True- joyride is a lot of fun, especially when the roadtrip is filled with the laughter of your loved ones, like your kids. But as parents, we know that this whole adventure does not only require ‘fun’ alone, as a happy and really ‘fun’ trip also means a safe one. We prioritise the safety, especially of our kids, thus it is important that we come prepared, and be fully-armoured. For us parents who have kids, the number one gear that we look for is having a sturdy, comfortable, and ever-reliable car seat. A car seat is one of the most important purchases we’ll ever make for our kids. So, how do we find the best one? Here are some tipsfor choosing the best car seat for our little ones:
1. Newborns can sit in two kinds of car seats: a rear-facing infant seat, or a convertible seat (which faces the rear of the car at first, and later is turned toward the front). Buying a convertible car seat saves money because it lasts through toddlerhood, and it’s completely sound in terms of safety; the drawback is that it cannot be taken in and out of the car like an infantseat can. Most parents agree that the ability to move a sleeping babyin an infant car seat— even if the baby fits the seat for only a year — is priceless.
2. If you want to buy an infant car seatbut need to trim costs, consider shoppingfor a travel system — an infant seat and stroller that are sold together at a discount. You may find these in the stroller aisle, not the car-seat aisle.
3. Understandably, you want to know which car seat is safest. But all car seats that are on the market have been tested and approved for the current safety standards. Because the safety technology improves so frequently, the most important thing you can do is buy a new car seat and not accept a hand-me-down.
4. At the lower end of the price range, whether you’re purchasing an infant car seat or a convertible car seat, look for a model that has a 5-point harness (two shoulder straps, two waist straps, and one strap between the legs that meet in the middle), side-impact protection (extra foam or air pads at the side of baby’s head), and compatibility with the LATCH system (a way to fasten the base tightly without using seatbelts).
5. If you can afford to buy a premium car seat, expect additional features, such as an anti-rebound bar at the foot of the seat that limits the amount of movement during a crash. Other features that bump up the price include cushier fabric, accessories such as a little “boot” around baby’s feet, and a larger canopy.
6. To save trouble, check to see if straps of the car seat you’re buying will be easy to adjust as your baby grows. Ideally, you want straps that will not have to be rethreaded. Many brands now have adjustment handles in the back of the seat, or a pull cord between baby’s legs, that make rethreading a thing of the past.
7. You’re not finished once you walk out of the store. Although all companies continue to simplify the installation process — videos on YouTube.com supplement some instruction books — it’s still recommended that, after you install the car seat, you have your work checked by a professional.
Now, even if you have purchased the best one, it is a must that you car seat is properly installed. Because wrong installation of a premium quality car seat is just as bad as having no car seat at all. If you are not sure if you have installed your car seat correctly, there may be a children’s car seat clinic available around your area, so please have it checked. Or better yet, ask a professional to install it for you first, then learn.
Once everything is settled, well, we know where you’re going…to really have fun!
“MummySG, where every Mum is awesome.”