Buying an infant car seat can be tough. There are a lot of different options out there-some come as a travel system-some are just the seat. Some are pricier-some claim to do things others don’t. It can be overwhelming. There are a few things to always consider when purchasing a seat for your little to travel in safely.
- Ease of use. Most car seats have consumer ratings that are fairly easy to find online-research some of the models you’re interested in-generally, the higher the rating, likely the easier the seat is to use. You want a car seat that has a base that is easy to install CORRECTLY and a seat that has a head rest and safety straps that are easy to adjust as little grows-without having to thread and rethread the seat belts every time you need to adjust. A great option is the UppaBaby Mesa for $449.99 CDN -it has a base that pretty much tells you when it’s installed correctly and very easily adjustable headrest and five point harness.
- Make sure your seat is legal to use in Canada. It’s tempting to do some cross border shopping and buy your seat in the US-but if your seat does not have Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards seal of approval-the seat is unfortunately not legal for use in Canada. You can potentially be fined, or have your seat confiscated at border crossings.
- Easy cleaning. Littles make messes, even brand new ones. Look for a seat that has removable, machine washable parts to help keep the seat sanitary after the inevitable blow outs and spit ups. A great one is the Maxi Cosi Mico Max 30-for $329.99 CDN.
- Comfort. Some seats have much better padding and body support pillows then others. Considering how much time your little spends in the seat, you want it to be comfortable. Try the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 435– $349.99 CDN.
- Side Impact Protection. Some seats have superior energy absorbing foam and other features designed to better protect your little in the event of an accident. The UppaBaby Mesa also gets top marks for this one.
- Try to avoid buying used. It makes sense to buy used to save money considering you generally only use the infant seat for the first year. I would strongly recommend against this-unless you are 100% aware of the seats history and know the person it’s coming from. Most people are trustworthy-but buying used from a stranger, you can never guarantee the seat has not been compromised in any way-accident or not-and sometimes seats can have missing manuals and parts, or are very close to their average 10 year expiry date. Watch for sales or buy from trusted family or friends as opposed to strangers.
You can also skip a bucket seat entirely and go straight to a convertible car seat that accommodates newborn and up-like the Diono Rainier-$379.99 CDN-depending on your budget and needs.
Safe travels. 😊