How To Find The Best Infant Car Seat

There is nothing more important than protecting our children. As parents, we know we must be ever vigilant when it comes to choosing the toys and other items we use around our kids. One of the times children need protection the most is while riding in a vehicle. This is where infant car seats and knowing its safety features come in. A built-in stroller also is a plus for long road trips. There are many infant seats to consider in the market, but you need to learn more about child passenger safety before buying one.

The best infant car seats have seen many improvements over several decades when it comes to safety features. Design-wise, we have seen a bucket seat offered in the market, which is designed for comfort and support of developing infants. There are car seats developed into the car itself, which is called an integrated car seat, and many accessories that have come out such as a seat pad, infant insert, load leg, shoulder straps, and anti rebound bar. Indeed, car seat features can be overwhelming for parents considering the many car seat brands out there. So, how do you choose the best infant car seat? What are the car seat safety features to look for in an infant seat and is there a seat weight limit? Will you let your baby rest in a used car seat? Is a car seat stroller combo the best car seat for you? What are the infant seats brands to choose from and what is the most affordable infant car seat? Struggling to know the difference between most infant car seats and convertible infant seat and various child passenger safety guidelines? Let this list help you find the one.

Source: piqsels.com

Finding the best infant car seat or convertible seat is about balancing your budget restraints and child passenger safety by understanding the safety features of a baby seat before buying one. Choose between a dedicated infant car seat or any of the convertible car seats that grow with your child. Check out the installation instructions as every car seat has its own size, weight limit, and stroller compatibility. Impact protection is a must. Look for a car seat that’s easy to clean. Ideally, you should get an infant car seats good with stroller.

The more you know about finding the best infant car seats or convertible seat and its safety features, the safer your baby will be. You don’t have to buy the most expensive infant car seat that you can find to get the best. Don’t go with the cheapest infant seat either. Mid-range infant car seats often test well and include many safety features. In this article, you’ll learn what factors you should look at when you’re choosing from a wide range of infant seats brands like height and weight limits, and finally getting best infant car seat. You’ll also find some of the best infant car seats currently for sale on Amazon further down.

Infant Car Seat vs. Convertible Car Seat

A dedicated infant car seat strictly accommodates infants with a certain weight limit. These are the baby carriers parents take into restaurants and grocery stores that have handles. Babies can sit in infant car seats on the way home from the hospital. They ride in it when they are just under nine pounds until they reach about 35 pounds. 

An ideal infant car seat should always be installed in the rear facing position. A rear facing car seat is installed with the vehicle’s seat belt or by placing a seat base in your back seat that the infant car seat clicks into. You have to ensure that the car’s seat belt has no damage and strong enough to hold the infant seat to protect your baby from impact. The seat belt needs to lock properly as well. You may consult with a child passenger safety technician if you need help with installation. These child passenger safety technicians are known to be experts in this area and can guarantee proper installation of your baby seat.

Convertible car seats are considered one of the best infant car seats as they grow with your child. You can use a convertible car seat from birth up to about 40 pounds in the rear facing position. From being a rear facing seat, you’ll turn the infant seat around from rear facing to the forward-facing position at that point. Some models of a convertible car seat grow with your children all the way up to 80 pounds. Take note of the weight limit of various convertible seats to ensure the safety of your baby. With this type of seat, you can also use an anti rebound bar to prevent your baby from moving involuntary while inside the car.

Convertible car seats used with infants aren’t as convenient as infant-only car seats. They’re not designed for taking out of the car and using as a baby carrier or rocker. They’re also heavy and may cost much more than infant car seats. 

Source: flickr.com

Installation Is Highly Important

Here’s a stunning statistic about car seat installation. On average, about 59% of all infant car seats are installed incorrectly. When an infant seat is not installed properly, it reduces the level of protection for the child riding in that seat. So even if you have one of the safest infant car seats, its safety features will become useless if it is not installed correctly. The vehicle’s seat belt needs to be locked correctly as well to keep the car seat secured. If you want to be 100% sure that your car seat is installed securely, visit a child passenger safety technician nearest you for proper installation. A child passenger safety technician is a car seat expert that can help ensure your baby’s protection. For added safety, you can also use an anti rebound bar to keep your baby secured while traveling. 

Look at the installation instructions for infant car seats you’re considering. You should see if the infant car seat is a good fit for your vehicle and if a regular seat belt can work with it to install it properly. Not all car seats are the best match for all vehicles, but by checking carefully including the weight limit, you will be able to get the best infant car seat for your baby.

You’ll also need to decide between an infant car seat that you install with the seat belt every time you get in and out of the car and a seat that comes with a base that stays in the car. If you opt for a travel system infant car seat that has compatible bases, you will install the base, so you can click the seat in it. This method is more convenient once you get the base installed correctly.

What Is Impact Protection?

Impact protection is built into some of the best infant car seats as part of its safety features It keeps your child safer in the event of a side-impact collision. Simply put, it provides side impact protection or when the impact is sideways. This type of collision is typically more dangerous for children than front or rear accidents. The side impact protection is designed to take the brunt of the force.

Side impact protection in a car seat is built into the supports that surround the head of children riding in your vehicle, which is a good feature especially for a sleeping baby. Not all popular infant car seats have it, but an infant seat that has an side impact protection definitely offers more protection for your child. Look for how much impact protection there is among your possible options. Then, compare the options and safety features before buying the best infant car seat based on your assessment. Additionally, you can also get an anti rebound bar to give your baby additional protection.

Easy-to-Clean Is Best

Babies and kids are messy. Find an infant car seat that’s easy to clean. Many infant car seats have a removable seat cover that you may throw in the washing machine. That’s the best type of infant seat to buy because otherwise, your only option is to spot clean the car seat cover with mild cleaners or straight water. Cleaning seat covers should not add up to your stress so better choose the removal one.

Travel System Infant Car Seats

Some of the best infant car seats are part of travel systems. This means the pieces all work together in combinations. The infant car seat is the center of everything. It is compatible with a base you install in your vehicle, as well as with specific strollers. 

Travel systems are versatile and offer parents convenience that takes away much of the unnecessary hassle they often experience. Some travel systems can be mismatched. If you’re thinking of piecing one together, make sure you check for the compatibility between all the components.

Best Infant Car Seat Options

 

 

The Graco SnugRide is a great infant car seat as it is easy to install either with the stationary base or with the seat belt. Take note of its weight limit as it can only accommodate infants up to 35 pounds. This infant car seat should only be installed in the rear facing position. These rear facing car seats can only be used up to when your baby has outgrown it, and by that time, you would have to shift to a forward facing seat. The cover of this seat comes off for easy cleaning. It is equipped with the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System that allows you to secure your child appropriately as they grow. This infant seat also has four recline positions. There is also a canopy in this car seat that rotates over the infant for protection from the sun and it is equipped with an adjustable headrest. This adjustable headrest can be adjusted as the baby grows, making your baby comfortable always.

Pros:

  • Cushion and seat cover are machine washable
  • Crashed tested rigorously
  • Secure base makes for easy click in and click out
  • This car seat has a reinforced core to withstand impact
  • Install with LATCH system
  • Comes with an adjustable headrest

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Canopy placement interferes with handle
  • This car seat is heavy
  • No load leg function

 

 

Chicco KeyFit 30 infant seats are part of a travel system. You can purchase the car seat bases to put in other vehicles so you don’t have to install it using your car’s seat belt. The bases are easy to install. Secure them in the backseat with the LATCH system. Use the RideRight bubble levels on either side of the base to install it evenly. The infant carrier clicks in and out of the base with ease. The same is true for the compatible stroller. A newborn insert is used until your child outgrows it for securing small babies. 

Pros:

  • Removable cover of this car seat is machine washable
  • This is an affordable infant car seat
  • Easy tightener for 5-point harness
  • Works within travel system
  • Lightweight infant car seat (make sure to check the weight limits)

Cons:

  • Gets hot
  • Low height and weight limits
  • The visor of this car seat is difficult to adjust
  • No load leg function

 

Britax Infant Car Seat Base ( See Customer Reviews & Pricing)

 

Britax is an industry leader that makes child safety products including an infant car seat base. This infant car seat base is compatible with the company’s line of infant car seats. It makes taking babies in and out of your vehicle easier and more convenient. Rather than using the seat belt to secure the infant seat, you simply click the seat into the previously installed base. This base is also designed to be impact absorbing which reduces the likelihood of injury to your baby. Note that Britax also offers an anti rebound bar which you can buy for your baby’s added comfort and safety.

Pros:

  • Has an easy to click seat into base
  • Easy to install
  • Compatible with multiple Britax car seats
  • Sturdy base that secures well

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • No dedicated metal belt tension straps
  • New base isn’t compatible with old models
  • No load leg function

 

 

This Graco infant car seat is a good value and is a lighter seat compared to others in the market. The base installation is easy and takes only three steps to complete. It secures with the LATCH system. The base offers four recline positions. This infant car seat model has the rotating canopy to keep your baby protected from the sun and out of the wind. You also get the all-weather boot that keeps your little one warm in the cold months. This infant car seat is compatible with all Click Connect strollers by Graco.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight car seat
  • This infant car seat has an easy to install base
  • 4 recline positions to grow with your baby
  • This car seat is made of sturdy materials with impact protection

Cons:

  • Canopy is too close to handle
  • The release button of this infant car seat gets stuck sometimes
  • This car seat has a handle is difficult to adjust
  • No load leg function

 

Can You Use An Infant Car Seat Without A Base?

You can use an infant car seat without a base. The bases were created to make the car seat easier to take babies in and out of the car. Without the base, you must secure it with a seat belt each time you get back in the car. Or the alternative is to take the baby out of the carrier. 

Many infant car seats, if not all, come with instructions for securing them in vehicles using a seat belt without bases. Follow the instructions closely to ensure the safest ride for your child.

Conclusion

The best infant car seat keeps your child safe in the event of a car accident. You can choose between a dedicated infant car seat or a convertible car seat that grows with your little one for longer. You’ll want to investigate the safety features including the weight limit and stroller compatibility of all your considerations. See how easy it is to clean each car seat you are considering. You may also want to choose an infant car seat that’s part of a travel system. With the many infant seats to choose from, make sure to select the safest one within your budget for the highest value and with the best safety features for your baby.

Source: pxfuel.com

FAQs:

What is the top-rated infant car seat?

The Chicco KeyFit 30 infant car seat is one of the consistently top-rated infant car seats in the market. As your baby grows, its height can be adjusted up to three different levels making the belt adjustable as well. However, unlike the no rethread harness, it is not as easy to adjust. Also, Chicco KeyFit was not designed to have a load leg and European belt path, which means that your seat belt has to pass through the front seat. But still, Chicco Keyfit is a great car seat to have.

What is the safest infant car seat in 2020?

The safest infant car seat is the Chicco KeyFit 30.  It does not come with a no rethread harness and load leg function though.

What is the safest car seat on the market?

The safest infant car seat currently on the market is the Britax One4Life Clicktight All-in-One.

Are Nuna car seats worth it?

Nuna car seats are high-quality and easy to use. They provide good protection for infants and equipped with load leg. These car seats are worth it if the price tags fit your budget. If they don’t, look for a more budget-friendly model from Graco or Chicco. Nuna’s Rava model can be a good choice for three car seats for small cars.

Source: flickr.com

Is Nuna worth the money?

Plenty of car seats sold at lower costs are high-quality as well. Nuna car seat is only worth it if you’re staying within your means. It has a load leg function which is an added comfort for babies.

How long do babies use infant car seats?

On average, infant car seats are used for about a year. They can last anywhere between 9 months and 2 years, but with its weight limit, babies will outgrow it over time unlike convertible car seats that can last longer.

Which car seat is better, Graco or Chicco?

These two are both good quality car seat makers. Graco car seat has a wider variety and lower prices. Chicco car seat is a little more premium and stylish looking. Both Chicco Keyfit30 and Graco Snugride Snuglock 35 are not equipped with no rethread harness.

Are all-in-one car seats worth it?

These car seats are quite economical. This infant car seat grows with your child. You don’t have to go out and purchase three or four different car seats to accommodate your aging child. Just pay attention to weight limit as your baby grows bigger.

Source: flickr.com

Are expensive car seats worth it?

Expensive car seats are worth it sometimes. They are made of high-quality materials, look nice, and include extra convenience features. Don’t overspend on an infant car seat, though. It reduces its value and your baby may exceed its weight limit over time. Look for an infant car seat that fit well within your budget.

What car seat is best for newborns?

The best infant car seat is the one that best suits your baby and your needs as parents. In deciding what car seat to get, you as parents must take into consideration several factors such as functionality, safety standards, budget, weight limit, and many others. Below are the brands that manufacture some of best infant car seats, baby gear, and accessories in the market today.

  • Best Overall Infant Car Seat: Chicco KeyFit 30
  • Best Value Infant Car Seat: Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35
  • Best Infant Car Seat for Small Cars: Clek Liing
  • Best Infant Car Seat Stroller Combo: Doona Car Seat & Stroller
  • Best Lightweight Infant Car Seat: Nuna Pipa Rx with Relx Base
  • Easiest to Clean Infant Car Seat: Maxi-Cosi Mico Max Plus
  • Easiest to Install Infant Car Seat: UPPAbaby Mesa Infant Car Seat
  • Best Infant Car Seat for Small Babies: Britax B-Safe 35
  • Best Infant Car Seat with Built-in Sensor: Cybex Aton 2

 

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Last Updated on August 13, 2022 by Ryan Ballesteros

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