- 1 Choosing The Best Toddler Car Seat: A Comparison Table
- 1.1 Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible
- 1.2 Graco Nautilus 3-in-1
- 1.3 Diono Radian RXT
- 1.4 Peg Perego Convertible Premium
- 1.5 RECARO ProRIDE Convertible Car Seat
- 1.6 The Best Toddler Car Seat: Things You Should Know Before Buying One
- 1.7 Orientation: Forward-only or convertible versions?
- 1.8 Criteria for choosing the best car seats for toddlers
- 1.9 New vs used car seats
- 1.10 Top 5 Of The Most Popular Brands of Infant Car Seats
- 1.11 Tips for Choosing A Baby Car Seat
Choosing The Best Toddler Car Seat: A Comparison Table
In this article, we will be discussing the most important points of buying a toddler car seat. To save you and your partner the effort of having to browse through the many websites available, we have summarized all of the information that you will need to know regarding these car seats which, by the end of the article, would hopefully be able to help you make a decision on which to purchase.
*Harness Ultra Guard System chest pads – provides resistance to forward movement in the event of a crash
*EPS Expanded Ply Styrene – located in shell and head panel, protects child’s head and torso from impact forces
*Safe a Shock Absorbing Foam element – crumples upon impact reducing stress on child’s neck and shoulders
*TrueLock belt lock off – prevents slippage from vehicle’s seat belt in forward facing orientation
*Safety Stripe System – designed to serve as an alert in case of an occurrence of a twist which may cause danger to the child
*SafeStop – provides bungee-like energy absorption
*Rear-facing tether – reduce seat rotation during crash
*$ means below 150, $$ means between 200 and 300, $$$ means 300 and above
So which of the above is the best?
Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible
It’s unlikely that you’ll find any other car seats that are more reliable than the Britax Marathon. As of 2014, this is, without a doubt, the absolute best toddler car seat. It has a very sturdy built and has tons of adjustment features which can easily be catered to fit every child. It also has excellent padding which is vital for increased comfort for your child and it practically has all of the must-have features in terms of guarding the safety of your child.
I’ve had the opportunity to test out this particular unit while I was scouting for a reliable car seat for my child. I was firstly surprised by the ease of installation of it. Upon my initial inspection after unboxing it, I was admittedly skeptical that it would fit in the back of my Mini as it has a smaller back space than most cars. I’m pleased to say that it fit rather snuggly and that’s saying a lot because it has rather thick padding too, which makes it look a little bulky. I was even able to recline my driver’s seat to my usual seating position without compromising any comfort. I’m one very happy parent!
As a new parent, the search for the perfect car seat to buy is quite a challenging one. With several options available, how can I possibly choose the best one to buy for my child? Fortunately, I came across a great product that some of my friends recommended to me. The Britax Marathon 70-G3 was indeed a fine investment, in my opinion.
It comes with loads of features that are certainly up to my standards. While it certainly still has room for improvements, I have no regrets in buying this product because those minor limitations are hardly deal-breakers.
If you’re also in the market for a good car seat for your little one, then you might want to check out this review of the Marathon 70-G3 by Britax to find out what you can expect from this product.
What I loved most about this car seat are the safety features, which matter more to me than the aesthetic appeal (although the Marathon looks absolutely gorgeous, too, by the way). For instance, it is equipped with a sturdy base that prevents your child from thrusting forward during a car crash. This is also responsible for keeping the seat in place no matter how much you child moves around while seated.
The side portion of the seat is covered with a rigid, yet comfortable shock-absorbing foam that serves as a protection from side impact. There are also tethers made with the same material, and they help maintain the seat’s stability from the top whether it faces the rear or forward.
As for the five-point harness, it is covered with chest pads, which ensure maximum protection to your child in a crash. It secures the top restraint of the harness, so it remains on top of your little one’s chest during a collision. While this model may lack the more advanced side-impact protection for the side wings found in the brand’s higher end models, all the safety features in this product are good enough to secure your child.
I’m not up for complicated features since all I want is to make sure that the car seat works as expected. Thus, I’m quite relieved that the Marathon is a no-brainer to use. The harness height adjuster does not require re-threading, so I can easily adjust the height even with just one hand.
Another thing I love about this product is the ease in installing the seat. The push-button feature in the LATCH connectors hardly require any time-consuming installation process. There are also lock-off fasteners, so the seat belt remains snug around the car seat once the connectors are used.
Most importantly, the car seat cover is a joy to clean. I can simply remove the whole thing even when the seat is still installed. Even after several washes, the cover stays sturdy and attractive as ever, thanks to its durable quality.
Other Outstanding Features
Generally, this seat is all about comfort – with soft padding and cover, you can expect your child to fall in love with this car seat. The seat is also roomy and deep, so your little one can stay at ease during the ride. If you feeling a bit sleepy, she can rest her head against the protective side wings and doze off comfortably.
The seat is versatile enough to be used as a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat, although you need to check the weight requirements first. Basically, rear-facing is advisable for kids that weigh between 5 and 40 pounds while forward-facing is for those weighing about 70 pounds or so.
Limitations to Consider
Although the Britax Marathon 70-G3 is packed with a range of safety and convenient features, it still has a few limitations. You may notice that the seat’s shell is a bit short for some kids, which means you cannot keep your taller children seated in the rear-facing style regardless of their weight. Ideally, once you notice just one inch of the shell showing over their heads while seated, you will have to turn the seat into the forward-facing style.
If you own a smaller vehicle, you may have some problems installing the seat, particularly when there are a few other people who stay in the back seat. With that in mind, you need to measure your car’s dimensions first before you consider buying this product. Otherwise, you may end up returning the product because it does not fit in your car.
I have also heard of some parents complaining about the chest pads, which were difficult for them to use on their smaller kids. Personally, I never encountered their problem since the chest pads and the straps worked perfectly fine, in my case. I even like the fact that the harness straps are quite thick, which makes them less prone to tangling. The crotch strap is also relatively long, so it is easy to keep larger kids secure in their seat.
Value for Your Money
For its price, the Marathon is an excellent investment because it comes with all the basic features that will meet your expectations. Even the manufacturer’s quality of customer service is amazing, which means there are only few complaints from product users.
If you need further information about the installation process, you can simply check out the website to search for the details you need. Be sure to enter the manufacturing date, so you can access relevant details that you need.
This car seat expires after seven years from date of purchase, and you will also have to replace the seat once you have come across a moderate or severe car crash to ensure your child’s safety. Check the website for a list of criteria regarding the type of car crash that will require you to buy a replacement for this seat.
Graco Nautilus 3-in-1
Based on our toddler car seat reviews, another option to take into consideration when buying one which also comes highly recommended is the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1, simply because it’s one of the most affordable seats for its quality. At only around $150, I almost settled for this seat before I came across the Britax Marathon which just seems to be more snug and cushiony.
Despite that, the Graco Nautilus has all the safety features that the Britax has, and it can accommodate up to 100 pounds (which is 30 pounds more than the average products’ capacity of 70 pounds). This means that as your child grows older and larger, you could still make do with this particular car seat as long as he or she is still within the recommended age specification. Plus, it is easy to use, has plenty of adjustments and comes with a very reliable warranty (based on the user reviews online). The only downside here is the fact that it’s only forward facing, but with all the necessary safety features and its affordable pricing, this would easily be one of the best seats available in the market and I highly recommend it.
When it comes to buying baby items, I never compromise quality for a cheap price. After all, what good is a low-cost product when it will only harm my little one? So, after some careful consideration and lengthy online search, I’ve finally decided to buy the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 car seat without any second thoughts. For its price, the features and ease of operation are superb. This is not just lip service since I’ve owned this product for about 3 years now, and I’m still very much satisfied with its overall quality.
While there are a few limitations to this product, you have to admit that there is no such thing as a perfect car seat. There will always be some points to consider, yet the most important thing is that the benefits outweigh these minor drawbacks – and that’s exactly what I can say about the Nautilus.
The Nautilus 3-in-1 car seat by Graco features a five-point harness strap, which can be positioned in a forward-facing mode. It is equipped with a sturdy steel frame, shock-absorbing foam, and head protection for side impact. It also comes with LATCH connectors, yet these are best used for children below 48 pounds.
The car seat has been given a recognition by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety because of its seatbelt’s good fit when the seat is placed in a high-back booster position. It has also received excellent ratings in safety tests conducted by experts. Thus, you are rest assured that your kids are safe and well-protected from impact once buckled up in this car seat by Graco.
Tired of car seats that take hours to install? Fortunately, this car seat is a joy to install because of its easy operation features. Perhaps the only slight challenge involved in setting up the car seat would be the harness. For instance, you will have to find the right position for the shoulder straps when you move them to the harness. Re-threading through the back part of the seat is necessary when you need to adjust the straps.
One of the best things that I like about this product is the ease in converting it from forward-facing mode to a backless or high-back booster seat. It also comes with armrests to ensure your child’s comfort during the ride, and there is an integrated cup holder to accommodate your little one’s drinking bottle.
You can use the armrest storage compartments to stuff a few of your child’s items that you may want to bring along. Whether you want to put in some toys, extra clothes or diapers, these can fit perfectly in the compartments.
To give your child a more comfortable sleep during the ride, simply place the seat in recline mode. Adjusting the seat is also a breeze, and you can do so with just a single hand.
Different Modes for the Car Seat
As your child grows, you can simply select the best mode for the seat that will suit his or her needs. Primarily, the harness mode is recommended to kids that are between 20 and 65 pounds, or as long as they have a height between 27 and 52 inches. Once your kid grows at a height of of 38 to 57 inches and weigh around 30 to 100 pounds, you may choose the high-back booster mode for your child’s comfort. Lastly, the backless booster mode is perfect for older kids about 40 to 57 inches in height, with a weight of between 40 and 100 pounds. If you think about it, the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 can suit your child at any stage of his or her life!
Just a word of advice – you may have to adjust the crotch strap before your child reaches the weight or height limit for using the harness. This way, there will be no discomfort linked with tight straps.
Limitations to Consider
Although the car seat has gained excellent marks in safety tests, there are some concerns with regard to removing the harness buckle. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has conducted an investigation into this issue, in 2012. Graco did its part by testing and improving this point of concern among consumers. Based on the company’s tests, some of the harness buckles tend to become difficult to open and quite sticky over time if food or juice spilled on these parts. After a voluntary recall conducted by Graco, improvements were made on the new harness buckles used on selected car seats.
Other than some difficulties in unlatching the buckles, there were no reported cases of injuries or accidents when it comes to the use of these car seats. Considering the cause of the issue, it is best to keep the buckles clean, particularly after use to ensure their good quality.
Expert testers have also discovered that the seat labels need additional information to help parents in the installation process. The lack of illustrations and lengthy explanation on how to convert the seat to a booster may also be an issue for some users.
Value for Your Money
At less than $200, the Nautilus is a practical car seat to buy with all its safety features and add-on components that ensure your child’s safety and comfort. The customer service is also considerably satisfactory since you can always contact the company for any concerns you may have about the product. You can expect a timely response for your inquiries, and this is what I like most about Graco (aside from its amazing product range, of course).
Considering all the features and benefits of this product, I can truly say that I have made a solid investment by purchasing the Nautilus 3-in-1 car seat for my child. The seat is made of the finest quality materials, and it can be converted into different modes to suit your child’s height and weight. There are also additional components that will help give your little one a comfortable experience during the ride such as armrests, head rest, and cup holder. While there were some issues with the harness buckles years back, Graco has already addressed this and made sure that their products are up to their customers’ standards.
Diono Radian RXT
Why Opt For Diono?
Diono is a relatively new and upcoming brand making products such as car sears, convertible boosters, strollers and travelling accessories. While it seems that it has a pretty short history, it has won many awards along the way such as the ‘Most Innovative Product’ Award which they won with Mighty-Tite in 2002, and impressively, Diono is credited as one of fastest growing United States companies in this sector with more than 100 products available in many countries all around the world.
The Diono RadianRXT Convertible car seat is one of the safest car seats available in the US market. It is a well built, solid and sturdy with an addition of booster seats which increases the maximum weight recommendation to 120 pounds. The high weight limit means that this seat with its booster addition can accommodate average-sized 6-7 year olds or older without any problems.
The safety feature of 5-point harness is that it evenly distributes the force of impact in the case of an accident. The one unique feature of this car seat is that it is foldable, for both travelling and storage purposes. Travelling becomes such a breeze; I find it amazing how easy it can be folded and carried around like a backpack, and this definitely bodes well with frequent flyers/travelers. The other feature available in this car seat is the cup holder, a unique feature not commonly available in other car seats in the market. This seat is also machine washable, so no more headaches when it comes to cleaning up the mess that your toddler made while in this car seat.You can also keep your seat clean and long lasting by regularly cleaning them.
All in all, this car seat is a good option, but in my opinion not the best, for those looking out for one for their children. I would suggest that you have a look at Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat which is probably one of the best seats currently available in the market and it happens to be the highest rated car seat on Amazon too. Also worth considering is the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat which is one of the most affordable seats which may well impress you.
- Well built, solid, sturdy seat
- Can fit up till 120 pounds with its booster seat
- 5 point harness
- Easy to tighten the LATCH system by a pull of the strap
- Ability to fold for travelling and storage purposes, may be worn like a backpack
- Adjustable head support
- One cup holder
- Machine washable
Peg Perego Convertible Premium
Peg-Perego’s history dates back to 1949 when Guiseppe Perego made a baby carriage for his child, Lucio Perego, who is the current company president. This company has been in this field for the past 60 years, making everything from carriages to strollers to car seats and baby toys and has proved to be one of the successful companies in this line of work.
This convertible has many safety features and is easy to use. One of the most important features is the side impact protection which gives protection to the child’s head, neck and spine in the case of a collision. Other features include the energy absorbing foam which protects the child’s head and torso, and the LATCH connectors which are easy to use for both orientations.
- It is sturdy with good quality materials used to build the seat
- It fits even in cars with small back seat space
- It is extremely well padded for good comfort and all-around protection
- It is easy to install, washable meaning no fuss in cleaning up any mess
- It is one of the lightest car seats available in the market currently
- It provides excellent head rest and support for added comfort
- At approximately $300, it is easily one of the costliest car seats out in the market
RECARO ProRIDE Convertible Car Seat
RECARO has over 100 years of history and is a hugely successful and renowned seat brands worldwide. With the use of latest technologies, innovation and drive, they have produced fantastic seats over the years.
The RECARO car seat is without doubt the safest seat available in the market, designed by the company who makes one of the best, if not the best, racing car seats. This seat has surpassed all federal regulations for safety, and having undergone various stringent testing, it is definitely the safest seat available in the United States market as of now. Its design is perfect with plenty of support all around your child.
I was surprised how my child was able to rest comfortably in this car seat during our long-distance travelling just a few months back. He was able to sleep soundly throughout the 4 hour journey. I was happy at how RECARO has designed its seats for the comfort of the child without having compromised its safety. The ease of the harness adjustment was very well thought of, and I couldn’t be happier with its design.
Having mentioned all of the advantages of this seat, one of its downside of this seat is that it is not machine washable; the only way to clean the seat is by manually using a rag/cloth. Also, due to its larger size, it may not fit well in all cars, especially cars with smaller back seat space. For better fitting car seat, I would recommend that you look at the Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat. Having said that, you need not worry as Amazon has a fantastic returnable policy, terms and conditions applied.
In conclusion, The RECARO ProRIDE convertible car seat is by far the safest car seat you can buy in the current market and it comes priced very reasonably at $218.92 with several strong competitors’ seats priced above $250. If safety and comfort is your number one priority in a car seat, this should be on the top of your list of car seats.
- Soft head wings which are comfortable
- Good protection to child in the event of a crash
- Easy adjustment for harness
- Comfortable seats
- Not machine washable
- Large seat, may not fit well in all cars
The Best Toddler Car Seat: Things You Should Know Before Buying One
Orientation: Forward-only or convertible versions?
First and foremost, it is important to know that there are 2 types of toddler car seats which are categorized based on the orientation; the forward-facing only ones, and the most common type currently available in the market which is known as the convertible seats. The convertible type is essentially a combination of rearward and forward orientation with an option to switch from the former to the latter as a child ages. With the convertible seats being the most commonly sold type, this article compares 5 of the most popular models available in the United States market.
Most state laws require a child to be placed in a rearward facing orientation up to at least 1 year old before switching to forward orientation for safety reasons; however it is highly recommended to continue using the rearward orientation till the age of 2 or until the child reaches the weight and height limits of the seat before reversing the orientation. The rearward orientation is preferred in the case of a collision with a front car.
Criteria for choosing the best car seats for toddlers
There are several important things to consider when it comes to choosing the right/best/most suitable seat for your child.
1) Weight, height and age of your child
– Most car seats will come with a weight, height as well as age recommendation. However, not all car seats will be ideal based purely on how old the toddler is. The age recommendation should always be used as a general guideline, as opposed to a conclusive one, to determine the suitability of a certain seat for your baby. For instance, the age specification might be listed as 1-2 years of age and its recommended weight might be up to 65 pounds. However, if your baby is 1 year old but weighs 75 pounds, you would do better to opt for another seat which can accommodate your child’s extra weight. Bear this in mind, when in doubt, always look at the listed weight recommendation instead of the age range.
Additionally, if you’re looking to buy, say a Britax Marathon (5-70 pounds) but your child is nearing the maximum recommended weight of 70 pounds, we would recommend you to choose a seat which can accommodate a larger weight just to be safe.
Safety is the second most important feature that one should consider when buying a toddler car seat. The 5-point safety harness which is an available security feature in almost all convertible car seats consists of 2 shoulder straps, 2 thigh straps and a crotch strap which goes between your child’s legs.
The advantage of having more straps would be that the car seat will be more adjustable on the whole (for comfort reasons) and in the event of an unfortunate crash, the impact of the crash would be evenly distributed so as to reduce the total impact on a specific part of the body.
The 3-point safety harness system, which is also available in certain convertibles, is made up of 2 straps over the shoulder that are then attached to a crotch strap, but it’ll be tough to find any of these around ever since the new 5 harness systems came about.
Side impact protection is vital in the case of collisions from the side, and will be a very useful addition to its safety levels.
3) LATCH Feature
The LATCH feature functions by attaching a car seat directly to your vehicle instead of having to use the vehicle’s seat belt to secure it. This increases the safety factor of a seat by a significant amount since there’d be virtually no chance that the seat will be thrown off position due to any impact.
Note that this feature will not be found in every seat available out there but as we deem this an absolutely vital feature here, all of the seats compared in the table above come with this particular feature.
4) Detachable and washable covers
Ensure that the seats’ covers are removable for cleaning purposes in the case of a mess. This can happen pretty often so you might want to opt for easily detachable versions.
The seats should also be well-padded to ensure the highest comfort and protection levels for your child. Generally, the thicker the pads are, the more force-absorbent they will be and this will be useful in preventing any injury to your child in the case of an accident.
New vs used car seats
When it comes to choosing a good seat, most people may ponder upon whether to get a used version instead of a new one. We would recommend that you get a new one for the reason that a used version may have been involved in an accident or may be subject to wear and tear over time which may compromise its sturdiness and thus safety. Also, most used versions would likely be way past their warranty period.
Top 5 Of The Most Popular Brands of Infant Car Seats
Now that the nursery is probably all set for your new baby, the next thing you need to do is to buy the right baby car seat for your little one. After all, you have to make sure that your child stays safe each time you take him with you in the car. The last thing you want to do is to risk your precious one’s life by letting him travel without keeping him properly restrained and secured in a car seat that is designed for his age. So, make no mistake of buying the wrong car seat for your little one, and check out this review of the popular brands of car seats for babies.
What to Look for in an Infant Car Seat
Some parents are instantly drawn to an attractive car seat with those adorable prints and designs. However, what REALLY matters when it comes to the perfect car seat for your baby? Primarily, safety is the most important thing you should look for in a baby car seat since your child’s security is your primary concern for buying this item. Essential safety components include shock-absorbing foam for the seat, which helps protect your little one from side, rear or frontal impact. You should also look for a car seat that has met or even exceeded the federal requirements for crash test ratings.
Your child’s comfort must be your other main concern since you need to ensure your baby’s comfort throughout the ride. A reclining seat, canopy, head support and cold weather boot are outstanding features to look for in a great car seat for your precious child.
With all these features in mind, you can now start searching for a good car seat that will meet your standards. Presented here are some of the top-rated brands of car seats designed specifically for babies.
Graco Snug Ride 35
One of the most impressive features of the Graco Snug Ride 35 is the seat’s stay-in-car base. Simply install the base and position the car seat on top. If you want, you may also strap the car seat even without the base, but for safety reasons, using the base it still a better idea.
Aside from this feature, you can expect your child to experience much comfort during the ride because of its center-pull adjustment. This component allows you to adjust the harness restraints and transform the seat into a comfortable easy chair. You may even install the seat’s canopy for protection from the heat during the summer, or let your child use the cold weather boot found at the bottom part of the car seat (perfect for winter months!). With numerous add-on features and easy installation, this brand of car seat for babies is certainly a must-have for meticulous moms out there!
Britax B Safe
This rear-facing infant car seat is another great buy if what you look for is a quality product that offers the best value for your money. This car seat by Britax comes with a five-point harness that keeps your child properly restrained at the hips, between the legs, and at the shoulders. It is also intended to distribute any impact caused by a car crash to five of the strongest body parts of your baby. With the energy-absorbing foam strategically located on the sides and back of the seat, you can be sure that your child is well protected and comfortable because of the extra padding that this feature offers.
For some additional perks, there are interesting extra features that enhance the car seat’s functionality. These include the center-pull adjustment for customizing the fit of the straps, and this also allows you to set the seat in reclining position to give your child a stress-free ride. You may even attach the canopy and headrest located at the seat’s top part. Unlike the previously reviewed item, though, this car seat does not come with a cold-weather boot.
JJ Cole Newport Car Seat
Ease of use and installation are among the key factors parents look for in a reliable car seat for their child. With the JJ Cole Newport car seat, you can expect great quality and affordability in a single product. It comes with a built-in lock off, as well as a LATCH system for easy installation even without a base. The harness is also easy to adjust without having to re-thread it. For easy maintenance, the pads may be removed when you need to clean them up after use.
Most importantly, this car seat has met worldwide safety standards. You can be certain that your child is safe and comfortable while in this excellent car seat made for specifically for babies. Lastly, you can customize the design by choosing from six different colors for the canopies, which are sold separately.
Safety First On-Board 35 Air
As the name of this product implies, everything about this car seat is made to ensure your baby’s safety. Primarily, this car seat boasts of its large height and weight capacity limit, which means babies who weigh between 4 and 35 pounds or have a maximum length of 32 inches can use this product. This is indeed great news for practical parents since the seat may be used by infants until the time they turn one year old – or even beyond, as long as they still meet the height and weight requirement.
Another laudable feature of this baby car seat is the Air Protect Technology for Side Impact. It functions by keeping your child well-protected from side impact during a car crash as static cushioning releases air to minimize crash forces. It also comes with side level indicators to inform you whether you have installed the seat correctly by using the LATCH attachments.
Snugli Car Seat
The most striking feature of the Snugli car seat is its quick installation. With the help of SureLATCH connectors, you will not have any problem installing the seat in a matter of seconds. These connectors also come with a retractor mechanism inside it, so all you need is to pull them out as a seat belt and position them in your car’s lower anchors. Afterwards, simply push down the car seat to secure it firmly in place.
This car seat is also a delight for babies because of its cushioned areas, with memory foam on the side portion. The fabric used in the car seat even comes with a temperature-regulating component, which helps keep your child cool and comfortable for hours.
There you have it – 5 of the finest brands and models of car seats designed specifically for babies. Take your pick from these items, and be sure to purchase the best one that suits your child’s needs perfectly.
Tips for Choosing A Baby Car Seat
New parents should consider buying a reliable baby car seat that could keep their little ones well-protected from vehicle-related accidents. In fact, all of the 50 states in the country have an existing law that require parents to keep their children properly restrained in an appropriate car seat for their age and size. Moreover, several states require minors to remain in their booster seats while in the car until they reach a certain age or weight. Car seats ensure children of their safety on the road, so it is essential to choose the right product that will suit their needs.
Types of Baby Car Seat
There are different types of car seats designed for children such as infant car seats, convertible or “infant-toddler”, and belt-positioning booster seats. The infant car seat always faces the rear portion of the car, and it usually comes with a weight capacity of about 22 to 35 pounds. On the other hand, the convertible car seat can be used for babies and toddlers (rear-facing), as well as for older children (forward-facing). Most models of convertible seats can accommodate a maximum weight of 40 to 70 pounds.
As for the belt-positioning booster car seat, this is recommended for children who are about 4 years of age, or those who have a minimum weight of 40 pounds. These come with regular shoulder belts and car laps to keep the child properly restrained. In case you prefer to use a backless booster, just be sure your car seat supports your child’s head well.
When choosing between a rear-facing or forward-facing baby car seat, it is best to consider the guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics or AAP. In the said guidelines, rear-facing seats are ideal for children who are below 2 years of age, or before the maximum weight and height limit for this type of car seat are met.
Guide to Choosing the Perfect Car Seat for Your Child
The following are among some factors to consider as you look for the best car seat to buy for your little one.
1. Determine how to install the car seat and where exactly it should go.
As you shop around for an excellent baby car seat to buy, you might want to browse online for the manual of a particular item you have in mind. The manual provides essential details about the installation and proper placement of the seat, so it can help you determine whether the product is just what you need for your child.
Most car seats for babies may be attached using the LATCH system or the seat belt. If ever you prefer to use the LATCH, be sure to determine where you can find this attachment in your vehicle. Ideally, it should be placed in the middle or a rear-seating position, as these are the safest areas for your child.
2. Check the weight, height and age capacity of the car seat your are looking to buy.
Before you start buying a particular car seat, make it a point that it can accommodate your baby’s current age height and weight. You can find these details in the manual, which further explains the seat’s height and weight specifications.
Rear-facing seats are recommended for infants until their head have reached about one inch of the top of the car seat. This is a more accurate way of knowing when it is time to transfer your child from a rear-facing to a forward-facing seat. By the time your child is 2 years old and has reached the height or weight limit of the infant car seat, then you may already give him a forward -facing seat for infant-toddlers.
As for a booster seat, never give this to your child who is over 40 pounds. You should also make sure that the shoulder and lap belt fit snugly while your child is in this type of seat.
3. Inspect the amount of space in your back seat.
A car seat that comes with a large and bulky base will never fit in a small vehicle, so you may have to buy one with a narrow base. In addition, you should think about the number of passengers that normally stay in the backseat, as well as the number of car seats you have. Be sure to take accurate measurements of the back seat and bring a measuring tape as you go shopping for a car seat for your child.
4. Choose a car seat that is easy to install.
Naturally, you would not want to buy a car seat that takes so much time to install. Keep in mind that incorrect installation can lead to accidents, so it is best that there are clear instructions and a diagram in the manual to help you set up the car seat properly.
5. Be sure the seat has clips that your child cannot unfasten.
Two-piece retainer clips are more suitable to buy, particularly when you are looking for a car seat to give your toddler. These clips require dexterity to unfasten, so you can be sure that your child is secure the moment you place him in the seat and fasten the seatbelt.
In case you prefer to install the seat with your car’s seatbelt, be sure to do so by using the belt path to enhance proper placement and security. You should also check the side-to-side motion found at the belt path, which should not exceed 1 inch of space. This helps keep your child stay in place without too much restriction.
6. Opt for a car seat with smooth and easy-to-clean fabric.
Lastly, you should look for a baby car seat that is easy to clean and maintain. A seat made of soft fabric is a great option instead of one made from corduroy since the latter can take so much time to clean. A soft and smooth fabric is also comfortable for your child, so this reduces the risks of skin irritation caused by rough car seat fabric.
Shopping for the right car seat for your precious one should never be a challenge, as long as you apply these tips to choosing the best product that is worth your investment!