CPST stands for Child Passenger Safety Technician. We educate parents and caregivers on the proper installation and use of car seats, boosters. and seat belts. SOME fire fighters are CPSTs as are some law enforcement officers, but not all. It is important to check for current certifications before letting anyone check your seats.
2) Does the hospital check my car seat at discharge? What are they looking for?
Not usually. They need to know that you HAVE a seat, but most nurses are not allowed to touch it. Some hospitals do have a CPST on staff that can help prior to discharge.
3) How do I know my seat is a good one? Is price an indicator?
Every seat currently on the market is safe if used properly. They all pass extremely stringent testing before being sold to the public. Price is not an indicator of safety. A properly used $40 seat is safer than an improperly used $300 seat. The more expensive seats have more bells and whistles and comfort and ease of use features, but as far as safety is concerned – using ANY current, in date, seat properly is the best way to ensure your child is safe.
4) Can I sit in the back with my baby and nurse him/her if I keep us both buckled?
Always refer to the manual for cleaning instructions. Straps should never be machine washed, submerged or cleaned with anything harsher than a baby wipe or mild soap. This can compromise the strength of the straps by stretching them and/or weakening the fibers and cause them to perform poorly in a crash. Putting a bib on baby OVER the harness after buckling securely can help keep spit up off the seat. A chux pad or puppy potty training pad can be placed in the seat under baby to protect against diaper related messes. These are extremely thin, and as long as they aren’t placed in such a way that interferes with the harness, shouldn’t pose a safety risk. Some manufacturers make specific pads that can be used with their seats. When in doubt, a quick call or email to your seat’s manufacturer can be helpful in figuring out what is best to use.
6) I got a bunch of car seat covers and strap protectors as shower gifts. Can those be used with any seat or are some seats better designed for them?
7) Why does everyone tell me to rear-face my seat so long? I worry that I can’t see my baby.
9) We take long car trips often. Any tips for helping my baby stay relaxed in the car seat? I don’t want to have a car screamer.
Car screamers are the worst. I’m on my second one. Here is a list of some things to try to make traveling more pleasant (and quieter).
10) Can I pump and bottle feed my baby on car trips right in the seat? Can I prop the seat to help him/her not choke?
Keeping in mind the projectile risk the bottle poses, as long as baby remains properly strapped into a properly installed seat, feeding a bottle while driving could be a good last resort. The best idea would be to stop and feed at a rest area, though.
Bonus Question 11) Share your favorite breastfeeding memory!