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How not to lock your keys in the car: Life with a baby

key1.jpgBeing a new mother means having a million new thoughts in your head. So it’s no surprise that things go missing, or that keys get misplaced.

When my daughter was a few weeks old, I locked the keys in the car when we got home. Luckily, my daughter wasn’t inside the car too, but it was pouring down rain. Not a fun situation.

Ever since then, my paranoia about a repeat offense has given me some ideas. Have they worked? Knock on wood, but I haven’t locked my keys in the car since that day.

When your child is in the backseat (where they should always be), you have to get out of the driver’s seat, go into the back, unhook the car seat or harness, and retrieve your child. Sounds simple, right? So what do you do with the keys in the meantime?

Here are a few things you shouldn’t do with your keys.

Don’t put them in your pocket, because they may fall out. Don’t put them in the baby’s car seat, just in case you stop the exiting process, closing the door with both the baby and the keys inside. Don’t lay them on the seat (you’ll forget them). And don’t leave them in the ignition. You don’t want to leave the car running with the baby locked inside, and you make it easy for a carjacker.

So here are some ideas that may work.

Get a wrist attachment for your keys. When you take them out of the ignition, put it on your wrist for safe keeping. Or attach it to the loops on your pants with a belt clip.

If you’re very attached to your purse, immediately put the keys in your purse, keeping it on you during the exiting process.

If your baby is in a forward-facing seat, reach back to unhook the harness. That’s one less step you have to deal with when you climb in the backseat.

Whenever you’re about to close the car door, put your keys in your hand before you close it. Better yet, lock your door with the keys after you close the door (not before).

If all else fails, be sure you have a cellphone with you to call for help. A relative or neighbor should always have a spare key to your car, and you need to be able to reach them. Of course, having a cellphone is essential for calling an emergency service if the unthinkable happens.

Good luck!

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