Bringing baby home for the first time is so exciting! The last thing you want is to be worried about safety and if you’ve installed baby’s newborn car seat correctly. You’ll want to be prepared ahead of time! Here are a few things you’ll need to know:
Choosing a Newborn Car Seat
Picking out a car seat for your newborn can be overwhelming. There are so many options. The first thing to decide is if you will choose an infant car seat or go straight to a convertible car seat that baby can use for many years.
Infant Car Seat
- Portable- able to clip in and out of a car seat base. You can bring it with you (aka, keep baby asleep) wherever you go.
- Most car seats can clip into most strollers with a car seat adapter
- The car seat can be easily stored indoors during extreme temperature
- Can purchase multiple bases for different cars (spouse, grandparents, etc.) Also the base can be moved from car to car much easier than a big bulky car seat.
- Baby will outgrow this seat around 10-14 months (depending on size)
Convertible Car Seat
- Depending on type (3 in 1 or 4 in 1), it will be the only type of car seat you need
- Can be used forward facing or rear facing
- More difficult to move from car to car
- Need to have more than one if you want to have one in multiple cars
- Be sure to find one that is easy to take the cover off and wash (those things go through a lot throughout the years)
Safety is the number one feature you should be looking for: but how do you know which car seat company to trust? The good news is that ALL newborn car seats have to pass strict federal safety regulations. But you still have to make a decision between brands.
Things to look for in regards of safety:
- One thing to keep in mind is never purchase or take a used car seat. Car seats expire and the newer the model the more safety features it will have.
- 5 point harness- a car seat with 5 straps mounted to the car frame. This is essential.
- Side impact protection
- Ease of adjustment- car seats should always fit baby snugly and be in the proper placement. The easier it is to adjust, the more often you will do it.
- Ease of instillation- a level bubble can help you know if the car seat is at the right level.
No matter which brand you choose, a huge component to car seat safety is in the instillation. Always do your research and ask for help from an expert when needed.