Time for a car trip?
For the first 12 months (and then some) of your babies life he will be sitting in a rear facing car seat.
This is all well and good as it is the safest way for a young baby to travel. The problem is that when you look through your rear view mirror you cannot see your baby. The back of the car seat completely blocks your view!
I am not the most rational mother at the best of times and not being able to see my baby made me incredibly anxious. This was a particular problem on my car trips, where my baby would fall asleep.
My mind would always wander to the worst case scenario:
Now he could be sleeping… Why can’t I hear breathing? What is he is slipped and needs my help? Maybe he is hungry and I cant hear him cry?
I’m coming baby!
Slam on the breaks…
Run around and rip open the side door of the car only to discover:
My little baby annoyed and cranky that I woke him up from his restful slumber, looking up at his crazy, overprotective mother.
Every car trip would go on like this until one of my good friends recommend I try a baby car mirror.
A baby car mirror is a second mirror that you mount on the rear seat of your car or SUV, facing forwards, angled at your baby.
When you look through your rear view mirror, you can see your babies reflection in the car mirror and you can breath a sigh of relief knowing that your baby is safe.
How cool is that? No more turning around and straining to see your baby (an incredibly dangerous habit while driving). Now all you need to do is quickly glance through your rear view mirror and you will be greeted by a view of your baby.
It’s almost like having a baby monitor in the back seat of your car!
Anything else I need to know?
Yes actually… Before you rush out and buy any old car mirror it is important that you spend some time getting familiar with the backseat of your car. In particular, the headrests.
The majority of backseat mirrors are fastened to an adjustable head rest. Don’t have headrests back there? Unfortunately you drew the short end of the stick.
While there are mirrors that work without headrests, tracking them down can be like searching for buried treasure in your backyard. I wish you much luck on your quest.
Now that you know the basics it’s time to take a look at:
Car seat mirrors have recently exploded in popularity. While a couple of years ago there were only a few models on the market, now there are hundreds. The problem is, that many of these just plain suck, are made from poor quality materials and may actually be dangerous to your baby.
I am going to take a closer look at some of the best mirrors on the market. These mirrors are as close to perfect as you will get.
Cozy Greens have created what may just be one of the greatest back seat mirrors on the market. Easy to install and adjust; you will have this mirror will take less than a minute to set up from unboxing to installing.
While it isn’t the biggest mirror out there, size isn’t everything (so I keep telling my husband). The surface of the mirror is slightly curved, which allows you to see a larger section of your backseat/baby than larger flat mirrors.
Because the mirror is made out of an incredibly shiny plastic there is no risk of the glass shattering. I was surprised by this, the mirror reflects as good as if it was glass. Included in the packaging is a microfiber cloth, great for removing dust and fingerprints that will block your view if they build up.
A major gripe with other mirrors is that they pivot and move about as you break at the lights or go over a bumpy road. Not a problem with this mirror, it is incredibly secure and seems to stay in place even with the most reckless of driving… Not that you would do that with a baby in the car.
This is one of the most popular back seats mirror on the market and for good reason. It is well made and offers a lifetime guarantee. If you have any problems with the product, not only will Cozy Greens refund the entire cost, but will also ship you another mirror free.
So while a regular mirror is just fine for daytime driving, what happens when the sun goes down? Glancing in your rear view mirror will reveal little more than a shadowy shape. You wouldn’t even know if David Bowie was kidnapping your baby (I just watched Labyrinth before writing this, highly recommend it!).
In comes the Brica Day and Night Mirror. This mirror has an LED light built right into the frame. But it gets better. To turn it on you simply press the button on the remote (included in the packaging) to light up your baby.
Many parents complain that the light is not bright enoughto see their baby. I mounted the mirror on the headrest opposite my baby’s car seat and it was definitely bright enough for to see my baby. Plus, your baby is going to be staring into this light, you dont want it brighter than the sun,which will definitely hurt your babies sensitive eyes.
As is often a problem with baby products, this one tries to do many things at once. Many parents just want a good mirror with a light. You would think this would be simple enough, right?
Brica also crams two incredibly useless features into their mirror
Night light The light is dimmer and fades out after ten minutes. Has any baby EVER needed a nightlight in their car? Definitely not.
Plays music The music is INCREDIBLY creepy. Like haunted amusement park creepy. I made the mistake of turning this on and couldn’t sleep that night. Even if you could stand the music, it is incredibly annoying to the point of driving you insane.
While you don’t have to use these features, one does question why they were added in the first place. But if you really want a car mirror with a built-in light then this is pretty much it.
I will likely cop some flak for recommending backseat mirrors becausethey can become projectiles during car accidents and some parents go on to say that they distract drivers.
My counter-argument is that any loose object in your car is going to become a projectile. A loose water bottle, your babies teether or any other item that is commonly brought along on car trips
As for being a distraction, I find it much more distracting thinking abut the worst case scenario when driving along with my baby. With a mirror installed I simply glance into the rear vision mirror when it is safe to do so (such as at a red light) and my mind is instantly put at ease.
This is why I choose to use backseat mirrors. If you choose not too then that is entirely your decision and you should not be judged on it.
What are your thoughts on mirrors in cars?
You know the drill guys. Leave me any questions, wisdom, love or hate in the comments section below. Stay awesome!