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It's vital that you keep your baby safe in the car. Infants are especially susceptible to injuries if you were get into a crash. Installing your car seat incorrectly could cause a disaster, so make sure you have it installed properly. If you aren't sure, speak to a qualified car seat technician. Use these tips to make your baby's first car ride (and every one thereafter) as safe as can be.

1. Follow directions.

We know that reading the entire manual for your baby’s car seat does not sound like a lot of fun, but trust me, you need to. Car seat installations can be confusing, and you don’t want to guess how to set-up your newborns’ car seat. Make sure to follow the instruction manual carefully. You’ll know if you properly set-up the seat if it doesn’t wobble, pivot, slide, or tip. If it moves more than an inch forward or to the side, then it’s too loose.

2. Always use a car seat.

It may seem like an obvious statement, but you would be surprised how often someone thinks that because they are only going down the street they can just put baby on their lap.  Always always always put baby in a car seat, no matter how close your destination may be.

3. Keep baby in back seat.

The only place your baby should be sitting while in the car is in the back seat. Furthermore, your newborn shouldn’t be near any airbags and must be facing backwards. The best place for your baby’s car seat is in the middle seat in the back row. This is safest because air bags will not be able to reach them.

4. Make sure the straps are tight.

Once you have found the best spot for baby, make sure that you secure them correctly in their seat. They should be secured tightly in their seat! The straps should be at or below your baby’s shoulders and the retainer clips that are attached to the harness straps should be fastened at armpit level to keep the straps from slipping off your baby’s shoulder. Make sure the straps are not twisted and are tight.

5. Research. 

When choosing your baby’s car seat, make sure you do your research before buying. Things to look for when searching; make sure the seat has not been recalled, comes with instructions, and isn’t more than six years old. If you don’t know the car seat’s history, it’s best not to buy it.

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baby play matGuest Blog by Jennifer Jacobellis, founder of Baby J

Jennifer Jacobellis started Baby J when her son was just a few months old. She ventured out to mommy and me classes and play groups, armed with just a blanket for him to lie on. After class, she would fold up her blanket and stick it in the diaper bag, knowing that when she got home it would have to go straight into the laundry basket. There had to be a better way!

One day she decided it was time to solve this problem. She ran to the fabric store and began tinkering. She designed this baby play mat with her germ-a-phobe tendencies in mind, as well as being soft, baby friendly, and chic. The Baby J play mat was born!

For more information, visit

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