Selecting an infant car seat is one of the most important decisions facing parents today. Most states have laws governing whether the seat should face back, and age, height and weight guidelines. But there are so many choices in car seats, that finding the best infant car seat can become confusing for most parents.
Of course, safety is the highest priority but ease of use is also a consideration. This article explores the top three brands and their advantages.
The highest rated infant car seat is the Graco Snugride 32. It's best feature is the EPS foam which can absorb shock in case of an impact and also helps keep your baby comfortable when in the seat. It has a sun visor that is good in hot weather and keeps the wind off your baby's face in cold weather.
It comes in many colors and patterns and is easy to assemble. One of the biggest advantages is that it can be used without its base, which is good if you are riding in someone else's car or traveling in a taxi. It can be used until your baby is about 1 year old or until baby is 32 pounds and 32 inches tall.
The Britax Marathon is one of the most expensive infant car seats but may be worth the extra expense since it is a convertible model and can be used until your child weighs 65 pounds.
It is one of the safest and has an adjustable harness that can be raised as your child grows. The high-density foam padding and the way the base is constructed allow this seat to absorb a lot of energy in the event of a crash.
The disadvantage of this infant car seat is that it is heavy and takes up a lot of room when facing backwards.
Chicco KeyFit 30 is another of the infant car seats that gets good ratings in safety tests. It can be used until your baby reaches 30 pounds and has an adjustable harness that you can change as your baby grows. It is said to be one of the easiest to install if you're attaching the base using a LATCh.
It also works well with seat belts, if you have an older model car. It has a removable insert for newborns and two bubble levels to let you know when it is in the proper position.
When purchasing an infant car seat, consider not only the safety and comfort of your baby, but also how you are going to use the seat.
The Graco Snugride 32 is good for all around use and traveling. The Britax Marathon is higher priced but can be used for a much longer time.
The Chicco KeyFit 30 is known for its ease of installation with either a LATCh or seatbelt. All three have good features and high safety ratings. Before you buy, try it out to make sure it is a comfortable fit for both your baby and you.