When the time comes around to greet that bundle of joy, important decisions have to be made to make sure that cute baby will be safe. You want your newborn baby to be always tucked into a safe place when on the road. We got you covered with reviews of the best infant car seats that you find on the market.
Our first baby was born back in November 2014. It was a super cold and snowy day (google record snowfall in Buffalo). Our son was born that night only a 1-2-hour drive away from Buffalo. We had little experience driving on frozen highways, but that is just what we did on our way back from the hospital. That 30-minute drive turned to into a full 2-hour drive. We were so thankful when we finally got everyone safe home.
We were very happy that we had made provisions on time for that big day. Having bought a great car seat in time for our little boy turned out to be a good decision. Although it was a hassle to get our baby into the car seat and then into the car (alongside nurses that were not helpful at all), we managed to do it somehow.
How to Choose an Infant Car Seat
Car seats are among the single most important acquisitions that you will make during the first few years of your child’s life. Our busy lifestyles nowadays require us to be on the road pretty often. And your child will need to be safe in a car seat.
Because car seats are very important, we want to share four tips on what you should take into account before you get your own.
We strongly advise you to buy a brand new car seat when planning for one. Plastic on them can become brittle over the years, thus making them unsafe for your baby. In fact, the life span of most infant car seats is around 6 years.
Have you noticed that most second-hand stores do not carry used car seats? We were super tight on a budget when our second baby was born. We went into some second-hand stores to look for used car seats because we couldn’t afford a new one. Not knowing that car seats expired, we thought it was better to buy a used one. Now we are glad we didn’t find any. We did not have another option than to buy a new one.
Car seats that have been in an accident should be replaced immediately. Also, if a car seat has expired, you never know how safe it is. Therefore, second-hand stores cannot risk your baby’s safety.
Even using hand-me-down car seats from your friends is not a good option, especially if you are not 100% sure what the car seat has been through.
The good thing is that you can find car seats for all budget allowances, as you will see below.
2) Size and Comfort
You may think that the size of a car seat does not matter. Let us tell you that it surely does. Our babies were both over 9 pounds when they were born. Compare that to preemies that are only 4 pounds. It makes a huge difference. And we went for a large infant car seat so it would last a little longer. Consider that your baby will be using this car seat for around a year.
Look for a lightweight car seat, especially when you are expecting a bigger baby. A car seat can weigh up to 12 pounds, which makes full 21 pounds for a newborn baby. Besides, they grow very fast and in no time, you have a very heavy bundle to carry. So, if you can, go for a car seat that weighs less than 12 pounds.
Choose a car seat that is comfortable for your baby. Of course, you do not know what is comfortable for your baby before she arrives. However, make sure that you buy a car seat that has a comfortable head and body support. Since your baby will not be able to hold her head, it is always good to have some extra protection.
Also, your baby will most likely cry when you are stuck in a traffic jam and you cannot do anything for her. Considering this, it becomes very more important to have a good-sized comfortable car seat, so she can stay happy for longer.
Size also matters when it comes to your vehicle size. The larger the car seat, the more room you need in your rear seat. In small cars, for instance, you will have to move the front seat forward if you want to make a nice-sized car seat fit.
Size and comfort are, besides safety, the most important features to look for in car seats.
3) Convertible Car Seats Vs Infant Car Seats
One thing that you have to decide before you buy a car seat is whether you prefer a convertible one or an infant carrier.
Infant carriers are only for babies. They are very convenient because they latch into a base. Every time you take your baby out of the car, you can just grab the carrier, unlatch it from the base and carry it with convenient handles. This feature is especially awesome during bad weather. That way you do not have to unbuckle the child first, take her out of the car into bad weather.
It also comes in handy when running errands and you have to go to multiple places in one trip. Unbuckling and buckling each time you get out or into the vehicle is not so much fun.
Convertible car seats do not latch into a base, neither can you take the car seat out easily. You have to remove the whole car seat if you want to take it out. Besides, these do not have handles for you to carry them. They are made to stay in the vehicle. However, they will be great for the next stages. These “grow” with your babies.
We suggest you buy an infant car seat for your newborn and consider a convertible for the toddler stage.
Preparing for a baby costs a lot. Therefore, before you buy a car seat, analyze what you already have and what you will need. Make a list of essentials so you will know exactly what to spend.
Although there are car seats for all budgets, make sure that you buy one that is safe, comfortable, and has the correct size. Most new car seats have side-impact protection, which makes them even better.
However, you do not have to buy the most expensive one to get a good car seat. There are cheaper options.
Here is a great video that describes how to choose an infant car seat.
What Features Should My Car Seat Have?
Car seat technology is becoming more sophisticated every year and there are some features that you will want on your car seat, but there will also be the ones that are not a must.
Here are some things that we like to look for when buying a car seat:
*Based on our lifestyle, we do not need a car seat that has to be compatible with a travel system, although most car seats are compatible. We bought one for our first child, but we figured that it was not essential. Very seldom did we use our travel system.
*Look for a car seat that is lightweight.
*Installing a car seat for the first time can be a hassle. Consider buying one that has an easy installation process.
*No rethreading of shoulder straps. As your baby grows you have to adjust the harness so she fits in. Rethreading the harness can take some time. Therefore, if you can afford a car seat that you don’t have to rethread, go for it.
*Comfort for babies is critical. We look for wider ones because our babies have both been very large and chunky at birth.
*One-hand handle adjustment is handy.
*A large canopy to protect your baby from weather conditions and bright sunlight.
*Sturdy and safe materials for superior safety.
Although probably none of the infant car seats has all these features, we still look for one that has at least some of these.
Bottom line: Infant car seats need to be safe and comfortable for your baby, easy to install, and easy to carry around.
15 Top Infant Car Seats
The UPPABaby Mesa is a sophisticated and stylish infant car seat with various great features and is one of the favorites among new parents. Although it comes with a high price tag, it combines both convenience and safety.
This infant car seat is a best seller because it is suitable for babies between 4 and 35 pounds, and also because it is rather lightweight, weighing slightly less than 10 pounds, seat and base, which combined is close to 20 pounds.
The UPPABaby car seat impresses with its safety features: A double layer of impact absorption, adjustable headrest, a chemical-free wool fire retardant, and very easy installation with retractable LATCH installation system. A colored indicator confirms the correct installation of this seat every time it is installed.
One thing that we absolutely love about the UPPABaby car seat is the unique no-rethread, five-point harness. This feature makes it so easily adjust the harness to the height of your baby, without having to take the harness apart.
Parents love this highly priced, quality-built car seat also because of the breathable and moisture-wicking fabric which provides comfort for your baby, although it tends to make your baby sweat slightly easier.
The UPPABaby makes for a terrific choice for every baby that needs to travel safely in a vehicle.
Chicco KeyFit 30
Weighing only 15 pounds (base and carrier together), it makes this ultra-lightweight carrier easy to move from one vehicle to another one. It is also known as the car seat that can be more easily removed from the base than most other car seats.
The LATCH system clicks easily into the anchors of your vehicle with straps to pull tight. The RideRight bubble level indicator tells you exactly if the car seat is properly installed.
Babies weighing between 4 and 30 pounds are suitable for this car seat. Although you have to rethread the harness into one of the multiple slots as your baby grows, parents do not complain much about it, since it does not require much effort to do it correctly. Also, you can always adjust the base for proper inclination and major comfort for your baby.
This car seat has the EPS technology (energy-absorbing foam) for more safety, plus it expires after six years. You can easily use it for two or three babies if they are only 2 years apart and the car seat has not been through an accident.
Regardless of the small canopy, the Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat is the perfect addition to your baby essentials because of its value, reasonable price tag, and multiple most-looked-for car seat features, not to mention the many stroller systems this car seat is compatible with (Baby Jogger, BOB, Britax, UPPABaby, Bumbleride, and many others).
Being able to hold preemies through 35-pound babies, you can expect this one to last longer before you get a toddler car seat. When you need to move the handle of the carrier, it comes in handy when you need only one hand to adjust, while holding your baby with the other arm. The Chicco Fit2 is one of the few that has the 1-hand handle feature.
Safety and convenience are also important features in this car seat since it has the LATCH system with straps to pull tight and the RideRight bubble level indicator for proper installation. It is known for its easy installation process. It also has the EPS technology (energy-absorbing foam) to make protect your baby even more.
It is always nice to put your baby in the car seat without having to take her out again to adjust the harness to the height of the baby. The Chicco Fit2 has the no-rethread harness to adjust while your baby is comfortably sitting in the car seat. You can also adjust the base to make your baby more comfortable while newborn and make for leg room for as she grows.
Although the Chicco Fit2 is not necessarily the most lightweight car seat on the market, it is definitely not bulky and heavy with its close to 20 pounds combined (base and carrier).
This car seat has been a favorite for a good reason and you will not be disappointed either. It simply impresses with its quality and the convenience to install easily into any vehicle, thus making the ride for your baby more comfortable, regardless of the price tag.
Britax B-Safe 35
The Britax B-Safe 35 is the perfect choice for skinny babies. Since not all babies are given those meaty thighs (btw: They are adorable), car seats that run a bit small at the shoulder area come in handy because they provide more safety for smaller babies, although this car seat holds babies between 4 and 35 pounds. The Britax B-Safe 35 was definitely not one that we were able to fit our chunky boys into but it was the best option for our niece who was quite smaller.
We love the extra large canopy that provides for an extra portion of shade and protection from sunlight for your baby.
While made in the USA, the price tag is reasonable, knowing that it has a steel reinforced frame (SafeCell Technology), which makes it somewhat bulkier and heavier but much safer than other top car seats. The LATCH system is easy to install and remove.
Although rethreading of the harness is required for this version, there is the elite version of the Britax B-Safe 35 car seat that has the practical no-rethread harness to adjust perfectly to your baby’s height.
This favorite for many happy parents provides safety, comfort, sturdiness, and snugness for your sweet little one. It fits into nicely into most vehicles and does its job very well.
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio car seat for a new generation has features not commonly found in competitor car seats. Equipped with a load leg that offers superior protection in the case of front collision, and the anti-rebound bar that makes the car seat even more sturdy, this highly priced Italian-made car seat offers maximum safety.
The installation of this car seat is hassle-free because of the LATCH system that clicks right in, but it also has the modern Right-Tight-System which locks the straps once the LATCH system is in place. With the turn of a knob, you can make sure that the base is in the correct position. Both are awesome features that give the tranquility of a very safe ride for your baby.
Regarding security, this infant car seat also has the side impact protection which protects your baby’s head in the event of an accident along with the EPS technology (energy absorbing foam) and the above-mentioned load leg.
The Peg Perego that is for babies between 4-35 pounds has a very large canopy that protects your baby from the sun and bad weather conditions. The fabric of this carrier also makes your baby comfortable and ready for a ride.
While the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio does not require an adaptor to click into this stroller, you will need to buy an adaptor to make it compatible with other travel systems.
Regardless of the high price tag, this 9.5-pound carrier does not require rethreading as in many cheap car seats. Hassle-free securing of the baby is always a feature to be looking for in car seats.
Although this car seat has the 2-hand handle adjustment, it makes for a great one-time investment (full 7 years before expiry) for your baby that you will not regret like so many happy parents have found.
Safety 1stOnboard 35 Air 360
When looking for a new car seat for the family’s newest addition, you cannot miss the Safety 1stOnboard 35 Air, which stands out for its innovating technology in safety and protection for your baby and the reasonable price.
Designed for babies between 4 and 35 pounds, it has a super low harness that is exceptional for even the smallest babies. This feature makes the fact that you have to rethread to adjust the shoulder straps as your baby grows not a daunting challenge.
Parents are very happy with the Airprotect technology, which basically means that it has airbags to protect your baby’s head to the utmost.
Even with a moderate price tag, this car seat has an 8-year expiry date, which is great if you are on a budget and plan to have more than one baby use it.
Proud owners of this car seat also praise the great fabric, which is very comfortable and most important of all, washable.
The Safety 1stOnboard is among the lightest car seat carrier found on the market, weighing only 7.9 pounds, compared to 9+ pounds for most other car seats.
Although the only downside of this car seat might be the installing system, which is the traditional latching system, it does not represent that much of a problem if you do not move the base of your car seat from one vehicle to another frequently. For most one-car owners, it is not a problem at all.
Acquiring a safe, convenient, and moderately-priced car seat like this one for your baby is not only essential but a must-have.
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35
You will not encounter many car seats that are as lightweight as the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35, which weighs only around 15 pounds (carrier and base combined). No wonder it has been a favorite for over 10 years and has proven to provide safety even though it is a very basic option for infant car seats.
Although the features of this low-priced car seat cannot be compared to expensive car seats, it does not compromise safety in any way. It was even side-impact tested and it also has the EPS technology (energy absorbing foam), yet it does not have a steel reinforced frame.
Regardless of the traditional installation process, which is fairly easier in modern LATCH system car seats, parents find this affordable option to be great for their babies weighing between 4 and 35 pounds. It is also well-known for providing extra space for taller babies (up to 32 inches).
As in many other car seats, you get a large canopy with this one as well to protect your baby and make the ride even more comfortable, although owners claim that the fabric is not super comfortable, but reasonable for the price.
As your baby grows, you will need to rethread the harness to adjust to your baby’s height, although you don’t have to do that in the newer version of this car seat.
When looking for something quick that fits every budget, the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 that is compatible with Graco travel systems, is the best option to provide a safe and basic ride for your baby, instead of leaving it out of the car seat, which is prohibited by the law.
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30
This ultra-lightweight car seat weighs only around 12 pounds (base and carrier combined), which eases the weight of carrying your baby from one place to another. This basic-option car seat has been on the best-seller list for quite some time as well because it fits every budget with its super low price.
Although this car seat is smaller than the Graco Snugride Click Connect 35 and designed for babies between 4 and 30 pounds, it is a good option to provide a safe and sound ride for your small one.
Even though this is a cheap option, this car seat has been crash-tested and it has the EPS technology (energy absorbing foam), which shows that there is enough evidence that this is safe for your baby, although it lacks the newest and most modern features that do not protect your baby that much more.
This car seat is also equipped with washable fabric that might not be the most comfortable for your baby but is awesome for shorter rides. The great and large canopy provides for a good shelter for your baby.
The 7-year expiry date exceeds expectations for a low-priced car seat. And we cannot forget to mention that the click-connect technology makes this car seat compatible with all Graco travel systems with only one click and no adaptor needed.
A traditional latching system cannot keep parents from buying this cheap, basic, but safe and convenient option to protect their babies in the event of a crash.
Evenflo LiteMax 35
The installation process on the Evenflo LiteMax 35 is very simple with the SnugLock technology along with a leveling indicator, which helps you to easily know when the car seat is in the right position and lock it in with the click of the SnugLock. Being equipped with the LATCH technology, installing this car seat is hassle-free but ensures safety.
The buckle pockets in this car seat are great because they can prevent you and your baby from an uncomfortable burn after your vehicle has been exposed to hot weather for extended periods.
Being among the few infant carriers that have an ergonomic handle, carrying this car seat is more practical than other non-ergonomic handled car seats.
Although this car seat was designed for babies between 4 and 35 pounds, the seating area is narrow, which makes it a perfect option for skinnier babies. We know that all babies are different and not all chubby-cheeked babies have chunky thighs.
The material and fabric that the Evenflo LiteMax 35 is equipped with, is not of superior quality but very comfortable for your baby. The large canopy serves as a UV protection factor for your baby’s sensitive skin.
The platinum version of this infant car seat has better and quality fabric which is more comfortable, plus other features that you will like for an extra cost.
This lightweight car seat (carrier weighs 8 pounds) does not have the best and modern safety features, yet a basic option to ensure maximum safety. Although no EPS technology and steel reinforced frames were used to make this car seat, it is a cheap and safe option worth to check out.
Graco SnugRide SnugLock Platinum
Installing a car seat has not been easier as with the easy 3-step process that ends with the SnugLock Technology. With a traditional latching system, the straps are locked in with a single click, making it impossible for the car seat base to move more than an inch.
A novelty feature of this lightweight and crash tested car seat is the rotating canopy which can be turned into the best position to protect your baby from direct sunlight, thus providing for a good environment to sleep.
Finding a low-priced car seat for taller and chunkier babies as they grow, can be a challenge. The Graco SnugRide SnugLuck Platinum is an excellent choice for children up to 32 inches tall and 4-35 pounds and having more shoulder space. Although this feature provides for extra space for skinnier babies, the extra space provides more comfort, yet it does not compromise the safety of your baby.
This platinum version is made of quality fabric, which stands out for this particular car seat.
Since rethreading the 5-point harness is required as your baby grows, we like to use rethreading as a perfect time to wash and clean the carrier. Although the fabric used in this car seat is not our favorite, neither the most comfortable, babies adjust very easily and make themselves as comfortable as possible. The fact that it is washable and easy to clean, gives the fabric a plus.
There is an elite version of this car seat that does not require rethreading and has the RapidRemove Cover feature, which are both great but come with an extra cost.
Graco is a leader in the car seat industry and they prove their car seat’s safety by crash testing them. This is an important factor to consider when looking at non-expensive basic car seat options.
After buying a car seat, you often realize that you need a travel system. We love Graco car seats because they have the easy click-connect technology. Only one click and you have the car seat securely fastened into their compatible strollers. You will love to be able to take your baby into the department store in a stroller by connecting the car seat to it.
Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30
Graco has different sized car seats which are numbered 30, 35, 60, 65, etc., referring to the size of the car seat. The 30 is the smallest car seat available, which considers that you will transition your baby into a toddler car seat sooner. The Graco SnugRide Snuglock 30 has similar features to the Snuglock 35.
One of these awesome features is the 3-step installation. While it doesn’t have the new LATCH system, it has the traditional latching system in which you click the belt straps into the seat anchor, pulling firmly until the level indicator is green and the car seat base cannot be moved more than 1 inch back and forth, nor left and right. That makes for a pretty safe ride for your sweet little one.
This crash-tested car seat is also adaptable to any of the Graco travel systems with only one click. Running an errand with your baby is less of a hassle with a travel system because you do not want to take your baby out of the car seat each time you go into a store and then buckle her again while going to another store.
A 4-position recline, washable fabric, and a rotating canopy provide for a warm and comfortable shelter for your baby. She can sleep well when the recliner is properly adjusted and the sunlight or other weather conditions cannot affect your precious little one.
The Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 is intended for smaller children, weighing only 4-30 pounds and measuring no more than 30 inches tall.
Finding a great valued, comfortable, and light-weight car seat is not always easy. You will love this basic yet complete car seat with all the necessary features. A great car seat for your baby essentials. Having a baby comes with many unexpected expenses; therefore, make a careful choice when you consider buying a car seat. The Graco SnugRide Snuglock 30 might just be the perfect one for your baby.
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus
The Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus is true to its name: Maximum comfort for the baby is provided. This moderately-priced car seat provides excellent features that you will like for your precious little baby.
As stated, comfort comes first. Made for babies as small as 4 pounds up to 30 pounds or 32 inches, the car seat comes with lots of extra padding that are super comfortable for your baby. Plus, the fabrics are moisture-wicking; your baby will not feel as warm as in many other car seats. The insert makes it special for preemies and extra small babies. Extra head support is provided with this feature. It is machine washable, which parents absolutely love.
This model comes equipped with a 5-point harness as most other car seats. Although it needs to be rethreaded as your baby grows, it is not a big deal because safety is not compromised in any way.
Talking about safety, the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus really protects your baby as much as possible. First off, we have the load leg, which is not present in most car seats. The load leg is an anti-rotating bar that prevents the base from rolling over in the event of an accident. Research claims that 50% less rotating risk because of the load leg. Next, we have the highly-praised AirProtect Technology, which is airbags on the sides to keep baby’s head completely safe. And lastly, this car seat has EPP instead of EPS (energy absorbing foam) that is even more durable.
When you look at this infant car seat, it will be very easy to fall in love with it. You willingly pay the price for a great, lightweight car seat if you plan to use your car seat very often. Especially city dwellers and frequent taxi-riders will love this car seat also because of the MaxShade canopy that you can unzip and protect your baby from the sun, yet give her good ventilation.
The ergonomic handle makes it easier to carry, and it has clips to clip onto shopping carts to prevent excess movement and rocking. You can unclip just like you get the carrier off the base of the car seat.
Being compatible with Maxi-Cosi strollers and other travel systems via adaptors, this infant car seat makes your errands and duties a bit easier.
Installation of the is car seat is hassle-free as well. With a single click into the anchors of your car, the car seat base is securely fastened.
Buying the most expensive car seat is not always the best choice. Depending on your vehicle size and the time your baby will spend in the car seat, you need to make a choice whether to buy a basic car seat or one with advanced features. This car seat is not the cheapest one you will find, yet it has advanced features that you will love from the moment you buy this car seat.
While expensive car seats have great features, they are only necessary if you intend to travel a lot. Is that you?
When you look at the different infant car seats that are available, you will find that they range between all different sizes and prices and have different features. The Evenflo Nurture stands out for its small size. It is only intended for babies between 5 and 22 pounds or measuring a maximum of 29 inches tall. That makes for one of the smallest car seats on the market.
This USA-made ultra-small, ultra-lightweight car seat weighs only 6.5 pounds (carrier only) and has a full 6-year expiration date, which is astonishing for the value.
Provided is a small canopy that will cover your baby just fine. The fabric is comfortable and washable, which is always great in car seats.
Although this small car seat does not have a steel reinforced frame, it has been side-impact tested. If you travel very little and are not constantly running errands, this car seat is the perfect choice for you because it will do its job with its basic yet necessary features.
It has been a best-seller for years and people continue to buy this car seat even when uninstalling it can be a hassle. However, installation is super easy, which is the more important part. In our family, the car seats usually stay in the vehicle for months, so if the installation is not the easiest, it is not a major problem, because we don’t do it that often anyway. That is very much a personal preference and need.
Rethreading the harness in this car seat is needed as your baby grows, and if you want to get the most out of the rethreading process, wash the car seat cover and clean it. That way you maximize your time by doing 2 things in one.
This non-fancy, yet favorite best-selling car seat provides the safety that your baby needs, fulfills the law’s requirements, and is as convenient for you as can be with its simple no-brainer features.
By now you know that you need a car seat before your baby arrives. Making an informed decision is always great. When you go into a department or baby store there is so much to choose from and especially the market for car seats is very broad.
After having bought essential baby gear for our boys, we realized that we should have done our research a little better instead of going into the store and buying the first thing that we liked there. If we would have to do it again, we would most definitely do things differently.
We hope that with this list of best infant car seats you are able to discern between the needs of your family and what car seat sellers are trying to convince you to do.
If you should have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask and comment below.
FAQ About Car Seats
1. Question: What types of car seats are there?
Answer: You will find 3 different types of car seats: Infant carriers, convertible car seats, and booster seats.
Infant carriers often come with a stroller combo and a car seat base. These car seats are only for children between 4 and 30 pounds. As your baby grows during the first year of life, you will have to get another car seat that is for toddlers and young children. Infant carriers are always rear-facing.
Convertible car seats come in all different types, from the all-in-one, 4-in-1, 3-in-1, etc. These car seats grow with your child. They are used as rear-facing for your baby that is between 0-14 months old. After that, they are front-facing for your toddler up to 80 pounds and lastly the back can be detached from the base to make a booster seat for your young child up to 120 pounds.
Some convertible car seats feature all the described stages, while others just serve for the rear-facing stage and the first front-facing stage. These car seats are not compatible with travel systems, neither do they have handles to carry your baby. They are intended to stay in the vehicle.
Lastly, there are booster seats. These are only for the last stage before your child will ride on the vehicle’s seat. Boosters are a kind of raised seat to make the seat belt of the vehicle fit. Some have a back and others just have the seat.
2. Can my baby be wrapped up in blankets in a car seat?
Answer: No, your baby cannot be securely fastened into the car seat if you have her in blankets. We often used receiving blankets to support or warm the baby but we put them over the harness.
3. Which car seats are safest?
Answer: The market for car seats is very broad. There are so many competing companies, from Graco to Uppababy to Chicco to Cosco, and many more, that offer products with different features.
All have to pass certain tests before they can sell their products, so you can safely assume that most car seats are very safe. It is more of a concern that a car seat is only safe when used correctly. Look for a “Certified” sticker on the car seat to make sure that it has passed testing.
Your car seat has to be installed properly, it has to be the right size for your baby, and it has to be in the correct position (rear or front faced, depending on the age of your child). If you consider all these, you can be confident that any car seat from trusted sellers is fine.
4. Should I buy a car seat before the baby is born?
Answer: We strongly advise you to buy a car seat before the baby is born. You want to be prepared for your baby. The first few weeks after the baby is born, the whole family is knocked off their routine. With lots of sleep deprivation and other things going on, it is always best to be prepared.
Moms, think about this: When your husband is going back to work and you as the mom are alone at home and you need something from the store that you didn’t expect. Where will you put your baby if you haven’t prepared for one in time?
And vice versa, dads, your wife needs to go to the clinic with the baby for a checkup and you have to take both. You will need a car seat.
We were very glad that we had made the decision to buy a car seat in time before our babies arrived.
5. Why do car seats expire?
Answer: There are a few reasons why a car seat expires.
*Plastic degrades over time and anywhere between 6-12 years’ time, your car seat is not as firm and strong anymore as it once was. If you saved your car seat for the last baby that you planned, but you used it for you now-teenager, that car seat is not good to use anymore.
*Technology advances and every year car seats are improved and come with more and better features. Your 10-year old car seat surely doesn’t keep up with all that technology.
*And lastly, you will not find replacement parts for your car seats after years. And also, since vehicle models evolve so much every year, you can probably not even put your car seat in certain vehicles anymore.
6. Are car seats sometimes recalled by the factory?
Answer: Yes, factories have made recalls because of problems with certain models. It is very important to register your car seat right when you buy it so you will be notified if that precise model would be recalled.
7. Should I buy or use a used car seat?
Answer: You should not buy a used car seat. Who knows for sure how old they are, or if they have expired. Also, you have no idea through what the car seats have been. Often, car seats have been in accidents and you will not want to have one of those for your children.
Unless you are 100% sure that a hand-me-down car seat has a good history, you do not want to take it.
8. Why do babies have to face rearward?
Answer: There is research that children who are rear-faced are 75% less likely to die or sustain serious injury from an accident.
A child’s head and spine are more protected and cannot move so much in case of a collision because it will stay aligned in the car seat. If you have a child facing forward, things can end up differently.
When your child is facing forward, your child absorbs the shock, because the neck and spine of a child will not be able to stay aligned.
Check out this great video that explains why your child has to be rear-facing.
9. How long should babies face rearward?
Answer: Research has found that all babies should be in a rear-facing position until 2 years. In fact, since 2015 some states have passed a law that requires babies under the age of 2 to be in their car seats in a rear-facing position. California, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma are states that fine drivers for not abiding by this law.
10. How do you properly install a car seat?
Answer: Installing a car seat can be tricky and it all depends on your car seat and your vehicle. One thing that we can advise is that you know how to install it before the baby is there. We got so frustrated at first when we installed our new car seat. When our baby was born, we thought we knew how it worked, but putting your newborn in a car seat is a completely different story from what you have practiced.
This video tutorial is very helpful to understand the basics of installing a car seat properly.
11. Where in the vehicle is the baby safest?
Answer: Your baby is never safe in the front seat of a vehicle because of airbag impacts. The car seat should be placed in the center of the rear seat. That is where the least impact can happen and protect your baby as much as possible. When you have multiple children in car seats, you will not be able to do that, but that is the single most safe place for your child.
12. How do I secure a newborn baby into my car seat?
Answer: Put your baby into the car seat, secure the harness over her shoulder and between her legs. Pull the strap to fasten. Make sure that it is not too loose. Click here for a complete installation guide.