Sometimes you can’t help but bring your little kids around, whether it’s to work, to run an errand, or even on a family trip. When in the car with kids, the child’s safety and comfort are the top priorities.
If you go on frequent travels with your kids, owning a car seat is a must-have. Infant car seats ensure that your kids are safe during travel. In this article, we will help you find the right car seat for your growing children.
6 Things to Think About Before Buying an Infant Car Seat
It’s easy to find a baby car seat. But don’t get swayed by cheap prices. Instead, make sure to invest your money in an infant seat that will give your kids the maximum protection and comfort for the price.
Here are some crucial features to look for when buying baby car seats.
Choosing the Right Car Seat Model
You may be shocked by how many different models there are for car seats. Different models have different features that may be suited to your baby’s needs. Here are the baby car seat options to choose from.
- Infant car seats: These are car seats that are perfect for newborns. This is a forward-facing car seat that typically has a base and a detachable baby carrier. This type of car seat can usually carry up to 40 pounds.
- Convertible car seats: When your kids outgrow their infant seats, these car seats are your next purchase. This type has an increased weight limit, and you can install this on your car in either a front-facing or rear-facing position.
- Booster seats: Booster seats are right for kids around 9 years of age. This variant has an 80-pound weight limit and does not include a safety belt. However, booster seats have added height, so the car’s safety buckle can be used in conjunction with the seat.
- All-in-one car seats: This type is the most convenient because it can fit your newborns until they grow into toddlers. Typically, these seats are heavy and bigger. Make sure your car has enough space to accommodate this car seat.
- Toddler car seats: Toddler car seats cater to a specific weight and height limit. Toddler car seats are almost similar to booster seats. The main difference is that toddler seats have a safety harness.
After choosing the appropriate model, your next priority is safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts crash safety tests for every infant car seat in the United States. It provides a score for their safety before they are allowed to be sold. You may want to look for other safety standards to guarantee the seat’s safety.
Here are some safety feature must-haves when looking for a car seat for your baby:
- Five-point harness: Two waist straps, two shoulder straps, and one strap in the middle of the legs make up a five-point harness. This harness system is best to keep your kids from wiggling out of place.
- Adjustable harness: The harness is only effective when it fits properly. So make sure the harness in your infant car seat is adjustable, so it can adjust to how small or how big they get.
- Side impact protection: According to studies, when car collisions happen, it’s likely that the impact points are on the sides. Although there’s no way to test the effectiveness of side impact protection, safety traffic associations find it safer if car seats have features catered to it.
- Increased rear-facing weight limit: Kids are better protected when their car seats are rear-facing. Choose a car seat that can accommodate a significant weight so you can put your babies in a rear-facing position for longer.
Sizing and Comfort
Different types of car seats vary in size. Make sure to scope out the size of your car’s interior before getting a car seat. Ensure that the infant car seats can fit, whether front- or rear-facing. Moreover, car seats are attached in two ways—through buckles and latches.
All cars have seat belts, but not all have latches. Ensure your car has these attachments available. The next thing to consider is your baby’s comfort. The last thing you want is for your baby to cry throughout the journey.
Ensure the infant car seat is comfortable enough to sleep in. Also, add some baby essentials like newborn baby pillows, blankets, and toys to increase their comfort.
A versatile car seat is advantageous to parents. Imagine a detachable seat that acts as a car seat, a baby carrier, and a stroller. A travel system means having an infant car seat that fits both the car seat base and a stroller frame.
This system is more efficient for parents. Instead of removing their infants from their seats, they can simply remove the seats and attach them to the stroller frame. It is easier and more secure. Plus, when your children are sleeping, you won’t have to disturb them.
Your child will make a mess of the car seat. However, there are car seat models that are washable and easy to clean by wiping. Some car seats have specific cleaning methods to follow to avoid damaging the product. So, please be mindful of these instructions.
Lastly, consider the price. Infant car seats for newborns are the most affordable, but your children will outgrow them in a few months. Convertible car seats are best for long-term use but are the most expensive kinds. The prices of these models may go up to $500 or more.
Explore other brands and models to see which one fits your budget best.
Do’s and Don’ts When Using Car Seats
After choosing the right car seat for your child, knowing how to use them properly to secure your baby is equally as important. Here are some do’s and don’ts when it comes to infant car seat use.
- Avoid placing a forward-facing car seat in the front passenger seat. Instead, experts recommend that the car seats be in a rear-facing position. Then, in case of accidents, your baby’s neck and spine will be better protected.
- Avoid hanging toys and mobiles on the car seat’s handle while the vehicle is moving. It may be a good distraction but keep these tucked because they can turn into harmful projectiles in a moving car.
- Don’t use car seats as alternative beds for your kids. Let your kids sleep on a flat surface to support their spine.
- Don’t place your car seats on surfaces with no safety harness. For example, if you bring your kids for a grocery run, don’t place their detachable car seats on the pushcart. Instead, bring a stroller, or better yet, get a baby carrier.
- Don’t rush your baby’s transition. Newborns cannot safely use booster seats. Always be mindful of your child’s age and weight, and the limits of each seat, to ensure their safety while using the product.
- Don’t try to repair car seats. If the product has major damage, has a missing piece, or has been used for more than six years, it’s time to replace the car seat.
Traveling with kids is not an easy task. They require a lot of attention, and they have special needs. But first and foremost, keeping them safe and comfortable is your priority. An infant car seat will make all the difference when you travel with your kids.
We hope these considerations help you find the perfect car seat to purchase. If you’re looking for more travel baby essentials, Ashtonbee offers a wide range of high-quality baby products, from portable changing pads, feeding gadgets, and toys, to safety accessories. Don’t forget to visit our shop for your baby’s needs.