A baby car seat is a must-have for all mom and dad because the infant car seat law says that all kids must be in a seat that fits them until they are 135cm tall (150cm in ROI) or 12 years old, whichever comes first.
Keeping your child safe in a car is one of the most important things you have to do as a parent.
Every year, thousands of young children are killed or hurt in car accidents. Using car safety seats correctly helps keep kids safe. But because there are so many different kinds of seats on the market, this can be confusing for many parents.
The type of seat your child needs depends on a number of things, like how old your child is, how big your child is, and what your child needs to grow and learn.
Before you make a decision to buy a car seat for your baby, you need to first understand which car seat is the right fit for your baby?
Most parents use age as the key factor when shopping for a car seat which is the wrong approach. For your child’s safety and comfort, you need to use the baby’s weight or height as the major factor when buying a car seat.
The law states that all children below 135cm tall or under 12 years of age must have their own car seat. It is also recommended that a child continues to use a rear-facing car seat until they are at least 15 months old because a child’s body below this age is particularly vulnerable to forceful impacts and a rear-facing seat will provide additional protection.
What is a Baby car seat?
An infant car seat is intended to transport your baby from one point to the other safely and comfortably. Because a vehicle’s safety equipment such as seatbelts, and airbags are developed with adults’ ergonomics and safety in mind, child safety seats are required to provide children with the same level of comfort as adults and, in most cases, enhanced the safety of your child.
The best baby car seats are often constructed from a combination of durable materials, including impact-absorbing foams and child-friendly textiles affixed on a solid frame.
When should I start putting my baby in a car seat?
You can start installing your infant (or convertible) seat when you’re 35 and before 37 weeks gone in pregnancy to get ready for the big day. If you go into labor before 35 weeks, your baby will probably spend some time in the NICU, so you’ll have plenty of time to figure it out. After 37 weeks, you could go into labor at any time, and trust me, you don’t want to be setting up the car seat for the first time at the hospital.
Can I take my baby in a car without a car seat?
When traveling in a motor vehicle, the law mandates that any child under 14 years, must use additional safety restraints. The driver is required by law to ensure all children use a seat belt or the right child car seat.
Any child up to 12 years old or 135cm (4ft 5in) in height (whichever comes first) must be secured in an appropriate car seat on every travel, regardless of how short, how busy, or where they are situated. In addition to being a recommendation, this golden rule is also a legal requirement; violators can be fined.
Is a baby car seat mandatory in the UK?
YES. UK law dictates that a child must use a child car seat until they’re 12-years-old or 135cm tall, whichever comes first. Children over the age of 12 or more than 135cm tall must wear a seat belt.
Is a baby car seat mandatory in the USA?
YES. Car seats became mandatory in the US in 1986 when the law was adopted by all 50 states.
All children under the age of seven, regardless of weight, and all children weighing less than 60 pounds, regardless of age, must ride in a federally approved child safety seat. Children aged 7 to 12 must be properly restrained in a seat belt or federally approved booster seat that is appropriate for their height and weight.
Is a car seat necessary for a newborn?
YES. But many parents opt not to buy a baby car seat and stroller for their newborn because they consider it expensive.
Several studies have shown that a car seat is the safest option for your newborn baby when traveling by car. Many countries make it mandatory to use a car seat when transporting a child. Therefore, a car seat is a must-have after the arrival of your newborn baby.
Can I use a European car seat in the USA?
Parents who travel with their child’s car seat should be praised, but regional laws and regulations make it almost impossible to do so legally.
An FMVSS-certified car seat from the US can’t be used legally in Europe, while an ECE R44-certified car seat from Europe can’t be used legally in the US. These are the two most common standards. It doesn’t matter if you’re there for a few days or a year. Diplomats and people in the military in Europe (and other places) might be exempt.
Still, it’s a good idea to bring your child’s car seat with you because the safety of your child at your destination is very important. When you bring your own car seat, you are in charge and always have one ready. You’ll already know how to put your car seat in safely, and your child will feel at home in his or her seat.
Can I rent a child car seat?
This is not something you should do unless you have no other choice. There are a few places in Scandinavia where you can rent high-quality seats for a low price. When you rent, you never know what kind of car seat will be given to you or how good it is. It’s not fun to go to the car rental place with your 18-month-old and get a booster seat instead. There are a lot of scary stories about people who rented seats.
If you do decide to rent a seat, call and email ahead of time to make sure your child will be using the right seat. Don’t talk to the customer service. Get the local rental place’s phone number, call them, and ask to speak to the manager in person about their car seats.
Can I take my newborn baby home in a convertible car seat?
Yes, convertible car seats made for an infant’s height and weight are safe to use as long as they are installed correctly and are facing backward.
Do you need a car seat for a newborn?
If you can, you should buy a baby car seat before your baby is born. It’s important to buy a car seat that fits your car and is good for a newborn. If you have your baby in a hospital or birthing center, you will need a car seat to make sure your baby is safe on the way home.
How do I choose the best car seat for my baby?
At first, it may seem hard to choose the right car seat for your child, but it’s not hard at all once you understand how the sizes work.
A car seat is one of the most important things you’ll buy for your child, so make sure you take your time choosing the right one. As your child grows, you’ll need to switch from one car seat to another. You can find the right car seat for your needs by looking at the different kinds.
How long does a baby stay in an infant car seat?
Parents who use an infant seat usually switch to a larger, convertible seat between 9 months and 2 years, depending on how big their child is (bigger kids will probably move on sooner), but they can do it sooner if the seat is safe for their child’s height and weight.
Which seat is best for a baby in a car?
After you buy a car seat for your child and before you take a trip with your new baby, it is very important to know how to put the car seat in your car in the safest way.
We suggest putting the car seat in the back seat, preferably in the middle.
If you need to install more than one car seat or your car is not suitable for center installation, you might want to think about other options such as:
- Rear Middle: The middle seat in the back is the safest place for your car seat because it is the farthest away from the passenger-side airbags and any possible impact.
- Rear Passenger: According to statistics, this isn’t the safest place for a car seat, but many parents like it because it’s easy to get to their child because the restraint is usually on the side of the car away from the flow of traffic.
- Rear Driver: Even though it’s in the back of the car, the car seat is still safe at the back of the driver. But it is less safe than the other backside seat because it is more likely to hit something.
- Front Passenger: We recommend you keep your car seat in the back seat, but if you have to put your baby in the front passenger seat, make sure the front airbags are turned off before you drive away. A child younger than 12 years old should never sit in a passenger seat with an airbag.
Being in the front should be a last resort because it is more likely to distract the driver and is close to the side of the car that gets hit the most.
Should I bring a car seat on a plane?
Before you book a flight with your baby, check with the airline to make sure they don’t have any rules about using a car seat. Some airlines do have rules about using car seats, so always check with your airline first.
If your airline does let you bring a car seat, it usually has to be an FAA- or TÜV-approved seat, which means it can be used on an airplane.
Even if you don’t want to use your car seat on the plane, you may still want to bring it with you. Most airlines will let you put a car seat in the hold for free, on top of the amount of luggage you can bring. This is true for both baby car seats and booster seats and seats for toddlers.
How long can a newborn be in a car seat?
No more than two hours.
Experts say that babies shouldn’t be in a car seat for more than 2 hours at a time and should be taken out often.
Should I change my baby’s car seat after an accident?
It depends on how bad the crash was and what the NHTSA and the company that made your child’s car seat say about that particular child restraint. Some experts agreed that after a moderate or severe crash, you should replace a child’s car seat or booster seat.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which sets safety standards for vehicles to cut down on injuries and deaths from car accidents, says that a child’s car seat should be replaced after a moderate or severe crash.
A child’s car seat doesn’t need to be replaced after a small accident.
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uses the following five criteria to define a minor crash:
- The car could be driven away from the crash site.
- The door closest to the car seat or booster seat was not damaged in the crash.
- No one in the car was hurt in the crash.
- If the car has airbags, they did not go off (deploy) during the crash.
- The car seat or booster seat was not damaged in any way that could be seen.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT INFANT CAR SEAT
As your belly grows, you should start thinking about a car seat for your baby. Your baby’s car seat is the most important thing to get right on your list of things to buy for a new baby. We have put together all the information you need to choose a car seat for your baby.
It is one of the few things you will buy for your child that could actually save his or her life. Plus, you can’t take the baby home from the hospital without it!
There are four basic types of car seats for babies and toddlers: ones that face the back, ones that face the front, and ones that can change from facing the back to facing the front. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that children should stay in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat.
As your child grows, you’ll need to change how he or she sits in his or her car seat and which way it faces. You may also need to buy a new seat. Check out this age-by-age guide for how to keep your child safe in the car.
There are two types of car seats for newborn babies – Infant-only car seats and convertible car seats, and both are just as safe as the other. Which one you choose depends on your personal taste and budget.
Infant Car Seat
An infant car seat is made for babies who are just born. Usually, this is from birth until your baby is at least 2 years old or weighs as much as the seat can hold. When it’s likely that he or she will need a bigger seat. These car seats are only meant to be used facing backward in your car.
The baby car seat can also be used to carry the baby but never ever put your child’s car seat in the shopping cart, even if it clicks. It wasn’t made for that and it’s very dangerous. Many models of this infant car seat can be strapped into the car directly or into a base that stays strapped into the car seat. For more than one car, you can buy more than one base.
Depending on how fast your baby grows and how big the car seat is, it can last from six to twenty-four months. Some babies outgrow their infant car seats faster than others. Once your child reaches the maximum weight or height limit for the seat, it’s time to switch to a different type of car seat made for older babies.
If you buy a new car seat, that doesn’t mean you have to turn it around so it faces forward. You should keep your child facing the back of the car seat for as long as possible because it is safer.
Convertible Car Seat
When your child outgrows an infant car seat, the next stage is a convertible car seat, which you should buy before your child’s first birthday. It can be set up facing either backward or forward.
Convertible car seats can be used from the time your child is born until they are too big for them. This means that your investment will give you more use. They can be used with the child facing forward or backward, depending on how much the child weighs.
Up until they are 3 years old, babies sit facing backward. Once they are 3 years old, you can turn them around to face forward.
The bad things about convertible car seats are that they can’t be moved around and they can’t be used to carry an infant. They don’t have bases, so they can’t be moved easily from one car to another. Some parents find it harder to use these bigger seats for smaller babies, even though their size often makes them feel safer.
Many can hold babies who weigh up to 65 lbs. Even though the minimum weight limit is low enough for newborns and smaller babies, this type of seat isn’t always the best fit for smaller babies and isn’t as convenient as a carrier that can be taken off.
3-In-1 Car Seats
The name “All-in-one” comes from the fact that these seats can be used as:
- a back-facing car seat,
- a front-facing car seat with a harness, and
- a booster seat.
You can use these seats facing forward with a harness and tether once your child is tall enough and heavy enough to reach the manufacturer’s top height and weight limits for rear-facing.
It’s like a convertible car seat, but it can also be used as a booster seat. The best thing about this seat is that you only have to buy one, and it will grow with your child from rear-facing to forward-facing to a booster seat until they are old enough to just use a seatbelt.
This type of car seat can fit kids from 4 to 50 pounds when they are facing backward, 20 to 65 pounds when they are facing forward in a harness, and 30 to 120 pounds when they are in booster mode.
Booster Car Seat
Booster car seats should only be used by kids who are facing forward. Depending on the model you choose, your baby has to be at least 30 to 40 pounds to use it. The good news is that your child can use the booster seat until he or she is old enough to no longer need a car seat.
As laws about infant car seats change and vary from state to state, many states now require children in car seats to be older and heavier. In some states, a child must be 9 years old and weigh at least 80 pounds to use a booster seat.
This kind of car seat can have its own buckles or harness, or it can use the seat belt in your car. The most comfortable one will depend on how tall your child is. If you can, try out the car seat with your child before you buy it.
A parent might be tempted to move a 2- or 3-year-old child to a booster seat because it’s easier or because a younger child needs the convertible seat. Remember that at that age, they are not big enough or strong enough to handle a crash in a booster seat. Believe us, it’s worth it to make sure your child is as safely buckled in as possible.