Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Researching Infant Car Seats

There are a million models of car seats out there and I had rather skimmed than researched so I finally roped my partner into helping me pick out a car seat for our baby due in February.

There are several different models, some more appropriate than others for newborns/infants. The different types are:


Experts suggest using a rear-facing seat for as long as possible, and it seems that some States require their use for babies under certain size limits. Convertible seats will switch from rear-facing to forward facing so that can extend their use.

Some convertible car seat models claim to work from 5lbs on up, with the straps adjusting to different positions but in discussions I have seen online it seems these don't fit small babies as well.

The other option, which is very popular and I'm sure you have seen them, are infant car seats. These models usually feature a base piece into which locks the infant carrier. The carrier can be removed and taken with you to help limit disrupting your sleeping baby. The problem with infant car seats is that babies can grow out of them quickly, either height-wise or weight-wise, and then you have to get them into a convertible seat anyway.

Recent studies have shown that keeping your baby in the infant car seat for longer than the trip length itself could result in the infant being shifted into a position that could compromise their air flow. So, in spite of it being a popular thing to do, porting your baby around in the car seat actually could be injurious.

From our early research it looks like you can get infant car seats for $130 or less. The convertible car seats seem to be running in the range of $300 or so, at least of the models we were looking at based on online reviews from several web sites.

It seems as though you should get a couple years use out of a car seat before having to graduate to a child's booster car seat -- which are required if your child weighs less than 49 pounds.

Here are some links:

CarSeatSite.com -- Which Seat is Best for My Child?

BabyUniverse: Car Seat Buying Guide

Epinions.com - Car Seat Reviews

Improper car seat use can be deadly - 12/13/06


Anonymous said...

I'm due Feb. 21. So what type of car seat did your partner wind up getting?
A lurker in Tennessee

agness said...

We ended up getting the SnugRide which he grew out of by 8 months. I think the SafeSeat would have lasted longer, though honestly by the time we upgraded to a Britax Marathon he was ready to be a little more upright.