The best way to take a baby from the hospital is in a safe car seat. If you are wondering what qualifies as a safe car seat, you should check out the Evenflo car seats review.
Car seats come as convertibles – they can change from a rear-facing position for babies and toddlers to a forward-facing seat – and a 3-in-1 or all-in-one seat which is for carrying a child from infancy until s/he no longer needs a supporter.
There’s also an infant car seat which only faces the rear of your car and works for your baby’s first year.
Regardless of what you go with, we have some tips for choosing the safest possible car seat for your little one.
Buying a convertible car seat saves money because it lasts through toddlerhood, and it’s completely safe. The only problem with a convertible is that it cannot be taken in and out of the car as an infant seat can.
If you want to buy an infant car seat but need to cut down on costs, consider shopping for a travel system which is a combination of an infant seat and a stroller – these are usually sold together at a discount.
Although most newborns fit in a convertible or all-in-one car seat, baby experts generally state that it is best if you secure your baby in an infant car seat. While all car seats are tested before they are put on the market, it might be safer to buy yours from a store instead of accepting a hand-me-down.
Look for a model that has two shoulder straps, two waist straps, and one strap between the legs that meet in the middle, or those with extra foam or air pads at the side of baby’s head. There are also those which are compatible with the LATCH system – another way to fasten the base tightly without using seatbelts.
Check to see if belts of the car seat you’re buying will be easy to adjust as your baby grows. What you want are straps that will not be rethreaded. These days, many brands have modification handles in the back of the seat, or a pull cord between baby’s legs, which reduce the rate of rethreading.
Before you install, you should read the car seat manual and check out videos online to help the process along. Even after you install the car seat, you should have your work checked by a professional – this is to ensure you didn’t miss anything.
When buying a car seat, you need to consider how convenient it’ll be for you to have it around. Infant car seats are smaller and lighter than the convertible or all-in-one car seats and usually have a handle for easy transport. Most convertible and all-in-one car seats must be installed in the car and require you place the baby in a stroller when you get t your destination.
Regardless, a child eventually outgrows an infant seat which means you’ll have to buy a convertible or all-in-one model at some future time.