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Extra features can be found on some infant car seats to help with installation. Before your little one arrives, make sure you know how to correctly install their car seat by consulting this handy chart from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and setting up an appointment with a local certified child passenger safety expert.
Ease of cleaning
You should look for a car seat for your kid that is simple to clean because babies are dirty. The perfect scenario would be if the fabric cover could be removed and washed in a washing machine.
However, not all strollers are compatible with all types of infant car seats. Check with both manufacturers to ensure compatibility if you need the car seat to hook into your stroller. Some strollers come with adapters that allow for the attachment of standard car seats if they cannot be used with the stroller right out of the box. (A travel system can also be purchased to simplify this process.)
There are now car seats that have built-in leveling systems and indicators to show when they are properly positioned. (The incorrect installation of car seats is the leading cause of safety problems. If you want to know how to install something securely, read on.
The majority of strollers and stroller frames are designed to accommodate infant car seats. Travel systems are combinations of a stroller and a car seat. If you've found a car seat you adore, but it doesn't work with your stroller, you may be able to purchase an adaptor to make it work.
New vs used
Unfortunately, there is a chance that used car seats are damaged or otherwise don't meet the standards for safety set forth by the relevant authorities. We advise purchasing a brand-new car seat, but if you must go with a used one, make sure it comes from a reliable source. Make sure you check the seat's expiration date and see if it's been recalled. Make sure to clean the seat in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions if it gets dusty. There is a protocol for cleaning each type of car seat that ensures it stays safe and secure.
Height and weight limits
There are maximum height and weight requirements listed on every infant car seat. In most cases, when your child reaches 32 inches in height or 35 pounds in weight, it will be time to upgrade to a larger car seat.
Most infant car seats may be installed with a base that stays in your car, so your baby can ride in comfort while you run errands and then be quickly re-secured in the seat when you get back in the car. Be sure the carrier is not too heavy that you feel awkward picking it up by the base with your infant in it.
There is an expiration date on every car seat, usually between six and ten years after the product was made. Never reuse a car seat after it has been involved in an accident, and be mindful of the seat's expiration date if you intend to use it for more than one child.
There are typically two harness options available when selecting the ideal car seat: rethread and no-rethread. A rethread harness requires you to manually modify the size by reaching behind the seat and rethreading the straps through the back of the harness as your child develops.
What is an infant car seat?
In most cases, you won't be allowed to leave the hospital unless you have a rear-facing car seat with you or have one installed in your vehicle.
Even though a convertible car seat is suitable for infants and toddlers, an infant car seat is made with the tiniest of passengers in mind. According to certified child passenger safety technician Suzanne Chan, a pediatric nurse practitioner, baby and convertible car seats are equally safe (CPST). Whether you choose an infant car seat or a convertible one depends on your budget and preferences.
Infant car seats, as opposed to convertible ones, are designed to be readily removed from the vehicle and carried; some models even have the ability to clip onto a stroller. For parents with multiple children to fasten in and out of car seats each time they exit the vehicle, this feature is a godsend.
How long can babies use an infant car seat?
Whenever your child reaches the infant car seat's height or weight limits, you should stop using it. That is to say, even if your child is under the weight limit but has outgrown their infant car seat, you must still retire the seat because of their height.
Most infant car seats have a height limit somewhere between 30 and 35 inches (or when your child's head is less than one inch from the top of the carrier), and a weight limit somewhere between 30 and 35 pounds (for exact limits, consult your car seat's handbook).
This implies that, in most situations, your child can remain safely buckled into an infant car seat until roughly their first birthday, give or take a few months on each side due to variations in size.
Where Is the Best Place to Put an Infant Car Seat?
Generally speaking, the rear seat center is the safest spot to install a car seat for your child. Because most accidents involve some sort of side collision, being in the centre of the vehicle can reduce the severity of that hit.
However, not all car's seat belt slots are designed to accommodate child safety seats. Before beginning installation, be sure to consult your vehicle's owner's manual. For helpful advice on installing a car seat, check out the Safe Kids' Ultimate Car Seat Guide.
Do I Need an Infant Car Seat?
Convertible car seats may seem like the best option, but utilizing an infant car seat has a few benefits that can't be ignored.
If you have a travel system, your baby can sleep during the transition from the car to the stroller. The infant seat clicks into a stationary base, making it considerably simpler to transport your infant from one vehicle to another.
Moving an infant car seat from one vehicle to another is also considerably simpler than removing and reinstalling a convertible seat. Getting an extra base for the car seat is all it takes to swiftly install the baby car seat in the backseat.
Finally, whether or not your country requires parents and children to use a car seat, it is imperative that you purchase one for your infant or child. Accidents occur frequently, and you can never be sure how a car seat will protect your child in a crash.