For those with children or those looking to expand their family, a car seat is an absolute must. But, all car seats are not created equal. With today’s ever-expanding market, there are a variety of different car seats available for your child. With all the options at your disposal, picking out the perfect car seat can be a bit of a challenge. How do you possibly choose between all the options?
Keeping that in mind, we curated this list of features you should consider when looking for a car seat. We hope that it helps you find the perfect fit for not only your car, but your child!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you want to consider what type of car seat you think would work best for your child. There are three main types of car seat positions: rear-facing car seats, forward facing car seats, and booster seats. Don’t worry though, all car seats comply with the safety standards put out by the federal government, so no matter what car seat your child uses, they will be kept safe.
Think of the three car seats as a natural progression. When your child is an infant or a toddler, they should be using a rear-facing car seat as it provides the most protection. When they outgrow that seat, they should move toward a front facing car seat. Once your child reaches school-age, they can begin using a booster seat.
You should definitely keep the age — and height and weight — of your child in mind when purchasing the car seat. You can see if your child meets the age, height, and weight requirements by looking at the label on the car seat for more information.
Of course, the car that this new car seat will be going into is very important. Before you head out to buy the car seat for your child, you should make sure to read your vehicle’s owner manual. The owner’s manual will tell you how the car seat should be installed — whether using the seat belt or the LATCH system.)
Make sure you know where the LATCH system parts are located in your vehicle if you want to use the LATCH system, which will be further detailed in your car’s manual.
Size is another important factor. You should measure your backseat and see how big of a carseat you can fit back there. This is especially important if you have multiple children who need to be in car seats. You don’t want to buy the perfect car seat only to have it not be able to fit in your car!
Make sure to NEVER buy a used carseat. While it may seem tempting to do so to save money, you don’t know if the car seat you are buying has all the necessary parts to keep your child safe. Additionally, the previous owners may have added parts to the seat that make it more unsafe.