It is important to ensure you are monitoring the ongoing use of your baby capsule or carseat. As your child grows in weight and height it is important to check your baby’s shoulder height in relation to the harness straps of their restraint and, where necessary, make the necessary adjustment to the height of the harness to keep your baby safe. It is really important to ensure that the harness straps are always at or above the shoulder in rearward facing mode as there is potential for significant crash loading to be put on the child’s spine as they ramp ‘up’ the seat in the initial crash phase.
Capsules and carseats have multiple shoulder strap slots so you can move the harness up as your baby grows.
In rearward facing restraints, you should use the slot that is level or slightly above your child’s shoulders. Do not use a slot if it is below your child’s shoulders.
In forward facing restraints, you should use the closest slot to your child’s shoulders, but not more than 25mm below your child’s shoulders.
It is really important to ensure that the harness straps are always at or above the shoulder in rearward facing mode as there is potential for significant crash loading and to be put on the child’s spine as they ramp ‘up’ the seat in the initial crash phase resulting in serious spinal and other injuries.
To adjust the height of your harness, you will need to loosen the harness as much as possible and lay your restraint face down, so that the spreader / G plate becomes visible on the back of the seat. Simply unhook the ends of the harnesses from the spreader / G plate, and re-thread the straps through the appropriate slot for your child’s shoulder height. When you are finished, ensure that you’ve correctly re-attached the straps to the spreader / G plates.
A link to our instructional video demonstrating how to adjust your capsule harness is here and this makes it easy to do:
Some carseats and capsules have a feature that is built into the restraint which adjusts both the headrest and the harness simultaneously. With this feature, there is no need for rethreading or undoing the harness from the spreader / G plate at the back of the seat.
Still need some help with your carseat or capsule harness? Just give us a call on 1300 859 775 option 2 to speak to one of our accredited restraint fitters.
Just recently we met with some of the Angels who operate the Dandelion Support Network. Dandelion is a grass roots not for profit organisation run entirely by volunteers who give so much of their time and energy to helping those in need.
The Dandelion volunteers accept donations of good-quality second hand children and baby equipment for families in need. Once donated, if necessary they are repaired and renewed. That could mean anything from replacing a missing button or mending a hem to scrubbing back and restoring a well-loved cot. All our the goods are processed by volunteers who follow strict quality assurance standards so that the goods can be enjoyed by their new owner. Once the items are ready for their new home they are packed up with love ready for a new family.
Dandelion partners with some amazing agencies and support services who work with some of the most vulnerable families in our community. Through their partnership with various agencies and social workers, families who are suffering financial hardship can be identified and their specific needs are understood, so that appropriate, tailored packages can be provided to them.
Rock-A-Bye Baby were very happy to donate a couple of van-loads of items including baby capsules, bassinets, prams, travel systems and other necessary baby equipment. We hope that the donation will ensure more infants are travelling and sleeping safely – basic rights for every child.
If you have unwanted nursery equipment and would like to donate you can click through this link and visit one of Dandelion’s many donation days held in various centres across Sydney:
I just had a lovely customer who has hired a Medela Symphony to express breastmilk at home call and ask how to clean her kit. So I explained it all on the phone and though to myself – I should probably do a factsheet so that other customers can print it out and have a read of it when they want to clean their kits too. So here’s how.
Cleaning your kit properly is very important to maintain the health and hygiene of your milk and to keep baby safe.
When you first get your kit you must clean the kit before you use it. It is sterile but its always safer to give it a good clean first.
If you are the only person to use your breast pump and your baby is well and healthy you can clean your kit by:
1. Rinsing all parts well in cold water after each expressing session to remove surface milk.
2. Store your kit in a clean closed container or you can store it unrinsed in a closed container in your fridge.
3. Once a day give your kit what I call the BIG clean!
BIG clean instructions
1. Wash your hands well with soap and water and dry them on a clean unused tea towel or on a new paper towel.
2. Separate all your pump kit parts and rinse all the pieces in cold water.
3. Clean all traces of milk and dirt with a small amount of household dishwashing liquid and warm water. Make sure its all nice and clean again with no sticky or greasy marks or residue.
4. Rinse all the pieces in hot water really well, then rinse them again (2x).
5. Sit all the bottles and parts upside down on a new clean paper towel and cover with another new clean piece of paper town while they air dry.
6. Store your kit when its not in use in a clean dry container, and I used to line my container with clean paper too, just in case!
Please note – word to the wise here – your kit isn’t dishwasher safe and the dishwasher isn’t clean enough so handwashing is a necessity.
This post is Part 1 of a 6 Part Series written by our Restraint Fitting Team to try and help parents sort through the many products, myths and misinformation that exist around kids and cars.
Trying to work out which one of the many car seats on the market to buy or hire as your babies first restraint product can be confusing. We know you want a quick answer – what’s the safest? The path to making a choice these days is more bewildering than ever, thanks to a raft of product innovations and the recently implemented National child restraint laws introduced in 2010. If you don’t know your locking clip from your top tether, or what a travel system is all about, let us help cut through the confusion.
What are the rules?
Laws across Australia in relation to kids and cars are the same, in every State and Territory. Children must be in an approved child restraint from birth up to 7 years and require:
Children aged under six months to use an approved rearward facing restraint such as a baby capsule or a rear facing carseat;
Children aged between six months and under four years to use an approved rearward facing child restraint or a forward facing restraint
(rear facing is proven to be significantly safer so the longer you can keep your child rear facing, the better);
Children aged between four years and under seven years to use an approved forward facing restraint OR an approved booster seat.
There are also laws for where children can sit in vehicles:
If a car has two or more rows of seats, children under four years cannot travel in the front seat;
Children aged between four and seven years will not be permitted to sit in the front seat unless all other seating positions are already occupied
by children under seven years.
What are the penalties?
Just like seatbelt laws, drivers will be fined and incur demerit points if passengers under seven years of age are not wearing an approved child restraint.
Children under 6 months of age must use a rearward facing child restraint and travel only in the rear row of a motor vehicle. If your vehicle does not have a rear row, this does not apply. However, a rearward facing child restraint cannot be used in the front seat where there is a passenger airbag.
So why is rear facing so important?
Most parents are keen to move their child into a forward-facing car seat as soon as possible, so parents seeing the switch as a milestone like baby getting first teeth or taking his or her first steps. Understandably, parents think their baby will be happier facing forward and getting a better view of the world. This may be true in some cases but its a huge risk to take. The baby doesn’t understand that they’re much safer facing rearwards in the event of a collision so its up to us as parents to manage that risk for them.
The most dangerous collisions tend to be front on and a child in a forward facing seat will be flung more forcefully forwards. Additionally, the load of the impact on a baby’s body in a forward facing seat will inevitably be concentrated on the harness area (read – on baby’s internal organs), whereas in a rearfacing seat the load of deceleration is spread across the shell of the car seat, so it’s less concentrated and a much lower impact load on baby. Also in a rear facing seat the baby’s head movement will be much less, so the risk of serious injury to their head and neck will be much reduced (this is a particular issue for babies as their heads are larger relative to their bodies than those of older children and adults).
So much research evidence has built up on this from crash testing that Europe is introducing new laws to keep babies rearfacing until 15 months.
We recommend you keep your baby rear-facing as long as possible.
Here are some guidelines on switching:
* Don’t make the switch to forward facing just because your baby’s feet are pushed against the car’s back seat.
* Wait until he/ she has been sitting up for a minimum of three months, as this indicates he or she is better able physically to deal with the extra stresses of a collision in a front-facing seat.
* Wait until your baby is closer to, or ideally at, the maximum weight for his or her rear-facing seat.
* Children are undoubtedly safer rear facing for longer, so don’t see switching forward as a milestone – safety is the priority.
Part 2 to follow next week – how to choose a rear facing restraint?
Try before you buy is really one of the many (and varied) reasons people choose to hire baby equipment. As we all know, what Mum and Dad like, it doesn’t necessarily follow that baby will like that too – no matter how shiny, how fashionable or how expensive the product is. Babies just don’t care. The same principles apply with baby’s first bed. Babies have grown and developed in a snug, warm, cocoon like womb for 9 months. Upon arrival babies are probably rather surprised to realise that:
– they’re now expected to sleep alone
– they’re now expected to sleep at a set time
– they should sleep for set periods of time in each 24 hours
– and they are now being put to sleep in a rather cold flat bassinet or cot.
Some babies do sleep “like a baby” but many don’t. Some babies are unsettled and can be difficult to settle and resettle to sleep during the day and night. This experience, of having an unsettled baby who was struggling with colic and sleep, is what spurred Ambrose Hooi to develop the Amby Hammock. Ambrose’s little girl slept wonderfully for the first 4 weeks of her life and then developed what is termed “colic” – that often misunderstood syndrome that results in babies crying inconsolably for hours on end. The Amby Air hammock is a great help for these babies and their parents, with the gentle bouncing and swinging of the Amby spring moving baby in both horizontal and vertical directions, naturally mimicking “the colic dance” movements that the colicky baby wants and needs. You could say the Amby is a baby colic home remedy.
The Amby Baby Hammock Air is also the only baby hammock on the market that can be used up to 12 months of age. It is also larger, safer and has an adjustable incline unlike any other.
Here at Rock-A-Bye Baby we suggest you to hire for a week or two, and if your baby loves the Amby Hammock we can replace it with a brand new hammock delivered to your door – yours to keep – and we’ll pick up the hire one once your new one has arrived and is set up. Hire-Try-Buy is 100% risk free – just hire your Amby, if you love it, we’ll get you a brand new one to keep.
Ambrose says: “Today, many thousands of parents in Australia and Europe have finally come to terms with the fact that for babies, to sleep, grow and feed well, they need a sleeping environment that has at least some ingredients of the maternal womb. The use of Natures Nest by hospitals and child care centres in Australia and Europe is extensive and growing rapidly.”
I know I know, the “hire” doesn’t slot in so well phonetically but it makes sense to be a part of that mantra don’t you think?
In the consumer driven world in which we live there is a perception that the number of material things we own, and how much we paid for them, helps us rank highly in the eyes of our peers. And if I’m truthful, maybe it does makes us feel better about ourselves. I know I’m just as guilty as the next person of coveting luxury items (most of which are out of my budget anyway!).
But this idea of needing to possess only the best of everything is what determines our economic and environmental status. The more we consume and spend the greater effect it has on our economy and environment. Whilst spending up big sounds like a good idea for our economy, in actual fact this tends to drive prices higher. This only makes it harder for the average family to buy important items such as furniture and whitegoods.
Imagine a new family, expecting a baby for the first time, wanting the joy of setting up that baby nursery. When furniture and baby essentials, such as car seats, prams and rockers are so highly priced it makes it virtually impossible to afford everything they need all at once. If they are trying to maintain their image by choosing designer labels, it’s just not going to happen.
The solution… Hire it! Hiring equipment means you don’t need to outlay a lot of money to have use of the products you need. There are a massive variety of things that you can hire, or rent, for long or short periods of time. Toy libraries are accessible in most council districts and here are Rock-a-bye-Baby, we offer rental on all essential baby needs.
Babies and children will outgrow stuff pretty quickly and lose interest with play equipment. When they reach this point you simply return the items and hire a different product that’s more suitable to your growing babies needs. So hiring your baby equipment saves you money, time and storage space, especially when you only need to use it for a short time.
It’s kind of like sharing, similar to borrowing a book from the library. When you return your item, it allows others the opportunity to borrow it after you. It’s much better for the environment too. Hiring is a form of recycling. Rather than producing more and more new things to satisfy consumer needs, reusing helps reduce our landfill.
So don’t buy if you don’t have to, hire it… It’s a Win/Win for everyone; a sensible and safe way to help make sure we have a healthy happy planet to pass onto our children and our children’s children.
We often get exciting or interesting customers, sometimes its a visiting celebrity who sadly we can’t ever name, sometimes we have to attend hotels or fabulous mansions for ex-pat families home for the holidays. Lately though we’ve been called to television studios. Our most recent hires have been for the ABC who hired a number of prams and capsules for Season 2 of Redfern Now and just a few days ago we delivered a little van full of goodies including Stokke, Mamas & Papas and Quinny prams to the set of the new series “Wonderland” airing soon on Channel 10.
We’re looking forward to having a game of pram-spotting when the shows air!
If you have any additional questions please contact us