M&B takes the guess­work out of buy­ing a fam­ily ve­hi­cle with our mo­tor­ing picks

Mother & Baby (Australia) - - Contents -

Need new wheels? Our top picks for trans­port­ing your crew

Cot, check. Pram, check. Think you’ve ticked off the big-ticket items when it comes to prepar­ing for baby? Think again. For­get the age-old joke about trad­ing in the con­vert­ible for a sta­tion wagon once two be­comes three be­cause, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent M&B study, one in three first-time par­ents up­grades their fam­ily car once they’ve had a baby. Ac­cred­ited child re­straint fit­ter Danyle Guer­reiro, who also owns Rock-A-Bye Baby Equip­ment Hire in Syd­ney, says she’s of­ten asked what makes the ideal fam­ily car.

“There’s a lot to con­sider when you’re look­ing to find the per­fect car for your fam­ily. How many peo­ple are you likely to be trans­port­ing each day? What size pram, bikes, etc will need to be stored in your boot? Big­ger is not nec­es­sar­ily bet­ter; it’s more about what space is avail­able in the ve­hi­cle and if it will con­fig­ure to suit your fam­ily’s needs to­day and into the fu­ture,” she says. “In a panic, you may look at a seven-seater to ferry all your kids and their friends to sport on Satur­days, but a ve­hi­cle with a ver­sa­tile in­te­rior with mul­ti­ple fold­ing seats and ac­cess op­tions that are easy to use may be all that is re­quired.”

From a safety per­spec­tive, Danyle rec­om­mends mak­ing sure your car

pos­sesses the fol­low­ing safety fea­tures as stan­dard: ABS brakes, mul­ti­ple airbags (par­tic­u­larly side airbags), child safety locks on doors and win­dows and, if the bud­get al­lows, rear park­ing sen­sors and re­vers­ing cam­eras. “Sadly, too many chil­dren are killed each year in their own drive­ways.”

And for added com­fort, Danyle says not to for­get about in-car en­ter­tain­ment op­tions, such as DVD play­ers and sock­ets for iPads and head­phones. “Yes, kids don’t need more screen time, [but] hear­ing the words ‘are we there yet’ on high re­peat can turn a lovely Sun­day drive into a teeth-grind­ing hor­ror movie,” says Danyle. “Many kids get bored in the car and need some dis­trac­tion. Whether you choose hand­held con­soles or go all out on the in-car en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem, you might get from A to B with barely a noise from the back seat.”

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