How to choose and install infant car seats

infant car seats

Tackling The Topic Of Infant Car Seats

One of the most important purchases you will make for your newly arriving infant is a car seat. Shopping for this purchase should be done beginning around the start of your third trimester. This allows plenty of time to evaluate the devices and compare against other models. You will want to keep your little bundle of joy safe when traveling across town or across country. There are two styles of car seats for your baby: an infant car seat or a convertible car seat.

An infant car seat is designed for babies up to around 35 pounds and 32 inches high. A convertible seat will protect your child from birth up to their toddler stage around 80 pounds to 50 inches tall.

Although a newborn can ride in a convertible car seat, it is desired and recommended to start them off in the infant seat for their own safety. The smaller seat offers more security and holdings in all the right sections to keep infants safe and secure.

When you start your search for the perfect baby car seat a few tips to help you make the best choice include locating an easy to use model. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has devised a five-star rating system to gauge ease of use. Look for the most stars.

You will want to evaluate the harnessing system. It should contain a 5 point secure design and have easily adjusted straps. This will help to ensure that as your child grows you are making needed changes to maintain their security.

NHSTA estimates that 3 out of every 4 car seats are not installed properly. The good news is after you have completed installation, you can take your car to your local Department of Motor Vehicles and they will inspect it for accuracy. Additionally the will help make needed adjustments.

When it is time to install your baby car seat, be sure that you have chosen a model that incorporates the lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH) system. This system was initiated in 2002 and allows the car seat to be attached directly to the vehicle rather than relying on just the seat belt for security. A side note to keep in mind, LATCH is designed with a threshold up to 65 pounds. Once that weight is reached, you will need to rely on the safety belts only.

Infant car seats will be placed in the back seat facing rearward. Before you begin the installation process take time to read the instructions for the seat you have purchased. Installation will vary between manufacturers. After completing installation check the seat for security. If there is movement of more than an inch in any direction, check and adjust belts and tethers. Check over the belts to ensure there are no twists. This will prevent optimal performance. Take a moment to verify the angle of the base is correct. The majority of car seats on the market today have adjustments or angle indicators.

How to Install an Infant Car Seat (Video)

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