Sometime during your pregnancy you will start the search for the perfect car seat for your baby. Today, hospitals won’t allow you to leave without one. The hard part is that there are so many choices, that fit so many different budgets, that it can be a difficult decision to make. Do you need the one with the drink holder, do you need a convertible, and what is a LATCH system? Online research can only make things more confusing as the reviews of every product are seemingly positive and boasting that the product as ‘the best.’
Truth is, buying a car seat doesn’t have to be a difficult. If you follow these 5 tips for buying a car seat, you will get the perfect one for your car, your baby and your lifestyle! And if you plan on putting your car seat on a registry, follow these tips and ask specifically for a certain make and model.
1. Don’t buy a used car seat or accept a hand-me-down. Unless you were the original owner, you should never buy a used car seat. For one thing, newer models adhere to newer safety standards. And you need to be kept informed of any recalls on car seats. Plus, if parts are missing you might never know it, and missing parts can compromise the safety of the seat. There are plenty of car seats to fit all budgets to make sure that you get a new car seat that puts safety first.
2. Look for seats that have some longevity. Infant car seats will have to be replaced when your baby faces forward and reaches 20 pounds. Front facing seats may not fit a growing toddler. In other words, you don’t want to be replacing your car seat every year. There are many seats that work from infancy up to 8 years old. They may seem bulky and big at first, but your baby will grow quickly, and you will save money by not having to buy a new seat each and every year.
3. Make sure the car seat is easy to wash! As your baby gets older, they will spill things and spit-up, diapers will leak, and stains will build up on the car seat. All of the coverings should be washable, and you should make sure you can find replacement covers online to increase the longevity of your car seat. If the seat is too difficult to wash and clean, chances are you will end up throwing it away at some point.
4. Before buying a car seat, try it for a fit in YOUR car. Many baby stores will allow you to take a demo model out to your vehicle to snap in the car. Some seats will fit great in your vehicle while others won’t. If you have an older model car, buying a seat with a LATCH system will not work. The best car seat in the world won’t be worthwhile if it doesn’t fit well into your vehicle.
5. Check out www.seatcheck.org before purchasing or making a final decision to make sure that there are no recalls, or safety warnings on the seat that you chose. This is a non-biased, safety based organization that gives detailed information about car seats.
Whatever car seat you choose, get it into the car as soon as possible so everything is in place when the time comes! You don’t want to be struggling with directions and seatbelts when you are in labor. Use the instructions that come with the seat, as well as the owner’s manual for your car to get the perfect fit. Many areas have organizations who run car seat checks to be sure yours is installed correctly – take advantage of this service.
Tell us how your car seat search is going.
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 2018. All rights reserved.