Getting your baby into the car can be quite a tedious task – especially if your child is easily frightened or somewhat hyperactive.
Auto safety is very important with a baby because they may be too young and can get injured when they are not fastened properly.
Holding your child in your lap all the time can be tiresome as well, and you may not be able to do other things in the car while at it. This is where a baby car seat may come in handy.
Why should you buy a baby car seat?
The main purpose of a car seat for newborns is to:
- Keep your child safe from a bumpy ride, especially with newborns
- Allow you to multitask in the car without having to hold your baby
- Protect your kid in the event of a car accident
- Hold your baby in the right position as compared to an adult seatbelt
Always remember that babies are more likely to get injured than older kids, teens, and adults, so they should be supervised carefully and given enough protection with the help of an infant car seat.
What should you look for in an infant auto seat?
So you want to shop for a baby car seat? Here are some criteria that you should look for when you choose one for your child:
i.) Choose your child vehicle seat type
There are basically two types of car seats for babies, both with their pros and cons:
|Type of car seat for infants||Description||Pros||Cons|
|Rear-facing seat||The most common type of child auto seat that can be easily taken out of the car when needed.||Rear-facing seats help you move your baby in and out of the car.||Most of them do not last long and may not be that impact-absorbing for your child.|
|Convertible seat||A more expensive type of baby automobile seat that can be turned toward the front other than facing the rear.||It is usually more durable to last through your child’s later years and is also safer.||It can be quite expensive and cannot be taken out of the car.|
ii.) Stroller integration
There are some baby car seats that are bundled together with a stroller, so you can save more money in the long run, because you have two baby products in just one go.
This also makes it easier for you to carry your baby to and from your vehicle.
iii.) Safety features and certification
For safety reasons, the best car seats for infants that you should choose is the one that has a JPMA or Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association seal, which certifies that the product is safe for kids and babies.
This is very important, as many products out there can be tempting because of their low price and added features, but safety comes first when it comes down to taking your baby with you into the car.
Among the safety features you should look for include:
- A 5-point safety harness system
- Added foam for safety
- Better fastening system for the base
If an infant car seat is adjustable, it will have more room to grow for your child, which will be a budget-saver in the process. It should not have to be rethreaded when you want to adjust the straps as your baby grows older.
Our Review of the Top Rated Infant Car Seats
Following our research and testing, here’s our selection of what we found to be the top rated infant car seats in 2018:
If you want an easy to adjust baby auto seat, the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible could be a good choice because its 5-point harness system is greatly adjustable for up to 10 positions alongside the harness system of the seat.
When it comes down to safety, it uses a LATCH system attachment for the base of the car seat to stay in place in a much better way than tying it with the default seatbelts.
Also, adhering to US standard FMVSS 213 ensures its safety features have been tested. It has a seat weight limit of 120 lbs and has four ways for your child to ride.
Another great convertible baby car seat is the Evenflo Symphony Elite.
It can support up to 110 lbs of weight and can be easily installed within a minute due to the LATCH system.
It has three positions: forward, rear and booster, all of which have different supported weights. For instance, rear facing is recommended for newborns while forward facing is ideal for toddlers.
A great thing about this child car seat is that it’s complete with amenities such as a cup holder for drinks and a body pillow that adds comfort to your kid. The headrest can also be adjusted depending on your child’s preference.
For newborns, you can try the Graco SnugRide Click Connect because it is pretty lightweight to carry and will greatly protect your infant from any bumpy ride due to its design.
It has a weight capacity of up to 35 lbs, making it ideal for a newborn baby.
Like our first pick, it also adheres to the US standard FMVSS 213 for safety.
It also uses a LATCH system to keep the base tightly positioned, as well as a 5-point harness to keep your baby safe and comfortable all throughout the ride.
It also has sufficient head support for newborns, which is important since newborns are sensitive in this matter.
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If you want a protective canopy for your child, the Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat can be a great choice for that. This canopy can also be adjusted to different positions for your baby’s comfort.
The seat can fit up to 30 lbs of weight, making it ideal for both newborns and older babies or toddlers.
To further protect your baby from impact, it uses energy-absorbing foam around its seat interior.
And because it conforms to FMVSS 213, you can be assured of its safety features against automobile accidents.
This seat also works even for those vehicles without a LATCH system because of its belt routing design.
Another convertible kid car seat that has made it to our list is the Britax Boulevard G4.1, which is made with a foam-lined shell to keep your baby safe from impact.
The unique thing about this slightly expensive seat is that it has a 10-point harness, as opposed to the 5-point harness systems of other cheaper car seats.
The buckle can have two positions (upward and outward) so your child will not feel uncomfortable in the seat, yet will stay safe as he or she grows with it.
As the best car seat to grow with baby, it is also the best convertible car seat, so that it can be reclined forward or rear facing.
The Chicco Fit2 may be a rear-facing only seat, but it is a great choice for those who just want a simple child car seat for starters.
It has a LATCH integrated into its installation system so it is quite safe, and is ideal for children up to 2 years old due to the sufficient leg room.
If you ever own a Chicco stroller, this will most likely fit in, making travels with your baby a breeze.
The fabrics are easily washable and the headrest can be positioned in 7 different ways. The canopy is protective for newborns and can be removed when not needed.
In the long run, the choice of baby car seat all comes down to your needs and preferences. Some prefer a convertible seat for the different stages of growth of their infant, while budget savers and travelers prefer a rear-facing baby auto seat instead. We’d like to know in the comments below – which do you think is the top rated infant car seat?
This guest post is written by Sophia Nguyen, from healthybabyhappyearth.com