By Maria Sbytova/shutterstock

Useful Tips For Baby Car Seats Shopping

by | March 4, 2019

Baby car seats are an absolute necessity. You’re unable to leave the hospital with your newborn without a car seat. There are so many car seats that it can be stressful to choose the one that is right for you. From infant car seats to a convertibles, we’re breaking it down for you. Car seats can be pretty expensive, so you have to do a little research to ensure you spend wisely.

Useful Tips For Baby Car Seats Shopping
By Dmitry Kalinovsky/shutterstock

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Useful Tips For Baby Car Seats Shopping

Here some few tips to make the search a bit easier, and to ensure you the right one home.

Check if your can has a LATCH system.

Read your vehicle’s owners manual before you spend money on a car seat. They can be attached using either the LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system) or the seat belt. Decide before you buy which type you want to use and look for a seat based on how you want to install it.

The safest spot for a child is in the rear seat in the middle. Make sure your vehicle has the LATCH attachments there before you buy. It is a good idea to get in and measure your back seat, so you have an idea how much room that you have to work with. A car seat with a broad base may not fit in a smaller vehicle. You may have several car seats and have to choose one with a narrow base to ensure it fits.

Pick a convertible car seat that will grow with your child.

Convertible car seats are a great investment. As I said above, car seats are expensive, so choosing a convertible style that grows with your child saves a lot of money. Newborns can use two types of car seats; rear-facing infant car seat, or a convertible car seat (which is rear-facing at first, and later is turned forward facing). Convertible car seats can’t be taken in and out of the car as an infant seat can.

Consider a travel system.

While a convertible car seat will save you money in the long run, some parents prefer to be able to move a sleeping baby in and out of the car without the risk of waking them. A travel system works great in this case. A baby will generally fit in an infant car seat for around a year, depending on weight and height.

Do NOT buy a used or second-hand car seat or accept a hand me down.

Car seat safety standards are continuously updating, and you want to have your child in the safest seat available. (check for the JPMA stamp on the box that shows that it’s been approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association) You may not know if a used car seat has been in an accident.

Choose something easy to clean.

Babies do all kinds of nasty messes in car seats, from explosive diapers to projectile vomiting session. For your own sanity, choose something that is easy to clean. Car seats made with a smooth fabric will wipe clean more easily than a textured fabric. Look for a seat where the cover comes off easily without needing a degree in engineering to get it off.

Look for adjustable straps

Look for straps that can be adjusted easily as your baby grows. Newer car seats have adjustment handles in the back of the seat and a pull cord in the front between the baby’s legs.

Installing baby car seats

When it comes time to install your car seat, it’s recommended to have a child passenger Safety officer do it for you. CPS technicians can usually be found at police stations, fire stations, hospitals, and more.

Got more tips on baby car seats shopping? Let me know in the comments below.


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Julie Nealon

Associate Editor, New York USA | Contactable via Julie@raisevegan.com

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