What Should You Look for When Buying an Infant Car Seat?

There is nothing better than the touch of a new baby’s soft warm cheek. You are overjoyed with your infant and can’t wait until you show him or her to your closest friends and family. You’re going to a family gathering to finally show them off, but you need to find a car seat; after all, a baby’s safety is the number one priority.

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Below are a few things you should look for when you are purchasing a new infant car seat. 

A car seat that fits your child

There are two types of car seats, infant car seats, and convertible car seats. If you wish to buy an infant car seat, those usually last until the baby reaches 40 pounds and then can no longer be used. But a convertible car seat can last you till the baby is approximately two years old, depending on the weight and height of your child. Either one you wish to purchase, you need to make sure it fits your child. One of the other causes of accidents is buying a car seat that is either too large for your infant or too small. All the features again will not be able to perform their job as they were meant to, due to the fitting issue. Look for a car safety guide for newborns and infants to clarify exactly what the right specs are and how to use the seat. Technically speaking, a baby’s head should be two inches below the top of the seat. For infant-only seats, the 5-point harness should start from their shoulder or below. These regulations are all pertinent to the safety and protection of your infant.

A “5-point harness”

A five-point harness is a term coined for the arrangement of straps that hold your infant. There are two shoulder straps, two straps by the waist, and a 5th strap between the legs. Almost all infant car seats come with this feature, so make sure the one you purchase has this covered too.

Impact protection

Impact protection is a feature in some car seats that provides extra padding from the sides of the seat and by the head area which cushion any impact in order to not cause any harm to your infant.

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LATCH system

A LATCH system, which stands for “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children” is a system that holds a car seat instead of the car’s own seat belt. LATCH systems are more durable as well as more dependable, as it is made specifically to adapt to car seats. In this case, you need to find a car seat that will suit whichever way you choose to strap in the seat, latch, or seat belt.

A seat that is easy to clean

It is safe to say that infants regularly spit up, especially in cars. This means that you will have to clean the seat regularly. Try not to get a car seat with many seams or a fabric that is impossible to clean. Usually smooth fabric is easier to clean and will show stains more visibly. Also, try not to get a light-colored car seat, as that will easily be ruined. Black on the other hand will be hard to clean as not every stain will show. The color, of course, is completely up to you and your preferences, but it is better to find something that will not get messed up quickly but also will make stains visible enough for cleaning.

A car seat with installation manual that has both diagrams and text

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), many car seats are improperly installed, which means that there are more accidents that happen due to incorrect installation of car seats – which then causes a larger problem if the car gets into an accident. With a LATCH system, a 5-point harness, and impact protection, these should safeguard your child as much as possible. Yet these features will not be able to protect your child if the seat it moves around. Sometimes having just text is not enough as it can be misinterpreted. Look for a catalog with diagrams that are easy to follow and will surely add meaningful support to the text.

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Car seats are all about safety. Whether you are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on one or looking for something within your budget, safety must be given the top priority. Before purchasing one, you should read reviews, and ask your friends who have previously purchased car seats. If you follow the above guideline of things to look for in a car seat, you should be able to find a perfect match in no time. Car seats are no joking matter, therefore, you should try as much as possible to find one that is both dependable and durable.

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