Post by Haley Roberts
As mothers, the safety of our child is our number one concern! Finding the perfect car seat is a must before your newborn makes their grand debut. One, hospitals will not let you leave without first presenting a car seat for your little angel to ride in. Secondly, you do not want to send out your husbands last minute to find one “that looks good.” Who knows what they might come back with! With so many options flooding the market, how do you know which brand or style to choose?! We can help.
KNOW THE LAW
First and foremost you should be familiar with the law in your area. Each state is different. In Virginia the summary of the law is that all children age 7 and under must be restrained in a child safety device and that rear facing car seats must be placed in the rear seats of the car. To Find out more CLICK HERE. I have also included some car safety basics for you to review. CLICK HERE.
WHAT TYPES OF CAR SEATS ARE OUT THERE?
*Special Thank you to Britax website for the car seat specifics. This is one of my FAVORITE car seat brands.
INFANT CARRIER: This type of carrier has a handle and can double as a infant carrier. It has an attachment base that stays in the car so you can cart baby to and fro with just the carrier. Most are intended for infants up to age 2 and can only be used for rear facing position. See the specifics instructions for age and weight requirements on your car seat. “BRITAX supports the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics that children ride rear-facing until the age of 2 or until they outgrow the rear-facing height and weight capacity of their car seat, but at a minimum, children must remain rear-facing until they are at least 20 pounds and one year old. That means that if your child reaches 20 pounds at 9 months, she still needs to remain rear-facing for at least one year.”
Positives: Easily portable and many come with complete travel systems where you never have to move the baby to be on the go! (Converts to carrier, car seat, or stroller). They provide the best fit for your infant because they are made specifically for infants.
Negatives: They can get heavy and cumbersome to cart around as the baby grows. The strollers are not always the best (wheel wise/glide wise-particularly if you run)
CONVERTIBLE CAR SEAT: These are an all-in-one car seat where you can use it as a rear-facing infant carrier and then convert to front facing as your child grows. For many you can use until them until they turn 8 and are no longer required to sit in a car seat. This is what is pictured above.
Positives: You only have to buy one car seat that grows old with them. That means less junk in the attic- yes please! I did not use mine for rear facing but I love it for front facing. The one I have is SUPER comfortable! My child loves it and it has been easy to use and convert. And it does not move once installed. It is super safe.
Negatives: It is cumbersome to move between cars. SUCH A pain. Typically they are large and heavy. Not a good choice for a small car needing to fit multiple car seats. Cannot use as a carrier.
FRONT FACING CAR SEATS:Can only be used as front facing car seats. Many parents like them because they grow old with a front facing child and keeps a child in a 5-point harness for longer. 5 point harnesses are recommended as the safest way to travel.
Positives: They can be smaller than the convertible so they fit better in small cars. They are safer than base boosters that do not have 5-point harnesses.
Negatives: They cannot be used for infants.
COMBINATION CAR SEATS: Are intended for toddlers and older children. They provide a 5-point harness for a younger child that can be removed as the child grows older and uses the actual seat belt while still sitting on a booster.
Positives: This car seat covers you for both toddlers and your 7 year old. Again less junk in the attic! Why buy multiple when you can get what you need in one?
Negatives: Cannot be used for infants
BELT-POSITIONING BOOSTER SEATS: This car seat is intended for older children and is meant to be used with the standard seat belt of a car.
Check out Consumer Reports for more information. Also be sure to read reviews, and reviews, and more reviews before you buy!
A few of my favorites are Britax, Chicco, and Clek. I LOVE them for their high safety ratings, rewards, and history. But on top of being safe they have attractive/stylish looks and my Britax is SO comfortable! I had to sit next to it in the back one time and even I fell asleep leaning on the side padding.