Where can I get a car seat installed is frequently asked by new parents. In order to help you, we’ve written a guide.
Steps on Where to install the car seat
The first step is to locate a local car seat installation shop. Consult the local hospital or fire department to see if they know of any installers who have been trained in your state.
Infant carriers for children weighing less than 30 pounds do not require any additional hardware to be attached to the vehicle before use; instead, you can use LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), which connects directly to anchors built into the backseat of thousands of vehicles manufactured since 2002, or a seatbelt, which is standard on many newer models since 2010.
Installing chairs at eye level while driving is also recommended by Women’s Health Magazine!
At what age do you change car seats?
You must buy a new car seat as soon as your child outgrows the one they are currently using. At least four feet nine inches tall and weighing at least 80 pounds, youngsters should remain in booster seats until they are old enough to sit up on their own.
Typically, this occurs at the age of eight or older, depending on the child’s physical and mental development. When it comes to the safety of your child, it is important to remember that this is merely an average advice.
Consider a small preteen who is under 80 pounds; she would not be eligible to ride without a booster seat at this time, for example.
You may wish to wait to buy a booster seat for an athletic middle schooler who is larger than typical but is still under the 80-pound weight limit, as long as she has been correctly using her adult belt (the lap and shoulder belt).
When to switch to a convertible car seat
As long as your child weighs at least 65 pounds, a convertible car seat is an excellent investment for new parents.
You may wish to transition to a front-facing booster by the time your child reaches the age of seven because this type of seat is not recommended after the age of four. Even if you only plan to use these seats for two years, the safety features make them well worth the investment.
In the case of rear-facing installation up to 65 pounds, the convertible car seat is an excellent purchase. Consider switching between the ages of five and six instead, since this shouldn’t be utilized after age four… However, because safety features are so crucial, there is no need to be concerned about the cost.
How to Install Infant and Toddler Car Seats
The rule: A child should be in a rear-facing seat from birth until he reaches the height and weight limit of his rear-facing seat.
Instructions for Use
- The lower anchors or the seat belt can only be used in conjunction with one another. Some parents assume that if they use both ways, their child will be doubly protected. There are some manuals that will tell you not to do this because they haven’t been tested, says Dr. Hoffman.
- Rear-center is a good starting point. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety senior research scientist Jessica Jermakian adds that “we have always informed parents that the safest place is the center of the backseat, yet many vehicles only have LATCH connections for the side seats.” . While the center seat belt is still secure and convenient, parents of rear-facing children are often forced to use it. Only few vehicles will allow the use of a LATCH anchor from each side position if the seat is placed in the centre instead. If you have more than one child, you can’t install another restraint in that row using this solution.
- Position the seat so that it fits snugly. Once again, if the vehicle manufacturer allows it, start with the car seat in the middle.” Julie Prom, a Chicago-based child safety advocate and certified CPS instructor, says that if you can’t get it to fit snugly, try moving it to the side. “A good side fit is preferable to a terrible center fit.” In other words, the seat should not shift more than one inch in either direction.
- Make sure the seatbelt is fastened. If you’re not using the lower anchors, make sure to fully extend the seat belt before installing it. This will ensure that the belt is securely fastened after the seat is in place. Consult the manual that came with your vehicle if you need assistance doing this.
- Make sure your child is in the right position. The harness straps that hold your child in place should be snug, and the chest clip should be at the child’s armpit level to keep straps from sliding off the shoulders, explains Dr. Hoffman. If not placed correctly, rear-facing children can be expelled, therefore the clip is extremely critical for them. To provide a secure fit, rear-facing riders’ harness straps must be threaded through slots located at or below their shoulders.
How to Install Car Seats for Preschoolers
The guideline is that your child should only be moved to a forward-facing seat with a harness when she has reached the upper weight or height limit of her rear-facing seat.
Instructions for Use
- The top tether should be used at all times. According to a 2013 IIHS survey, only 56% of parents were using the top tether anchor, and those seats that had a seat belt installed were even more likely to be untethered. Prom stresses the importance of using a forward-facing seat’s top tether, regardless of whether the lower anchors or the seat belt are used. As Prom puts it, “It prevents the seat from shifting forward by 6 or 8 inches and lowers the chance of head injury.”
- Make sure you have the correct tethering setup. The position of the tether is an additional consideration while using it. U-M Transportation Research Institute discovered that parents are more likely to use the top tether when it’s easier to detect the tether anchor point on the vehicle. When it comes to sedans, tether anchors are usually located on the backseat shelf. It’s important to note that in minivans and SUVs, there are a number of locations where the top tether anchor can be located. These locations include the floor, the seat back, the cargo area, and the ceiling. According to Jermakian, parents aren’t often tethered incorrectly, such as by attaching it to a cargo hook.
- Make sure your child is in the right position. For forward-facing seats, harness straps must be put through the slots that are above the shoulders.
How to Install Booster Seats
The rule: Once your child outgrows the upper weight or height limit of the forward-facing harness seat, use a belt-positioned booster until he’s 4 feet, 9 inches and between 8 and 12 years of age.
Instructions for Use
- Choose a booster seat that is appropriate for your youngster. Booster seats with high backs protect young children against side-impact collisions and help keep them in a better position if they fall asleep in the car. With no head restraints in the vehicle, they’re a better option than the standard seatbelt, Ryan explains. It’s acceptable if older children prefer backless booster seats, which are less noticeable. For as long as possible, though, sit in a chair with a high back.
- Ensure that the booster seat is properly installed in your vehicle. If there is no child in the booster, Dr. Hoffman warns, “it can turn into a projectile in a collision.” LATCH connectors have been added to many booster seats in recent years to prevent this from happening. If you don’t have those connectors, you’ll need to buckle the booster in even if your child isn’t using it.
- Make sure your child is in the right position. The shoulder and lap belts must be in the correct position at the time of a collision in order to provide efficient protection to the occupants. The lap belt should rest on the lower region of the pelvis, not on the soft part of the belly, while the shoulder belt should span the clavicle and breastbone.
- Keep your child in a booster seat for as long as possible. “The 4’9″ advise to switch to a seat belt is not a hard-and-fast rule,” says Dr. Hoffman. Average height for an 8-year old is only 4’2″ and most kids don’t reach 4’9″ until they are closer to 11 years old. As a result, not every passenger’s seat belt will be an exact fit for everyone in the vehicle.
Making Sense of LATCH
What’s the matter? An additional cheat sheet for the LATCH system can be found at the bottom of this page:
Forward- and rearward-facing chairs are installed using these little bars located between the backs of the seats and their cushioned covers, known as the “lower anchors.”
Lower anchor strap: Attached to the bottom of the car seat, the strap has two hooks or buckles, one on each side of the seat.
Car seat lower anchor strap: The lower anchor strap has two hooks or buckles on each side of the car seat attached to the seat.
One end of the top tether strap is attached to the car seat, and the other is attached to the child’s body.
How do I convert my Graco 3 in 1 to booster?
Graco has gone above and above to deliver a rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster-mode convertible car seat.
It’s possible that the Graco Nautilus 65 LX Car Seat Booster Mode conversion instructions aren’t clear enough for some parents.
We’ve broken the process down into three easy steps so that you can follow along as your child progresses from a strapped car seat to simply using the vehicle’s safety belt system as a passenger.
Step one: If the rear shield adjuster strap is not already slack enough, let at least two inches between them. Use a pool noodle or rolled towel to increase the distance between the back of your child’s head and the car seat if there are still more than two inches available.
In the second step, if your harness straps have already been raised to the point where they touch your shoulders, use one hand and push down where they meet with your rear-facing belt route opening while pulling upward on each side of the same buckle location.
Both sides will be released at once, making it simple to remove them from their places. Each harness strap should be reinserted into its slot in the same way it was before all four buckles were removed.
The straps should now be sitting in front of the two metal loops under each armrest as they were before.
Step Three: Once you have done this, it is time to remove the back of your car seat by pushing down on each side right where the armrests are located. Once they are free of their grip on the Graco Nautilus 65 LX Car Seat base, pull them upwards and outwards toward you.
Step Three: Once you have done this, it is time to remove the back of your car seat by pushing down on each side right where the armrests are located. Once they are free of their grip on the Graco Nautilus 65 LX Car Seat base, pull them upwards and outwards toward you.
Lastly, remove the back of the car seat by pulling down on each side where your armrests are positioned. Pull them out of the bottom of the Graco Nautilus 65 LX Car Seat base by pulling up and out towards yourself.
Car Seat Q&A
Are “lower anchors,” “LATCH,” and “ISOFIX” the same thing?
Lower Anchorage and Tethering for Children (LATCH) Both the lower seat tether attachment points and the top tether attachment point may be located here. The lower anchors, not the seat belt, are typically used to secure the car seat in a LATCH installation. Regardless of whether a child’s car seat is installed using the seat belt or lower anchors, the top tether should be linked to the tether anchor. It is common in European vehicles to see ISOFIX alongside the lower anchor icon to refer to the LATCH system. There is an image of this in the article’s header.
What about the standard spacing between the anchors?
11 inches is the typical distance between anchors. However, when using lower anchors to install a center seat, the recommended 11-inch spacing is no longer adhered to. It’s critical to know how far apart your car’s anchors are spaced. The distance between the innermost lower anchors can be found in the Child Safety section of the vehicle owner’s manual.
Why can’t I assume lower anchor borrowing is allowed in every car?
In order to meet federal safety standards, lower anchors must be strong enough. At least 11 inches apart, the lower anchors must meet federal standards for forward and lateral strength for each specified seat position in each vehicle. In order to “validate performance,” Toyota North America’s Jennifer Pelky, a senior engineer of vehicle safety, explains that each manufacturer must conduct its own testing because the standard test fixture can only accept an 11-inch gap between “borrowed” anchors. So make sure to read the owner’s instructions before you begin.
Lower anchors can be used to assess if a car seat can be installed in the center seating position.
- Consult the manual that came with your car. A center seat car-seat installation requires determining whether or not the automobile manufacturer enables the innermost lower anchors to be borrowed from the outermost lower anchors for this purpose. The distance between the inner anchors is generally specified by the manufacturer.
- Consult the owner’s handbook for your child’s car seat. Michael Bloch, the project leader of Consumer Reports’ Child Seats Project, says that not all car-seat manufacturers allow for installations with nonstandardly spaced bottom anchors. It is important to read attentively to find out the maximum distance that manufacturers allow for nonstandard spacing.
Find out if your car seat and vehicle manufacturer are compatible with this interactive table for a center-seat installation using borrowed lower anchors. Lower anchor installations with a distance more than 11 inches aren’t permitted if your car seat or vehicle manufacturer isn’t listed.
Car seats with push-on LATCH connectors are not eligible for the Graco program, as are convertibles, harness-to-boosters, and all-in-ones. With car seats manufactured prior to 2015, Britax enables center lower anchor borrowing provided it is explicitly stated in the car-seat instructions.
What if my vehicle and car seat are not compatible for this scenario?
It’s safe to choose either of these two options.
- The vehicle seat belt can be used to secure your child’s car seat in the middle seat. Installing with lower anchors is thought to be more secure than using a seat belt, but this is not always the case. This is incorrect. A properly placed car seat is safe as long as the lower anchors or the seat belt may be used to secure the seat to the vehicle. Child safety experts are available to inspect your installation. To locate a nearby inspection station, go to safekids.org.
- The lower anchors can be used to secure your car seat in an outboard position. No matter where you sit in the car, the safest option is always a properly placed car seat. You can try using the lower anchors in the outboard seating position if you can’t get a center seat belt installation to work. Always keep in mind that a properly placed car seat should not slide more than one inch in any direction when the belt path is pushed with your non-dominant hand.
Best budget infant car seat
Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex
In the car seat and stroller industry, Chicco is one of the main names in the game. The company features a wide range of car seats, including the new KeyFit 35 ClearTex infant car seat.
As the name “ClearTex” implies, this car seat is made from chemical-free fire-resistant textiles, so you can rest easy knowing your kid won’t experience any skin issues. Anti-rebound bar on the KeyFit 35 base braces against car seat back for a more secure fitting. In order to secure the base, just fasten the LATCH belt around the child’s waist. Once that’s done, you can click the seat in or unfasten it to transfer to a compatible Chicco stroller.
The KeyFit 30 is $50 less expensive than the $270 KeyFit 35. When compared to the KeyFit 30, the 35-pound weight restriction of the KeyFit 35 is significantly higher. The KeyFit 35 also adds 2 inches to your height, and the anti-rebound bar is a welcome addition.
At BUYBUYBABY, it costs $270.
Best infant car seat for parents on the go
Maxi-Cosi Coral XP
Car seat manufacturers are continually looking for innovative ways to make something as simple as a seat more versatile. To convert to a carrier or stroller, most infant car seats have a base and a seat that can be clicked into place. As a result, the Maxi-Cosi Coral XP outdoes the competition by being even lighter than the competition.
Using the huge straps on the side of the Coral XP’s seat, the upholstered and cushioned piece of the seat may be detachable and lifted out of the carrier shell. The cross-body strap is designed to be used with the supplied heavy-duty shoulder belt with fast release clasp. Because the inner carrier only adds another 5 pounds to your baby’s overall weight, this is an easy way to transport your newborn. Although this method is intended for use with infants, I was able to carry my 1-year-old daughter for a short time before my back and shoulders began to hurt. The regular trips to her doctor’s office on the second floor of a medical building without an elevator would have been made much easier with this function when she was younger.
The seat is compatible with all Maxi-Cosi strollers, as well as select premium strollers like the Uppababy Vista, if adapters are inserted. For vehicles with shallow back seat cushions, the Coral XP’s base may be too lengthy.
Despite its $400 price tag, the Coral XP is a more expensive option. However, the sturdy construction and innovative carrier feature make the price worthwhile. (If you look around, you may find it at a big discount from time to time).
$600 FROM AMAZON
Best car seat-stroller hybrid
If you don’t want to disrupt your baby’s precious slumber, you’ll appreciate the existence of travel systems that allow you to easily switch between the car seat and the stroller. Taking this idea a step further, the Doona infant car seat stroller incorporates a tiny stroller right into the car seat itself.
Using the base that comes with the Doona car seat is the most convenient way to get the most out of it. The LATCH hooks, which tighten with a knob turn, make it simple to mount that base. The car seat may be clicked into place and your child buckled in once the base is in place. When you’re ready to get baby out of the car, you now have more options. If your child falls asleep in the car, you may quickly and easily change the seat into a stroller. You’ll be able to do that without even flinching if you practice enough.
For the first time, I was able to take my kid out of the car and immediately wheel her into the store for a quick run. I was able to sneak into the store without waking her asleep by lifting the back seat out of the car and using it as a stroller. The 10-minute sleep turned into a 45-minute one after I drove to another store and did it again. For those who already have an infant car seat and a corresponding stroller, this is nothing new, but not having to dig the stroller out of the trunk every time saves you a lot of time (not to mention your back). Small-car and/or cargo-space parents may find that the Doona is an excellent solution.
The Doona’s weight limit is 35 pounds, but moving it with a youngster that weighs more than that is going to require some serious strength. Plan your upper body workouts accordingly, as the car seat-stroller hybrid weighs about 17 pounds on its own.
DILLARD’S CHARGES $550 FOR THIS ITEM
Best budget all-in-one car seat
Century DriveOn 3-in-1
Century is a newcomer to the infant gear market, launching in early 2021. Centennial, a subsidiary of Graco, is known for its cheap, easy-to-use products that are comprised of environmentally friendly materials. The DriveOn Three-in-One convertible car seat from Century undoubtedly fits that last requirement. The DriveOn Three-in-One is an excellent buy for roughly $145.
In its three convertible modes (rear-facing, forward-facing, and high-back booster mode), the convertible seat can support youngsters ranging in weight from 5 pounds to 100 pounds. Instead of button-release connectors, the DriveOn Three-in-LATCH One’s system straps use simple clip-style hooks. To secure the tether anchor, the lower anchor strap may be easily tightened, and the buckle on the tether strap is small enough to go beneath a headrest.
A yellow lever on the top of the headrest makes it easy to alter the position of the headrest. Seats are adequately cushioned and have soft, breathable textiles made from recycled material. The upholstery may be machine washed and can easily be removed.
At BuyBuyBaby, $160
Best backup car seat
Cosco Scenera Next
The fact that a working car seat can be purchased for less than $50 is a commendable achievement. The Cosco Scenera Next’s usage is limited compared to other seats, but as long as you’re not expecting any bells or whistles, it’s an affordable alternative. For infants as young as 5 pounds, this convertible car seat can be used until they are 40 pounds old. The seat comes with infant cushioning inserts for infants and may be placed either rear-facing or forward-facing.
This chair is the lightest and most portable I’ve tested. Installing a forward-facing seat or a rear-facing seat is as easy as attaching a set of LATCH hooks. Foot imprints are more pronounced when seated in forward-facing position, compared to other car seats I’ve tested. When loosened or tightened, the harness straps would get tangled. My son didn’t seem to mind the seat’s lack of padding, despite the fact that it’s made of plastic.
The Scenera Next is an excellent choice for a spare seat in the family car or as a back-up that can be tossed into any vehicle at any time. For air travel, its ultralightweight build makes it a viable option.
Wammart charges $50 for the same item.
Best car seat to buy on sale
Safety 1st Grow and Go All-in-One
Actually, the “Baby On Board” sign was invented in 1984 by Safety 1st, Inc. Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include a variety of low-cost baby items. All-in-one car seat is one of the products.
When your child outgrows its rearward-facing position, the Grow and Go All-in-One can be converted to a belt-positioning booster. The clip-style LATCH connectors on this seat make it simple to install. There is little effort required to tighten the LATCH belt, ensuring that the seat cushions fit snugly. The seat fabric is breathable and can be quickly removed for cleaning purposes.. The cup holders are also easy to keep clean, unscrewing with a quarter twist so you can wash off all the juice and milk residue that will surely build up.
With its $170 retail price, the Safety 1st is a terrific investment, but it’s even better at a discount. On rare occasions, Sam’s Club will give you a substantial discount on this item. The Safety 1st Grow and Go is an excellent option for use as a primary or secondary seat.
SAM’S CLUB: $115
Best overall all-in-one car seat
Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1
Since 1942, Graco has been a key player in the car seat and stroller market, with a long history in the industry. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you just shop at Graco. An illustration would be: Graco has more than 20 different all-in-one solutions. With so many options, I tested the most popular model from among them.
Convertible car seat Graco 4Ever DLX Four-in-One can be used in four different ways. There are, of course, options for both forward- and backward-facing cameras. There are high-back and backless boosters, too, for when your children get older. The DLX designation denotes an improved level of safety over the standard 4Ever model. Designed to last up to ten years, the 4Ever will protect your child from the moment they leave the hospital until they no longer require the use of a booster seat.
Because he’s only 3, I still have some time until we have to say goodbye to his 4Ever DLX for good. It’s been a relatively easy adjustment. The LATCH connectors are simple to use, and once you remove the slack by leaning your knee into the seat, the straps are secure. As a result of my son’s illness, he lost his animal crackers all over himself and the seat, so I’m grateful that the cloth upholstery is machine-washable. The nooks and crannies of the seat’s shell were more easily accessible than I imagined, making cleaning the inside less of a headache.
The Graco 4Ever DLX Four-in-One is a great buy, especially if you plan to use it from birth through elementary school.
At Target, the price is $225.
Easiest car seat to get your kid in and out of
Evenflo Gold Revolve 360
In order to fit a youngster into a conventional car seat, the infant must twist and stretch in an unnatural way. What if your body didn’t have to get used to this unnatural motion? Once your child is strapped in, the Evenflo Gold Revolve 360 can be rotated and locked into place in less than a minute, taking the tension out of child restraint.
The Revolve 360 has a base that installs with built-in push-button LATCH hooks or your vehicle’s seat belt. Whichever method you choose, you only have to install the base once. True to its name, the Revolve 360’s seat rotates a full 360 degrees, so when you’re ready to graduate your child from rear-facing to forward-facing you only need to pull a lever and spin it around. One thing to note, however, is that the rear-facing position is fixed at roughly a 45-degree angle, and there’s no way to adjust the recline setting for an older child. So if you plan on keeping your little one facing rearward into toddlerhood, this seat might not be for you.
In order to attach the Revolve 360 to your car, you can use the seat belt or the built-in LATCH hooks. It doesn’t matter which method you use to install the base. A full 360-degree rotation of the Revolve 360’s seat makes it easy to transition your child from rearfacing to forward-facing by simply pulling a lever and spinning the seat around. However, the recline setting for an older child cannot be adjusted because the rear-facing position is fixed at about a 45-degree angle. As a result, if you intend to keep your child facing backwards until they are at least two years old, this is not the car seat for you.
An integrated push-button LATCH hook or the seat belt buckle on your car can be used to attach the Revolve 360 base to the vehicle. Installing the base is only required once, whichever technique you pick. A full 360-degree rotation of the Revolve 360’s seat makes it easy to transition your child from rearfacing to forward-facing by simply twisting the seat. However, the recline setting for an older child cannot be altered because the rear-facing position is fixed at a 45-degree inclination. So, if you want to keep your child facing backwards until they are a toddler, this seat may not be for you.
TARGET CHARGES $380
Not yet tested
UppaBaby Mesa V2
In the luxury car seat market, the UppaBaby Mesa is one of the most popular options, and it has been since 2013. The Mesa has undergone various revisions over the years, but the Mesa V2 is set to debut in early 2022 and mark the most significant modification yet. The updated model comes with extra padding, a wider sun screen, and an anti-rebound bar on the handle. The Mesa works best with the Vista and Cruz UppaBaby strollers, which accept the car seat without the need for adapters, just like before.
Britax Marathon ClickTight
This convertible car seat from Britax has a new installation technique. ClickTight is a unique belt path that allows you to lift the seat bottom like a Transformer and pass the car seat belt underneath. In order to attach the car seat, the system does not require a complicated routing of the seat belt retractor or fiddling with excess webbing. Pass the belt through the appropriate slots, buckle it in, and lower the seat cushion until it clicks until the belt is properly secured. Finally! Marathon, Boulevard, and Advocate are all equipped with the ClickTight technology.
Another well-liked high-end infant car seat is the Nuna Pipa. The Pipa may be used with a wide range of strollers, including Nuna’s elegant models. The seat itself is made from materials that are resistant to flames without the use of chemical fire retardants. There’s also a “Dream Drape” that can be pulled out and attached to the bottom of the seat with magnets for complete baby protection under the two-position canopy.
Convertible car seats like the Nuna Rava come in a variety of colors and patterns. The Rava has a lot of useful characteristics, in addition to being attractive. The Rava has a True Tension Door similar to Britax’s ClickTight technology, which simplifies the process of securing a child in a car seat (though only in forward-facing position). To better absorb impact energy, the side impact prevention pods on this seat can be retracted.
How we tested
Requests for review samples were made after studying the finest car seats for children. Due to the current global supply chain and transportation crisis, many were able to give samples, but others could not. I tested the ones I got for at least a week apiece, installing them in both backwards and forwards-facing positions when I could. They worked flawlessly.
I looked at the following when deciding on a seat:
- How simple or complicated is it to install in your vehicle? How easy is it to remove and reinstall the car seat if the base is detachable?
- How do my kids prefer the seat in terms of comfort? Does it have enough padding to keep you comfortable, or is it too hard? Are the fabrics sweat-stain magnets or well-ventilated?
- How can this seat make my life more convenient?? The features of this software do they serve their intended purpose, or are they only gimmicks?
- Price: If I bought this seat, would I get good value for my money?
What is the safest car seat?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts crash tests on all new car seats before they may be sold in the United States. Child safety seats do not currently have a ranking system, however the NHTSA evaluates all models to ensure their safety, therefore all models that pass are considered safe. That is, if you set them up correctly the first time.
This final point is critical, since a car seat that has been wrongly placed will not perform as intended. Safe Kids Worldwide believes that less than half of all car seats in the United States are properly installed. To ensure that your car seat is placed correctly, read the instructions thoroughly.. Once you’re confident that you’ve done everything correctly, make an appointment with an NHTSA or Safe Kids Worldwide certified Child Passenger Safety Technician to double-check.
Car seat installation issues are nothing new to Cass Herring, who works for Safe Kids Worldwide as both an instructor and program manager.
Seat belt and lower anchor connectors are two of the most typical mistakes that parents make while utilizing forward-facing car seats, according to the expert. There are several reasons why a child’s harness should not be too loose, twisted, high or low—it should not be loose, twisted, high or low.
Because these mistakes are so easy to overlook, it’s critical to have an expert inspect your car seat and go over fundamental safety procedures.
What are the different types of car seats?
Many types of child car seats are available, including convertibles and boosters. Until your baby reaches the height or weight limit of the seat, an infant car seat is safe for your child. The ability to transfer an infant car seat from its base to a stroller is an advantage of infant car seats. Because of their smaller size, they are more suited for tiny newborns than traditional convertible car seats.
According to Herring, “Families may choose to purchase a rear-facing only car seat along with numerous bases for ease of moving between vehicles.” Baby car seats are compatible with strollers in many travel systems, which is why so many families opt for this option.
Finally, convertible seats, which may be used in either a forward-facing or backward-facing configuration, offer weight ranges ranging from newborns to first-graders. All-in-one seats combine the functionality of a convertible seat with additional features. Most can be converted to a car seat with a high back, but some can be stripped down to a booster seat with no back for longer use.
Convertible and all-in-one car seats are other options for families, says Herring. When it comes to height and weight constraints, this extends the lifespan of the seat for families.
The booster is the final stage of the car seat’s life cycle. For youngsters 8 to 12 years old, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends using a booster seat until they are able to use a vehicle seat belt that crosses their waist and not their stomach. There are low-profile booster seats, such as the Safety 1st Incognito and the Graco RightGuide, that are designed to be virtually undetectable.
Things to consider when shopping for a car seat
If you remember nothing else from this post about the finest car seats, remember to pick a car seat based on your individual requirements and budget. You should also seek for a car seat that is appropriate for your youngster, Cass Herring suggests. As a general rule, all car seats have a maximum weight and height limit, but beyond that, parents should look at the harness height and features of a seat, such as how many crotch buckle positions it has or how the seat works to change the harness straps,” she explains.
Your intended vehicles should be able to accommodate it. Because of the wide variety of shapes and sizes of car seats, Herring warns that they may not fit in every vehicle or with other car seats or passengers already in the vehicle. Car seats should be considered for the entire family while purchasing one.
She goes on to say that “spacing in a vehicle can also be an issue.” Parents may find it difficult to achieve the suggested installation angle if there isn’t enough room in the back seat, or the vehicle seat in front may interfere with the installation. if the car seat’s footprint is too small, you will need to hunt for a seat that is compatible with the vehicle,” says the manufacturer’s instructions.
According to Herring, another crucial consideration is to ensure that the caregiver is able to operate it correctly at all times.
According to the woman, “there are a variety of seats and no two are same”. “We all face the problem of learning how to use something new, but it is especially vital for parents to feel confidence in the operation of their chairs. Caregivers may benefit from looking for a method that they are more comfortable utilizing if they are frustrated or confused by particular parts of the car seat. A good place to begin is by consulting the car seat owner’s manual and the manufacturer’s materials. To further understand how their child safety seat works, caregivers can seek the assistance of a qualified CPST.
My biggest piece of advice for new parents shopping for a car seat is to not get caught up in the minutia of features when comparing car seat models. But if bells and whistles really speak to you, it’s worth noting that some features do add an extra layer of safety.
For new parents looking to buy a car seat, my most important piece of advice is to avoid getting distracted by the small details of features. However, if bells and whistles really pique your interest, it’s worth mentioning that some features do provide an additional degree of security.
Choosing a car seat can be a confusing process for new parents, so my most important piece of advise is to avoid getting sucked into the small print. It’s worth mentioning, though, that some bells and whistles do add an additional degree of security.