As we mentioned earlier when we talked about the best jogging strollers for you, everything doesn’t have to change with pregnancy. In this article, we’d talk about another important item in parenthood; car seats.
Table of contents:
- What’s A Car Seat?
- Types of Car Seats for Your Baby
- How to Select the Best Car Seat?
- Our List of the Best Car Seats of 2021
- A Final Note from Edie & Amy
What’s A Car Seat?
A car seat is a back-facing seat created to keep your little one safe during car trips. This accessory is really important as your little one grows. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a car seat from birth until your baby is simply too big to fit in.
If you spend a lot of time driving, for work, leisure, or errands, you should consider getting the best car seat to meet all your needs. However, the process isn’t so straightforward. To get the right fit, you need to know the type of car seats available and how to make the right choice.
Read on to find out!
Types of Car Seats for Your Baby
Although a wide range of options exist, car seats come in two broad versions: infant and convertible.
- Infant Car Seats: This is the first step for your little one as it is specially designed to support newborns during car rides. To achieve this, these rear-facing infant car seats feature head positioning pillows to support newborns with minimal neck control. Typically, these car seats can be used from your baby’s first trip home until he/she is about two years old or simply too big to fit in. After this, you’d need to get a convertible car seat
- Convertible Car Seats: Just like its name, the convertible car seat can be switched between the rear-facing and front-facing modes. For younger children, it is advisable to use the rear-facing mode, whereas toddlers can sit facing forward in a car seat for as long as they can fit in. A really nice perk to convertible car seats is that they can be used for a longer time frame. However, they are far heavier than the infant car seats.
Now that we’ve talked the two versions of car seats, we can go right ahead to figure out what we need to know in order to select the best car seat for your precious one.
How to Select the Best Car Seat?
Like many other decisions in pregnancy and parenthood, picking the best car seat for your little one can be quite difficult. To provide some much needed guidance, we recommend that you consider the following key features:
- Size: This is especially important if you own a mini, as you’d have only a limited variety of car seat options that are small enough to fit into the car. As you shop for a car seat, remember to pay attention to the size of your vehicle and the seat dimensions.
- Ease of Installation: Whatever you pick must be easy to install and uninstall. Furthermore, it is important to check the belts and hooks to make sure everything is easy and quick to operate.
- Budget: Money is a major factor in child upbringing. In fact, we have observed that car seats vary in cost. While searching, always consider your budget as you aim to pick the best option available for your little one. The good news is: there are many car seats that would get the job done without breaking the bank.
- Ease of cleaning: Toddlers like to snack a lot. As you travel with your child in a car seat, he/she would spend a considerable amount of time eating or drinking. Therefore, the best car seat should be one that is easy to clean whenever you have to.
- Safety Features: While shopping for a car seat, look out for the necessary safety features like belts, hooks, and neck pillows.
Our List of the Best Car Seats of 2021
1. Chicco KeyFit 30
As you’d expect, the first item on our list is for the little ones. The Chicco KeyFit 30 is a well-rounded infant seat that ticks all the boxes in terms of ease, affordability, and quality. This car seat features a spring-containing levelling foot that makes it easy to recline to any angle. In addition, the seat has a lot of cushions which provides head support for your baby.
Although some parents complain about the bulk, the many pros of this product makes it a top choice in the car seat category.
2. Britax B-Safe 35
If you have a small car, this is the best for you. The Britax B-Safe 35 is small, easy to install, and very safe for your little one. To aid ventilation, it features a mesh fabric that keeps your baby cool during car trips. In addition, it is easy to clean and very durable due to the two layers of protective foam, steel frame, and impact-absorbing base.
As a plus, the base can be removed at will depending on your choice.
3. Baby Trend EZ Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat
No problems! With the Baby Trend EZ Flex-Loc Infant Car seat, your babies can tag along on every car ride, no matter the distance. The lightweight, as well as its protective features, and affordable price has made it attractive to parents for many years.
Furthermore, this car seat features a triangle-shaped handle that makes it easy to hold at different angles. In addition, it is easy to install and use in almost any car.
4. Evenflo LiteMax 35
If you’re concerned about cost and safety, this is a smart option for you. The Evenflo LiteMax is safe, easy to install, load, and unload. Furthermore, the seat pads are really easy to remove for cleaning whenever you need to. As a plus, it has several reclining positions and a pillow that protects your little one from sudden jerky movements during road trips.
An obvious con of the EvenFlo LiteMax is that the handle design makes it difficult for parents to carry on their arm. However, the many advantages makes it a smart option for most families.
5. Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat
As we mentioned earlier, ease of cleaning is a key factor to consider while shopping for car seats. This is inevitable because slip-ups and the resulting messes are inevitable as your baby develops. Thankfully, the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat offers this and many more exciting features.
This car seat option features a stain-resistant material on the seat pad which can be cleaned easily using a damp towel or in a washing machine. In addition to this, many parents agree that this car seat is easy to carry and to move in and out of vehicles. Regarding safety, this product features a side-impact wedge that keeps your child’s head safe from sudden movements during car rides. As a plus, the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat also has a stability leg that prevents excessive head and neck movements during trips.
6. Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 Infant Car Seat
If you plan to travel long distances, with more than one child, this is the best car seat for you, At about 7 Ibs, the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 30 qualifies as a prime lightweight carrier. As a plus, this car seat connects perfectly with the Graco Jogging Stroller we mentioned here.
Regarding installation, it is really simple and it can be adjusted to four different positions to fit your baby’s size and comfort level. Furthermore, the harness is secure and easy to adjust, making it a top choice for parents globally.
7. Donna Car Seat & Stroller
Do you travel often? Are you interested in product versatility?
If your answer is ‘yes’, you should consider getting this car seat option. The reason is quite simple: The Donna Car Seat can function as a regular car seat and a stroller on the side.
Well, it is the only car seat that provides this unique feature. In fact, if you retract the wheels and place it on the floor, this car seat can also be used as a rocking chair!
Regardless of its many uses, the Donna Car Seat is small and easy to operate, even with one hand. In addition, it is certified for air travel and the removable fabric makes it really easy to wash.
8. UPPAbaby MESA
No doubt, this is one of the safest car seat options available on the market. This fact isn’t far-fetched because it features a visible confirmation that displays when your child is fully locked in the seat.
Another advantage of the UPPAbaby MESA is that it is easy to install and can be used in public buses or cabs. Although some parents have complained about the bulk, this product makes up for this with extra safety and child protection
9. Nuna PIPA Infant Car Seat
Just like the UPPAbaby MESA seat, this product also features a safety system that informs you when the installation is correct. For parents who use taxis often, the Nuna PIPA Infant Car Seat remains a top choice due to its flame resistant fabric. With this car seat, you can save a considerable amount of money and still get all the important features you need.
10. Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat
The final item on our list is the Diono Radian XRT which is popular among small car owners due to its portability and durability. Although it is more expensive than other car seat options, you’re guaranteed to get the value for your money as it is easy to install and safe for your little one.
A Final Note from Edie & Amy
In parenthood, the vast variety of options can make decision processes really tough. However, you’ve got us to help you always. With the list above, we’re certain you’d get the best car seat for your little one.
- Watson, E. A. (2009). Advise use of rear facing child car seats for children under 4 years old. The British Medical Journal(338). doi:https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b1994