Buckle Up: What To Look At When Buying A Car Seat

Buying a car seat for your child is one of the most important decisions you make as a parent. They are designed to keep your kids comfortable and safe, especially during long car rides. 

You should also look at if the car seat’s features fit your child’s needs. There are a lot of different types of car seats you can choose from. All have unique features that satisfy a parent’s ideal car seat. 

If you are still confused about what kind of car seat to get, we got you. Here’s a quick guide to easily find the right car seat for your child.

The Type of Car Seat

There are many types of car seats to choose from. Knowing each type is crucial so that you’ll know if its features fit your child.

All-in-One Car Seat

For children aged 0 to 8 car seats need to accommodate and adapt to all their needs as they grow. The all-in-one car seat can be used rearward facing for up to 30 months, keeping your child safer for longer.

Moreover, the all-in-one car seat features enough space for the child’s legs to be well supported. It also can be adjusted in height and a reclining position to improve the child’s comfort. Its features serve as a good backup seat or seat for a caregiver transporting children.

Booster Seat

If your child is outgrowing the forward-facing harness seats, they’ll have to switch to booster seats. Booster seats raise a child in the car for the vehicle’s seat belt to fit them correctly, avoiding irritation.

Convertible Seat

When your child outgrows the infant car seat, they need a convertible seat. This type is usually bought before your child’s first birthday. Convertible seats can either be rear- or forward-facing. 

A rear-facing convertible seat is recommended for children under one year old. They need to use it until they reach two years of age, or their shoulders reach the shoulder height markers on the seat.

After reaching the shoulder height markers, they can now use forward-facing models. It can hold a child weighing up to 65 lbs. or reaching four years old.

Toddler Booster

This type of seat is for children between the ages of 4 to 7. These children must have the appropriate weight, age, and height limit to be able to sit facing forward.

Toddler Boosters or Convertible Boosters have a harness (for the forward-facing mode), but it can be removed once your child reaches the height marker (for booster mode). Toddler boosters are a great option for an older child not yet ready to transition to a booster seat.

Infant Car Seat

This type is the first seat new parents need, as it fits newborns and smaller babies. You’ll know your child is too tall for this type when their head crown is less than 1 inch from the top of the car seat.

Check The Label

Traditionally, parents, when buying car seats, will only check the safety label. However, the label contains more information. It can also tell you about the material used and the manufacturing date. 

You can also discover which material would be easy to clean and not difficult to maintain. You should choose a car seat with smooth fabric to help you easily wipe off spills and stains. Do not buy textured or corduroy because they are difficult to clean.  

Furthermore, when checking the manufacturing date, buy the newly manufactured ones. Car seats with older manufactured dates might not have complied with the new regulations or are second-hand.

It is not advisable to buy second-hand car seats if you have enough budget. You do not have the complete history of the car seat, which would not 100% guarantee that it’s still in good condition. Resellers might sell you a damaged one, especially if you don’t inspect it properly before purchase.

Vehicle Measurements 

You must check and measure your vehicle first before purchasing the car seat. Check the width and length of your vehicle to ensure that your vehicle can accommodate a car seat, allowing you to determine the size and type to buy.

There are instances when you immediately buy a car seat. However, you find that it won’t fit in the back seat because it’s too big or bulky. Additionally, consider the people that’ll also sit in the back seat when taking the measurements. It would be costly to return or buy a new car seat if you made the wrong purchase.

Car Seat Price

The last thing parents check in purchasing a car seat is how much it costs. Different types of car seats mean different pricing, and the features and sizes also affect their price. 

So when you buy one, thoroughly consider if the price is right and worth it for the specific car seat you are buying. If one car seat’s price is too good to be true, think twice before purchasing.

Final Thoughts

Usually, when parents buy car seats, their children’s comfort is the only thing they look at. However, there are many more things that you should consider, including the type of car seat, how easy it is to maintain, measurements of the vehicle, and the price of the car seat. 

But buying a car seat doesn’t have to be daunting. As long as you know what to look for and what your kid needs, you’ll be sure to get the perfect fit on your first purchase.

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