The Best Car Seats for Infants 2018
As a parent, you only want the best for your precious angel in terms of his or her health and safety. Your bundle of joy needs an infant car seat from the moment you take him home from the hospital. It should be on your priority list of baby essentials to purchase even before your little angel arrives.
With so many models available on the market today combined with numerous features, choosing the right one can be quite overwhelming. Not all baby car seats are created the same way. There are a few things you need to consider when shopping for a car safety seat including the type of your vehicle, your family’s lifestyle, and of course, your budget. Knowing the perfect models for newborn and infants can help you narrow down your choices of the best out there.
What You Need to Know about Infant Car Seats
Depending on the model or brand, infant car seats can usually accommodate babies weighing 35 to 45 pounds with a height of 32 to 35 inches. This equipment faces the rear of your vehicle only. Children are required to remain in a car seat that’s rear-facing until they are two years old or when they are big enough to use other car seat types for older kids.
Baby safety car seats come in two types:
- Rear-facing only infant car seat.
- Convertible car seat that your kid can grow with.
Difference Between Infant and Convertible Car Seats
A convertible car seat can typically hold kids up to 65 pounds. You can transform it from rear-face mode to front-face mode once your kid is older. An infant car seat, on the other hand, can hold babies up to 40 pounds and you can only use it as a rear-face seat. The significant difference between the two is that the latter comes with a carrying handle, making it more convenient. It also makes transferring your baby to and from your vehicle easy and will not wake your sleeping angel up.
Things to Consider when Purchasing an Infant Car Seat
Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when looking for the best baby car seat
- Fit to vehicle
As mentioned, not all seats are created equally. Some are bigger and may not fit well if you have a smaller car. To ensure a perfect fit and comfort for your infant, measure your car’s space with passengers in mind before making any purchase. If you and your husband or partner use multiple vehicles, you also need to measure those. Or you may want to consider purchasing another car seat for convenience. But if you don’t have the budget for it, look for a seat that you can install and uninstall easily. Another option is to buy an extra base for your rear-face baby car seat.
- Portability of the infant seat
There are parents that install the seat in place and leave it there for the entire duration their kids will use it. However, if you will be moving the car seat in multiple vehicles or you want something where you can carry your baby around with it, you need a more mobile infant seat. The best option for you is a seat that has a handle with an ergonomic design. These are lighter and smaller compared to regular ones which could weigh up to 20 pounds in addition to your child’s weight.
- Used or brand new?
If you’re low on budget, you may be considering getting a used car seat. The major issue with this is that you may end up with a seat that has been in a crash. Also, all car seats have an expiration date, and used ones may not be up to the latest safety standards as well. On the other hand, all new seats out there are required meet safety regulations of the government and to undergo crash tests. However, if you will opt for a used car seat, make sure to buy it from people you know well and trust. You don’t want to put your baby’s life at risk by saving money.
- Comfort and cleaning
Going on a long road trip with a screaming baby is a headache waiting to happen. Look for a seat that that’s padded and has ample support for your baby’s head no matter how short or long the drive is. Also, babies make a lot of mess, so make sure the seat you will get has a cover that comes off and easy to clean and wash.
Important Safety Standards
Safety should always be on top of your list when shopping around for baby safety car seats. All seats in the market come met the standards of safety set by the government. There are also seats that come with added features like side-impact protection. The most important thing to remember when buying your child’s car seat is that it meets specific requirements and to install and use it correctly. Here are a few safety factors to consider before buying an infant car seat:
- Choose a seat with a five-point harness.
- Your car should have enough space for the seat to have a comfortable fit.
- Always choose a seat that’s appropriate for your baby’s age, height and weight.
- Install the seat properly using the owner’s manual and guidelines.
- Check for brand recalls.