Do you know that it is mandatory according to federal law that children up to 60 pounds travelling in car should be protected in a booster seat or baby car seat? It is advisable to install the baby car seat well before the due date of the mom so that you can ensure proper fitting and safety to welcome the new-born. Parents should ensure that the baby car seat is of good quality and is secure for the newborn baby or a small child.
Newborn or infant car seats are typically designed for very small babies weighing less than 20 pounds. They face the back of the car and are called rear-facing seats. These seats help your baby to snuggle and sleep peacefully as they are cosy, secure, comfortable and convenient.
The base can be installed in the car and “the infant carrier” helps you to take your baby conveniently during your travel. Look out for a 5 point harness seat as they are very safe. Make sure that the baby car seat has a latch to secure it in place. A 45 degree angle installation is the safest for your baby, hence ensure that there is an indicator at the base which would help you view the angle of installation. The car seat should detach easily and fit into baby strollers with just a simple click. A padded seat which has head support would be comfortable for your baby, especially during long travel. Ensure that the fabric is moisture absorbing, removable and also easy to clean so that you can wash it occasionally. It is advisable to buy a seat with a canopy to protect your baby from the sun.
However, when your baby reaches about 20 pounds, you would have to install a convertible seat as your child would outgrow the infant car seats. These seats can accommodate babies until they reach about 40 – 80 pounds depending on the model you choose. They are of higher weight and can be converted booster seats at a later stage.
These seats come with two options – rear facing (recommended for infants) and forward facing, suitable for older children. However, it is advisable to have rear-facing seats as long as possible as this is the safest option for your baby.
In case you want to save on your expenses, you can simply start using the convertible seat and skip the infant car seats. However, note that convertible seats are not detachable. They may be too big for infants and hence additional head and body support needs to be provided for a few weeks.
You can choose the 5-point adjustable harness when you buy the convertible seats. To make it more secure, ensure that it has a latch. Chest clip ensures safety during travel as it is fastened to the baby’s chest. You can also buy a seat with adjustable slots as it gives you the flexibility to adjust the size of the seat. A shock absorbing padding ensures best protection.
You can buy ‘infant insert’ in case you are planning to use the convertible seat for the newborn. This would keep you baby comfortable. The seats should give you the ability to convert it into a booster. It is better to buy a seat with a cup holder and a snack tray.
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