If you are expecting a baby, there is no doubt that you are already quite aware that there are a lot of things that you will need for your little one. Though they may be small, babies require a lot of gear. One of the most important things that you are going to purchase for your little one is a car seat. In fact, a car seat is so important that you will not be able to take your little one home from the hospital without one.
When it comes to buying a car seat for your baby, you are going to find that there are a few options. One of the most popular choices is the infant car seat. However, with so many choices for infant car seats on the market, you may find that choosing the best one for your specific needs is going to be a bit challenging. With so many options, how do you know which infant car seat is the best one for your needs? – By reading this guide, of course! This buyer’s guide highlights everything that you need to know in order to find the best infant car seat for your little one’s needs – and your needs, too. In this guide, you will learn what an infant car seat is, the factors that you should consider when choosing an infant car seat, the different features that they can offer, and the best infant car seat brands.
What is an Infant Car Seat?
There are several types of car seats on the market, the infant car seat being one of them. It is a popular choice among parents, and for many reasons. An infant car seat is designed so that it can only be place in the backward facing position; in other words, the car seat will be positioned in the car so that your baby faces the back end of your car. This type of car seat is designed to accommodate newborns up to 35 or 40 pounds, and up to 32 to 35 inches. It is a popular choice among parents for many reasons. First and foremost, it provides a safe, comfortable and secure place for a baby to sit while riding in the car. Secondly, parents really like the ease of use that an infant car seat offers. The seat is removable and is attached into a base that is secured into the car. This means that you can place your baby in the car seat in your house or wherever else you may be getting ready for a car ride; and, once you arrive at your destination, all you have to do is simply remove the seat from the base. This is ideal for several reasons; if your little one falls asleep while you are driving, you won’t have to disturb him or her from a deep slumber when it is time to exit the car. This means your baby’s nap won’t be interrupted. Also, an infant car seat serves as a safe and secure seat to place your little one when you aren’t in the car; you can use it to hold your baby while you are shopping and when you are at different locations outside of your home. Also, an infant car seat can easily clip into a stroller that is designed to hold it, such as an infant car seat stroller or a stroller travel system, which attaches the infant car seat to a full-sized stroller.
An infant car seat can usually be used for the first year of life; or, while your little one is an infant. Do note, though, that you must pay attention to weight and height restrictions in order to ensure that your little one will be safe while traveling in an infant car seat. Once your child starts to reach the weight and height limit restrictions, you will need to transition him or her into a full sized convertible car seat.
Because they are specifically designed to be placed in a vehicle in the rear facing position, it can ensure that your little one will be as safe as possible while traveling, reducing the amount of impact her or she is subjected to if an impact occurs, and ensuring that your little one won’t be injured by the seat in front of him or her if an accident does occur.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Infant Car Seat
In order to choose the best infant car seat for your specific needs, and to ensure the safety of your baby, there are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping for one of these seats. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to choose the best infant car seat for your baby’s needs, and for your needs, too. Some of the most important factors that you are going to want to take into consideration is the weight restrictions of the seat, the ease of use and the size of the car seat, among other things. To learn more about these and other factors that we consider to be the most important when shopping for an infant car seat, please keep on reading.
The Weight Restrictions
One of the most important factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping for an infant car seat is the weight restrictions. The majority of infant car seats are designed to safely accommodate infants that weight up to 25 pounds. There are several that can accommodate babies who weigh more than this; 30, 35 or 40 pounds, for example. The heavier the weight limit, the longer you will be able to use your infant car seat.
The Height Restrictions
Another important factor to consider when you are shopping for an infant car seat is the height limits. Most infant car seats can accommodate babies that are up to 20 inches in length, though there are also models that can accommodate babies that are 25 and even 30 inches in length. Just like the weight limit, the higher the height limit, the longer you will be able to use your infant car seat.
The Ease of Use
Yet another important factor that you are going to want to take into consideration is how easy the infant car seat is to use. The best infant car seats are those that offer guides that will help you determine whether or not the seat is safely and securely attached into the car, those that offer one hand harness adjustment, and those that allow you to modify the height of the harness without having to re-tether it. Also, as with most baby gear items, your infant car seat is going to get dirty, and you want to make sure that it is as easy as possible to clean. The best infant car seats offer covers that can easily be removed and placed back on, and can be washed in the washing machine.
The Size of the Infant Car Seat
Yet another important factor that you are going to want to take into consideration is the size of the infant car seat. Infant car seats range in size, and you want to make sure that you choose one that will be able to properly fit into your car. Infant car seats can be very deep, and if you have a smaller car, you may not have enough room to accommodate the standard infant car seat; unless the front seats are pulled so far up that the driver and front seat passenger will be driving with your knees in your chest. Every infant car seat has different dimensions, so the best thing you can do before purchasing an infant car seat is to test it out in your car. Doing so will allow you to ensure that the seat will properly and comfortably fit into your cart. Make sure that there is enough space between the car seat and the front seat so that the car seat can rock up and down without being obstructed.
How Comfortable is the Infant Car Seat
Of course, you also want to make sure that your baby will be as comfortable as possible, which means that you are going to want to consider the comfort that infant car seat offer. You also want to make sure that the seat will be comfortable for you to carry around and use. Infant car seats offer a range of features that can improve the comfort of your baby, so you are going to want to consider those features when you are shopping (see the ‘features’ section of this buyer’s guide to determine what type of features will provide your baby with optimal comfort.) You also want to make sure that the infant car seat will be comfortable for you to carry. To do this, think about adding some weights into the car seat (a few books, for example) when you are trying the car seat out. Carry the seat around with the weights inside so that you can determine how comfortable it will be to carry.
To ensure your baby’s comfort, choose an infant car seat that is constructed with soft, breathable materials. Avoid fabrics that are hard, scratchy and not breathable, as this will impact the comfort of your baby.
The Safety Features
Without a doubt, one of the most important things that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping for an infant car seat is its safety. All car seats have to go through rigorous testing before they are given the seal of approval to be used; however, some infant car seats offer higher safety ratings than others. To ensure the ultimate in safety, look for an infant car seat that has received high rankings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and other pertinent boards that keep track of and regulate the safety of car seats. The best infant car seats receive high ratings and our outfitted with an array of features to ensure the safety of your baby (see below.)
The Cost of the Infant Car Seat
Lastly, you are going to want to consider the cost of the infant car seat. Remember, paying more doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get a higher quality car seat; in fact, some of the best infant car seats on the market have affordable price tags. Factors that impact the price usually include the features; the more features that an infant car seat offers, the more expensive it will be.
Features Infant Car Seats Can Offer
There are a number of features that infant car seats can be outfitted with. These features are intended to improve the comfort, the safety and the ease of use of the seat. Usually, the more features the car seat offers, the more expensive it will be. Here is a look at some of the most popular infant car seat features.
A Sun Canopy
To shield your baby from the sun and offer privacy, look for an infant car seat that features a sun canopy. You can easily adjust the canopy so that it will provide your baby with the right amount of shade.
Head Impact Protection
To ensure the safety of your baby, extra head impact protection is a useful feature. Some car seats offer an added layer of EPS foam, which will absorb the shock in the event of a collision, thus minimizing the injuries your little one could potentially sustain.
To ensure your little one’s head doesn’t flop down (especially those who don’t yet have neck muscle control,) look for an infant car seat that offers a head restraint.
The Best Infant Car Seat Brands
I you want the best infant car seat for your little one, consider choosing one of the following brands.
This brand offers high quality infant car seats that are durably constructed and offer a range of safety and comfort features. They also offer high weight and height restrictions.
Another high quality manufacturer of infant car seats is Britax. They offer expertly constructed car seats that feature the latest advances and a range of features and designs.
We also really like the Chicco infant car seats. They provide infant car seats that are constructed with the latest advances and are made of the highest quality materials.
Maxi Cosi is another top producer of infant car seats. Their seats are durable, offer a variety of features, and can accommodate high weight and height limits, ensuring the safety of your baby for the longest amount of time possible.