Choosing a Car Seat For Your Baby
Shopping for a perfect car seat may be quite a tough and confusing job as the market has been flooded with variety of makes, designs, shapes and sizes. Above all, each and every manufacturer claim their products as the best and safest. Here is a guide to help you out in buying the right car seat for your baby.
Car seats are very important safety accessories but if not chosen wisely they can be just the opposite.
The first step to take before choosing car seats for your baby is to check your state laws regarding car seats. Child seats must meet federal safety standards.
The next question to answer is about the types of car seats to choose. There are different types of car seats and features. Here are some basics about the types of seats and features.
a) Rear facing, infant only seats: are specifically designed for infants of 5 to 20 pounds. These types of seats come along with a handle to carry the seated baby along with you and snap and fit it into a frame or stroller. The detachable base that stays in the car allows you to easily snap the seat in without messing around with the seat belt.
b) Convertible seat: These seats can be made to face rearward or forward and are best fitted for babies of 20 to 40 pounds. The American Academy of Pediatrics advice to parents is to keep your child facing backwards till he is one year or has crossed the manufacturer's limit of weight and height. These seats are perfect if you have to follow the instructions as you can easily convert the seat into a forward facing seat.
c) Combination seat: can be used with a harness or as a booster. They have the capacity of holding children of at least one year or 20 to 100 pounds. These front facing seats often called as toddler or booster seats are changeable from a five point harness to a belt-positioning booster seat.
d) Booster seats: Capable of holding a child of 30 to 100 pounds these booster seats are for cars without a head or a high back. But children should not be moved from a full harness to a booster seat unless they of the minimum weight and height permitted by the manufacturer. Choosing booster seats is also a good idea if your child usually falls asleep in the seat, or if the seat belt still does not properly fit with a backless booster.
e) Built-in (Integrated) Seats: There are some manufacturers like Volvos, Daimler Chrysler and Dodge which offer built-in booster or child seats as factory options. This certainly is a pretty idea but it does not mean that you should fold your arms and wait for the car to be delivered. Check carefully with the manufacturer to see what weight and height limitation they have.
These are some basics of the types of baby car seats but there are also some accessories to add. The federal law requires new car seats and most vehicles to feature a LATCH or Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children. There is no need to use a seat belt if both the child's seat and the car seats are equipped with LATCH. LATCH comes in rigid and non-rigid attachment options. Generally the rigid ones are the easiest to install but it also depends upon the car seat models and placement of cushions.
Finally there, choosing car seats for your baby was very much like a nightmare in the beginning, but after understanding which type of seats would be the best, there is nothing hard. Just make the right decision and go ahead for it but do make sure to ask the store about their return back policy because children are more sensitive than what you may have thought. They may not be reasonably comfortable in spite of choosing the right type of car seat. The reason may be the size of the seat. One size may not exactly fit the child despite of all the harness adjustments.
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The author Javies Phaltual also writes about best waterproof mascara, preemie clothes and unisex newborn baby clothes.