A baby car seat is one of the most important investments you are doing for your baby. You will need a baby car seat from the moment you take your baby from hospital to home. And, your baby will need it until at the age of 10 or more, when he/she grows enough to sit into an adult car seat.
The scary thing to hear is that around 46% of baby seats and boosters are not installed properly. This can be very risky. Improper installation of a baby car seat might cause serious injurious to a child in a crash.
Before considering different features of a baby car, you need to know whether you want a newborn car seat, toddler booster seats or all-in-one car seat. Hence, to help you out in selecting the best baby car seat, here is the detailed buying guide:
1. Right Model
The first important thing to decide about a baby car seat is to select the right model. As the child grows, you have to switch from one car seat to another. Mainly, there are five types available: Infant car seat, the convertible car seat, booster seat, all-in-one car seats, and toddler booster.
Among these three, the infant car seat is for most new parents. This car seat can be installed rear-facing and it also has a removable carrier. Talking about the convertible car seat, it should be purchased on not later than the child’s first birthday.
All-in-one car seats are ideal for the children of 4 to 50 lbs. And, toddler booster seats are ideal for the children of 20 to 90 lbs weight.
Lastly, booster seats are for children who outgrow the height and weight limits. So, among the five types of car seats, you have to purchase after considering your child’s age.
2. Know your child
Before you make a final purchase of a baby car seat, know your child’s height, weight, and age first. After determining all these, you will be able to select the right car seat for your baby. By noting these factors, when you find its time to move up to the next car seat model, you can go for it.
Any health issues to your child might also affect the baby car seat buying decision. Hence, first, you need to know your child’s height, weight, health, etc. before buying.
3. Convertible car seat
You can also pick a convertible car seat to save your money you will be investing in another car seat. Generally, you have invested in two car seats in the midst of two years. Newborn babies can sit into two types of car seats: a rear-facing infant seat or a convertible seat.
Between these two, the convertible car seat saves your money as the car seat will last up to the toddlerhood of your child. So, if you want to save money by not purchasing another car seat, convertible car seat would be the right choice.
4. Buy the safest one
You must buy the car seat which is safest as compared to others. Normally, all car seats available in the market are safe and they have been tested and approved for the safety standards. But, you can know the safety standards of a particular car seat by checking out for the JPMA stamp.
The JPMA stamp on the box suggests that the car seat has been tested and approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
Keeping hygiene and cleaning the car seat properly is very important. Cleaning the car seat becomes a bit difficult when it is made with textured fabric such as corduroy. While it becomes very easy to clean the car seat made with a smooth fabric. Hence, to have easy cleaning, make sure you buy a car seat made with smooth fabric.
It doesn’t matter whether you are buying a low priced baby car seat or a high-end baby car seat, you would always be interested in knowing the features of your selected car seat.
Always look for a car seat model which has a 5-point harness: two-shoulder straps, two waist straps, and one strap between the legs. More protection features must have in a car seat are side-impact protection and compatibility with the LATCH system.
You will get more additional features if you will buy a premium baby car seat. Some of the additional features are the anti-rebound bar at the foot, cushier fabric, and a larger canopy.
Tips to Keep Your Child Safe
As a parent, the utmost important thing to you is your child’s safety only. Here are some tips that can help you to keep your child safe while sitting on the car seat:
1. Seat tight
After the sit gets installed, make sure it isn’t moving more than an inch side to side or front to back. If it is moving more than an inch, then you must check out the installation again.
2. Right seat
Selection of a right seat is a very crucial aspect and you can do it by checking the baby car seat’s height, weight, and limits. Age of your child is the main aspect of selecting the right seat.
3. Harness height
Next thing you have to keep in mind is about harness straps. The harness straps of the car seat will be at your baby’s shoulder in rear-facing installation, and it will be at above the shoulder in forward-facing installation.
4. Harness tight
The last tip is to harness tight for your child’s security. The tight and proper harness will make sure that your child will be secured and will not fall from the seat.
You will need a baby car seat from the moment you take your baby from the hospital to your home. There are five main models of baby car seats available in the market. Each model will have different features and they are made for the child of different age groups.
The proper selection and installation of a baby car seat is a must. You also need to consider some important factors before buying the car seat for your baby. So, in this guide, we have seen different factors to consider before buying a baby car seat.