How To Choose The Right Car Seat

Baby on board. That sign on the back of your car means you’re now carrying the most precious cargo that you’ll ever carry.

Even though you love your child to bits, it’s easy to become dismayed by the sheer amount of work needed to make sure everything is safe for your dear little one. Just when you’ve made your house child – friendly by purchasing plug locks, safety gates and baby monitors, it dawns on you…. ‘I’ve got to do the car!’

Your car seatmay be the only thing keeping your child secure should you ever get into an unexpected accident. It can be a life saving purchase, so it’s important not to take the decision lightly.

The market is currently full of car seats for sale. New, used, budget, expensive – but which is the best type of car seat to buy for your child? Is a used car seat safe? Is buying a car seat onlinewise?

If you’re like most parents, you’re probably wondering how to choose the right car seat for your child and your car. You’re probably even getting a little overwhelmed at all of the conflicting info out there.

Don’t worry; I’m here to help!

I want to try and answer some of the most common questions people have when buying car seats. I’ve compiled some of the best and most reliable information around for you to take on board, because… nothing is more important than the safety of your youngster.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. Hopefully reading this will save you hours of car seat research.

Should I Buy A New Or Used Car Seat?

If you’re in the process of choosing a car seat, you may be wondering if it’s ok to try and save a few bucks by purchasing a used one. The general consensus between child safety authorities is — not really.

Whilst there’s nothing inherently dangerous about something that’s second hand, it’s the lack of manufacturer instructions that come with the purchase and the possibility of the model being outdated, disintegrated or missing parts that worry experts.

If money is tight and you do want to buy a used car seat; find one less than five years old and with all of its parts included. If it doesn’t come with a manufacturers guide, contact the company who makes the car seat for a replacement copy.

Choosing a car seat that’s new will not only give you better peace of mind, but will also give you the chance to find something that fits properly in your car.

When buying a car seat, new is better than old.

How Much Should I Spend On A Car Seat?

This one is entirely up to you. All car seats have to adhere to certain safety standards before being put on the shelves. This is the law.

Some seats will offer slightly better protection from side collisions, but most justify a hefty price tag by being made out of good quality material, being very easy to use, and by being a well-known brand for parents to enjoy.

On average people spend around $100 on their car seat, although it’s not unusual for parents who don’t have that kind of money to purchase their device from somewhere like Costco.

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for!

What Car Seat Is The Safest?

As was mentioned, all car seats have to jump through hoops to prove they meet the safety requirements before they can go on the market. More expensive car seats will offer slightly better padding and protection, but cheaper car seats still offer the benefits of keeping your child secure.

Some brands such as Clekinclude added safety features to their seats, such as extra foam around the body and a REACT safety system, just to provide a little added collision protection for baby and peace of mind for you.

Britax car seats also rank very highly in the safety stakes, being given a 5/5 score by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Britax 5pt Frontier model is one of their most recommended car seats, scoring a maximum rating for safety and overall use.

How Long Do Car Seats Last?

The majority of car seats will last between five and six years after they were originally manufactured. If intending to buy a used car seat, it’s important to ask how long the previous owners have owned the seat and if they were the original buyers.

Certain brands will have an expiry date on them. This makes keeping track of the seats age much easier.

After around 5 years, plastic starts to weaken and parts of the contraption may break easier. The expiration date can usually be found on a sticker placed somewhere on your car seat.

Will The Seat Fit My Car?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by those doing car seat research, and rightly so.

A British studyanalyzing the effects of car seats worldwide, found something very startling: Risk of death or injury in infants wasn’t reduced by many car seats, simply because they didn’t fit the car properly.

Finding a car seat that fits your car is as important as finding one that works. When doing car seat research, it’s imperative you make sure that the seat that has all of the features you want, actually fits your vehicle.

One way to do this is to test them out. If you go to stores such as Babies R Us or specialist retailers such as Graco, they’ll give you advice on different kinds of car seats, as well as let you try them out in your car.

Your local fire or police department may have information on specific brands of seats, as most take an active role in road safety. Some will even offer to fit your seat for you.

Contacting the manufacturer is another way to go. Most have a list of cars that their seats have passed safety checks in and they’ll gladly give you more information when asked.

Just remember, if your seat doesn’t fit, it doesn’t work.

What Is The Most Comfortable Car Seat?

It’s not too much fun for baby, being strapped into a monstrous looking device, often with mom or dad out of sight. The least you can do is make it comfortable.

If you’re choosing a car seat, it’s nice to keep comfort in mind. Many of the cheaper varieties will work for safety, but will lack some of the comforts the bigger brands offer.

Chicco’s seatsare popular amongst comfort lovers. The seats have extra layers of foam that form a nest type environment in which your child can relax. Graco, True Fit and Britax are other brands that offer the same kind of comfort.

Many fussy babies, who don’t like being restrained, respond better to convertible car seats.

Sometimes, no matter how much the car seat costs or what kind of comfort features it boasts, kids will just scream and scream when they’re strapped in. Most children will get used to their car seat with time and their behavior will improve.

Just because your child is unhappy in the car, it’s not necessarily down to their seat.

Where Can I Buy Car Seats Online?

When choosing a car seat and looking to buy one online, you have a multitude of different places to shop.

All of the usual reputable stores will have their own website where you can buy their products.

Babies R Us has a big online store, complete with detailed specification lists on all of their products. They also have a helpline and contact form which you can use to ask professionals for more advice or information on a product.

All of the big named child seat brands have their own websites too; meaning buying a car seat online has never been easier.

Amazon is another recommended company to use when buying a car seat. The internet giant stocks all varieties of seats including models from Maxi-Cosi, Chicco, Munchkin, Evenflo, Britax, Summer Infant and Graco. The site is full of reviews from other parents who have bought the product and because it’s Amazon, you know you’re going to get one of the best deals online. They don’t quite have the same staff knowledge on seats as specialist stores, so it’s a good idea to know what you’re buying before hand.

eBay offers new and used car seats for sale, but are slightly less reliable than the other options, as anybody is free to sell on there. If using eBay to buy your car seat – be sure to check feedback scores, ask lots of questions and make sure you’re getting the product you’re paying for.

As you can see, buying a child seat isn’t easy, but with a little research and knowing the answers to some difficult questions, it becomes far simpler.

US law has you covered safety wise. All you have to do is make an educated decision about your purchase, so that your device meets all of your needs.

Thank you for reading and I hope you and your little one have many safe and comfortable journeys for years to come!

Shop All Car Seats

Baby on board. That sign on the back of your car means you’re now carrying the most precious cargo that you’ll ever carry.

Even though you love your child to bits, it’s easy to become dismayed by the sheer amount of work needed to make sure everything is safe for your dear little one. Just when you’ve made your house child – friendly by purchasing plug locks, safety gates and baby monitors, it dawns on you…. ‘I’ve got to do the car!’

Your car seatmay be the only thing keeping your child secure should you ever get into an unexpected accident. It can be a life saving purchase, so it’s important not to take the decision lightly.

The market is currently full of car seats for sale. New, used, budget, expensive – but which is the best type of car seat to buy for your child? Is a used car seat safe? Is buying a car seat onlinewise?

If you’re like most parents, you’re probably wondering how to choose the right car seat for your child and your car. You’re probably even getting a little overwhelmed at all of the conflicting info out there.

Don’t worry; I’m here to help!

I want to try and answer some of the most common questions people have when buying car seats. I’ve compiled some of the best and most reliable information around for you to take on board, because… nothing is more important than the safety of your youngster.

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below. Hopefully reading this will save you hours of car seat research.

Should I Buy A New Or Used Car Seat?

If you’re in the process of choosing a car seat, you may be wondering if it’s ok to try and save a few bucks by purchasing a used one. The general consensus between child safety authorities is — not really.

Whilst there’s nothing inherently dangerous about something that’s second hand, it’s the lack of manufacturer instructions that come with the purchase and the possibility of the model being outdated, disintegrated or missing parts that worry experts.

If money is tight and you do want to buy a used car seat; find one less than five years old and with all of its parts included. If it doesn’t come with a manufacturers guide, contact the company who makes the car seat for a replacement copy.

Choosing a car seat that’s new will not only give you better peace of mind, but will also give you the chance to find something that fits properly in your car.

When buying a car seat, new is better than old.

How Much Should I Spend On A Car Seat?

This one is entirely up to you. All car seats have to adhere to certain safety standards before being put on the shelves. This is the law.

Some seats will offer slightly better protection from side collisions, but most justify a hefty price tag by being made out of good quality material, being very easy to use, and by being a well-known brand for parents to enjoy.

On average people spend around $100 on their car seat, although it’s not unusual for parents who don’t have that kind of money to purchase their device from somewhere like Costco.

Like most things in life, you get what you pay for!

What Car Seat Is The Safest?

As was mentioned, all car seats have to jump through hoops to prove they meet the safety requirements before they can go on the market. More expensive car seats will offer slightly better padding and protection, but cheaper car seats still offer the benefits of keeping your child secure.

Some brands such as Clekinclude added safety features to their seats, such as extra foam around the body and a REACT safety system, just to provide a little added collision protection for baby and peace of mind for you.

Britax car seats also rank very highly in the safety stakes, being given a 5/5 score by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Britax 5pt Frontier model is one of their most recommended car seats, scoring a maximum rating for safety and overall use.

How Long Do Car Seats Last?

The majority of car seats will last between five and six years after they were originally manufactured. If intending to buy a used car seat, it’s important to ask how long the previous owners have owned the seat and if they were the original buyers.

Certain brands will have an expiry date on them. This makes keeping track of the seats age much easier.

After around 5 years, plastic starts to weaken and parts of the contraption may break easier. The expiration date can usually be found on a sticker placed somewhere on your car seat.

Will The Seat Fit My Car?

This is one of the most commonly asked questions by those doing car seat research, and rightly so.

A British studyanalyzing the effects of car seats worldwide, found something very startling: Risk of death or injury in infants wasn’t reduced by many car seats, simply because they didn’t fit the car properly.

Finding a car seat that fits your car is as important as finding one that works. When doing car seat research, it’s imperative you make sure that the seat that has all of the features you want, actually fits your vehicle.

One way to do this is to test them out. If you go to stores such as Babies R Us or specialist retailers such as Graco, they’ll give you advice on different kinds of car seats, as well as let you try them out in your car.

Your local fire or police department may have information on specific brands of seats, as most take an active role in road safety. Some will even offer to fit your seat for you.

Contacting the manufacturer is another way to go. Most have a list of cars that their seats have passed safety checks in and they’ll gladly give you more information when asked.

Just remember, if your seat doesn’t fit, it doesn’t work.

What Is The Most Comfortable Car Seat?

It’s not too much fun for baby, being strapped into a monstrous looking device, often with mom or dad out of sight. The least you can do is make it comfortable.

If you’re choosing a car seat, it’s nice to keep comfort in mind. Many of the cheaper varieties will work for safety, but will lack some of the comforts the bigger brands offer.

Chicco’s seatsare popular amongst comfort lovers. The seats have extra layers of foam that form a nest type environment in which your child can relax. Graco, True Fit and Britax are other brands that offer the same kind of comfort.

Many fussy babies, who don’t like being restrained, respond better to convertible car seats.

Sometimes, no matter how much the car seat costs or what kind of comfort features it boasts, kids will just scream and scream when they’re strapped in. Most children will get used to their car seat with time and their behavior will improve.

Just because your child is unhappy in the car, it’s not necessarily down to their seat.

Where Can I Buy Car Seats Online?

When choosing a car seat and looking to buy one online, you have a multitude of different places to shop.

All of the usual reputable stores will have their own website where you can buy their products.

Babies R Us has a big online store, complete with detailed specification lists on all of their products. They also have a helpline and contact form which you can use to ask professionals for more advice or information on a product.

All of the big named child seat brands have their own websites too; meaning buying a car seat online has never been easier.

Amazon is another recommended company to use when buying a car seat. The internet giant stocks all varieties of seats including models from Maxi-Cosi, Chicco, Munchkin, Evenflo, Britax, Summer Infant and Graco. The site is full of reviews from other parents who have bought the product and because it’s Amazon, you know you’re going to get one of the best deals online. They don’t quite have the same staff knowledge on seats as specialist stores, so it’s a good idea to know what you’re buying before hand.

eBay offers new and used car seats for sale, but are slightly less reliable than the other options, as anybody is free to sell on there. If using eBay to buy your car seat – be sure to check feedback scores, ask lots of questions and make sure you’re getting the product you’re paying for.

As you can see, buying a child seat isn’t easy, but with a little research and knowing the answers to some difficult questions, it becomes far simpler.

US law has you covered safety wise. All you have to do is make an educated decision about your purchase, so that your device meets all of your needs.

Thank you for reading and I hope you and your little one have many safe and comfortable journeys for years to come!

Check out this quick video on how to choose the right car seat for your child:

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