Most families spend the bulk of their time in cars while trying to run all their errands. It can be grocery shopping, school runs, weekend trips and all the other times spent moving to and from.
Being a new parent is an awesome experience till the worries start. The baby started growing and you need to carry him along to wherever you are going. You are now in need of the best baby car seat and wondering what to do. Well it’s quite simple!
You are faced with making a decision on only two choices. You either buy
- a convertible car seat
- an infant car seat
You will also consider whether you want a heavy car seat or a light weight convertible car seat.
All you need to have in mind while making the decision is that you must go for a safety first car seat, which will keep your child safe in times of unplanned impact on the car.
According to research and statistical recordings:
Anyway the above is the statistical records but you have to read the rest of the article very carefully so that you can make an informed decision and choice for your baby’s sake.
A convertible car seat is a type that is easily transform from being a rear facing convertible car seat for babies and toddlers to a forward facing children car seat. This type of car seat can carry a child of 50 inches height weighing 40 and 80 pounds.
Amazing isn’t it?
There is another type of convertible car seat called the 3 in 1 car seat. This car seat can do the following:
- Change from rear-facing to forward-facing
- Turn into a booster seat for children weighing up to 100 ponds
Some parents may argue that their new born baby will be a perfect fit for an infant car seat so why bother with a convertible car seat which may require additional support for the infant with a cushion or pillow.
Yes! This might be so but remember that we don’t often take our babies out when they are too tender but when they start growing, they keep getting bigger every day. If you go for an infant car seat, the baby may outgrow it before you have enough money to change it.
A convertible car seat may be inconveniencing at first because of its weight but its numerous advantages outweigh it, how
do I mean?
- They can be heavy to lift but you don’t need to because they are installed directly in your car and not clicked into a base installed in your car.
- They last for a longer time
- You don’t need to carry the around
- They don’t require a lot of washing nor cleaning
- They rarely pull out during an impact on the car
Given the benefits one stands to gain from buying a car seat convertible, it is safe to assume that the best choice to make while buying the best child car seat is the convertible car seat.
There is another option for you if you don’t want to buy the heavy type. There are convertible car seats that are light and they have some unique advantages too.
- They fit perfectly into compact car
- They don’t add extra weight to your car
- Best fit for families who share car seats for multiple cars
- Easily transferred to airplanes in case of long travels
- They are helpful during inside cleaning.
Whichever type of car seat you decide to go for; there are so many things to look out for while getting your convertible car seat: Yes! You can pick a winner following these instructions
Make sure that the car seat is well padded and has adequate head support. This will give your child a comfortable smooth ride no matter the distance you have to cover. It would be quite uncomfortable for the child if you fail to check this before installing the seat.
Apart from the body and head, you should also check the side-impact protection.
This is very important for you and your child because during a side impact accident, it ensures that both the head and chest is protected. Some car seats come with special energy absorbing foam while others don’t so it is left for the parent to check it out before purchase and installation. Easy way to know this is that when your child sits on it, it will seem as if the seat is cup shaped.
This is another thing you have to look out for. Yes! That five point safety harness that has two strapping across your baby’s shoulders and three strapping between his legs. This very is important. Almost every car seat has it but to be on a safer side, please check it and make sure it’s there.
This is an acronym for “lower anchors and tethers for children” the latch is long like a car seat belt and it comes out from the back of the seat. It makes installation easier because you don’t need to use your seat belt but can directly attach the baby seat directly to your car seat using the latch. From the year 2002, all vehicles are now made to support the latch system and the convertible car seat come with top tethers and bottom straps.
Easy to maintain
Yes! This is part of it too. Don’t ever forget that mess follow children around. Sometimes, they are going to sprinkle juice on it, drop some food crumbs on it and soak it with urine. See? While picking up your convertible car seat, check to see if the cover can be removed, washed and easily replaced.
Also, in order to take it further, make sure that the car sear has strap covers too. Remember that it is not safe to remove the straps. So the next option is the cover. If you can remove the strap cover, body cover, wash and replace, you have found a winner.
The right weight
While buying your car seat, you have to go for something that your baby will grow into and not out. At least till when you don’t need it anymore. The best convertible car seat should be 18kg in weight and 101cm in height when it is forward facing. This is because after using it as a rear facing, you will need to convert it for your growing baby. So when installing it, adjust it to fit the height of the car.
Important tip: when the seat is rear facing, stand beside the car and check If you can see above the top of the car. This is necessary especially if your car is a compact car.
Choose an extended front-facing seat
If you buy the 3 in 1 convertible car seat, depending on your child growth, he may likely grow and weigh more before he is ready to use the car seat as a booster. If your car seat has a high front facing which weighs up to 70 pounds, it will serve you longer before you need to convert it.
Finally, buy a baby car seat that will suit your family needs
How? If you travel a lot, buy a convertible car seat that has very thick padding to help your baby. So many expensive ones come with this special feature son don’t hesitate please. Always remember that your baby needs his comfort or he will cry all the way and this will surely make you uncomfortable.
In addition to the above mentioned things to consider specifically on the car seat, these steps will also help you to keep your child safe.
- Buy car seats that meet or exceeded the Federal and ASTM safety standards.
- Make sure that the car seat is NCAP crash tested. This is the bench mark given to the industry to follow while evaluating a car seat in cases of severe accidents.
- Go to gov and check on parents central. You will see and read many reviews on all U.S.A car seats. The site also rates each car seat on how easy it is in installation and usage.
- For the 3-in-1 convertible car seat that can convert to booster, you can check it’s reviews at Insurance Institute For Highway Safety (IIHS).
- You can also read some third-party-review sites for unbiased information that will guide you.
You may have taken all the above tips and steps into consideration but there are other things which you may take for granted that may cause you a lot of problems in future.
Do you know that many people forget to check the expiration date on the food and others items they buy. If you are a culprit, please not on this one. Check the expiration date on the car seat before you buy it please. Do you know that many car seats have a five- year life span?
Don’t you see that it will expire before your child will outgrows it? If you going for the one that will serve your baby for a longer period time? Go for the ones that have a useful time of 8 to 12 years before expiration. The only way to achieve this is by checking the expiry date before buying.
Fairly used car seats
It is understandable that you want to save cost. The temptation of getting what you want at an affordable price can be great isn’t it? Please remember the topic under discussion here. Car seat for your child’s safety. I think your child is your top priority so avoid used car seats no matter the source, price and make.
Don’t forget that accidents, wears and age can make a car seat unfit for use. And more importantly, a used car seat can never be complete. It is likely to have lost one part or more so if you have to consider it at all, you have to be acquainted with its history and be sure that all the parts are complete.
No matter the type of car seat you have, it is always safer to install them in the back seat. If your child is still a baby or a toddler, it is advised you install the seat facing the rear of the car. Keep him there as long as possible until he reaches two years.
The cost of the car seat depends on the make. There are so many convertible car seats out there that will suit your needs and also meet your budget. All you need to do is to go for the one that is affordable and suitable.
Summarily, It is better to be safe than to be sorry. The safety of your child matters more than the deadline you have to beat. I know that work is important too. All you need to do is make sure that you have the right car seat for your child and also drive safely all the time.
This article has given an in-depth insight into what a convertible car seat is, the types, the advantages, the necessary steps to follow for your child’s safety, the important tips you can use while making a decision on the car seat to buy and also the things to avoid. It is now left for you to make an informed choice for your child’s safety.
Due to the economic situation of some parents, the option of a fairly used car may be too tempting to overlook, make sure you check out everything on our conditions for considering a fairly used car.
Also remember that you don’t’ have to go for the heavy car seat only since there are light weight convertible car seats with unique advantages too.
Make the right choice today and be happy you did!