The best way to keep your child safe while traveling is by putting your child in a car seat. The baby car seat help reduces the risk of death by 28% and the risk of injury by 82%. With so many different brands of baby car seats available in the market choosing the right one for your child can be a daunting task. In this article, we have made your work easy and prepared a baby car seat buying guide.
How to choose the best and right car seat for your baby
As said earlier baby car seat is one of the essential items you must buy if put your baby safety first. Here are things you need to check when buying a baby car seat
- Types of the car seat
Before buying you must know there are three different types of the car seat
Infant rear-facing car seat
The seat is designed for newborns to two years who are weighing 4lbs to 40 pounds and have a height of 35 inches. According to AAP babies below two years should be kept rear-facing.
The infant car seat has a separate base that can easily detach and be used as a baby carrier.
Convertible car seat
As the name suggests the seat can be used as a rear-facing and converted to forward-facing.
The Rear-facing convertible car seat is used the same as the infant rear-facing car seat.
Once the baby outgrows rear-facing age, weight and height the seat is converted to forward-facing.
The forward-facing convertible car seat is suitable for babies above two years, a weight limit of 65 pounds, and a height of 34 inches.
Booster car seat
The booster can seat is used when the child outgrows the forward-facing car seat weight, height, and age up to when the car seat belt fits as it would to an adult. The seat is suitable for kids nine years, 80 pounds and 4-feet and 9inches in height.
Toddler booster car seat
The seat is used when the child is ready for a forward-facing car seat. There are suitable for toddlers from age two years until they use a booster can seat without a harness. Also, they fit the toddler weighing 20 – 90 pounds in harness mode and 30 – 120 pounds in booster mode.
All in one car seat
The all-in-one car seat is a multifunction car seat that can be used as a rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster seat.
The seat saves a lot of money but they have some disadvantages such as:
- Cannot be used as a carrier the same infant car seat does.
- The seat is bulk making it difficult to fit small cars.
- The seat is heavy
- The baby ages, weight and height
The baby car seat is designed to fit the baby according to age, weight, and height. There is a seat that is specifically for newborns to 2-years weighing 4-pounds to 35-40 pounds and a height up to 35 inches tall. This type of car seat is supposed to be rear-facing.
When the baby is above 2-years, 40 pounds, and 35 inches in height (he outgrows the rear-facing car seat) he moves to the next stage of the seat where he/she converts to the forward-facing car seat. The forward-facing car seat is suitable for babies age above 2- 9years, weighing from 20-40 lbs and 34 inches in height.
When he/she exceeds the forward-facing height and weight limit he converts to the booster car seat. Mostly this is babies above 9- 13 years.
Above 13 years the baby can easily use the car seat belt.
So make sure you purchase the right car seat according to your baby’s age, weight, and height. The most car seat has manual that indicates the right age, weight, and height.
If you choose the right car seat by age, weight, and height it will properly fit your child hassle-free.
- The car seat meets all safety standard requirement
The baby car seat must be tested by an independent body to meet all safety standard requirements. This is important because it ensures how safe your car seat is in case of an accident.
So when buying the car seat check whether the car seat has a label that indicates it meets or exceeds state or country safety standard requirements.
- Avoid buying a second-hand baby car seat
When buying baby car seats make sure you know the history of the seat (that is an expiry date, any breakage, or whether the seat was involved in an accident) when it comes to the second one it is hard to tell all those things. That’s why it is advisable to try and avoid buying a second-hand seat.
- Know the size of your car
Some of the car seats are large in size such that do not fit well in a small car. So make sure the seat you choose will fit well in your car.
- Expiration date
The life span of the car seat is six years so when buying a car seat make sure you check the manufacturer date. After the expiry date, the seat is not safe to use, maybe the plastic can become brittle. So never buy a car seat without a manufacturer date label.
Check whether the baby car seat is attached to a seat belt or LATCH system (lower anchor and tether for children system). If the baby seat is attached on LATCH make sure your car seat has anchors.
There are other added features to look for when buying the car seat but the above are a must check. Those added features are ease of use, ease to clean, side-impact protection, and harness. Please share with us what you check when buying a car seat in the comment section below.