The most important item for the trip home is a proper child safety seat (car seat). If you don’t have access to a car seat, contact the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety at (207) 626-3840 or visit www.maine.gov/dps/bhs. They will help you assess whether you are eligible to receive a free car seat and connect you with a car seat voucher site. The voucher site needs time to secure a car seat, so if you think you might be eligible based on income, you should contact them as soon as possible (preferably within 3-4 months of your due date).
Ensure that your car seat is a safe ride for your baby by installing your car seat early and having it inspected at a car seat inspection station. To find a station near you, visit the Buckle Up Maine web site.
We advise that you bring your infant car seat into the hospital as soon as you are transferred to the Mother Baby Unit so that the nursing staff can teach you how to correctly secure your infant. If special health concerns rule out a standard restraint, a Child Passenger Safety Technician will do an assessment and may recommend a different seat, such as a car bed, to meet your baby’s needs. Call 662-1572 to contact the Child Passenger Safety Program at Maine Medical Center.
For more information on the proper use of child safety seats, read our KidsHealth articles on car seat safety. View KidsHealth article on auto safety.