Advantages of Infant Car Seats
One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make before your little one arrives is the type of car seat to buy. A car seat is one of the very first baby gears your baby will be using on his or her first ride home from the hospital. The right car seat should not only ensure your baby’s comfort but should also keep your baby as safe as possible.
With so many different types of car seats on the market, choosing the right car seat that’s safe enough for your little one can feel quite overwhelming.
So let’s address the main advantages of infant car seats and whether that’s the right option for your baby and family.
Infant vs. Convertible Car Seats
Before we dive further into the benefits, it’s first important to understand the difference between two main types of car seats; infant and convertible car seats.
Infant Car Seats
As the name suggests, infant car seats are made specifically for infants. These types of car seats should always face the rear of a car and can be used from birth until your baby reaches the seat’s maximum height and weight limits which is usually around 22 to 35 pounds. Infant car seats usually come with a carrier and base which makes it easy for you to snap or attach your car seat to the base.
Convertible Car Seats
Convertible car seats can convert or change from a rear-facing position into a front-facing position and booster seat. The rear-facing position is for babies and toddlers while the front-facing position can be used for older children usually up to 65 lbs. Essentially, a convertible car seat grows with your child.
Why Choose an Infant Car Seat?
Here are some of the advantages of having an infant car seat:
- Infant car seats are compact and a better fit for smaller cars as convertible car seats tend to be on the bigger side.
- Infant car seats have the ability to fully recline which is great for babies under six months who usually can’t sit up on their own yet.
- You don’t necessarily need an infant car seat base. You can install and secure them using a seat belt.
- Infant car seats are easy to use and great for on the go as you can directly attach them to your stroller without having to take your baby out of the car seat.
- Infant car seats are designed to be lightweight which is great when carrying your baby around.
- Features like the five-point harness, LATCH system, side impact protection are common with infant car seats and offer premium protection.
What to Consider
Here are some of the things you might want to consider when buying an infant car seat:
- They can only be used in a rear-facing position.
- Your baby will most likely sit in an infant car seat only for the 1st year, unlike convertible car seats which can be extended and therefore grow with your child.
- Infant car seats can turn out more expensive as you would eventually have to replace them for a convertible or front-facing car seat.
Is an Infant Car Seat Right for Your Family?
When it comes to choosing the type of car seat for your baby and family, you’ll need to consider your personal needs and circumstances. Some parents choose to skip buying an infant car seat altogether and go straight for a convertible car seat as it can be used for a longer period of time and therefore tends to be a more cost-effective option.
However, unlike infant car seats, convertible car seats are not portable. Once installed in your car, you can’t easily remove it. Besides reviewing the safety options that come with each individual car seat model and brand, some of the big questions that you’ll need to ask are:
- Am I okay with buying a new car seat within a year?
- What type of car seat will fit my lifestyle? (portable car seat or fixed).
- Do I want a car seat that can be attached to my stroller?
If you can answer these questions with a ‘yes’ - An infant car seat will most likely be the right fit for your family.
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