HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BABY CAR SEAT 2018: A BUYING GUIDE
As a parent, one of the most important things you need to buy for your child is a good baby car seat or booster. You will need this safety precaution from the moment you step out of the hospital to bring your little angel home until he reaches a certain age where he will be able to fit into your car's adult seat belt. With so many types, models, factors to consider and price points, choosing a car seat or booster that will meet your needs and budget can be quite overwhelming.
Spending big bucks on car seats or boosters does not necessarily mean you're getting the best quality. In fact, according to statistics, around 46% of baby car seats are not accurately installed. The safest and the best baby car seat will always be the one that you can securely install in your vehicle, comfortable for your baby, easy and simple to use, and fits your child's weight, height, and age.
Finding the right car seat or booster may take some time through trial and error, so it is always important to do your research first if you want to get a car seat or booster that will suit not just your child's needs but your car and budget as well. In this article, we will help you with your decision and narrow down your choices to find the best baby car seat this 2018.
Factors You Need To Consider
There are several factors you need to consider when selecting an excellent baby car seat to ensure your child's safety while you and your family are on the road, whether for a vacation or going to the mall.
- Fit in your vehicle. A good car seat can be installed easily in the center part of your car where it's safer for any passenger. Look for one which will work on that area of your vehicle and features a built-in locking mechanism for the seat belt, offering a more secure installation.
- Fit with your child. Choose a baby car seat that has weight limits and high height. Not only will you be able to use it for a prolonged period but it will also help keep your rear-facing child longer.
- Fit with your lifestyle. Buy a car seat that you can easily install and uninstall if your family travels around. Choose one that you can easily install using a seat belt if you frequently use taxis or rental cars. If you like walking around, look for a seat that will be able to fit in a stroller. Keep in mind that any car seat you buy should work for you.
Different Baby Car Seat Types
Rear-Facing Baby Car Seat
It is recommended to use a rear-facing car seat for kids up to 2 years of age. Choose one with a five-point harness. This model comes in the following types:
- Infant-Only. This type is small and features handles and a base that you can leave in your vehicle, which is pretty convenient. However, it has a limited lifespan since the weight limit is up to 35lbs only.
- Convertible. This rear-facing baby car seat can be flipped forward so you can use it longer. It is, however, bigger in comparison with an infant-only car seat.
- 3-in-1. This type is very versatile. It can be used rear-facing or forward-facing and can be converted into a booster as well. It is the biggest of the bunch though so you might have a problem if your car is very compact.
Forward-Facing Baby Car Seat
Choose a five-point harness forward-facing baby car seat if your child has reached the weight and height limit of the rear-facing kind. Aside from convertible and 3-in-1, this model also comes with the following types:
- Toddler. The weight limit for this type is around 80lbs. You may need to buy a booster once your kid outgrew it.
- Combination. This type is a forward-facing baby car seat with a harness and belt-positioning harness in one.
Booster Car Seat
You would commonly use a belt-positioning booster, which will raise your kid up to ensure your kid will fit on your car's seat and seat belt. You will be able to use this for your kid up until he or she is 12 years old or about 4'9 in height.