Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Just Born

Belt up George - William faces the complexities of the car seat... and I know just how he felt

BY JONATHAN McCAMBRIDGE

IT'S the moment that that every expectant father builds himself up to for nine months.

No, not the birth. As much as we might be full of good intentions, our role in that particular process is one of excited spectator.

Instead our big moment comes a little bit later. That nervous event when you leave hospital for the first time and have to deal with the mystery of the baby's car seat.

It was just two months ago that I found myself in the Ulster Hospital car park as I tried gamely to snake a seat belt around the heavy lump of plastic and metal that is the car seat. Baby McCambridge looked on bemused as I became more and more exasperated. I might be reading too much into it but his expression seemed to suggest: "Just what have I landed myself with here?"

So when I saw Prince William leave the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in London with baby Cambridge in tow on Tuesday evening I smiled knowingly.

"Poor man," I thought to myself. "He doesn't know what he's got coming. And the whole world is watching too." Of course, I was totally wrong. William fitted the car seat with the ease of, well the ease of someone who knows exactly what he is doing.

Needless to say we are not comparing like for like. While I have to wrestle with belts and buckles for close to 20 minutes, the Duke of Cambridge simply slotted his rather more advanced baby seat into place in seconds. He wasn't fooling me as he theatrically mopped his brow with exaggerated relief either.

Greater minds than mine have informed me that the royal couple used a Britax Baby-Safe Infant Carrier, which has an Isofix base that allows it to be plugged into points already fitted in the car... blah, blah, blah. Expect sales of the fancy seat to rocket within days.

As for me I'll struggle on manfully with the more basic model. Don't even get me started on the complexities of buttoning up a babysuit.

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