Preparations for baby arrival are really incomplete without an infant car seat. You can only take the baby home if you have a safe and sound infant car seat. It is worth to never compromise on the quality of products you are looking for your infant. Safety comes first and it should not be compromised at any cost. When planning for an infant car seat work together with your partner on key preferences. Whether you are looking for reduced cost and utility for more years or enhanced comfort for your baby is your prime objective. Infant car seat comes in two forms which are explained below.
Rear-facing infant car seat
It is ideally suitable for babies measuring around 32-35 inches in height weighing around 35-40 lbs. This car seat solely faces the rear of your car. This infant car seat is sufficient enough for the initial year of traveling. It can fit well in different stroller frames, so ensure compatibility when buying the both items. Together they make a complete travel system.
Convertible car seat
This infant car seat stretches the useful life of car seat to more than a year. The seat can be adjusted front facing or rear facing as per discretion. Maximum weight bearing capacity of this infant car seat is somewhere between 40-80lbs with a maximum height of 57 inches. Dimensions can be varied depending on the manufacturing company.
All-in-one seat is another available carrying option for children since birth to a maximum weight of 120lbs. however, the best protection for infants less than 20lbs is offered in infant car seat. Do not forget to account for pros and cons of each seat. Convertible seat although offers prolong usage yet it lacks the unique feature of portability. You need to take out sleeping baby once you parked the car that may result in hours of crying and tantrums.
As per the suggestion of The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children should be kept in a rear-facing seat for at least first two years, best possibly till the time they don’t fit well physically. Most children outgrow car seat dimensions by the age of 3-4.
5 Point harness
Whatever is your choice out of infant car seat or convertible seat makes sure it has a 5-point harness. This encompasses 2 shoulders strap, 2 waist strap and a single strap between the legs that meet in the center, coupled with extra air-pads and foam around baby’s head and adjustability with the LATCH system (a method to clip the base firmly without employing seatbelts). Remember to keep shoulder harness equal or below the shoulder level of the infant when using a rear-facing car seat. The reverse holds valid for car seats with front facing.
Paying more for an infant car seat provide you with an additional feature of an anti-rebound bar placed at foot side. This feature offers maximum resistance to movement in case of any severe accident or car crash.
Paying more also gives car seat some add-ons like little hanging toys, stretched canopy, and cozy material.
Fastening and unfastening of straps
While making the purchase final make sure you are comfortable with clipping and unclipping of straps. Also, learn how to adjust straps with growing baby. Ask all questions popping in your mind regarding the safety of infant car seat from the shopkeeper.
Care about the angle
The most appropriate angle for infant traveling is between 30-45 degrees since it offers maximum safety against car accident. Also, breathing remains continued if any unfortunate event occurs resulting in a car crash just because of this angle. But placement at correct angle eats up much of the space forcing other passengers to compromise their comfort.
Date of expiry
Average life span for plastic material of car seat is 6 years. After that, it becomes unfit for the infant traveling. So it is always advised to buy a brand new car seat. In the case of borrowing make sure you ask someone you know well to be precise about the age of infant car seat. Manufacturing date and company’s label with model number should be carefully looked at.
Counter check installation of car seat
Getting installation checked by an expert can save your infant from the severity of any adverse event. Normally local police stations employ such experts who can assess the correct positioning of the car seat. Federal safety standards require the infant car seat to meet the parameter of the 30 mph crash test. Fit to vehicle and ease of use are other tests to analyze appropriate working of car seats.