to give you an idea of how easily it will fit the boot. The same goes for the car seat.
Other things to consider
By law children up to 12 years old or 135cm tall need to use a child or booster seat which is appropriate to their size and weight. There are some very prescriptive categories, so read up to make sure your child is getting exactly the right kind of support when they are being carried in any vehicle. If you’re unsure what car seat to buy for the best, Which? is a great place to start.
With safety now at the forefront of your mind, having a baby is the perfect time to take a look at your life insurance policy. Being adequately covered means all the family will be protected should the worst happen.
That, along with knowing you have the very safest of family cars, should mean one less thing for you to worry about on one of those sleepless nights.
This is a sponsered post by Tamsin McCahill