How to Choose Appropriate Car Seat for Your Baby?
The safety guidelines worldwide take participation in checking the various car seats for babies. Out of every four to three baby seats, you find in the market, one of them might be having some slight issues. Of course, this does not mean that the infant seat car isn’t safe. Most of these car seats for babies have proved to be one cause of preventable car crashes accidents that can ensure your baby is safe.
In the process of choosing the right car seat for your baby, you might not find a definite answer but first taking safety as the priority will guide you through the whole process. Shopping for the right car seat for the baby will depend on various things to take into consideration. In general terms, you will have to find the baby car seat that will perfectly fit your vehicle. Secondly, the car seat must fit your baby in terms of size, weight, and height. Thirdly, the seat must be easy to install in the car at any time you are carrying the baby to journey expeditions.
The ultimate challenge of choosing the right car seat for your baby will depend on the stage of the baby. By this it means that the baby or kid must fall in the following stages:
- The seat belt position
Depending on the size and age of the kid, you will determine the kind of car seat you are going to shop. You will find that the various baby and infant car seats are categorized according to baby size and age.
Four Stages of car seats
The prenatal stage
Most people forget the prenatal stage as they believe in the physical existence of the baby to start caring for it. This is not right as the baby should be cared for while in the womb because this is the most critical part for the baby to be born safe and sound. Here at 1stbabby, we strive to include the prenatal stage as we believe it is part of safety measurements to be taken for the sound delivery of the baby.
Many expectant mothers lose their lives and their babies because of car crashes. Pregnant mothers have the responsibility of keeping their-selves safe and the baby by wearing safety belts that are tested for car crashes safety conditions. The seat belt safety conditions must be tested for the best pregnancy conditions for expectant mothers. One of the known best seat belts is known as the tummy shield that ensures it directs the positioning away from the pregnancy area.
Photo of correctly wearing your seat belt while pregnant
The Rear-Facing position
The rear-facing position must be adhered to from the day of birth to at least 2 years for the baby. You can go up to a maximum of 4 years of which is fine still.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers must ride in a rear position until they reach the age of two years or in the case they exceed the maximum recommended weight and height of the rear-facing position.
Is there a reason why your baby must ride in the rear-facing position?
According to the various researches which have been done, it shows there are five times the chances of baby safety if he rides in the rear-facing position. Having the baby ride in the rear-facing position makes him safer as opposed to the forward-facing position. At the rear-facing position, your baby head, neck, and spine is protected wholly by the infant car seat and the normal car seat.
The spinal column of the baby is critical for body control and weight because of toddler nature. the head neck and spinal accounts to around 25% of the total body which is significant in a car crash. This is contrary to the adult as their head and neck only add to 5% of the total body thus can ride in the forward position. Having the toddler ride in the forward-facing position below the age of 2 years is putting your infant at risk, in case of a crash, because the forward position restraints the baby front part and leaves the head, neck, and spine unrestrained thus high chances of harm for the baby.
Various studies show that the longer you keep your baby in the rear-facing position, ensures the spinal column will strengthen over time thus aiding appropriate development of the toddler’s bones.
There exist various seats that can be used in the rear-facing position and they include:
Infant baby car seats:
These are seats designed only for infant babies that can only be used in the rear-facing positions. The position has bases that one can remove and leave in the car for easy movement of the toddler to the house or a jogger.
The convertible type of seats:
These are the type of seats that ensure the baby can remain both in the rear-facing or forward-facing direction depending on your choice. The car seat can be easily converted from the rear-facing position to the forward-facing position. The seat is fully for grown-up kids, but can also be converted to the infant car seat. The seat allows your kid to enjoy both positions and also sees through as the baby grows up.
The all in one type of rear-facing position car seats
The above type of car seats can easily move from the rear-facing position to the belt position to accommodate the child height weight and height as she grows up.
From time to time, the child will outgrow the rear-facing position and will require facing the forward-facing position. Ideally, the minimum required age for the forward-facing position is two years. Here at 1stbabby we recommend for giving your child another 1 or 2 extra years if possible to allow bones and spine to have developed stronger for forwarding thrust restraint.
Most of the baby car seats have the 5 point harness to distribute the evenly baby body parts to ensure that in the case of car crashes keeps the baby at high chances of safely riding through the crash
Riding the baby forward rear position requires tether that is limited to the head movement positions of the kid to ensure he is safe. It is also important to ensure that the harness straps are close enough to the baby shoulders to the extent that you cannot pinch the straps. This allows the baby to be comfortable and in case of a car crash, the baby head and neck will not move fast thus endangering his life.
The recommended extent to use this position:
- The seat headrest no longer fit on the seat thus requiring the change of position
- Once the weight or height of the baby exceeds the set limits for the baby then you need to transfer the baby to belt position
- Once the shoulder is above the car seat top then one cannot fit well the straps thus should change to belt position
What is the type of seats for the forward position?
The convertible baby car seats
Most of these kinds of seats are for the grown-up kids but can also be used for the infant babies.
The all in one seat for a forward position.
The seat can easily be converted to the belt position as your kid grows
The combined seat with a harness.
When the baby exceeds the harness limit, then the seat can be converted from a forward position to belt position
The ride travel vest for babies.
The safe baby vest ensures you have guidelines to properly position the baby seat belt. At this new position for baby, it is advisable to use a second seat for your car.
This position accounts for when the child has grown fully and is in the bracket of 7-12 years of age thus adjusting the belt position ensures she is more comfortable in the car. Having a booster seat ensures the kid is lifted higher for the belt-tightening position.
People have always believed in the booster seat belt position but there are other ways of keeping the baby intact to the seat. The purpose of the booster seat is to ensure that it lifts the kid high enough to fit in the seat belt. Others use the rider safe vests that bring down the seat belt to fit appropriately the kid height and size.
There exist some shortcomings with the booster as the belt on the shoulder does not stay in the right position especially those backless boosters that make the kid uncomfortable. This happens especially if the kid keeps on moving thus creating belt discomfort. Your child will find this very uncomfortable thus will decide to place it under the arm or behind his back which in case of crash endangers his life. This problem can be easily resolved through the rider safer travel vest that ensures all the time the belt stays in the right position even if the child keeps on moving during driving sessions.
You can use the following seats for belt positioning:
- The combination seats that do not have the harness.
- Rider safer vests for kids
- baby booster car seats
- You can purchase the all in one seat that has the forward-facing position that does not have the 5 point harness
The Seat Belt Position
This position requires the kid to have fully grown to adult which mostly is over the age of 8 years. In most cases, depending on the height and size of the kid, they do not fit well in this kind of seat position. Cars have different shapes thus seating positions may vary like from a Mercedes Benz to a Toyota car. Each time check for car position and how the baby will fit well in that position inside your car.
The following are the positions you must check before fully satisfied your kid is seated well in the car:
- Ensure the baby when seated have the lap belt right on his thighs
- Can keep the knees naturally bent at the car seat edges
- Can easily lean the back on the seat and same time keep the legs on the car floor
- Check if okay the kid can seat safely in this position during the entire ride.
Always ensure kids who are below the age of 13 years must ride on the back of the seat as this is safer as compared to the front seat.
Things that you need to check before purchasing a car seat for your baby
In the first points of discussion, we had looked at the first things you must take into consideration before buying a car seat for your baby. You must buy a car seat that will fit comfortably in your car, must fit well your baby’s weight and size and finally must be easy to install in the car.
Car seats before they are brought to the market they must undergo crash testing and other safety conditions. There exist a fallacy that expensive car seats for babies mean that they are the safest. On the contrary, this might not be true because most expensive seats are fitted with more decorations rather than safety features.
It is important before deciding which car seat to buy, ensure you read through the various labels of the seat to know which one best fits your kid according to height, weight, and size. In summary, your baby must be within the specification of the seat so that they can fit him appropriately.
Checking process of baby car seats
You might find that some infant or baby car seats may not fit well in the kind of car you have. It is important when you won’t purchase a car seat for the baby to bring along the car as some sellers would not allow you to go with the seat to test in your home place.
It is important before purchasing the car seat to ensure that it perfectly fits in the car and you can easily fit it in your car without mishaps.
Here at 1stbabby we recommend if possible to have a technician who is fully certified by the National Child Passenger Safety Board in order for him to test fully whether the seat fit perfectly and could even provide you with extra tips on how to install and which best car seat that fits your baby and the car.
Having an expert car seat is important as you are putting the baby safety first above all other matters. Most experts do not recommend buying seats from not well-known manufacturers as this might put your baby safety at risk. It is essential before purchasing any car seat to know the history of that seat and also the history of the manufacturer. We recommend you be making your purchase through well-known online shops such as Amazon.Com as there you can see people reviews and also the company who are manufacturing the baby car seats you want to purchase.
If you have comments to share or ask questions, kindly share them below as we would be glad to have interaction on how we can continue keeping safe our babies while on the road. Let’s strive to keep these little beautiful angels safe!