Planning a visit to the Greatest City in the World? While hailing a taxi on 5th Avenue with your newborn and strapping him into a car seat might seem daunting to a new mom, it only takes about 45 seconds to do it safely, according to The Car Seat Lady, aka NYC pediatrician Dr. Alisa Baer. Here’s how:
Rule No. 1: Follow the laws of physics
It is legal to take your baby in a NYC taxi without a car seat — but that doesn’t mean you should do it. “The laws of physics don’t care about the laws of the state; your child needs a car seat in a car. Taxis are cars,” Baer says. NEVER use a Baby Bjorn or other fabric carrier in lieu of a car seat — it’s actually more dangerous than using nothing at all (however, it’s safe to use a fabric carrier on the city bus or subway).
Rule No. 2: Select the right car seat & stroller
When taking taxis with your infant or young toddler, you’ll want a rear-facing-only seat that YOU find convenient (so you don’t leave the seat at home and jump in a taxi without a car seat). The car seat should be easy to install in the taxi and should fit on a stroller that is easy to lift in and out of the taxi trunk. Click HERE for Baer’s car seat/stroller compatibility chart. Want your car seat to last as long as possible? Baer recommends choosing a rear-facing-only seat with a weight limit of at least 30 pounds.
Rule No. 3: Don’t worry about the base
“The base is not a safety feature, just a convenience feature,” Baer says. “So long as your carrier is properly installed, it’s just as safe by itself as it is in the base.”
Note: While in the past there were a few rear-facing-only seats that could not be installed without their base, all currently sold seats can be used with or without their base.
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