Car Seat buying guide

Apart from buying various things for daily needs of our children, a comfortable and safe car seat is something that we all look for. Where safety of your child and the present state laws make it mandatory to own one, the decision of buying the best car seats requires a lot of brain exercise.

While the variety of seat belts might confuse you in your decision making, have a look at the different types of car seat plus tips for buying the best car seat for your child.

  • Rear Facing Car Seats

This type of seat moves with the child and reduces harm or stress to spine and neck of babies, especially infants. These seats come in non-convertible and convertible models and are smaller in size and lighter in weight, thereby, making these easy to carry and handle. These are suitable for babies who weigh up to 20 pounds and are up to 30 inches tall. They do not cause any disturbance while transferring baby from the stroller to the car or vice-versa. The only drawback is the cost thereof as this investment becomes useless as soon as the size of the baby grows.

  • Convertible Seats

These are convenient in case you don’t want to invest in another car seat when your infant turns to a toddler. The reason being that that rear facing seats can be converted into forward facing seats for your toddler weighing up to 75 pounds and up to 50 inches tall. The only disadvantage of convertible seats is their heavy weight and bigger size because whenever you need to shift your child out of the car, you will have to remove the buckles before taking him/ her to a stroller.

  • Forward Facing Car Seats

This kind of car seat limits the child’s movements in the event of an accident like car crash. But stop the hurry of going for a new forward facing car seat until your child touches the milestone of 2 years as babies under this age are not strong enough to withstand major accidents and rear facing car seats are, thus, the best option for them to avoid any injuries to head, neck or spine. Only when your baby’s weight and height make him/her uncomfortable in rear facing seats, should you go for changing to forward facing car seats.

  • Booster Seats

These seats aim to properly position the car belt so that stronger parts of the child’s body get properly fitted therein. The basic function of booster seat is to raise the child level up in the car so that the car seat belt can properly fit him/her. Unlike backless booster seats which are easy to carry and install, it is advised to buy high back booster seats as they provide side impact protection to the child.

Things to consider while buying a car seat:-

  • Cost

If you want to avoid investing in a new car or new seat in the near future, then, convertible car seats are best as they can be used with the growing age and size of your baby.

  • Straps

The straps should be easy to buckle and unbuckle as none of us wants to disturb our sleeping baby or waste our time in handling those clumsy designed straps.

  • A proper head support

This is must for infants as they do not know about balancing their head with necks. Thus, it is better to buy a seat with insert option where baby’s head can be safe in case of a mishap.

  • Side Impact Protection

Children of all ages need side impact protection with proper barriers or deep side walls so as to protect their spine and neck from injuries.

  • Softness

The material used in car seat must be soft enough to provide comfort to your baby. For infants, it will be good for their body and for younger children; comfort during long drives would be possible.

  • Expert check

Get your installed car seat checked by car seat safety expert from your local police or fire department to ensure that everything installed is safe and ready to use.