How to prep your vehicle for a new baby like a pro

If you're having a baby, you've probably planned out the nursery, figured out your route to the hospital and considered names, but have you gotten your car ready for your baby?

We went to Mary Geist Hodges, a baby safety expert at Baby & Kids 1st, to get tips on finding the best and safest car seat for your little bundle of joy.

A whopping 95 percent of car seats in the U.S. are not properly installed and the problem may have to do with how it fits in your car.

The Clek Liig seat's smaller size makes it a good bet for smaller cars or cars with taller front seat passengers who need to move the front seat farther back.

Hodges also recommends the Peg Perego Nido. Although bigger, the seat has added safety features not required by law, including a load leg which adds stability during a crash.

"It's going to keep that seat from rotating quite as much," Hodges explained.

Regardless of which car seat you choose, the base should not move from side to side when installed.

Your baby's safety goes beyond just where he or she is sitting. Make sure to keep all belongings like strollers, Kleenex boxes and diaper bags secured under a cover in the back to prevent them from injuring the baby during a crash.

"You slam on your brakes and all of that stuff is going to continue traveling forward," Hodges explained.
Those cute little toys you attach to the carriers are a no-no while driving.

"The problem is that this is actually a projectile. This slings around in the car and it actually has the potential to harm the baby," said Hodges.

Hodges also suggests tinting your back windows to keep the car cool and baby's eyes protected.

You can minimize distraction in parking lots by choosing gear that's easy to operate. Hodges suggests finding a stroller that folds and lifts easily like the Agio Z4.

Hodges also warns against displaying those popular "Baby on Board" signs. They could potentially make you a target for criminals looking for distracted shoppers in a parking lot.

If you want to get your car seat checked for proper installation, just make an appointment with the Harris County Sheriff's Office and they will inspect it for free.

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