Hello parents! Are you wondering how to travel around when a baby walks, or in this case, crawls into your life, with literally zero warnings about the infinite amount of safety measures you should implement? Well then, read along to learn how you can tackle this process with expert precision while adding a few parenting points to your ever-growing parental repertoire.
For any parent with an infant and a vehicle, choosing a car seat that meets every need surrounding their child is a vital task. As a responsible parent, numerous factors should be considered when you attempt this essential task. However, what is most important when you are out in the market to purchase the perfect car seat, is that an eleven-letter word should immediately pop into your mind. That eleven-letter word is spelt C.O.N.V.E.N.I.E.N.C.E.
Convenience for the parent and convenience for the child is an essential factor to consider when you travel in a vehicle with your parental duties nudging at you through every turn. To keep it a buck with you, choosing a car seat is quite an uninteresting ordeal. Unlike specific exciting parental affairs, such as choosing pretty nursery items, buying cute clothes for your kids, or even picking the stroller of your dreams, choosing a perfect car seat is a relatively tedious process. However, it will be one of the most important purchases that you will make for your baby. Ensure to guarantee its safety, convenience, and durability at the top of your priority list.
First, you should know what kinds of car seats are available. Along with that, having considerable knowledge of other supplementary accessories shall always be a plus! Check the availability of all these accessories and crosscheck if they fit your needs with your child’s requirements and also if it fits into your car with minimal hassle.
Pro Tip: Always check whether your store provides you with car seats and accessories that are protected with premium safety guarantees.
That being said, let’s get down to business.
Car Seat Fundamentals
- Capsules – Capsules are ideal if you have a newborn or if your baby is less than 12 months in age. Capsules are safe and suitable for small babies who’ve just said hello to this world. However, you should be wary that your baby will outgrow a capsule within a year, tops.
- Car Seats – Car seats can be used from birth or ideally from 6 months onwards. These can either be rear-facing or front-facing. Buckles on these click tightly and usually have enough padding to keep your child comfortable and snug. Fully secured car seats are mandated by the law to be used until your child is 7 or 8 years old.
- Isofix – Modern car models often come with car seat mounting points called Isofix, where a car seat or capsule can safely click into the frame of the backseat, which effectively removes the necessity to fasten the seatbelt. Isofix is a handy system that makes life quite convenient for parents and children alike.
- Car Seat Orientation – Car seats for babies come as rear-facing or front-facing. Typically, it is recommended to use a rear-facing car seat as it edges over its counterpart in terms of guaranteeing more safety for your baby. In New Zealand, it is counselled that you opt for a rear-facing seat until your child is at least two years old.
- Boosters – Boosters are car seats that are manufactured to accommodate children that are generally older. Typically ranging from 5-7 years old, depending on their size. Since this varies, have a chat or contact your store employees about your child’s size and buy the best booster seat that will fit them comfortably.
- Accessories – Accessories like capsule rain covers, car seat protectors, padding, extra cushion, neck supporters, and seat belt adjusters, etc., are completely worth buying to make your baby as safe, comfortable, and well equipped as possible. Accessories are excellent additions that provide versatility to your car seat while keeping your baby snug and comfy.
Now that you’ve got the basics covered let’s move on to the next step.
Scout Your Baby Mobile
The next step you can consider is to analyze the potential baby mobile for compatibility with seats, capsules, or boosters. Buying anything without prior examination will lead to many complications and will cost you unnecessarily. You need to make sure that your capsule or seat will fit in the back of your baby mobile and that the Isofix will be compatible with your purchase, as well as how the seatbelt can be utilized.
Your Baby Shall Decide!
The most important aspect is knowing your child and keeping constant track of their growth. Your seat is not going to remain the same, and adjustments will have to be made. Now parents! Here’s where it gets slightly tricky. If your child is relatively tall for their age, a seat with a higher back will fit them perfectly, ensuring a comfortable ride along with mommy or daddy. If your kid is, let’s say, on the chunkier side, a car seat with a higher weight occupancy will suit better. Either way, you should pick what’s better suited to your baby and what can be used with maximum durability.
It’s a Lifestyle Choice
Finally, after ticking all the boxes of vehicle compatibility and your child’s requirements, you should take a step back and check the car seat’s compatibility with that of your lifestyle. Yes, that is equally as important.
Do you require the services of Isofix? Which seat is a better fit and will be practical in your driveway? Will a capsule be easier for you, or do you want a convertible car seat that will last for a longer period? Do you need a car seat that clips into your pram? The questions are on the plus side, and you should take some time, breathe, and preferably discuss your conveniences with your partner, friends, or relatives. Ask them about the lifestyle changes they made, how they decided on their purchases, and gain some valuable insight. After all, no internet search can ever beat the advice you get from your loved ones.
A few brainstorming and sharing sessions will not only help you choose the proper car seat, but it will equip you against all probable scenarios while ensuring that you make the right choice for your baby as well as yourself.
Now then, we’ve taken you through the fundamentals of choosing a car seat for your bundle of joy. All that is left is to read through everything we’ve pointed out here, do a bit of research by yourself, talk to your loved ones, and purchase a car seat that will be perfect for your family! Just remember this; it is about yourself as much as it is about your baby.