Nothing is ever too good for your child. That is why you need to find the best car seat for your child’s needs. You will need a good car seat from the time they come home from the hospital until they are at least 10-years-old. This is the recommended age for them to sit in a regular seat with an adult seat belt on them.
You might think you know what is best for your child already. In fact, what parent doesn’t think they know what is best for their children from the moment they are born and all throughout childhood? However, you might not know the right type of seat on the market for your child, even if you think you do.
Keep reading to learn about the different types of car seats and which ones are best for your child as he or she grows.
Choose the Right Model
As your child grows, you will need different car seats for him or her. While your child is an infant, you will need an infant car seat, especially when bringing him or her home from the hospital after they are born.
Infant Car Seat
The infant car seat is the very first seat many parents will use when bringing their baby home from the hospital for the first time. According to Consumer Report, the best ones they have tested are in the price range between $80 and $500 per infant seat. This kind of car seat can only be installed one way, rear facing. They also come with a detachable baby carrier to allow you to carry your baby from the seat to inside the house and back to the car to attach to the base of the seat.
This type of seat is best for infants and smaller babies. Your baby will outgrow this car seat by getting too tall for it before they get too heavy for it. This one is best for children between four and 40 pounds of weight.
Let’s examine a few of the best infant car seats that are on the market today.
Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc 32 Infant Car Seat
The Baby Trend EZ Flex Loc 32 Infant Car Seat has many features and specs to it. This seat comes with a push on latch feature, an external harness height adjustment feature, and a single pull-front harness tension adjuster feature. This Baby Trend Infant Car Seat comes with an adjustable base, and the carrier recline level is a dual zone pendulum. The carrier is detachable so you can quickly take your baby out while he or she is still in the carrier to the house and back to the car.
The weight range for this seat is between five and 32 pounds with a height range of 32 inches or less. The carrier weighs around 10 pounds by itself, and the base weighs around 16 pounds by itself.
Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat
Like the Baby Trend Infant Car Seat, the Chicco Keyfit Infant Car Seat also comes with a push on latch connector. The harness height adjustment is a re-threaded one with a single pull-front harness tension adjustment feature. It comes with an adjustable base as well as a detachable carrier. This seat can hold between four and 22 pounds of weight. The height limit is 30 inches or less. The carrier itself weighs nine pounds while the seat or base itself weighs 19 pounds.
As with any other newborn car seat, read the instructions on how to install correctly before putting your baby in it.
Combi Shuttle Infant Car Seat
The Combi Shuttle Infant Car Seat comes with a push on latch connectors. The harness height adjustment is external and rethreaded. This seat also comes with a single pull-front harness tension adjustment feature. It also comes with an adjustable base and a belt lock-off. The carrier itself, without the base, can carry up to 22 pounds with a height limit of 29 inches or less. Both the carrier and the base together can hold 35 pounds, and the height limit on them together is 33 inches or less.
Convertible Car Seat
After your child is at least one-year-old, you will need to change to a convertible car seat. You can install this type of baby seat either rear-facing or forward-facing. A convertible car seat’s harness system is almost the same as an infant seat, whereas the weight limit is higher on the harness. Because of this, children can sit rear facing longer than usual, which is highly recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Consumer Report. According to them, this is the safest option for children to set in.
Although you can install these either rear facing or front facing, the seat must be installed rear facing for children who are under one and those who weigh less than 20 pounds. Although some experts say that a child at the age of one can sit forward facing, Consumer Report recommends waiting until the child is at least two-years-old.
The price range for one of these seats is between $40 and $450 for each one.
Chicco Nextfit Car Seat
The Chicco Nextfit Car Seat comes with push-on latch connectors, an external harness adjustment feature, and comes with the ability to recline in multiple positions. While rear facing, it can hold between five and 40 pounds but when front facing, it can carry between 22 and 65 pounds of baby weight.
Clek Filo Car Seat
The Clek Filo Car Seat comes with push-on latch connectors and threaded slots for the harness adjustment. Because you can use this seat either rear facing or front facing, the rear-facing can hold between 14 and 50 pounds of baby weight. However, the front facing can carry between 22 and 65 pounds.
Combi Coccoro Car Seat
The Combi Coccoro Car Seat also comes with push-on latch connectors. This seat has a harness that adjusts with threaded slots. The rear-facing position of the car seat can hold a baby that weighs between three and 33 pounds. The front-facing area of the seat can hold between 20 and 40 pounds of baby weight.
Booster Car Seat
Once your child gets too big or too tall for a front facing harness car seat, now it is time for a booster seat. A booster seat allows you to use the car’s seatbelt. It also allows the child to sit up higher to be able to use the seat belt correctly.
There are two different versions of the booster seat; a backless portable one that is easier to install or a high-back version which is recommended more. The reason for this recommendation is because it allows for more safety and comfort for your child.
Some states have laws that require you to have your child sit in a booster seat for up to nine-years-of age and up to 80 pounds of weight. You should check your state law to see if it requires this for your child. The price range for a booster seat is between $11 and $320.
Baby Trend Yumi Folding Booster Two-in-One Car Seat
The Baby Trend Yumi Folding Booster Two-in-One Car Seat tops the list of these seats. The weight range for a backless portable booster seat is in between 40 and 100 pounds. The high-back weight range is between 30 and 100 pounds. The height range for the high-back is between 38 and 50 inches tall. The backless portable height range is between 42 and 57 pounds.
BubbleBum Booster Car Seat
The BubbleBum booster car seat comes as a backless portable seat only. The weight range for this seat is between 40 and 100 pounds. The height range for this seat is between 40 and 57 inches tall. Although this seat doesn’t come with latch connections, it does come with a low-back shoulder belt clip.
Chico Kidfit Booster Car Seat
The Chico Kidfit Booster Car Seat comes with a weight range of between 30 and 100 for highback seats and between 40 and 110 pounds for a backless or portable seat. The height range is the same for both versions of this booster car seat and is between 38 and 57 inches tall. This type of seat comes with latch connectors and a cup and snack holder.
All-in-One Car Seats
Although the all-in-one car seats are an excellent value for the money, a great money saver, and tempting to buy, they are not highly recommended. The reason for this is since they allow you to use one type of seat from birth to booster age, they seem to try to do too much at once and are not good at doing one thing at a time. These types of seats are recommended more for caregivers who don’t need to use them a lot. They are also useful as a backup seat if required.
The weight range for this car seat is between four to 50 pounds for smaller children who sit rear facing. The weight range is 20 to 65 pounds for kids sitting front facing and in a harness. When in booster mode, they can hold between 30 and 120 pounds.
The all-in-one car seat comes with a price tag between $100 and $300.
Toddler Booster Car Seats
The toddler booster car seat is recommended more for children sitting front facing and those who are at the right age and weight limit. These seats were made to be front facing only, and although they come with a harness, they can be transitioned into a booster seat as well. When using the harness on these seats, the weight range is between 20 and 90 pounds. However, in unharnessed, booster seat mode, they can hold between 30 and 120 pounds.
These types of booster seats are cheaper than convertible car seats. They come in a price range of between $55 to $295. These seats also offer a safe alternative for children who are not quite ready for a regular booster seat.
Choose the Right One for Your Child’s Safety
Having a guide to the best car seats on the market that are the safest for your children can help you determine which one to buy. Having the best and safest car seat you can find and afford is important for the safety of your children.
Just because a car seat is pricey, doesn’t mean it is the best. You can find better ones that are more affordable for you. However, don’t skimp on something like buying a car seat. Having one that is not safe will just be bad for you and your child in case an accident happens.
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