car seats 101:

What to know when shopping for a car seat



Keep your bundle of joy safe with the right car seat

Whether you're bringing your baby home for the first time or shuffling your toddler between play dates, you'll get peace of mind knowing your child is safe with the right car seat. Top brands like Evenflo, Safety 1st, and Cosco offer an array of car seats suitable for children of all ages. Learn about the different types of car seats available so you can find the perfect one for you and your baby.

Infant car seats

Infant car seats are designed to fit babies aged 0 to 12 months who weigh up to 22 pounds. Featuring a rear-facing design, infant car seats absorb impact when a sudden stop or crash happens to protect your baby's weak neck and back muscles. They snap securely into a base installed in your car and usually include a handle for easy carrying. Infant car seats can also be taken in and out of the car smoothly so you can move your sleeping angel without waking them up.

Travel Systems

Don't want to disturb your bundle of joy when transporting them from car seat to stroller? Opt for a travel system. Travel systems include an infant car seat, base, and coordinating stroller. The car seat fits into the stroller so you can take your child in and out of the vehicle seamlessly. The stroller component also grows with your child so you can continue to use it in their toddler years. If you already have a car seat and stroller from different brands, a car seat adapter may let you combine both so you can create a flawless transportation system.

Convertible car seats

Ideal if you're on a budget, a convertible car seat keeps your kid safe on the road beyond the infant years. Suitable for all stages of childhood, convertible car seats are available in 2-in-1 and 3-in-1 designs. A 2-in-1 car seat initially functions as a rear-facing infant seat and can later be used as a forward-facing toddler seat. A 3-in-1 car seat also transforms into a booster seat to secure children who have outgrown the forward-facing seat. The versatile design of a convertible car seat saves you money by accommodating your growing child, but features a larger and heavier design than other types.

Booster car seats

Transition your kid to a booster seat when they're over 40 pounds. A booster seat raises your child's body up so they can securely fasten their seat belt. Designed for little ones aged 4 and up, booster seats can keep your child safe until they're at least 8 years old.

Top features to consider

A variety of car seat features help deliver a smooth travel experience for you and your baby. A 5-point safety harness keeps your child securely in place with 2 shoulder straps, 2 waist straps, and a strap between the legs. Look for straps that are easily adjustable if you want to get your child in and out of the car in a flash. Some models have one-hand belt adjustments with fast release buckles to save you time. For quick installation, find a car seat that’s compatible with the LATCH system. LATCH lets you attach your car seat directly to your vehicle without the need for seatbelts to secure it.

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