How to Pick the Right Car Seat for Your Newborn

I know when I found out I was pregnant with my children, I wanted to be sure that I did everything correctly to make sure they were safe and taken care of. I remember standing in the store for hours (literally!) agonizing over which car seat was the best, which model would “grow” with my child and still give them a safe and comfortable ride. 

Our contributor, Julia Kirk, brings you a great article today on finding the right car seat for your newborn!

how to pick the right car seat

Bringing your newborn home from the hospital is an exciting time in your life. You want to have the safest and most comfortable car seat for the baby. There are several items in which you should consider to provide that comfort and safety that are so important.

Style and ease of use are other important factors to explore. You will find that several brands are quite comparable in these features. One of the easiest to use with the safety features that are ideal is a maxi cosi car seat. 

Safety First

While there are several brands to explore, view the safety ratings of each. It is very important to make sure buckles won’t come loose in an accident or while driving. It is also important that there is ample space for a neck support.

The vehicle that the car seat is going into should have rear seat belts that are conveniently located. This means that there should also be a lap belt to strap the car seat in tightly. There should be no movement of the car seat once it is strapped in.

Features to Consider

Other than color, car seats have a variety of features available. Some offer a larger arm carrying apparatus. This gives mom and dad more room to put their arms through to safely carry the car seat.

Other car seat features to consider are:

  • A hanging area for a mobile
  • A canopy to control sun exposure
  • Room for baby to grow
  • Conversion to additional stages
  • Room for a neck support
  • An adjustable harnessing system
  • Washable lining that removes easily
  • Ample leg room

These features ensure that baby can be in this car seat until around 18 months to 2 years of ag3. This is the equivalent of stage 3 in the growing process associated with car seats.

Comfort Elements

The seat lining should be thickly padded so that baby is comfortable. This helps to prevent bruising when baby is a bit fussy and tussling a bit. The area for baby to sit should allow room for baby to move freely.

The area where baby’s head rests in the car seat should have extra padding. An upside down “U” shape should be present. This helps to support baby’s head.

It is a plus if the car seat offers the ability to add a warm blanket over baby without it restricting their movement. Padding should be able to be removed from the carrying arm too. This makes it safe for baby to hit. It also makes it easier for mom and dad to grip when removed.

Consider a Convertible Option

Convertible options have multiple uses. When it is not being used as a car seat, it can act as a temporary option for baby to sit in while getting ready to leave. Parents can also put the carrier portion on top of a shopping cart at the store.

Some high-end options have a removable canopy so that baby can move more freely while visiting friends and family while staying in the seat. It helps to keep baby out of harm’s way in non-baby proofed homes.

Consider these tips when you are shopping for a car seat. New moms always wonder if they have the best car seat for their child or not. As previously stated, view the ratings. It does help to make the right decision.

Comfort, safety and ease of use are the three most important factors in car seats. If it takes too long to attach the car seat using seat belts, consider a different option. Ensure that the safety features are guaranteed and that functionality warranties are in place.

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