car seat baby safety

The 101 on Car seat safety

You’ve bought the best car seat you could, so job done? Actually, no! The most crucial part of a car seat is how well it has been fitted. Even the most expensive car seat won’t protect if it is badly fitted.

So how do you make sure you’re fitting the car seat properly? The key message here is to read the instructions and, if it is available, to look at the fitting video on the supplier’s website.

The safest place to put the seat is the middle of the back seat, but often it is not possible to fit it there. The nearside is better than the offside as you are more likely to stand on the pavement when putting baby in the car. However, if you are driving alone, it may be better to put baby on the front seat where you can see him. If they make a funny sound or appear to be choking, your instincts will be to look to find out what is wrong. Taking your eyes off the road is never a good idea. Suddenly thinking about and looking at your baby could mean you cause an accident. However, never put the seat where there is an airbag – it can seriously injure a baby if it goes off.

The easiest infant car seats to fit are the latest i-Size seats. How do you know if your car is suitable for i-Size or suitable for Isofix? The information will lurk somewhere in the car’s manual. If you have both, then fitting is easy – there is a pair of anchor points hidden between the back and seat. The latches on the car seat should slide straight in. Look out for the indicator lights which show everything is correctly in place. To stop the seat rotating in an accident, there are sometimes top tether straps but more often there is a foot which braces the seat on the floor. The green button on the base usually is green if it is fitted correctly and red if not.

Things become a little more difficult if you have an older car or a seat without the ISO fix latches. Then you will need to use the seat belts. This can be fraught with difficulties and complications so fitting can be a right pain and mistakes are quite likely.

If you are fitting the seat rear facing, you will need to follow the BLUE guides. Forward facing, you need to follow the RED guides. Pull the seat belt out and pass it through the guides carefully following the instructions and click it in. Some belts aren’t long enough. If this is the case, you will need to return the seat to the retailer as it doesn’t fit your car.

Key checks:
· Make sure the seat belt isn’t twisted at all.

· Kneel in the seat pushing it firmly into the car seat and pull on the seat belt so that it is TIGHT!

· Lock-off clips or tensioners help keep the seat belt firm.

Check frequently that the seat is still firmly in place. There should be little, if any, sideways or forward movement. If the seat is a Group 0+ rear-facing seat, carefully check where the handle should be. This can vary from seat to seat, though often it is upright or fully back and it can offer extra protection if you roll the car over in an accident.

When you use the seat belt to fit the seat it is important that it is the fabric part of the seat belt that holds the seat in place. Sometimes, the plastic of the buckle is bent against the plastic of the seat. In an accident, the buckle could shatter, releasing the seat belt. Some seats have alternative routings to avoid this problem.

It’s not just the seat that needs to be fitted correctly. Your child also needs to be strapped in correctly. When the child is in the seat, pull the harness tight. You should be able to get two fingers between the collarbone and the harness, but no more. Most children prefer it to hold them firmly and if you always do it, they come to expect it anyway. Watch out in cold weather. A thick jacket or snowsuit can make the harness less effective, so remove thick clothing before strapping the child in.

Hopefully, you will never need to put the car seat to the test, but if you do have an accident, it’s good to know that everything possible has been done to protect your most precious possession. If you are still confused by car seats, you could read this free handy guide from the Baby Products Association “Car Seats – Ending the Confusion”

which pram life style

Choosing the right pram to suit your lifestyle

Choosing the right pram to suit your lifestyle

After a year of lockdown, we’re all looking forward to getting out and about again.

For some new parents, this might be the first time they properly get to use their pushchair somewhere else other than walking in circles around the local area for the 15th time that week.

For parents-to-be, who may have been delaying choosing a pushchair, it puts the decision right to the top of the list.

Whether you’re a first timer, or are replacing an older model however, choosing a pushchair never gets any easier. It is a big decision. Aside from the hefty price tag, there are so many options to choose from when buying a pram.


Navigating the pushchair market

You’ll probably have questions like, whether to go for a versatile all-terrain travel system, a compact pushchair, or stick with the traditional pram.

The truth is that the pushchair market is flooded with new options, designs, and accessories. The good news however, is that the variety exists because pushchairs and prams are typically designed for different uses.

With the easing of lockdown restrictions from 12th April, it’s now more important than ever to choose the right pushchair for your lifestyle. So we thought we would take some of the legwork out of figuring out which pushchair or pram is right for wherever you’re planning to head off to this summer.


The city pram

If you live in an urban area or are planning to take a city break, you’ll need a pushchair which is suitable for city life. It should be compact and easy to get on and off public transport.

A stroller is generally a cheaper, forward facing, lightweight option which takes up much less space. It can be used as the travel buggy, and ultimately replace the bigger pushchair as a baby or toddler grows.

Look for a reliable, safe, and highly practical ultra-compact stroller to make life easier for parents-on-the-go.


A pram for sunnier climes

For sunny days out at the beach, or picnics in the park, you will need something that offers more comfort. It’s also worth remembering that late spring does tend to bring mini heat waves too.

A pram with a carrycot will offer sun protection for newborns, but is also usually made from breathable fabrics to equally keep them cool.

For older babies and toddlers, a travel system pushchair attachment with a large hood can be used in both forward and backward directions, and can recline flat for nap times on the go.


The road trip pushchair

If you’re planning a longer trip by car, you’ll need to pack a lot more equipment.

A travel system is a versatile option which crosses the bridge between pram and pushchair. In theory a travel system can be collapsed to fit in the boot of the car, and can accommodate a carrycot, a car seat, and a pushchair seat for whenever is necessary.

The travel system offers the best of both worlds with greater versatility right up to toddlerhood.


Buggies for your country getaway

An escape to the country might be just what the doctor ordered to run wild and free for a few days.

Your pushchair will need to be suitable for a completely different terrain to manoeuvre challenges put in place by Mother Nature.

A buggy suitable for the great outdoors will need larger wheels, which lock in place, and better suspension to cope with bumps, stones and mud. Ideally choose fabrics that can be removed and washed easily, but will also offer protection from the elements.


Some points to consider when buying a pram

To make the right decision on which pushchair to choose, consider:

  • How heavy is it?
  • Is it fully collapsible?
  • Is there a one-hand fold option?
  • Are the parts fully removable?
  • Are the fabrics weatherproof (rain, wind, UVA, cooling)?
  • Can you add to it if necessary (car seat adapters, sibling seating, accessories etc.)?
  • Can it be swapped from forward to rear facing easily?
  • Can all materials be cleaned easily?
  • Can it be used in a lie-flat position?
  • Will it fit in overhead lockers or storage areas on public transport?

By considering what you want from your pushchair, and the types of uses you have in mind, you should be able to find the perfect pram to suit your needs.

eco friendly baby

Eco Friendly Baby

It’s easy to feel saddened by bleak statistics of global pollution and the environmental legacy we are leaving to our children, but there are some simple baby steps we can all take to help reduce some of the damage done to the environment.

With the launch of our new Prams for Good Campaign on March 1st, we are conscious about the amount of baby products going to landfill. Read more on this campaign here

We have come up with a few top tips to help get you started on your journey to becoming a greener parent and look at the best eco baby products around:

Switch nappies

The average baby gets through 4,000 disposable nappies by the time they’re potty-trained, costing families £400 a year and taking up to 500 years to break down. By switching to reusable cloth nappies for just one child, parents could divert as much as 874kg from landfill and reduce their carbon footprint by up to 40 per cent. We love the new eco nappy range from Kit + Kin or the reusable nappies from Bambino Mio.

Ditch the plastic

Nearly every single piece of plastic we have used in our life still exists somewhere on the planet – including your toothbrush! Start by switching from plastic bottles to soap and shampoo bars, choose biodegradable bamboo cotton buds and nappy sacks – and look for plant-based baby wipes which are compostable and don’t clog up the sewers. We love Mama Designs Bamboo Wipes and Breast pads and the subscription to bamboo toothbrushes for the family from The Pearly White Club.

Play it safe

If your child’s nursery or playroom is in danger of becoming a sea of plastic, consider eco-friendly brands such as Green Toys whose non-toxic, food-safe products are made using 100% post-consumer recycled plastic including milk bottles and yoghurt pots. Or switch to wooden toys like Orange Tree Toys – they’ll last much longer and don’t require batteries!

Eco travel

Travel in style and help save the planet with eco-friendly travel products. Try a carrier from Tula or a wrap from Amawrap, both companies with eco-friendly credentials.

You are what you wear

Clothing manufacturing uses huge amounts of greenhouse gases and releases toxic chemicals into the environ­ment – not ideal for sensitive baby skin. Thankfully, there are alternatives, such as organic cotton clothes on the market. We love Baby Mori and the new clothing range from Emma Bunton’s Kit + Kin

What’s for lunch?

Making baby food from scratch is neither easy nor convenient for many parents, but with so many organic baby food brands on the market today, it’s possible to source healthy choices to suit even the youngest (and fussiest) palates. Try Organix for full flavour and a wide range of products from babies to pre-schoolers.

Refill, re-use & recycle

Mopping up after young children is a given, so start by swapping your regular household cleaning products to a greener option such as Ecover. As well as being better for the planet (and cheaper for the consumer) Ecover also has refill stations in stores across the country – look for your nearest one here.

And finally…

Make the switch
With appliances running in the background of most families, it’s important to find an energy provider that won’t cost the earth. Most now offer a ‘green’ tariff but there are also dedicated green only energy companies too, such as Bulb, Ovo and Ecotricity. Simply turning the dial down on your washing machine to 30 degrees can also reduce your monthly energy bill and help the environment.

Don’t forget to share your top eco tips with us on Instagram

prams for good

Prams for Good Campaign Launch 1st March

We are delighted toPrams for good logo announce that we are one of the founding partners in the new Prams for Good campaign.

Prams for Good, a collaborative initiative, aims to match families in need with pre-loved prams and pushchairs, to enable them to get out and about with their babies and children.

Approximately 14 million people currently live in poverty in the UK, including 4.2 million children – that’s one in every four children who do not have the essentials available to them to live[1]. Worrying statistics, made worse by job losses in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well increasing numbers of refugees seeking asylum.

How does the scheme work?

The Prams for Good campaign involves a number of parenting industry partners including ourselves, which will help coordinate collection of donated pushchairs that are in good condition from families, influencers, brands and celebrities, and the re-distribution of them for free via a network of independent nursery retailers, logistics companies and local charities to families in need across the UK and overseas.

How will it help?

The campaign will bring together brands, nursery retailers, trade and consumer media, parents, celebrities and influencers to ‘each do their bit’ to help alleviate three main issues:

  1. To help poverty-stricken families both in the UK and across the globe. The average spend on a new pushchair is £340.32[2] – unfortunately, a cost well beyond the reach of many UK families, living in poverty, who can’t even afford food and clothing, especially now.
  2. To improve physical, mental and emotional health, and aid bonding with baby, by giving parents a pram they can use to get outdoors with their child every day. The campaign will help address the current burgeoning mental health crisis[3], by giving families the opportunity to get outside and into the fresh air, known to be essential for our health and mental wellbeing.
  3. To work towards a greener planet – so many prams are dumped, and we aim to reduce landfill by recycling the prams that have life in them yet and can be given to a good home.

How can you help?

If you have a pram or pushchair you would like to donate, simply visit the Prams For Good website and follow the instructions. We are looking for prams and pushchairs that are in good working order and have life in them yet, to go to a good home. No money exchanges hands at all, it’s purely your old pushchair going to a home that really needs it.

In addition to direct collections, we are in discussion with pram brands and independent retailers across the UK, with the aim of creating a nationwide hub of drop off and collection points for the pushchairs, for ultimate redistribution to local charities.

Who is involved in the campaign so far?

The Prams for Good campaign is a collaboration between a number of UK based companies and charities. UK registered charity, Goods for Good, delivers overstocked goods donated by British industry and second-hand, pre-loved goods donated by the local community to vulnerable people and communities around the world. Didofy has spearheaded the campaign from the start, but we have high hopes many pram and pushchair brands will join the campaign. Media partners are MadeforMums and the Dadsnet while Nursery Online are leading the nursery trade communication.

The campaign launches on March 1st 2021.
For any questions visit www.pramsforgood.org

[1] Rowntree research, 2020
[2] Which.co.uk
[3] 16 million people in the UK experience a mental illness, with the numbers rising by an estimated 10% during COVID. (MQ Mental Health)

Hey, wait! Here's an idea!

Before you go, why not sign up to get our newsletters and updates?

You'll be the first to know about any special offers too!

Add to cart