Video:How To Choose an Infant Car Seatwith Gretchen Siegchrist
When you enter one of the big baby superstores, you may be overwhelmed by the car seat options available to you. Get practical tips on how to choose a car seat for your new baby so you're prepared before you go shopping.See Transcript
Transcript:How To Choose an Infant Car SeatHi, I'm Gretchen Siegchrist for About.com Parenting, and today we are going to talk about purchasing a car seat for an infant. When you enter one of the big baby superstores, you may be overwhelmed by the car seat options available to you.
Infant Car Seat SizingThe most important thing is to find a seat that fits properly in your car. If you drive a small vehicle, your options may be limited, so you will need to find a smaller seat that fits safely in your car.
Newborn Car SeatsFor a newborn, look for an infant-only seat. Infant-only car seats are smaller and more portable, but you will have to purchase another car seat later on when your baby gets bigger. When shopping for a car seat, make sure that the crotch strap is set back far enough that it will actually be in contact with your baby's body. You will also want to check for four or more harness slots in the back so that you can adjust the straps as the baby grows.
Infant Car Seat FeaturesMake sure that any car seat that you buy has a recline feature, which will allow you to adjust the seat to fit the angle of the back seat of your car. You should also make sure that the hardware and the straps that fasten to the seat of the car are sturdy but easy to do and undo. Look for thick straps on any car seat that you are going to buy. These will not twist around as much as cheaper webbing and they will make it easier to get the baby in and out of the car seat.
The pad of the car seat should be removable and machine-washable, and made out of a breathable fabric like cotton. try to find a car seat that has buckle covers or no exposed metal parts at all, because the exposed metal can easily become burning hot on a sunny day. Many infant-only car seats can be detached from the base and used as an infant carrier.
Look for one that's easy to detach and is also easy to carry. Thanks for watching, to learn more, visit us on the Web at parenting.about.com.