An infant car seat ensures comfort as well as optimum safety for your infant. A good car seat is one of the important things which you should buy from the moment you take your baby from hospital to home.
Selecting the right car seat is one of the most important baby factors while buying a car seat. You need to consider certain factors like baby’s age, weight and height. The seats come with different features and designs.
You will find a wide variety of car seats like buckets and benches, keep in mind that all seats are not suitable for all types of cars. Here I am going to mention how to select the right infant car seat
With the growth of your kid, you need to change the car seat. Different types of car seats are available in the market pick as per your requirement. To know more you need to check which seat works best, see the child’s safety and vehicle road test report.
This car seat is for the new parents it can be installed only rear-facing. The seat has a removable carrier that connects to a base installed in your car. It can be used for newborn babies from 4 to 40 lbs but not suitable for the kids whose height is too long. The price of this car seat ranges $ 80 to $ 500.
This is a perfect gift for your child’s first birthday! The convertible car seats can be installed rear-or forwarding face. Its harness system is similar to an infant car seat and has a higher rear-facing weight limit.
It is one of the safest options as per the CR and American Academy of Pediatrics for a child less than 20lbs. depending on the model you can use this for rear-facing up to 40 to 50 lbs. some models can handle babies of 65 lbs. But it is not perfect for the newborns or smaller infants. The price of convertible car seats ranges $40 to $450.
A booster seat is meant for the kid grows in weight, height to sit on the forward-facing seat. It’s the time to use a booster that uses a car’s seat belt. Booster raises your child up due to which your child seat belt fits in the correct position.
These car seats come in two main styles high-back and backless. The backless versions are portable and easy to install. High back models are recommended as they provide a better position to the shoulder belt. Using it your kid can lay down their head against.
In many states, booster law is applicable, in which a 9 year and 80 lbs child can use a booster. The price of a booster seat ranges from $11 to $320.
Take this car seat which you can use from birth to booster seat. It is a great money saver that can be used as per the weight of the child mentioned below.
- 4 to 50 lbs can sit rear-facing,
- 20 to 65 lbs can forward-facing in a harness.
- 30 to 120 lbs can be used in booster mode.
All-in-one car seats are often large might not fit for small babies and small cars as well. If can be a good car backup seat for the person who transports child not very often. The price for the All-in-one car seat ranges from $100 to $300.
This car seat is perfect for the kids who have appropriate weight, age, height to sit forward. It is designed forward-facing only; it has a harness to be used up to up to a certain height and weight.
It is perfect for the children weighing between 20 and 90 lbs, harnessed. And it can be used 30 to 120 lbs in the booster mode. Boosters are a great substitute for convertible seats. The price of this seat ranges from $55 to $295.
Why do you need to use an infant car seat?
- Quick and easy way to travel
A car seat for an infant makes things easier; it helps to promote a quick way to travel. It is just like a stroller during its parents drive the car. So it is great to use the car seat for your little one.
- Safety of little one
Using a car seat means your kid is safe it protects the movements of your baby. It prevents injuries, bad events while driving. You can buy a car seat which is adjustable as per the size of your baby.
- Reduces neck injury
Using a car seat reduces the risk of neck injury as well as lifelong disability. As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and American Academy of Pediatrics a parent must take rear-facing car seats for their little ones. A forward-facing car seat works when your child reaches 2 years or reaches the highest weight allowed by manufacturers.
- Helpful for parents
As a parent you can also get the benefit of the car seat, you can leave your child in the car and buy groceries. You can do your work without any tension like your child may slip or fall from your hands.
Tips to buy a car seat
Selecting the right car seat is a tricky task you need to do a little homework for that. Here are some tips that help to select the right car seat for your little one.
- Your car has the LATCH system
Before starting the shopping for a car seat check out the scope of your car. You can attach a car seat either by a seat belt or the LATCH system. Check which one you are going to use and then start how to install the same. In case you are selecting the LATCH system make sure that your vehicle has LATCH attachments.
- Measure the back seat of your car
To know how much space there is for a car seat. If your car is small don’t go for a car seat with a large base go for the narrow base car seat. Keep in mind who will be sitting on the back seat. Measure the back seat of your car and take a measuring tape to measure the car seat you buy.
- Go for convertible car seat
Infants can sit in two kinds of car seats a rear-facing or convertible seat. In starting you can use it rear-facing and later turn in towards the front. Buying a convertible seat saves your money; it lasts through toddlerhood which is completely safe for your kid.
- Select the seat which can be cleaned easily
Car seats are made with smooth fabric which can be cleaned easily. Go for the car seat which is safe as well as easy to clean.
- Easy installation car seat
Make sure that you will understand all the instructions to install the car seat. The diagram of the seat is the best possible chance to install the car seat correctly. The manual of the product helps you to install the car seat but you must take the help of a professional after installing the car seat.
- Your budget
The price of a car seat ranges from $100 to $500 so make your budget. Doing a little research you can save money like buying a convertible seat saves your money.
Mistakes to avoid while using an infant car seat
- Placing your car in the wrong spot
The back seat of your car is the safest place for your child as it is away from the active airbags. Placing the car seat might hit your kid in case the airbag inflates that increases the chances of fatal injury. You need to disable the front airbags or install a power switch to prevent airbag during a crash. Installing the car seat in the middle of the back seat avoids the risk of injury during a crash.
- Incorrect use of the booster seat
A booster seat is used with lap and shoulder belt- avoids the lap-only belt. Keep in mind belt must lie across your child’s hips and pelvis. The shoulder belt must be the middle of your child’s chest and shoulder.
- Bulky outerwear and blankets
Bulky outerwear prevents harness straps from snugly securing your child. Place the coat or baby blanket after buckling harness. This helps your little one to stay secure as well as safe.
- Reclining the car seat without following the manufacturer’s instructions
Reclining your child to an incorrect angle results in a child’s head doesn’t flop forward. An infant must ride semi-reclined to keep their airways open. Many seats come with angle indicators that guide you. You need to adjust the angle as your child grows.
- Incorrect installation of the car seat or buckling your child
Before you install a car seat read the manual as well as the car’s manual regarding the car seat. Make sure the car seat will be tightly secured which means allowing not more than 1 inch of the movement from side to side or front to back.
Use harness slots as given in the car seat’s instructions manual. Place the harness straps over your child’s shoulder.
- Using a safety belt too soon
The safety belt should be used sometime between 8 and 12 years. Here are some basic rules to know is your child ready for the safety belt.
- Using a car seat which is not compatible with your car
The cars manufactured after the year 2002 is required by law are designed to install a car seat. Check if your car is older than this period you need to buy a car seat that can be installed using a car seatbelt.
- The height of your child is 4 feet 9 inches.
Your child can sit against the back of the seat with its knees bent comfortably at the edge of the seat. Make sure this position will be the same during the entire trip.
- Extra Covers and cushions for car seat
Use the covers and cushions which are approved by car seat manufacturers. These items are crash-tested. Never place any additional padding between the seat and your little one or harness straps and your kid
Tips to avoid the common mistake in selecting a car seat
- See what your child needs
First of all check your child properly fits in the car seat it means to select the car seat as per the age of your little one. Follow the national safety road laws and manufacturer’s instructions while using the same.
|Age||Type of car seat|
|Under six months||Rear-facing car seat|
|Six months to four years||Rear-facing or forward car seat|
|Four years to seven years||Forward-facing or booster seat|
- Practice use harness and straps
Providing safe and secure support it is vital to learn how to adjust the harness and straps correctly. You have to deal with this daily basis, make sure this system should be easy to use. Some car seats are featured with automatic shoulder height repositioning.
- .Select the car seat with safety tested
Infants, children and babies are extremely vulnerable in the absence of safety features a car seat is useless.
Make sure your infant is safe on an infant car seat?
As per the studies conducted by NHTSA the car seat misuse rate vary from 74% to 90%. This is due to wrong installation here are some points you keep in mind while installing.
- Correct height and weight
Check the height of seat and weight limits. Age is an important factor as it affects your kid’s skeletal development.
- Seat must be tight
The seat must not move more than 1 front to back or from side to side.
- Harness straps
Harness straps must be your baby’s shoulders in the rear-facing installation. In the forward-facing harness straps must be at or above the tot’s shoulders. The chest clip of the car seat must always be at armpit level.
- Recline angle
Check the recline angle for rear-facing to avoid allowing the kid’s head to fall forward as well as obstruct breathing.