Best Car Seats For Toddlers Review And Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: November 15, 2018)

 Best Car Seats For Toddlers Review

Best Car Seats For Toddlers Review

Parents do a lot of research when they are preparing to get the right car seat for their toddlers. They take a lot of things into consideration.

One of the key components in their decision making is the way the car seat is designed. It must be a well-built, sturdy, and comfortable car seat.

An auto accident can cause a great deal of harm to your little infant or growing child, if they’re not sitting in a well-designed car seat.

Therefore, many parents are willing to invest in a car seat for their child that offers outstanding safety features and support and for their growing child.

If you’re looking for a safe and comfortable child safety seat, then our Best Car Seats For Toddlers article may help in finding what you’re looking for.

1) Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat

Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat, Dash

Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of December 12, 2018 8:33 am

Features

  • SafeCell Impact Protection is an integrated system of safety components, including an Impact Absorbing Base, Tether and Harness, an Impact Stabilizing Steel Frame, and Complete Side Impact Protection.
  • SafeCell Complete Side Impact Protection surrounds your child in a deep protective shell designed to absorb crash forces and shield your child from debris.
  • Tangle-Free, 5-Point Harness prevents the straps from twisting making it easier to load your child into the seat and ensuring a safer ride.
  • 3 Recline Positions for your child's comfort and safety.
  • Quick-Adjust 2-Position Buckle allows you to easily move the buckle outward for a comfortable, secure fit as your child grows.

The Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible car seat is simple yet secure and comfortable for babies. It has features that will protect your baby’s chest and head in case of an accident. It can minimize the risk of fatal injuries, or even death, for your baby.Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat

Parents love this product because of all its safety features. It has an energy-absorbing Versa-Tether technology that can significantly slow down its movement going forward, courtesy of its staged-release webbing.

This mechanism will protect the infant or toddler from injuries during a crash.

The tether also has a two-point system that attaches the child safety seat firmly on the vehicle, while preventing it from rotating forward.

The steel bars will also increase the protection of your child, especially if you are driving a small family car, in case of a road accident.

But the most important safety feature of this car seat would be the SafeCell technology used in its base, which will remain snug while securing your baby during an accident.

This will also prevent your child from being crushed on the driver’s seat.

Unlike other car seats, the Roundabout G4.1 is easy to use, mainly due to its responsive features and minimalist design.

It can fit into any type of vehicles and effectively protect the child when in danger. It can stabilize the position of your child in the car, no matter what happens.

Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car SeatAnother reason why you should consider buying this child safety seat is the comfort that it brings.

It uses a side impact protection (SIP) system that makes the seat shock-proof and rigid.

The force of the crash will be absorbed by the seat, instead of directly affecting your child.

Its top part will protect the chest and head of your child. Its cushion will surely make your little passenger feel comfortable.

It is also easy to install the Roundabout G4.1 in your car. It has anti-slip base grips that are contoured for easy handling.

The car seat also has sturdy harness holders that are easy to manage and lower latch connectors that have a push button for easy installation and release.

Depending on the weight of your child, you can put this car seat facing forward or backward. It can also accommodate children up to 46 inches tall.

The Roundabout G4.1 car seat is made in the USA and is covered by a seven-year warranty. If you want to get your money’s worth or more, buying this car seat would be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make for the safety of your child on the road.

Product Features

  • Can be placed facing the rear for children weighing 5 to 40 pounds
  • Can be placed facing forward for children weighing 20 to 55 pounds
  • Can accommodate children who are as tall as 46”
  • Uses SafeCell technology for the base
  • Steel bars combined for additional protection
  • Side Impact Protection system
  • Energy-absorbing webbing
  • Adjustable recline and buckle features
  • Five-point harness
  • Three-position forward and rear facing recline
  • Lower LATCH connectors
  • High density foam
  • Weight: 22.35 pounds
  • Washable fabric
  • Storage pouch and cup holder
  • Made in the United States

Pros

  • Safety. It is made of high quality products that will help protect your child, in case of a vehicular accident. It also has safety features, such as the SIP system, SafeCell technology, Versa-Tether technology, steel bars, and five-point harness.
  • Durable. It is made of high quality components, such as energy-absorbing foam, touch shell, and in-molded base, so your child will be enjoying your money’s worth for years.
  • Easy installation. It uses high quality lower LATCH connectors for easy installation.
  • Comfortable. It can face forward or backward, depending on the weight of the child. Its recline and buckle can be adjusted. It also uses high density foam, with extra padding and even a body pillow.
  • Convenience. It has a hand washable fabric cover, storage pouch, and a cup holder.
  • Guarantees. It comes with a 7-year warranty and it is 100% made in the USA.

Cons

  • Bulky. Some customers find it bulky. However, the assured safety of your child from the seat’s bulkiness is more than enough reason to make do with the size of the seat.
  • Frayed straps. An unhappy customer talked about how the straps look grayed a few months after using the car seat.
  • Shallow seat depth. One customer talked about how difficult it is to position this car seat facing forward for her 18-month old daughter because of the shallow seat.

Customer Reviews

Based on 98 Amazon reviews, 61 customers gave the Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible car seat 5 stars, while 27 of them gave it 4 stars, with 5 as the highest.

The customers love the car seat, calling it stylish, comfortable, and sturdy. They also love how easy it is to manage and how simple its design is. In fact, they like it more than the expensive models from the same manufacturer. They also appreciate how they are able to install it even in smaller family cars.

However, some are a bit worried about their babies quickly outgrowing their chair or how the straps get easily frayed. Others talked about how they love the previous Roundabout models. In general, though, the customers love Roundabout G4.1, so do the little ones.

Best Car Seats For Toddlers:- Conclusion

If you are looking for a high quality car seat that you will not regret buying, the Britax Roundabout G4.1 Convertible Car Seat would be a great choice. It is safe, secure, comfortable, and easy to use. It is made of high quality components and does not intimidate you with complex mechanisms because of how simple it is.

You can finally feel like a good parent as you take your child around in your car while seated on the Roundabout G4.1 car seat. That’s because you will have peace of mind that your infant or toddler will be safe in his or her seat.

2) Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat, Darcie

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Amazon.com
as of December 12, 2018 8:33 am

Features

  • All-in-One seat grows with your child from 5-100 lb, rear- to forward-facing and becomes a belt-positioning booster; save space in your back seat with unique rotating cup holders
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of your harness and headrest; integrated harness storage compartment holds unused harness straps while seat is a belt positioning booster
  • Engineered & crash tested to meet or exceed US standard FMVSS 213; the SlimFit car seat has been side impact tested for occupant retention solely with the built-in 5-point harness system; features EPS foam
  • InRight LATCH system for an easy, one-second LATCH attachment; 4-position recline helps keep your growing child comfy, in rear- and forward-facing modes
  • Plush supports keep your child comfortable and are removable; washable seat cover is easy to access without removing the harness. Car seat depth is 16.25 inch. Car seat height is 25.5 inch. Car seat width inside is 19.75 inch

You will find this car seat is an all-in-one; it comes with a base that can remain in your vehicle. When your child weighs 5lbs they can begin using the car seat along with the base in the rear-facing position. Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

The weight limits between rear-facing position and forward-facing position overlap, thus allowing your growing child to sit in the rear-facing position for a longer period of time.

Once your child reaches the weight of 30lbs. or more, the Graco slimfit 3 in 1 Seat All-in-One Car Seat can be used as a booster seat without the base.

The seat can be also used as a booster seat for a child that weighs up to 100lbs.

The harness strap and buckle can be stored within the back part of the car seat which makes it easier to keep track of in case you need to use it in the future.

The base features a LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children). In order to use this feature, your vehicle will need to be able to accommodate a LATCH system.

If your vehicle cannot accommodate a LATCH system this car seat is designed to allow you to use your vehicle’s safety belt to secure the base in place. In order to make it extra secure it comes with a belt lock-off to make sure the base stays in place.

The designers of this car seat have made an indicator on the side of the seat to help parents determine if the car seat is secured. If your vehicle can accommodate a LATCH system then you can have additional security by utilizing both.

In addition, the Graco slimfit 3 in 1 Seat All-in-One Car Seat comes with an easy to adjust headrest for your child to rest their head on. The headrest has been designed to simply place your child into the car seat, and then slide the head rest up or down to fit nicely around your child’s head.

Features

  • Safety Seat Engineering – this car seat has been tested and met or exceeded US Safety Standards.
  • Side Impact Tested – met or exceeded the US Side Impact Safety Standard.
  • EPS Foam – this foam has been specially designed to help absorb impact if a collision occurs.
  • Re-enforced – this Graco Slimfit Seat All-in-One Car Seat has a steel- re-enforced frame and car seat base to help ensure correct installation.
  • Level Indicator – it comes with an easy-to-read level indicator to help you determine if the car seat is placed on the vehicle seat properly.
  • Multiple Seating Options – designed to hold a child that ranges from 5 pounds to 100 pounds depending on the position you have your child facing and whether you will be using it with a base or without a base.
  • LATCH – the base incorporates this safety feature.
  • Seat Belt Lock Off – a safety feature that allows you to lock your vehicle safety belt in place. In addition, it’s designed to be able to detect if the vehicle safety belt is secure.
  • Rear-Facing – can hold a child 5-40 pounds in the rear-facing position with the base.
  • Front-Facing– can accommodate a child that weighs 20-65 pounds in the front-facing position with the base.
  • Booster Seat – can transform into a booster seat that can accommodate a child, that weighs 30-100 pounds, without the base.
  • No Re-thread – this car seat does not require you to re-thread the straps in order to adjust the height for your child.
  • Adjustable Headrest – this headrest can be moved with one hand. It’s allows you to adjust it to the right height to fit your child’s head and you can choose from 6 different positions.
  • Reclining Seat – you can recline this seat, while your child is sitting on it. There are 5 different reclining positions you can choose from.
  • Armrests – this car seat comes with arm rests that can be easily moved upward or downward. This allows you to easily place your child in the seat and remove them easily.
  • Cushion – the cushion is machine washable.

Pros

 Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car SeatThe materials used in the assembly of this car seat are clearly of high quality, and the features are high-end without being too expensive.

This is a safety approved car seat designed to help your child to be safe and secure, even during a collision. It comes with a base that can accommodate your child starting at the age of an infant all the way to a toddler.

It can hold a child that weighs more than 65 pounds when it’s used as a booster seat without a base. When this car seat is used without a base it can hold a child that weighs up to 100lbs.

Cons

The Graco Slimfit 3 in 1 Seat All-in-One Car Seat can used for an infant but does not have a handle to carry it like other infant car seat models may have.

Best Car Seats For Toddlers:- Conclusion

If you’re a parent who desires your child to be safe then you may appreciate the safety features of this car seat. In addition to various features to help your child be safe, your child will feel comfortable while sitting on this car seat.

The unit is sturdy and can be used by your next children, because the materials used are of high quality. Because you can reuse the Graco Slimfit 3 in 1  Seat All-in-One Car Seat for your next children, you can both save money and reduce the impact on the environment.

 

3) Britax Allegiance Convertible Car Seat

Britax Allegiance Convertible Car Seat, Static

Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of December 12, 2018 8:33 am

Features

  • Easy installation: Push button LATCH connectors and built in lock-offs make car seat installation a breeze
  • No rethreading, ever: Quick-adjust 10-position harness (8.5 to 17.5 inches) with headrest grows along with your child
  • Easy clean-up: Remove the car seat cover without removing the harness
  • Designed for safety: Side impact protection, steel frame, impact absorbing base, and forward movement reducing v-shaped tether
  • Fits: Rear-facing 5-40 pounds and forward-facing 20-65 pounds; Dimensions: 26" H x 18.5" W x 21" D

There are many child safety seats in the market, but you should choose the Britax Allegiance  Convertible Car Seat for various reasons. For one, it is best known for its SafeCell Technology feature.Britax Allegiance Convertible Car Seat

This refers to how SafeCells are compressed in a vehicular crash, reducing the risk of the car seat propelling forward towards the front.

This child safety seat was also designed for safety and strength, which are made possible with the inclusion of high quality metal bars that stabilize the seat. These bars help your child from being flung around whenever impact occurs during the drive.

The entire Marathon unit is entirely made in the United States. It can even be brought for air travel.

You can put your child in the seat with ease because you can put the harness using the holders. Even if you have a fussy child in your arms, you won’t struggle as much with the harness. Once you’ve secured your child in the seat, you can fit them in it with the use of lock-offs.

The seating can be arranged to make it look and feel snug for the baby because of its adjustable features. You don’t even have to fumble with the belt connections because you only need to latch and un-latch them. You can make other adjustments as well to avoid strap knotting and twisting.

If you’re concerned about the sanitation and maintenance of the car seat, don’t worry about with Marathon. The upholstery can be removed so you can wash it thoroughly. It is also easy to put it back to the seat unit. It even includes inner padding that can increase the snugness of the chair and the comfort of the child.

Out of 949 reviews, it rated 4.7 out of 5 stars. This only shows just how popular and favored this child safety seat is. This could be due to all the safety features that are offered by this seat to its young users.

Product Features

  • High density forearm with extra padding
  • 70-pound weight capacity
  • SafeCell Technology used for the base
  • Shock absorber
  • Steel bars
  • Five-point harness
  • Side Impact Protection (SIP)
  • Harness Ultra Guard System (HUGS) Chest Pads
  • Weight: 70 pounds
  • Forward and rear facing recline, depending on the comfort and positioning of your child
  • Two buckle positions to accommodate a growing child
  • Easy to remove cover
  • Adjustable, no-rethread harness
  • Infant positioning feature
  • Lock-offs
  • Lower latch connectors
  • Harness holders
  • Contoured, anti-slip base grips
  • Made in the USA
  • Product dimensions: 21 x 18.5 x 26 inches
  • Weight: 19.5 pounds
  • Shipping weight: 22.2 pounds
  • Minimum weight recommendation: 5 pounds
  • Maximum weight recommendation: 70 pounds
  • Seven-year life
  • Limited one-year warranty

Pros

The Marathon car seat is mainly favored by parents who want to guarantee the safety of their child while traveling. Aside from safety, it has many other outstanding features:

  • Excellent safety features, including SafeCell technology, the versa-tether shock absorber, high-quality integration of its steel bars, HUGS system, side impact protection, and five-point harness.
  • Comfort features, including forward and rear facing positions, high density foam, plush and removable cover, re-positioning harness, snug fitting for small infants, and built-in lock-offs.
  • Convenient features, such as Certified for Air Travel, harness holders, anti-slip base, lower latch connectors for a simple installation, easy to remove and wash cover, and easy to install.

Cons

Britax Allegiance Convertible Car SeatThe Britax Allegiance is relatively wider compared to other child safety seats on the market today. When placed in the back seat, it might easily get crowded in there, especially if you have to put in one or two more car seats in one row.

The shell of the seat is also bit short, so taller children will only be able to use it in a forward-facing position, no matter how much they weigh.

You may also encounter a minor problem in installing this car seat into a smaller car, especially when the back seat will also be occupied by other people. Take the measurements of your car first before buying the Marathon.

The chest pads may also be too big for the smaller kids to use. But you can easily find ways to remedy that to keep your small infant/toddler snug and happy in his or her seat.

Although you might need to pay $289.99, just look at all its features and benefits and you’ll stop asking why you should spend that much money on your baby’s car seat.

Customer Reviews

Parents are thankful about how the Britax Allegiance Convertible Car Seat saved their child’s life, how it fits perfectly into their car, how protective and comfortable it is with its extra padding, how it makes their child happy, and how light and sturdy it is, among others. Generally, many of them are happy. T

his is evident in how Amazon has rewarded this seat with 4.7 stars out of 5. Many of them expressed just how they wouldn’t look at any other car seat since they started using the Marathon.

Best Car Seats For Toddlers:- Conclusion

The Britax Allegiance Convertible Car Seat is a great car seat for infants and toddlers. It is easy to install and adjust as needed, for your comfort. It is also designed with carefully thought-out components that contribute to the car seat’s durability, comfort, and stability.

So, if you are looking for a child safety seat that will keep traveling infants or toddlers safe, comfortable, and well-slept, this Allegiance car seat would be the perfect choice.

4) Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat

Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible, Atmosphere

Buy Now
Amazon.com
as of December 12, 2018 8:33 am

Features

  • Made In Italy. Reversible-can be used rear facing for children 5 to 45 pound and forward facing for children 22 to 65 pound. Only the lower seven positions can be used in rear-facing mode
  • Side impact protection protects child's head, neck and spine, easily adjusts to 10 different positions, even with child in the seat, ensuring the best and safest fit
  • Energy-absorbing foam, EPS throughout the seat protects child's head and torso from impact forces, a shock absorbing foam element device located below the shell crumples upon impact, reducing stress on child's neck and shoulders in the event of a crash
  • Contoured steel back plate minimizes flexing and reduces forward movement, contoured base provides extra stability in any seating position
  • Top tether hook increases stability in forward-facing mode and limits forward movement, adjustable latch connectors add stability and are easy to reposition for rear-facing or forward-facing installation

The Peg Perego Primo Convertible Premium Infant to Toddler Car Seat is a slim, beautiful and comfortable car seat for your child. It can fit perfectly in smaller cars, even in a Mini Cooper.Peg Perego Primo Viaggio Convertible Car Seat

But the best thing about is likely its very high weight limit, be it for forward facing or rear facing option. It is also proven durable for being made of good quality materials.

If you’re looking for a car seat that can help lull your child to sleep when he or she is in the car, then this Peg Perego convertible car seat is what you need. It feels plush, looks great, and it is soft to the touch.

Its coziness due to the thick cushions will also be enough to make your baby feel warm, making him or her feel even more comfortable when you’re on the road.

It’s no wonder babies easily fall asleep while fastened to this Peg Perego car seat. The fact that your baby’s head never hangs and the seat does not move around may help in putting him or her to sleep.

You can drive assured that your baby is safe from the shock from rough roads because of the shock absorbing foam used in this convertible car seat, another factor that helps babies fall asleep.

For parents who are not as adept at maneuvering things in their car, you don’t need to worry about installing this convertible car seat. It’s so easy to install since you only need to slide the latch straps from backward to forward facing. It is also easy to recline it or move its headrest up and down.

When it comes to cleaning the seat up, simply wiping the mess will do. Even when your baby or the diaper creates a mess, it won’t be much of a problem afterwards because of its easy to clean fresco jersey.

This infant/toddler car seat is also stylish. Even if it might be more expensive than other car seats, it is still worth it. Just think of all the benefits that you and your child can get from it.

Product Features

  • SIP features, for the protection of your baby’s spine, head, and neck
  • Reversible features, so it can face forward for kids who weigh 22 to 65 pounds and face backward for kids who weigh 5 to 45 pounds
  • Shock absorber features, for the protection of your baby’s torso and head from shock
  • Adaptable latch connectors, for easy installation, no matter the position of the seat
  • Top tether hook, for increased stability and minimized forward movement
  • Contoured steel in the back, for minimizing forward movement and flexing
  • Quick release 5-point safety harness
  • Three different reclining positions in one hand adjustment
  • Washable fabric
  • Adjustable head support
  • Dimensions: 18.7 x 21.2 x 26 inches
  • Item weight: 21 pounds
  • Made in Italy

Pros

The Peg Perego Primo car seat is a well designed, solid seat. You can use it for years.

It can be placed facing backwards for babies weighing 5 to 45 pounds, while it can be placed facing forward to can accommodate babies weighing 22 to 70 pounds.
Here are some more reasons why this car seat is a good choice:

  • It is easy to clean, so you can save time having to fuss over whether you can let your child sit on it or not. Just wipe it clean and you’re done with it.
  • This infant/toddler car seat is absolutely safe with shock absorbing foam, contoured steel black plate support, five-point safety harness, and Side Impact Protection technology.
  • It is easy to install, so it won’t be a struggle on your part.
  • It is lightweight, so if you’re using more than one vehicle with your baby, you can simply move the car seat between vehicles.
  • Its high seating position is ideal for a curious and exploring child sitting by the car window.
  • Its extra padding is best for smaller babies.
  • Its adjustable head rest that prevents the baby’s head from hanging is a favorite among parents.

Cons

It might be a bit difficult to fit a very small infant into the long shoulder straps of this convertible Peg Perego Car Seat for infants and toddlers.

However, you can make it easier for you if you push the straps to the top and maintain this position with the chest lock before putting your baby in the car seat.

Some customers also cited that it would have been better if the seat also provides a place that can hold a suspended toy to keep your baby entertained.

The price is also at a premium, but you will undoubtedly be getting a premium product.

Customer Reviews

Based on the Amazon customer reviews and ratings, it got 4.7 out of 5 stars, with 219 reviews.

The customers love the Peg Perego Convertible Premium Infant to Toddler Car Seat.

They appreciate all of its safety and comfort features that allow children to sleep and rest even when they are on the road.

However, they have to find their way around the heavily padded car seat when they have to put a small infant in. Some even provided advice on how to make the seat comfortable for parents of these small infants.

And although the price is quite high, they said it is all worth it given all the benefits that they are getting from using this convertible infant/toddler car seat.

Best Car Seats For Toddlers:- Conclusion

If you don’t want to keep changing car seats while gauging the comfort and safety of your child, it’s best to just buy the Peg Perego Primo Convertible Premium Infant to Toddler Car Seat.

It has all the safety features that will give you peace of mind while traveling with your child, from protecting him or her from impact forces to keeping her head from hanging. Its plush and thick cushion and shoulder pads are sure to make your baby comfortable too.

You won’t mind the price all that much once you see your child peacefully sleeping in his or her car seat. You can drive better and travel with less stress if you don’t keep hearing your baby’s wailing and cries in the back seat.

 

Best Car Seats For Toddlers Review & Buyers Guide.

Toddlers are the most difficult passengers to have. They can get rowdy and unruly and at times, they hurt themselves in the process. It can be very inconvenient, especially when you only have yourself to watch over the kids.

That is why, when traveling, toddlers must be confined to a fixed position while still allowing them to do what they do best as kids. Good thing, there are car seats that are made specifically for toddlers, which caters to their special needs.

Car seats for toddlers are a little different from that of babies’ in such a way that the former is less restrictive while still providing the same level of protection and safety that they are supposed to give.

Since toddlers are already playful and they get easily bored and irritated, the proper seat that should be used must not prevent them from moving around. It must only make sure that they won’t get all over the place and hurt themselves along the way.

Car seats for toddlers must not be to restrictive:

One thing that good car seats for toddlers should have is a minimal number of straps. Toddlers, among others, do not want to feel fixed at one place.

However, in order to not prejudice the level of safety that these straps are made to give, it must be made sure that these straps are sturdy and that they will not come off easily once the child starts to move around.

Also, car seats for toddlers must be extra soft. Since these kids move around so much, they must be cocooned in a car seat that would protect them from bruises and other unwanted accidents that their activities might cause them.

Also, during bumpy rides, a soft seat will keep your toddler comfortable. And when they get tired, the car seat must also be a perfect place for them to have a good sleep.

One more thing to be kept in mind is that, at this stage of your child’s life, they grow faster than we expect. Therefore, it is also important to consider, when buying car seats for toddlers, that it be big enough to still be able to accommodate the child once they start to gain weight or get taller.

Knowing the child’s weight is also very important when you decide to start looking. While choosing car seats for toddlers, make sure that you know the height and weight limit of the ones you are considering.

These limits are most likely indicated in the product’s description or directly written in the seat itself. It is not practical to buy a new one once your child gains weight or becomes taller thus it could be helpful to know the limits.

Having kids on board for a ride could be more fun and convenient when you know how to keep them comfortable and safe at the same time. As kids, they cannot be stopped being curious in almost anything they see.

However, with the help of the right equipment, you can keep them away from harm while allowing them to do what keeps them entertained. The best car seats for toddlers are the ones that allow a bit more freedom for movement because at this stage of their lives they are definitely restless.

Our baby’s safety is always a concern for us parents, especially when riding a car or any vehicle. Therefore, choosing the appropriate convertible car seat is an absolute must in good parenting.

It is called a convertible car seat because it can be converted from forward-facing to rear-facing. This type of car seat is better for babies who can already hold an upright position like older babies or young toddlers, as they are designed to cater to various ranges of weights and heights.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Convertible Car Seat

It is most important to choose a car seat that perfectly fits your vehicle and most especially, your child. These seats are not created equally so you need to consider the following before getting one:

  • They convert from facing the rear and the front, designed for babies between 40-80 lbs. and to a height of 50 inches.
  • There is also a convertible car seat popularly known as all-in-one or 3-in-1, aside from it being convertible, they can also function as a booster seat for babies up to a hundred pounds.
  • Although, there are other 3-in-1 seats that aren’t for small babies, they are only forward-facing and convert to boosters that are high-backed, to backless boosters for older toddlers.
  • Save money by purchasing the convertible car seat for a 0 month old baby, instead of getting the infant car seats, although experts say they are more safe in these car seats.
  • Many parents are bothered by the enormous space of a convertible car seat, which their newborns cannot fill.
  • But if you are really pro-economical, you can just use towels, small pillows or head rests, or different cushioning to hold your baby safely until he or she grows older to fit the car seat.

Features You Want to Look at When Buying

  • Easy to use: See if there is an NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) 5 star rating. The easier to use, the more stars the car seat gets.
  • The ratings look for the ease of use by taking into account the installation of the seat into your vehicle and the security of your child while on the seat and how clear the contents are in the manufacturer’s manual.
  • The 5 point harness safety: Why 5 point? There should be a strap for (2points) for each of the shoulder, (2points) each of the thigh and (1 point) between the baby’s legs.
  • Easy adjustments: The more adjustable the straps are, the safer it is for your child. Why? Because as your baby grows older, you would need adjustment for the harness and the best car seats will allow the adjustment of the harness and straps at the front to make it easier for you.
  • Some models have included a belt with one-hand adjustment that comes with a quick-release buckle.
  • The LATCH System: this stand for L-lower, A-anchors, T-tethers for CH-Children. Starting 2002, car seats and car/vehicles were made compatible for this system.
  • It allows attachment of the seat right into the vehicle versus securing the car seat with a seat belt. This will make your installation easier and safer.
  • The bottom straps and the top tether may cause confusion sometimes, especially if the car seat is positioned in the rear. You don’t need to use the top tether strap in this position, to be on the safe side, follow the instruction manual.
  • Cleaning Made Easy: Having a child on board can be messy most of the times, so it is very convenient that some car seats goes with removable covers. These machine-washable and detachable covers certainly make cleanup so much easier for you.
  • Comfort: As parents, we want to make sure our babies are comfortable during their car ride, so we want to look for a very good padded seat that give great head support for our babies.
  • Protection from Side-impact: Accidents sometimes happen, it is definitely morbid to think about, but we want to be ready of this happens (knock on wood, we hope it won’t!).
  • Having car seats with special foams that absorb side impact are musts for better protection of your child’s chest and head during an accident.

Installation Know-How

Almost everyone think that reading and following the instruction manual will fit the bill, but then they are oh so wrong! In real life, it is not so easy, in fact, according to NHTSA 75% or 3/4 of seats are not properly installed.

Don’t be too proud, we are talking about your child’s safety here, for heaven’s sake! Have a professional check your installation. You can use NHTSA’s locater to arrange a seat inspection.

You want to avoid common mistakes in installing car seats, you might want to consider talking to people in a car safety group.

Best Location to Install

For safety, car seats should be setup at the backseat. With children under 2 years old, install the convertible seat rear-facing.

According to experts, it is the safest way at least until the child reaches 2 years old or gain the maximum weight and height for rear-facing car seat, or whichever comes first.

Pre-Owned Car Seats

Forget about eBay, or any other way of buying secondhand car seats, because buying them is not recommended.

Most of the time, these pre-owned car seats could be missing vital parts, or they have been already involved in mishaps or accidents, may be short of safety standard or may already been recalled for a faulty design.

More importantly, you have to remember that they are made of plastic which gets brittle over time and so older car seats are prone to break.

But if you do want to use a pre-owned car seat, you must be certain it was never involved in any accidents, and is not older than five years. Also check that it still has complete parts and the manufacturer’s manual.

If you have considered everything on this list then you are ready to shop for a convertible car seat to provide for your beloved baby, you just need about $80 to $380, because the cream of the crop is a little bit expensive but it often has greater weight limits and added features.

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