Selecting your baby’s car seat can be a stressful experience. It’s not only one of the most significant purchases you’ll undertake, but it’s amongst the most costly. Below, we’ve highlighted a few general guidelines to help you narrow down your options and guarantee you get the appropriate one.
1. To be safe, invest in a new seat
All car seats on the market have been tested and authorized for current safety requirements.
Since safety technology is always improving, the most critical thing you can do is purchase a new car seat rather than accepting a hand-me-down.
2. Consider using a car seat stroller
While a convertible baby car seat will save you money in the long term, most parents think that the flexibility to transfer a sleeping baby in a baby car seat is invaluable, even if the child only fits in the car seat for a year. If you’d like to buy a baby car seat but also save money, look for a transit system, which is a subsidized baby stroller and seat sold together. These are more likely to be found within the stroller aisle than the car-seat section.
If you’re shopping for a new stroller, you can be confronted with a plethora of possibilities to suit a variety of tastes, budgets, and lifestyles. Car seat companies like Diono are helping parents keep babies safe by producing products for every parent or caregiver which is why they built a line of strollers that are tailored to the demands of modern parenting.
3. Examine your vehicle before you go shopping
Before purchasing a car seat, consult the manufacturer’s handbook for your vehicle. To secure your car seat, the LATCH connector or a seat belt can be utilized. You may pick which one to use before buying and then go for seats focused on however you wish to connect it. If you want to use LATCH, be sure you are aware of where the attachments are located in your car. There might not be some in the rear-seating middle position.
To determine how much space your rear seat has for a baby car seat, measure it. A toddler’s car seat composed of a wide base might not work in a compact car; instead, choose a smaller base. Consider who will be seated in the rear seat as well as your family size. Take measurements for the back seats before you go shopping, and carry the tape measure to the outlet to get the seat bases measured.
4. Choose a car seat that can be adjusted based on your child’s growth
Car seats are classified into three types: booster seats, forward-facing seats, and rear-facing seats. Rear-facing baby car seats or convertible seats are the two types of automobile seats that may be used for newborns. Purchasing a convertible baby car seat helps save money, since it is entirely safe and can last throughout the child’s time as a toddler.
All newborns must remain rear-facing until they’re 15 months old; their necks are not robust enough to resist the impact of a head-on collision in the front-facing posture until this age. This expands on earlier guidelines, which stipulated that babies should be rear-facing till they reached 9 kg (approximately 9 months).
We suggest Diono’s rear-facing accessories, which are designed to increase safety and comfort on rear-facing trips. From their rear-facing baby mirrors, which offer a better view of the baby in the back seat, to the rotating angle adjuster, which allows for extra front-passenger legroom.
5. Concentrate on the most critical aspects
On the cheaper side of the pricing range ($80 to $200), go for a version with a five-point baby carrier (two shoulder straps, two waist straps, and one strap between legs that connects in the center), extra foam, or air pads at the side of your baby’s head for side-impact protection, and compatible with the LATCH mechanism (a method of fastening the base firmly without utilizing seatbelts), which makes it safer traveling with your baby.
If you can afford a premium car seat that costs more than $200, you can anticipate additional features such as an anti-rebound device at the seat’s foot that restricts movement after a collision. More costly elements include cushier fabric, embellishments such as a small “boot” encircling the baby’s feet, in addition to a larger canopy.
Check to verify if the straps you’re considering buying are easy to modify as your child develops. Straps that do not require rethreading are great. Many manufacturers now include adjustment handles on the back part of the seat or a pull cord between the baby’s legs, making rethreading obsolete.
6. Choose one that includes installation instructions
To have the best chance of installing the seat correctly, utilize all of the installation directives as well as those stated in the user guide, which should always be retained with the seat and the drawings on the car seat itself.
To assure proper installation, have it performed by a CPS (Child Passenger Safety) technician near you or in your region. CPS technicians can often be found in hospitals, fire stations, your local AAA, and even police stations.
7. Choose something that is simple to clean
Seats built of a smooth material will wipe clean more easily than those developed from textured fabric, such as corduroy. This tip is more about cleanliness than safety, although being easy to clean is still a plus.
Buying Your Baby’s Car Seat
When you’re ready to leave the hospital after giving birth, most hospitals will need you to take an efficient baby car seat with you. This will be your baby’s first significant adventure.
Making sure your car seat is securely placed in your vehicle is critical, and all too frequently more difficult than many new parents know. In fact, according to a 2016 survey, up to 95% of new parents make at least one error while installing car seats.
We propose that you consider how you will use your seat when deciding how much to spend on it. The more time your baby will spend in the seat, the more money you should invest to ensure a comfortable ride for everyone in your car.