You may think that the easy part is done once your child graduates from an infant car seat to a toddler seat, but that is just not true
One of the main considerations people have is how many car seats do you really need to have on hand? The beauty of having an infant carrier is that it can easily be moved from one vehicle to another since you do not have to use a base on most of the seats if you do not want to. Now that your child is in a bigger seat it becomes a much bigger hassle to move the seat from one vehicle to another.
Many times families will choose to get one really nice seat for the main vehicle, and then get cheaper seats for vehicles that only see occasional use, like the grandparents or babysitter. Either way it is imperative that the child is in a correct seat for their size. As if this is not enough to think about, you also must consider if you will be using your seat on an airplane.
If you plan on doing much travelling by air, you will want to invest in a seat that is approved for airplane usage. While it will be more expensive to purchase a seat for your toddler and their car seat, it is the safest way to travel. Many people do not realize that a car seat that has been treated as luggage should be treated the same as a car seat that has been in a serious accident. Safety aside, who really wants to sit for an extended period of time on a flight with a lap toddler?
If extended rear facing is not a concern, then there are many car seats for toddlers that the child can use from toddler all the way up to booster. While this sounds like a great feature, sometimes it does not work out that way. Sometimes a seat that works great with a harness does not work as well with a seat belt in the booster mode.
There are many different styles and colors from which you can choose. If you are planning on having children after this one, you might want to go for a more gender neutral style. No matter how you decide, one thing that you will have to pay attention to if you want to reuse the seat is the expiration date.
All seats are required to have expiration dates placed on them telling you the date that you must stop using the seat. Even if the seat appears perfectly fine, there may be damage to the structural integrity that you cannot see. Car seat expiration sates can range from 3 to 10 years depending on the car seat manufacturer.
As long as you do your homework, you are sure to find a seat that will fit both your budget and your needs. The main concern is to purchase a seat that can be used properly in your vehicle.