Priority number one for most parents is the health and safety of our children. We work hard to protect our littles ones and keep them safe at all times. One of the scariest places to be with a newborn baby can be in the car. They are away from you and are being protected by a car seat instead of your loving arms. You want to do everything that you can to make sure that your child is protected and safe in the car. The good news is that all car seats in the US have to meet guidelines and regulations to ensure safety. The bad news is that there are 149098 car seats on the market and you now have to choose which one you want. This post will help with tips on how to choose the best car seat for your little one.
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Here are some things to consider when choosing a car seat.
1. Check regulations in your state for car seats
Every state has its own regulations that dictate things like the placement of car seats, the directionality of car seats, as well as the height and weight that a child must reach before discontinuing car seat use. A quick Google search of “[your state] car seat regulations” should pull up a link to the DMV page with your local regulations and requirements.
2. Figure out what car seat will work best in your car.
Some cars have spaces or safety features that work better with a specific style of car seat. Cars.com has created a log of pages that will show you anything noteworthy about putting car seats into your car specifically. You can search by make and model here.
3. Decide which type of car seat you want.
Generally now, most parents will own two car seats for their child. They start out in an infant car seat. That’s the one that looks like a little basket that clips into a base in your car. There are some great travel system options that will allow you to clip this seat right into a stroller as well. We have one like this one here and loved it for newborn Peanut. Once your baby is too heavy to be lugged around, you will move him or her into a convertible car seat. He or she will stay rear-facing for a while and then turn front. (The current recommendation is at 2 years old. Each state has laws about when a child is allowed to face front, so be sure to check.)
4. Think of any features that you would like in your car seat.
A couple of personal, parenting tips when it comes to choosing a bigger car seat for your little one – cup holders are great for not only holding cups, but also toys, socks, your keys while you buckle baby in… You want cupholders! Also, the car seat that have the latches that look like little seat belt fasteners are MUCH easier to install than the ones with the clips. You may also take other aesthetic things like color into consideration.
Once you decide on a car seat, make sure that you follow all of the directions to insure proper installation. Your doctor should also have a list of certified places for you to take your car seat to have a licensed professional check to make sure that the car seat has been installed correctly.
If you are anything like our family, you care about safety rating and reviews, but also need to stick to a tight budget.
Here are a few great car seat options for under $100.
(if seats aren’t showing up above, refresh your page.)