Baby · Kids and Parenting

Looking for the perfect infant car seat for your little one?

After testing 16 of the most popular infant car seats on the market, we found out that not all car seats are created equal, despite their ability to move basic Federal crash testing requirements. The purpose of this buying guide is to help parents evaluate the many products available by giving guidance on what things to look for prior to making an infant car seat purchase.

Why Buy an Infant Car Seat?

You’ll need to buy an infant child car seat should anyone ever intend to put your child in any type of motorized vehicle. It could truly be one of the only must-have items on your child equipment list (alright diapers too, nevertheless, you get the idea).

Size and Weight Limits

A lot of the child car seats we reviewed are marketed as ideal for infants up to at least 30 pounds weight and elevation of 32 in .. Plus, the marketing of higher-end chairs frequently touts a more substantial weight capacity nearer to 35 pounds or 40 pounds departing many new parents wanting to know if indeed they need this extra capacity.

So, is an automobile chair capacity up to 30 pounds and 32 in. enough? Or, in the event, you buy a chair with an increased weight capacity such as 35 or 40 pounds?

The answer is that 30 lbs and 32 inches are plenty. It is absolutely only the elevation limit that counts. The bigger weight capacity statistics are just about just marketing hype you can ignore.

Infant car seats look and behave somewhat differently than convertible car seats. Because they are designed with smaller babies in mind, they have features that support little body and make your life with an infant more convenient.

Separate Bases/Detachable Seats — With an infant seat the base and the seat are detachable, and this simple feature is very convenient with an infant. The way it works is you install the base in your car, more or less permanently. The seat is then clicked onto the base. Two parts is a nice feature that allows parents to leave the base in the car properly installed while having the freedom to remove the carrier to keep baby restrained or asleep. The carrier can be relocated via the handle, or placed in a compatible stroller. Most strollers offer a range of car seat adapters. We find the ability to click on the carseat into a framework stroller or a full-size stroller to be very convenient for operating quick errands and never have to wake baby for a chair/carrier transfer.

Rear Facing Only — Infant car seat always face the trunk of the automobile (required for legal reasons), which really is a safer position to maintain in case of a head-on collision (the most frequent kind of crash).

Canopy — Infant seats usually provide a canopy to help block the sun from baby’s sensitive peepers. This can come in handy both in the car and on the move outside the car while being carried or attached to a compatible stroller. Convertible seats do not have canopies, and it is ill-advised to fashion one of your own for safety reasons.

Smaller Weight and Height Restrictions — While some of the infant seats now have a larger weight range than they used to (4-40 lbs), their range is still less than convertible car seats because the seat is specifically designed for smaller bodies as opposed to trying to fit all body sizes. This design might seem like a limiting factor or a reason not to purchase one, but it is part of what makes this kind of seat special and better for newborns and smaller babies to travel in.