Car rides with babies can be hectic from their very first ride from the hospital towards their last ride to kindergarten. It is necessary that you have a good car seat for your baby to prevent all the crankiness. While maternity shopping, car seat is one of those important things that you should purchase for your little one. But good car seats can be as hard to find as other infant supplies. It needs to be researched so that you get quality for the money you’re spending.
This article is dedicated to the new parents who are finding it hard to choose the proper car seat for their baby. Below are some of the instructions that if you follow, you’ll surely get hands on a good car seat.
Tip: While making a purchase, search for the label ‘Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213’ on the car seat, as they are a safe option for the new guy or girl.
Types of car seats for babies:
Before anything else, you should know how many types of car seats are available in the market and for what purpose. The below car seats are divided on the basis of the baby’s age and usage of the car seat.
- Infant Car Seat:
An infant car seat is designed specifically for new born babies. These can usually hold up to 30 pounds. These seats offer rear-facing comfort and security for the new-born. These seats serve multipurpose as carriers, chairs or rockers (when not installed in car). Plus, they can be fitted in strollers.
- Convertible Car Seats:
These car seats are called convertible because they can be converted from an infant seat to a toddler seat. They are installed rear-facing for infants, and then converted to forward facing for toddlers. Convertible seats are heavy and not portable, but they are a long-term investment, if you’re considering family planning.
- 3 in 1 Car Seats:
These car seats are for a longer time span. They are installed as infant seats, then are transitioned to a toddler seat and because of their size and build, they can be used for children up to 4 years of age. The 3 in 1 car seats are usually not portable because of their heavy weight and size.
- Booster Seats:
Booster seats are for 4-year olds. These are installed front facing and have seatbelts for training children to wear them. The booster seat requires a minimum weight of 40 pounds, but mostly toddlers are not of this much weight.
Note: According to research, it is important to put kids of height 4’9 in booster seat as it reduces risk of serious injuries by 45 percent.
Guide to purchase a car seat:
You might be thinking that the above information is enough to purchase a car seat according to your baby’s age. Well, that’s not pretty much the thing. There are some other factors that need consideration, so that you get hands on best quality, low budget and long-lasting car seat.
While purchasing a car seat, you should first analyse the time period for its usage. If you’re looking for a car that is best for long term usage, then you should go for 3 in 1 car seat, as it will be useful for your baby from their first day in this world to the last day of kindergarten. The smart part about this seat is that it is rear-facing for infants and front-facing for toddlers.
Another thing you have to be sure about is measurements. Before going to the store, take measurements of the car seat with you, so that you can get the right size of car seats according to the space available in your backseat. This will be saved you from double trips to the store and strict return-exchange policies.
Safety is the most important factor you have to look for in a car seat. There are some tests that approve car seats according to different regulations. The two best tests are mentioned below:
- ECE R44:
A car seat approved by ECE R44 is safe to use as it is tested both rear-facing and front-facing.
- UNR 129:
A car seat approved by UNR 129 is tested rear-facing, front-facing and with side impacts as well. The UNR 129 car seats have passed the latest requirements so it is a better option than ECE R44.
While purchasing car seat, be sure that the car seat is spacious enough to give your baby a lot of legroom. This is important because growing babies need space to freely position their legs. The consequences of suffocated legroom is that the car seat is transitioned to front-facing at an earlier stage.
Tip: Children aged 3-4 should ride in car seats rear-facing according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Most convertible car seats are comfortable for infants but uncomfortable for toddlers. The reason is un-adjustable height and small legroom. While choosing the convertible car seat, make sure that it has features of adjustable height, spacious legroom, adjustable reclining position and adaptive side impact protections.
The side impact protection is extremely necessary because in case of crash, it prevents the force away from the baby’s body and prevents serious head trauma as well. UNR 129 approved car seats are tested for side impacts.
Car seat Installation:
This factor is of great importance after you choose the right car seat. It is necessary to install it the right way and for that you can contact the Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians and instructors. If your car seat is not installed properly, it can crash against the back of your seat and get your baby injured.
Make sure to invest in a good car seat for your baby as it is necessary for the safety of your baby against accidents, bumpy roads and car crashes. In our opinion, a 3 in 1 car seat is the most reliable and durable option.