Best Infant Car Seat Reviews
Just imagine your first trip from hospital to home with your newborn after giving delivery. Usually, you will prefer this trip in a car, whether your own or rented. What comes to your mind first when you think of how to carry the baby home? Well, most of us would have the first thought as carrying the little one in one’s arms.
At this point of time, a sharp mom is more likely to think in this way – My baby will be in my arms during the whole trip, while I myself will be safely secured behind the seat belt straps that ideally should be protecting the baby. Just like a caring parent, you will always wish your baby to be secured even more than you will. This is why you will consider having an infant car seat, a necessity for newborn babies who can then move out with you at any point of time.
Nothing can be more delicate and valuable than an infant. In the initial months of the newborn’s life, you are the one who needs to make every possible effort to defend your little wonder from a risk or danger. One of the essential ways to ensure this safety is to have the most suitable infant car seat.
What to Expect in Basic Sense Out of Modern Infant Car Seats
Infant car seats are exclusively engineered to safeguard a newborn baby, regardless of the gender, usually ranging in weight from 4 to 40 pounds as well as in height from 19 to 32 inches. However, both the ranges tend to vary from one seat manufacturer to another. Most of them face the car’s rear and make the babies fit cozily during the first year or so, as per the chosen seat and gained baby size.
Most of these seats come with an ergonomic handle for easy carrying as well as belt straps and buckles for securing your baby fully. They can even pop in and out of a stroller as well as a base that is made exclusively for installing in the car. Although you can remove the infant car seat from your car while the little one is still in it, it is obvious to get a new car seat once your baby grows in weight and/or height, which exceeds the limit of the current seat in use.
Interestingly, you will find a few infant car seats that tend to run for a longer time, until your kid is 7 or 10 years old. Similarly, exceptions also exist in case of weight and height limit, which is higher than expected, in a few car seats.
With so many variations and brands out there in the market, it truly becomes confusing to choose the right car seat for your infant. You should keep in mind that there is no single best infant car seat in the market. Why? This is mainly because each one of us uses a different car, and perhaps what fits safely as well as properly in a Mercedes may not fit so in Audi A3 or Honda Accord, for instance. Everyone’s situation simply varies!
The interpretation of the term ‘best’ depends on your requirements, budget, and a few preferences such as durability, accessory holder, compatibility with strollers, and ease of maintenance. So, how can you choose the right seat without investing hundreds of dollars? This is where we help you out!
What We Do for You: The Goal of Our Online Existence
We, as the keen reviewers, tend to review only the best infant car seats so that you get to go through (review) the reliable and suitable seats. While our reviews are factual and tend to trace the pros and cons apart from the features, your own analysis by going through our reviews help in mapping the features, cons, and pros to your needs and preferences. The one with the maximum match is certainly the most suitable product for you as per your needs and budget. We have made this possible at one place online! This means that you no longer have to look for more sites or portals to read reviews. In short, our reviews are factual, fair and complete.
How Do We Do It: The Secret Revealed for Transparency and Customer Loyalty
We know that it is not that easy to choose the best infant car seats considering the variety of brands and models. At the same time, we also strongly believe that individual or personal recommendation is not going to work unless backed by esteemed ratings or maximum positive reviews. Therefore, we have chosen only those products whose overall ratings are above 4 out of 5 at Amazon and whose more than half of the comments come under the 5-star rating.
Without a doubt, Amazon is the biggest, most reputed, as well as most reliable shopping portal online. Obviously, no one will doubt its authenticity or raise questions on the hundreds of genuine customer reviews posted for different products. Therefore, we scan Amazon pages for finding out the infant car seats having overall rating more than 4 as well as having maximum number of reviews. Yes! We choose only those infant car seats that have more than 50 reviews at least, not just 5 or 30 reviews, for getting a clearer and more exact picture of the product under review on our portal.
Above all, we are just not restricted to Amazon ratings and reviews. We also add our own time-proven mix of factors for choosing the best infant car seats.
In a nutshell, we look for the following in order for a particular seat to grab a review page on our portal:
Overall Score: This is purely based on what Amazon shows as per the maximum number of 5-starred reviews.
Rear- and forward facing: This conveys us how easy it is to install the seat securely as well as precisely with the help of vehicle belts and/or LATCH in an assortment of vehicles in a rear- or forward-facing orientation along with how well it fits onto each vehicle after installation.
Safety: This involves a variety of essential features such as 5-point adjustable harness system for keeping the baby safe from all sides, non-twisting adjustable wide straps to avoid injuries, two-piece chest clips to keep wriggling at bay, built-in locking clips, and big canopy for protecting from bright light. Therefore, this factor simply measures the potential of the seat to eliminate or limit injury as well as movement in the event of a crash
Standards Adhered or Tests Passed: This factor helps us in choosing only those seats that have passed several safety tests such as simulated frontal crash test by using a child-sized dummy, Side-Impact Protection (SIP) test, and EuroNCap test. We also look for seats that have been FAA qualified as well as endorsed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Association.
Ease of Use and Maintenance: This factor makes us gauge other factors such as portability, lightweightedness, machine washable capability, and ergonomic design. Our finding on how easy the seat is to use also includes a look on the clarity of instructions through manuals as well as labels, adjustment of buckles and clips, installation abilities such as tethering and LATCH connectors, transition from rear- to forward-facing, and compatibility with strollers as well.
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, infants under 1 year old must stay in a rear-facing car seat. Similarly, the update of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in 2011 advised parents to use rear-facing car seats until their toddlers turn 2 or reach the maximum weight and height. Therefore, even we recommend choosing a rear-facing car seat for your newborn, which is certainly an indispensable investment that shall continue to give you sweet fruits during the initial 1-3 years of your kid’s life.
What about Car Seat Sizes: Know Your Group!
Usually, car seats are split into groups also called stages (although less known). Recognizing these groups is simpler and safer when you think in terms of selecting the most suitable seat according to the weight of your baby. The groups are as follows:
- For the weight and age ranging from birth to 10 kg (22lb) and from Newborn to 9 months respectively, the group is 0 and Stage is 1.
- For the weight and age ranging from birth to 13 kg (29lb) and from Newborn to 5 to 18 months respectively, the group is 0+ and Stage is 1.
- For the weight and age ranging from 9 kg (20lb) to 18 kg (40lb) and from 9 months to 4 years respectively, the group is 1 and Stage is 2.
- For the weight and age ranging from 15 kg (33lb) to 25 kg (55lb) and up to 6 years respectively, the group is 2 and Stage is 3.
- For the weight and age ranging from 22 kg (48lb) to 36 kg (79lb) and up to 12 years respectively, the group is 3 and Stage is 4.
In case your infant child weighs up to 13 kg, definitely the baby must be put in a rear-facing seat. In the above split up, Group 0 for up to 10 kg includes stage one car seats also known as infant carriers. Majority of infant carriers come under Group 0+, which is ideal, as your little one travels facing the rear of the car. This is especially beneficial when you have to travel for longer, during which she or he gets proper as well as adequate head and neck support that is crucial. As long as the head’s crown is below the top of the seat, she is supposed to stay facing backwards for longer period.
Infant carriers come with handles that allow moving your little one in and out of the car without disturbing her sleep (yes, without waking her). This is a plus point that a convertible seat does not offer you as well as ideal point for your baby, as any newborn tends to sleep a lot. Most carriers also feature head huggers or little pillows, which do not allow the baby’s head to wobble. Such a carrier is indispensable to use during the first three months approximately, until the little one is able to hold her head up on her own.
It is also good to consider investing in Group 0 carriers and seats lying flat. These seats are engineered to cushion and support premature as well as small babies. You can choose one of them in case you are planning for long journeys quite often, as these seats are exclusively designed for that purpose. They are capable of keeping the small ones in the most healthful position, giving more importance to their lungs and spine.
What Are the Infant Carrier’s Biggest Pros and Cons: Know their Distinct Abilities and Limitations
- Carrying the baby in and out of the vehicle without spoiling her sleep or disturbing her too much, provided the chosen seat is properly fitted while placing it back into the car
- Ability to get fit on a pram or pushchair in case you have a travel system
- Ability to fit into a variety of strollers
- Durable, longer lasting
- Highly safe
- Sleeping for several hours on the seat not recommended due to the possibility of spine development issues
- Short lived, in the sense that Group 0 seat will have to replaced by Group 1 seat when the baby turns out to be 15 or 19 months old (Here too, consider the baby’s weight more significantly than the age)
- Discomfort or difficulty in carrying the baby in and out of the car, as he or she gets heavier (might have to leave the seat as it is in the car)
Nevertheless, Group 1 rear-facing seats are progressively more popular. They are designed to enable you to keep your baby rear facing, when he or she exceeds the height and weight limits of a chosen Group 0+ seat.
So, are you ready to choose the best infant car seat with us?