“When you were a baby,” my mother is fond of telling me, “we had no such things as special car seats. You were rolling around in a papoose in the back of my old Renault, and you were absolutely fine.” Of course, she also likes to tell people, with pride in her voice, that I could walk, talk, read, and discuss quantum physics before I was 1…. so I take what she says with a healthy pinch of salt.
Of course, back in those days (yes, many many years ago!), there weren’t the stringent regulations in place that there are today to keep our bambinos safe. Car seats, seat mirrors, special seat belts, car shades… The list is endless. And quite rightly so – what price for a child’s safety? There’s nothing quite like the awesome responsibility of the first time you exit the hospital with your little bundle of squirmy sweet-smelling joy, and the primal visceral need to protect them from anything and everything. Danger lurks around every corner. Buckling them into the car for the first time and driving off is one of the first experiences you have as a parent where you don’t have complete control over your child’s safety. So, anything and everything you can utilise to ensure and augment that safety is a must, in my book.
When they’re very small, and perfectly cocooned in their rear facing car seat, if you’re lucky, they’ll drop off to sleep and you can enjoy your own grown up music on the radio rather than the latest Nursery Rhymes for Kids Volume 800.* Car seats are a godsend for the baby who won’t sleep – who doesn’t remember driving up and down the road at midnight just to get your screaming child off to the land of nod?
The Belt Upp is a fantastic and simple solution to the dreaded sleep slump. It’s an additional strap that goes across the opposite diagonal to the original strap, holding your child in a safe upright position. You don’t need any special modifications – it comes with a strap and its own buckle and tongue release system. Having this extra strap will stop your child slumping forward, and therefore minimise any distraction on your part, keeping you and other road users safe.
*Free tip – personally, I wouldn’t recommend playing nursery rhymes and countless “Wheels on the Bus” remixes while in the car. They’ll get enough of that from a variety of other forums – but you’re the one who can introduce them to the beautiful and eclectic mix of music there is to be heard. We’ve never had a single children’s music CD in the car (Disney doesn’t count – it’s for grown ups too!), and my two are just as knowledgeable about Justin Bieber, One Direction, Queen, and Fleetwood Mac, as they are about Mary’s Little Lamb. They’ll expand their musical horizons – and you’ll keep your sanity on long car journeys.