Should You Belt The Baby?

I usually never write serious stuff on my blog...this being more a space for the emotional me...But after the accident that we had last week, I thought I should write about this...I know that my blog has very few readers, but if I can atleast change the mindset of one reader, then I would have made my point...
In India, there are hardly any safety rules when it comes to kids...And often you would find sleepy kids being balanced on a mom's lap and the mom hanging on for dear life to the hubby while he maneouvers the potholes in a bike...That could be because of economic situations, and I can understand that...
But what I cannot understand is holding the baby on your lap in the front seat while riding in a luxury car ...Surely if you can afford the car, then you can afford the car seat, right? Well, I myself am guilty of doing this several times...And when I put my son in the car seat, I have often received dirty stares from women which can be roughly interpreted as " What kind of a woman would put their angelic son all alone in a car seat while she is sitting in front yapping with the husband!" And this, when the baby is happily sitting in his seat smiling at the moving traffic...
There are times when he hates sitting in his seat, especially if it is dark, and I usually put the inside light on for a few minutes to settle him down...
Sometimes, like the previous ride, I go and sit in the back with him, despite comments like "Oh, you are making your hubby a chauffeur"...
It is difficult to get a good car seat in India...I don't know about the metros, but in the second tier city that I was in, we had to search and search and search till we got a good one...and that too we got lucky because they had just a couple of pieces...And everytime you buy baby gear like a pram, a car seat or high chair or something similar make sure you spend that extra money and get the best that you can afford...My experience has been that the quality is linked to the money paid and if it is a good quality one, it will not only last you longer, but also make it easier for your baby to adapt to it...
That brings me to the next point...Well meaning relatives may discourage you from investing in these things with statements like "He will outgrow it soon" or "He is not going to sit in it"....Trust me, kids do get adjusted very fast...My son was told that it is his own special seat and he understood and was happy to be in it from day one...Each kid is different and I know of friends who have had to use more imagination to make the kids settle in it...But wherever the mother was fully convinced about the benefits, I saw that the baby invariably was in the car seat...and that too happily...afterall, you manage to find innovative ways to keep your loved ones happy and safe...And that's why I feel that parents need to know that a car seat is extremely important for a baby's safety...We are still a long way from the wstern world which insists on a car seat before allowing you to take your new born from hospital to home...But atleast, if each of us can pass the message on...and appreciate a mom who belts up the kid instead of giving misguided advice in the name of love, (like, "Why don't you just let him sit on your lap, poor thing") then we can surely make a difference...
This time it really made a difference that baby was in the car seat...I am not saying that if your baby is in the car seat it automatically translates to safety...But life is all about probabilities and it would be wise to make sure that the chips are stacked in your favor...
P.S It was my in-laws who encouraged us to buy a car seat for baby by giving him the money as a gift for his b'day and telling us to buy one, so here goes a big thank you to them...

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