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Picking a great baby car seat isn’t always that easy. There are a lot of brands and models out there, so be sure you find out what kind of car seat you need for your little one before rushing into buying one. Below is a comprehensive guide on things to look for when shopping for the best baby car seat money can buy.
Basically you’ve got a choice of two kinds of car seats for your baby: a convertible car seat or an infant car seat. A back-facing infant car seat (appropriate for infants up to 35 or 22 pounds and 29) fits infants during the initial year approximately.
Why bother with an infant seat?
The main reason is security. Although most babies will fit in a convertible car seat, experts agree that infants below 20 pounds are better off in the infant car seats that are smaller, as it will hold newborns and provide support that is great in all the correct spots.
Convenience is just another large factor. Infant car seats generally have a handle and are lighter and smaller than convertible car seats. They snap in a base you install in the car in order to transfer your infant from place to place without awakening him (for example, check out the Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30/35 LX Infant Car Seat Base, one of our all time best sellers)
On the other hand, the heavier and bigger convertible car seats should be set up in the vehicle. When you get to your destination you must unbuckle your infant and transfer him to alternative carrier or a stroller.
The disadvantage of infant car seats is mostly money related: You’re going to have to get a convertible version when your son or daughter outgrows it. Infants often surpass the height limit prior to the weight limitation, as some babies don’t fit anymore before their first birthday as smaller babies will fit the car seat a bit longer.
Things to look for when buying the best baby car seat around
- Ease of use: The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) evaluations take into consideration how simple it really is to put in the seat in your own car and fix your kid inside, together with the instruction manual’s content and clarity.
- A car seat base: Most infant car seats feature a plastic base you install in your vehicle. You snap the car seat to the foundation and buckle up your kid when you’re ready to really go. When you get to your destination, just unsnap the car seat from the base and take it along with you. Many people will purchase an additional base to keep in other vehicles.
- A five-point safety harness: The straps – one for each thigh, one for each shoulder, and one between your baby’s legs – tend to be more flexible (and therefore safer) than older layouts.
- Simple adjustments: You will need to correct the harness as your child matures, so prevent seats which make this complicated. Car seats that are better let you correct the straps and harness height readily from the front. A couple of models have one-hand belt adjustments with quick-release buckles.
- LATCH safety system: Since 2002, vehicles and all car seats must be compatible with the LATCH system, which allows one to attach the car seat directly to your vehicle rather than using the seat belt to fasten it. This could make installation simpler and safer. Basically, the lower anchors are used by most infant car seats, not the tethers.
- Ease of cleaning: Babies often make a big mess, so it’s quite surprising that a big variety of car seats come with covers you can not take off. A detachable, machine-washable cover makes clean-up much easier. Be sure to look for a car seat that has changeable covers or has separate covers available so you always can take your baby on the road in a clean car seat. The best baby car seat models offer this option.
- Comfort: A well-cushioned seat with lots of head support gives your baby a more enjoyable car ride.
- Side-impact protection: Some car seats have specific energy-absorbing foam as well as other attributes designed to better shield chest and your child’s head in a side-impact injury.
To make the choice easier, we have listed our top 20 best selling and highly recommended baby car seats on baby-carseats.com below. You can’t go wrong with the car seats below as these are all top notch products with a great value for money.