Thank goodness there are laws requiring that kids be securely strapped into approved car seats for infants.
It’s hard enough to get everyone out the door on time and it’s truly a relief when everyone is belted and buckled in. Even though babies often fuss, once the car gets moving, they fall sound asleep and precious silence sets in for at least a few minutes.
On a more serious note, finding the right car seats for infants is no laughing matter. Without the proper support, little ones can get hurt pretty badly even if a collision is low impact. Before heading out to purchase your infant’s vehicular home away from home, it’s important to be armed with a checklist of necessities as well as the little extras that will make your time in the car easier for everyone involved.
Before you start looking, you’ll need to decide if you want to buy an infant car seat or if you want one that’s convertible. Convertible car seats can be reconfigured to fit older children in a forward facing position. This means that you won’t have to shell out money for a new one once your little one gains weight and turns into a toddler. However, you’ll have to unlatch the baby and remove him or her from the car seat every time since this seat remains permanently attached to your car and doesn’t come with an easily removable basket. Car seats for infants are also safer for the baby.
Is it rear facing?
I can’t imagine any manufacturer putting an infant car seat on the market that isn’t rear facing, but you never know. Car seats for infants come in two parts: the basket and the base. Once the base is properly installed, simply pull the baby out with the basket.
How easy is it to use?
To ensure that you’ll get your baby securely in place every single time that you use it, the infant seat should be very easy to use. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration uses a star-based rating system that makes it easy for you to tell how simple it is to use. The higher the ratings, the easier it will be for you.
Does the seat have a five point harness?
These harnesses provide much more security than older types. To see if the car seat that you are considering has one, check to see if it has five separate straps. There should one for each arm and thigh as well as one that draws up between the legs. Or, you could simply read the product description.
How easy are adjustments to make?
As your baby grows, you’ll need to adjust the straps for a better, more secure fit. If it’s too complicated for you to figure out when you are shopping, it’ll be too hard for you when you’re rushing out to get to work on time. Just saying.
How comfortable is the seat?
Look for signs that your baby will be comfortable as well as protected. Your car seat should include head support with high impact foam. Check out the seat cushions too. How would you feel if you had to spend hours looking backwards while sitting on a hard seat?
Finally, all infant car seats are required to have a latch that attaches the seat directly to the car. In the past, seat belts were used, but they weren’t nearly as secure. Once you’ve found a seat that satisfies this checklist, you are good to go and guaranteed that you are doing your best to protect your precious cargo.