A car seat is important to keep your little one safe during car rides, so make sure you invest in one that will stand up to the rigors of the road. Typically, you can choose from either infant or convertible car seats. Read on to learn more!
Car Seats 101
Infantcar seats typically carry kids up to 40 pounds and are rear-facing only. Convertible car seats, on the other hand, can be used in either the front-facing orrear-facing positions. They can carry babies from birth to anywhere between 40 and 80 pounds, depending on the model.
There is also another type of convertible car seat, that has three possible conversion options. One, as a rear-facing seat. Two, as a front-facing seat. And three, as a booster seat for kiddos up to 120 pounds.
Convertible car seats are a great investment because they “grow” with your child. It should be mentioned, however, that some experts believe that newborns and infants are safer in the traditional infant car seat. That being said, if you do decide to go for a convertible infant car seat, make sure that it has plenty of padding to ensure acomfortable and safe fit for your little one.
Another thing to note is that convertible car seats tend to be heavier than infant car seats, and they can’t be as easily taken into and out of the car.
Choosing a Car Seat
There are a couple of things that you should definitely make sure your new car seat has to ensure your child’s safety.
You’ll want to make sure that your seat has a 5-point harness. That means that there are straps for each shoulder, for each hip, and one that goes between the child’s legs. These are crucial for safety, and all new car seats have them. Keep that in mind in case you shop around for a used one.
An easy to use car seat will save you a lot of hassle and headache, so check the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s rating system. They assign a maximum of 5 stars to a car seat. The more stars a particular seat has, the easier it is to use. Ratings take into account the content and clarity of the user manual, the ease with which the seat can be installed, and how easy it is to secure your baby in the car seat.
Speaking of easy, you’ll want to look for a car seat that has easy-to-adjust harnesses. Better car seats allow you to change the height of the harness very simply, in the front of the seat. That will allow the car seat to be super safe, as it’s customized to your kiddo. If you’re looking for a car seat that can be easily adjusted and modified to better suit your child, then looking around at a company such as Nuna, Premium Car Seats, Pushchairs, and Baby Gear AU, as well as similar baby gear providers can offer you a large range of premium baby products.
Also keep in mind another important safety feature. Some car seats will have side-impact protection, while others don’t have this extra safety feature. The special padding in these better seats will offer additional protection to your baby’s head and chest in the event of a car accident.
You should also know about the LATCH system that’s been around since 2002. All car seats and vehicles are now compatible with it, meaning that car seats can be attached directly into the cars frame rather than through the use of seat belts. Always check the manual of your particular car to make sure you’re attaching the car seat properly. Once your child reaches a particular weight, you’ll need to attach the seat using the seat belt of your car.
Finally, make sure that the car seat you select is comfortable and well-padded to give your child a safe ride. You’ll also want to make sure that the seat and fabric are easy to clean. Some car seats come with a detachable washable cover, which makes clean up a lot easier.
Some notes on used seats
Although you could technically save money by buying a used car seat, most experts advise against going this route. This is due to the fact that you never know the quality of these seats, or whether they may be missing parts. Likewise, the seat could already have been in an accident, which would compromise its safety for your child.
Likewise, older seats often fall short of the current safety standards. The older plastic gets, the more likely it is to become brittle, which means it might break in a crash, something you definitely don’t want to have happen.
A convertible car seat is a great investment in your child’s safety. It’s anabsolute necessity when taking your young kiddo along in the car, so make sure that you choose a seat that is durable, safe, and comfortable. With a convertible car seat, you’re sure to have many years of safe rides.