What is the best infant car seat?
A car seat is something that you should consider buying some time before your child is born. Your baby will be using this car seat from the moment you take him or her back home from the hospital until they are old enough to use the car seat belt. Most parents understand how important a car seat is, but would still be subjecting their child to danger. In this article we specifically talk about how to buy the best infant car seat. This car seat is designed to fit the youngest children.
The term baby is usually used to refer any child from birth until they are 4 years old but different words are used to refer to children at different stages and this will help you with choosing the right product. Newborns are children younger than 1 or 2 months of old while infants are children between 2 months and 1 or 2 years old of age. Understanding the different terminologies will affect the choice of all your baby equipment and accessories.
How to choose the best infant car seat?
Basically speaking, there are three different types of car seats out there. Buying the best infant car seat helps you travel safely and comfortably with your baby. There are a few factors that can help you with choosing the right infant car seat.
Picking the right model
Children’s car seats come in 3 different types; infant car seats, convertible car seats and booster car seats. Booster car seats are usually designed to fit bigger toddlers who have exceeded the height and weight limit of convertible car seats. These are not suitable for infants at all. When you are shopping for the best infant car seat, you should consider one of the two first models.
Paying attention to the weight limit
Car seats that are specifically designed for infants can fit a new born until he or she reaches the maximum weight of 35 or 40 pounds. The weight and height limit is usually specified by the seat manufacturer. An infant car seat faces the rear of the car and can be easily taken in and out of the car. It can also easily fit into a stroller. This is one of the best options for travelling with an infant because you get to transport the baby if he or she is sleeping without any disturbance.
On the other hand, some parents would prefer to buy a convertible or 3-in-1 car seat. This is a great money savior because it can be used ever since the child is born until they weigh 60 or even 80 pounds. Convertible car seats are larger and heavier than infant car seats and your child will fit in them until he or she is about 50 inches tall. They are first installed rear-facing then turn to face the front. Safety standards usually recommend that children should be riding rear-facing until they are 1 or 2 years of age. This means that you will not have to buy another car seat once your child outgrows the infant car seat.
The 3-in-1 models can be later turned into booster car seats and can support children until they weigh around 100 pounds. But one should be careful when they are considering those models. It is true that a 3-in-1 model will save you a lot of money but it might not be providing the best in terms of safety and protection especially for infants since the seat itself is rather big. It might not provide a snug fit.
Paying attention to the height limit
Children are safe to ride in an infant car seat until they exceed the recommended weight and height limits specified by the manufacturer. Most of the time children would be exceeding the height limit before they exceed the weight limit. It is very important to take note of your baby’s growth rate to make sure that your child is well protected in the car seat and that in case of collision; he or she would be safe from all harm.
Once your child’s head is about one inch or less close to the top of the carrier then it is time to change the seat. Keep this piece of information at the back of your head when you are shopping for an infant seat at the first time. Buy a reliable product that would suit your child until they are at least 2 years old so that you don’t have to replace it before its time.
How easy it is to use?
Parents would feel that their child is perfectly safe in the car seat as long as they have installed it. The question is: was it installed the right way? When you are shopping for the best infant car seat, you don’t want a product that will take forever to install or that comes with shady instructions. In fact, you can judge a good product by how easy it is to use and install by the average person.
Care seats are designed to be used on a daily basis, maybe more than once a day. If you are not comfortable using your infant’s car seat or if it takes forever to buckle and unbuckle the straps and the belts, then you might be better off buying another product.
Is your car seat new?
As long as you are considering buying an infant car seat through a reliable store or online retailer, you are sure going to find that all products are complying with the current safety standards as long as they have the JPMA stamp. But technology keeps on evolving every day and the car seat that your best friend has used 5 or 10 years ago might not be complying with the so frequently changing safety technology.
Also you need to understand that car seats come with an expiry date. This only makes sense because they have a production date as well. You don’t want to buy an old product even for a discount price because this might not be safe to use until your child no longer needs a car seat.
The safety regulations
Safety regulations differ from one country to another and might even differ from one state to another. In the USA, for example, some states would state that it is mandatory for the child to be riding rear facing until they are 2 years old, while others state that this is obligatory only until the baby is 1 year old. When you are shopping for an infant car seat you need to make sure that it complies with the safety of regulations of the place where you live to avoid legal problems and for your child’s well-being.
The best infant car seats would be the ones that feature a 5 point harness that is meant to protect your child’s body and head. Having side impact protection pads would definitely be a plus. If you are shopping for a premium quality infant car seat that would typically cost more, you can also have extra safety features like a foot anti-rebound bar to limit movement in case of a crash.
The best infant car seats on the market
Not all car seats are designed for infants. Bearing this in mind and taking all the previous factors into consideration, we were able to prepare a short list of some of the best products. In this section, we have tested and reviewed some of the best infant car seats on the market. You need to make sure that you are buying the best and most suitable product for your child’s safety. This is why you have to read the products’ descriptions thoroughly before you make a purchase to make sure that you are picking up the best infant car seat:
This is a versatile car seat that is built to grow. It is the perfect infant car seat that will suit your child until they are old enough for a belt positioning booster. Start off by installing this infant car seat rear-facing starting from the weight of 5 pounds until your baby weighs 40 pounds. It is what you need to keep your infant safe.
- A 3 in 1 convertible car seat that will fit newborns and infants rear-facing between the weight of 4 and 50 pounds.
- It can be installed forward facing until your baby weighs 65 pounds keeping them protected and comfortable. As your child grows to use the car seat belt, you would still be making the best of this car seat. It can be easily converted to a belt-positioning booster that will cater for your child’s needs until he or she weighs 100 pounds.
- Comes with additional side protection pads to protect your child’s head in addition to side pillows that will give your child a snug fit ever since you bring home from the hospital. These pillows can be easily removed as your child grows.
- The harness holders will make it easy to get your child in and out of the car seat in rear-facing and forward-facing position. The holders keep the harness in an open position. The harness and the headrest can be easily adjusted in one simple step to provide your child with maximum protection and comfort.
- It features easy to use snaps that you can use to remove the seat pad quickly and comfortably without having to remove the harness. You can safely clean it because it machine wash and dryer safe. Mess happens but you can always keep your infant’s car seat clean and safe.
- It is designed to give 7 extra inches to whoever is sitting in the front seat for fun time for the whole family.
- A versatile car seat that can be used with your newborn as you bring him home from the hospital until they are rushing for their soccer practice.
- Comes with additional side protection and comfortable pillows to give your infant a snug fit.
- An open harness position so that you can easily get your infant in and out of the car seat.
- Easy to adjust headrest and harness.
- The seat pad is easy to remove and clean.
- Designed to give passengers seat extra leg room in the front.
- The back doesn’t detach. This means that it will be a backed booster.
- Rear-facing installation might be a little bit difficult.
- To install the car seat at the right angle, it might be a little bit problematic if you have a compact car.
Beauty lies in simplicity and this car seat is exactly what you need for your newborn. It is an affordable high-quality infant car seat that you can safely use from the first time your child gets in the car with you until he or she weigh 35 pounds.
- A great newborn and infant car seat that will keep your child safe and won’t break the bank. It is extra light for easy transport from and to the stroller. It is also super easy to carry around but at the same time, it will protect your child safely when you decide to hit the road with your new travel partner.
- This infant car seat is installed rear-facing to protect your child from impact upon collision. It will perfectly fit in your car and cater for your child’s needs until he or she is 32 inches long.
- This infant car seat is super easy to use and install. The click-connect system provides a one-step attachment system to easily attach to all strollers offered by the same manufacturer or you can use it to create your own travel system by securing it to the car seat base. The base comes with a hassle free latch-equipped system and stays perfectly secured in your car while you can carry the car seat wherever you need.
- The car seat is made from energy absorbing foam for the perfect energy impact management making sure that your baby will stay protected in case of collision.
- The infant car seat comes with a removable head cushioning that will keep your baby’s head supported and comfortable during commutes. It also comes with removable boot for your baby’s comfort. As your baby grows and you feel that they could use more room, you can always remove them.
- The 5-point front adjust harness will not only keep your baby safe, but also makes getting your baby into and out of the car seat so easy. The rotating canopy feature offers your baby the best shade from the sun when you are travelling. This is the best infant car seat to put your mind at ease.
- A lightweight easy to use infant car seat.
- An affordable option that you can attach to a stroller by the same manufacturer or to the stay in place seat base.
- Has been designed and tested to protect your child in case of an impact.
- Comes with removable headrest and boot for your baby’s comfort.
- A front-adjust harness that allows you to get your child in and out of the car seat comfortably.
- The canopy is stuck by Velcro to the back and this makes it a bit impractical to provide the needed shade when you are on the go.
- The fabric is a bit too hot.
This is a high-quality product that will work as a complete travel system to protect your child while travelling. It is a versatile and affordable product that will keep your baby protected while travelling.
- A high-quality infant car seat that will suit your baby between the weights of 5 to 30 pounds as long he or she is still under the height of 30 inches. The stroller can fit your baby until he or she weighs 50 pounds.
- It features a soft headrest for the car seat and the stroller.
- This is the perfect travel system for new parents. The car seat is the perfect solution to travel with your baby in the car while the stroller is the best option for maneuverability on the road.
- It is easy to use with a one hand fold. It also comes with a large storage basket that will fit all your baby’s needs.
- The stroller lays flat and will fit perfectly in your car trunk. It will click connect with the seat for your baby’s comfort all day long.
- It is a multi-position reclining seat with a height adjustable handle.
- It comes with a peek a boo window in the canopy and a covered parent tray with 2 cup holders.
- The 5-point safety harness will keep your baby protected.
- A complete travel system with a car seat and a stroller so that you can comfortably travel with your baby.
- Great value for money.
- Car seat and stroller are perfectly compatible with a comfortable headrest.
- A multi-position reclining seat to keep your baby comfortable.
- A 5-point harness to keep your baby safe.
- The instructions to use the car seat are a bit difficult.
- Fitting the car seat into the stroller takes a while.
There are some accessories that you can use to make your travelling experience more convenient. If you feel that your baby’s car seat is a bit on the uncomfortable side, you can easily pick up a car seat support to provide your baby with more comfort.
This is the best product to keep your child comfortable and supported while travelling in the car seat or stroller.
- An adjustable length to accommodate your child through different stages providing a custom fit as your child grows.
- The ideal support for your infant’s head and back.
- Unique contours to work with different harness systems in car seats, strollers and swings.
- A cozy soft material.
- A reversible car support with two different style options; a warm face to keep your child warm in cold months and a cool face to comfort your child in summer.
- It is also crash tested and will not move in case of collision.
- A comfortable car support from soft and cozy material.
- Reversible material with warm fabric and cool material on the other side.
- Ideal support for your infant as he or she grows.
- Fits to car seats, strollers and swings.
- The head piece is attached to the body using Velcro. It can cause a bit of discomfort if it moves as it might scratch your baby.
Quality and safety should be your main concerns when you are shopping for the best infant car seat. Some options might be more expensive than others but you need to understand that quality always comes with a price. There are a lot of options that you can choose from when it comes to picking up the best product. Always pick up a product that will comply with the safety regulations and would allow you to travel with your child peacefully. Invest in a high-quality product that would not break or malfunction and would still keep your baby supported. Also, be sure to check your state and federal laws on child safety seats.