Car seats are one of the first investments parents make alongside getting a cot and a pushchair. Parents cannot overlook the importance of a car seat by employing “whatever works best for us” pearl of parenting wisdom. It is the safest way for a baby, toddler, or child to travel and subject to safety rules and regulations. A car seat should be in accordance with your child’s age, weight, and height.
For new parents, buying a car seat is an overwhelming experience. The more you hop through brands and retail outlets, the more it gets complicated. Parents need to keep in mind everything – the type of car seat, budget, and their own vehicle.
Remember, not all car seats are manufactured equally and some will suit your needs better than others. Here are some of the things that every parent must consider before buying an infant car seat:
First and foremost; register your car seat to get updates on product upgrades or recalls.
Surprising! Even car seats have manufacturing and expiration dates. The normal life of a car seat is about six years. After that, the plastic becomes fragile. Be careful if you are using a hand-me-down from any of your friends or relatives and pay attention to the best before date. It is suggested not to buy a car seat from a secondhand store. One thing to bear in mind is that in case of an accident or a collision, the seat becomes expired at that very minute and must be replaced right away.
Types of Car Seat
Car seats are available in two types: infant car seats and convertible car seats. As the name suggests, infant car seats are meant for infants and work as a comprehensive travel system. They can be fixed in your car into a base and can be snapped into a stroller compatible with the seat. This saves you from buckling and unbuckling your baby while he/she may be asleep. It is a way to go for suburban families who have frequent use of car and stroller. These also come without the base in case you do not own a vehicle and usually travel via cabs. Check out the Chicco keyfit review which is currently one of the most preferred infant car seat brands due to their offering of variety, safety, adjustability, portability, and ease of use.
Convertible car seats remain in the car. This is a good option for those having their own vehicle and are on a budget. However, one has to snap the baby in and out every time and also, there is no carrying option.
Thoroughly check the material of the car seat. The material should be soft and padding, cozy. Babies are fragile and sensitive; therefore, their comfort should be on the top of your priority list. Look for every aspect that adds to the baby’s comfort including harness, head support, energy-absorbing foam, side protection, and straps.
Seat Fittings or Systems
Different car seats use different fittings and safety systems. Currently, Isofix is becoming a popular safety system potentially reducing the risk of wrongly fitted seats. This system fits the car seat into the car itself using a base rather than using a seatbelt alone. Seat rotations during impact are prevented using a top tether or support leg.