5 Useful Tips for Buying a Car Seat

One of the most expensive, useful and confusing purchases you will make prior to your baby’s arrival is the car seat. Today, cars seats come in such a wide variety of options and choices that picking one can be super confusing. Every company boasts their car seat as the safest, and many have bells and whistles that can make the cost double. Of course you want THE BEST for your baby, which can make it difficult to decide on which car seat is for you.

Today, we offer 5 useful tips for buying a car seat.

1. Does it fit? First and foremost, find a car-seat that fits your car. The last thing you want to do is put a car seat on your baby registry, then get it at your baby shower only to find out that it doesn’t fit your car well. Word to the wise, go to a baby store and actually test the demonstrator car seats IN YOUR CAR. Most stores will allow you to take it out to your vehicle and try it out for size. The LATCH system won’t be effective if your vehicle is not equipped with LATCH (many older cars aren’t). Likewise, if the seat doesn’t fit into your backseat well, it won’t be the safest choice for you. All car seats are made a little bit differently and will fit in your vehicle differently. Find the one that FITS the BEST!

2. Is it washable? Make sure it is completely 100% washable! They look so cute when they are new. But in 5 months when your baby spits up, spills his or her bottle, urinates, or otherwise soils the seat – you want to make sure it is easy to wash. In fact, one great idea is to check with the manufacturer to make sure that they sell replacement covers (some do and some don’t). Replacing the fabric after a year is much less expensive than replacing the whole seat.

3. Will it grow with your baby? Todays seats are made in many options. The newborn seats will only be effective until your baby is 20 pounds or 1 year old. Other seats are convertible, which means that they can be turned to forward facing seats and will accommodate a toddler. Considering how expensive these seats are, purchasing one that will be good for more than a year may be a good use of your hard earned money!

4. Is it used? Think twice before buying or accepting a hand-me-down. Car seats laws change all the time. And, car seats are recalled ALL THE TIME! If you purchase a used car seat or take a hand-me-down, parts may be missing, it may have been in an accident thus less effective, and you won’t be able to stay up-to-date with recalls on the product. When you buy a new car seat, make sure you take the extra five minutes to fill out and mail the warranty card so you can be notified if the product is recalled.

5.  Do your research. Find two car seats that you are interested in, and that fit in your car well – and then do simple online searches to find out if there are any complaints, deaths, or pending recalls. This will help you narrow your choice down to the best seat for you. If you do your research early enough, you can add the car seat to your baby registry!

What features are most important to you when looking for a car seat? Share your experiences with us!

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.