How is anyone supposed to know the ins and outs of car seats? From the very first day, parents are faced with countless decisions about how to keep your baby safe.
There are so many questions that can come with the decision on car seats. Where do I buy one? How do I know which is the “right” one? Or how do I install them?
You can buy a car seat pretty much from anywhere i.e.: Walmart, Toys R Us, West Coast Kids, Canadian Tire, or Amazon just to name a few.
Just like strollers the options are endless and can be based on weight, height, rear facing, forward facing, some that go directly into the stroller and some that stay in the car.
THE OPTIONS ARE ENDLESS SO OF COURSE IT IS OVERWHELMING,
Well we are here to help!
Here are the Top 5 brands that are recommended depending on your lifestyle:
- Best OVERALL: Graco 4ever DLX 4-N-1 $399.00 average price
Rear-facing: 4-40 lbs. and child’s head must be 1″ from gray headrest adjuster handle
Forward-facing (with harness): 20-65 lbs and 49″ or less
High-back booster: 40-100 lbs. and 38-57″
Backless booster: 40-120 lbs. and 40-57″
No-rethread harness with 10 position headrests
Adjustable base with 6 recline positions (3 for rear-facing, 3 for forward-facing)
- Luxury Pick: Peg-Prego Primo $369-679.00 average price
Can be used rear facing for children 5 to 45 lbs. and forward facing for children 22 to 65 lbs.
Side Impact Protection protects child’s head, neck and spine
Easily adjusts to 10 different positions, even with the child in the seat, ensuring the best and safest fit.
Contoured steel back plate minimizes flexing and reduces forward movement
Contoured base provides extra stability in any seating position
- Best Infant Seat: Chicco Key Fit $329.00 average price
EPS foam to absorb impact in case of an accident
Easy-to-attach LATCH connections
Easy-to-adjust LATCH strap
Bubble level on the base to ensure proper angle when installing
Can leave handle up while in vehicle
Works with compatible strollers
Good fit for premature infants
- Best for Travelling: Graco Snug Ride 35: infant seat only $159.99 average price
The SnugRide Click Connect 35 is the lightest weight infant car seat on the market, making it easy for parents to carry baby from car to stroller and everywhere in between.
The seat is designed to protect babies rear-facing from 4-35 lbs and features a comfortable seat to keep baby safe and cozy.
It’s equipped with Click Connect technology providing a one-step secure attachment to all Graco Click Connect strollers making it easy to create a travel system that best fits your lifestyle
Rear-facing for infants from 4-35 lbs. and up to 32″
One of the lightest weight infant car seat on the market – weighs only 7.5 lbs!
Click Connect technology offers a one-step secure attachment to any Graco Click Connect stroller – create your own custom-built travel system!5-point front adjust harness; removable infant head & body support
- Spill Proof Pick: UppaBaby MESA
5 colors – blue, black, navy, and newly added red and charcoal (gray is discontinued)
Push-on, self-retracting LATCH connectors
Smart Secure system with a tightness indicator
4-position adjustable foot on seat base
Naturally flame-retardant merino wool fabric (blue & charcoal seats only)
Compatible with VISTA and CRUZ strollers (2015 & later models)
We would recommend buying the car seat separate from your stroller. The convertible 4-in-1 is the best bang for your buck. Then you have a car seat until they are at the age and weight where they would be able to sit in the car without a car seat.
If you are on a budget there is also nothing wrong with buying the stroller/car seat together or just at this time buying the infant seat but know that by 6 months or so (depending on height and weight of baby) you will be purchasing another car seat.
Another especially important question that a lot of parents have is, how do you know how to install the car seat? Well it is not a skill most of us have, so it is important to have the experts install and inspect the car seat has been put in properly.
The resources that we are going to provide to you are ones that are the most popular and you can’t go wrong with the police checking your seat.
Toronto Police child seat safety The Toronto Police offer monthly child car seat clinics as well. Check your local police department to see when the clinics are offered
Call your hospital you are delivering at and see if they have a security person that is trained in testing car seats, because they could check it before or when getting ready to leave the hospital after birth.
Have a personal favourite?
Let us know what your family decided on in the comments below!