The Best 2 Questions You NEED to Ask to find Your Baby's Car Seat
The Car Seats You've Been Looking For
We've tested every car seat out there so you don't have to! Here's a list of the best car seats for your sweet baby.
A car seat sits at the top of your buy-for-baby list. You won’t be able to leave the hospital without one! But, choosing the best car seat for your budget, lifestyle, and even your car can be tricky. That’s where our guide and reviews come in.
It’s most likely the first piece of baby gear you’ll ever use as a new parent. It’s also one of the most important things for you as a parent. There’s so much you to consider if you’re shopping for a baby car seat.
There’s a convertible option or an all-in-one option. And how easy is it to install? Let’s help you get the perfect car seat for your precious baby so that you can keep your eyes on the road and get your family home safely.
When you’re shopping for a car seat, make sure it’s safe and comfortable for the baby. Here’s everything you should know before choosing the best car seat for your baby.
Car Seat Types
Before you start shopping, it’s okay if you understand the different types of cars available. Car seats fall under four basic types:
- Infant Car Seats:These are designed especially for newborns – babies weighing up to 30 pounds. They give your baby rear-facing comfort and security for even the youngest babies.
- Convertible Car Seats:These car seats can adapt and grow as your baby does. Unlike infant car seats, which can only carry about 30 pounds, convertible car seats can be installed for a newborn to face backward and then transition into a forward-facing car seat for an older baby or toddler. The only downside is that they’re usually clunkier and less portable when comparing them with infant car seats.
- 3-in-1 Car Seats:For a lot more longevity, you can consider a 3-in-1 car seat. It also grows with your baby or toddler up to a booster seat at about age 4.
- Booster Car Seats:Once your child turns 4, they’ll use a booster car seat combined with a seatbelt.
You can keep in mind that all car seats are held to the same safety standards as stipulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And some even aim to go above and beyond with extra side impact protection or parent-proof latching systems for better peace of mind.
Let me tell you something.
Read your car seat manual carefully first! Take note of the official height and weight limits for that specific car seat and other safety must-knows. Carefully follow the installation instructions according to your manual to ensure it’s done correctly for your baby’s protection.
How Do I Choose A Car Seat?
All car seats sold today have to meet the necessary safety standards —making shopping for car seats for your baby a piece of cake, right? Well, not really. You’ll also need to look at factors like your budget, lifestyle, family plans, and even the size of your car. Answers the following questions, and you should be able to make an easy decision.
- How long do I plan to use the car seat?
- How much room do you have in your car?
- Do you need more than one car seat?
- How portable does your car seat need to be?
- Is stroller compatibility important?
- Car seat safety standards to know
If you’re shopping for a car seat, safety is very crucial. Look for these specific requirements when buying your car seat — then follow the guidelines carefully to make sure you’re installing and using it correctly. Safety factors to think about:
- Make sure the car seat meets National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and American Association of Pediatrics standards. What does that mean? Usually, both organizations recommend extended rear-facing seating with five-point harness protection for as long as possible to protect your baby. Or until two years at least, but ideally beyond. When your toddler is a minimum height and weight, they can change to forward-facing and eventually upgrade to a booster seat.
- Measure your car before buying a seat that’s too big. Make sure you’ll have enough comfortable space for the car seat.
- Inspect your car seat before using it for the car seat. Look for scuffs, breaks, sharp edges, and other potential dangers before your baby get comfortable. Ensure that your car seat doesn’t have nooks where your baby can get caught in.
- Make sure you’re using the right type of baby car seat. Look at the height and weight requirements and if you’re using your seat rear-facing or forward-facing. Always install the car seat according to its instructions.
- Make sure your seat is installed correctly. Read the car seat manual very carefully and note the official height and weight limits for it. Look at any other safety need-to-knows. Follow the instructions to the T, as shown in the manual. A car seat with a parent-friendly easy latch system is a great option, too, if you’re one who struggles with installing things. Your local police or fire station, baby store, or car dealership will usually also do a car seat safety check free of charge.
- Look for a seat that’s cozy but not over-padded. Don’t use blankets or other extra materials (like a coat or jacket) in the car seat. It can prevent a buckle from being secure and even cancel out the car seat warranty. Before hitting the road, follow the infant car seat safety guidelines for the safest ride of your little one’s life.
- Buckle your baby in properly. Generally, car seats have a 5-point harness, which connects at the shoulders, the hips, and in between your baby’s legs.
- Are you inheriting a secondhand seat? Make sure it hasn’t been in a crash, and you have all the required car seat parts. Any seat older than six years should be thrown away.
- Has the car seat survived a crash? It may look perfect, but get rid all the same. You don’t know if parts of the seat have been compromised — and it’s served its purpose. Get a new one instead.
- Register your baby car seat. So that if there’s a recall or some sort of problem, you’ll get the information.
- Don’t put a car seat in the front seat, as in never. In most states, American law requires children aged 13 and under to ride in the back seat. It also requires the use of a booster seat until they meet the required height and weight parameters that allow them to use a traditional seat belt comfortably.
- Don’t install a rear-facing seat in front of an airbag. It’s very dangerous. The impact of an accident can push the seat and your baby forward, causing them to crash.
- Remember that while many babies are put to sleep riding in a car seat, it isn’t safe for extended sleep — so transfer your sleeping baby into a crib or bassinet once you’re out of the car.
For all parents, their child’s safety and health is their priority.
These car seats will ensure that your baby is as safe as possible whn you’re travelling around.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s REALLY hard to choose the best car seat with all the options out there.
After hundreds of hours of testing & reviewing, we have strong opinions about what makes the best car seat.
We highlight the pros, cons & features of the car seats so you can choose the best one your baby will love.
There are car seats for different aged toddlers or infants, for example.
Here are some more:
- Rear-facing or infant-only
Stage 1: Rear-Facing Car Seats.
Stage 2: Forward-Facing Car Seats with Harnesses.
Stage 3: Booster Seats.
Stage 4: Seat Belts.
State 5: Take the Seat Belt Fit Test.