Rules for Infant Seating
When bringing a baby home from the hospital, most new moms are so paranoid about the child’s safety that they ride in the backseat, smashed up against the infant seating in order to monitor the baby’s comfort level at all times. Once they get the infant home, nothing changes. The slightest peep from the baby will send most new parents into a tailspin and they’ll begin the maniacal guessing game of what is wrong with the baby, or what he or she needs. By the end of a twenty-four-hour period, everyone in the house has probably cried.
Let’s face it, being a parent to a newborn is overwhelming, exhausted, and completely exhilarating. Babies can do things to make the hassle of pregnancy, the pain of labor, and the sleepless nights completely worth it. But before you even get to the rewarding part, you have to acquire the stuff. There will be lists; from your friends, from stores, online, and from your parents, and in the end you’ll only require a tenth of what you register for or purchase on your own. So where do you begin? You start with the right car seat, but if you know nothing about them, how do you find the right one? What do you look for?
Infant Seating Don’t Have to Break The Bank
Considering that the car seat if your baby’s only safety device in the car, their only means of protection, it’s an important purchase, probably the most important. Given car seat laws for your children when traveling, you’re going to want to make the right decision for the safest ride. Everyone is going to have advice for you about which car seat is the best one for the job. You want the most expensive one, or this one with the bells and whistles. However, like most of the stuff people will tell you to buy, neither of those things are necessary. You don’t have to drop a car payment on the car seat to ensure your child’s safety, you just have to look at a couple different elements.
If money is an issue, an infant doesn’t actually NEED an infant carrier. Sure, they’re super convenient because they fit inside the stroller or on top of the grocery cart, but if your funds are limited, consider buying a convertible seat that will carry your baby through the infancy and rear-facing days all the way to the point that they transition to a booster seat. Not only do you not have to run out to buy a completely different seat when your child hits the weight limit of the infant seating, but you won’t have to worry about buying the base to the infant seat if it doesn’t come with it.
Consider the Travel System
If you want the convenience of infant seating, consider buying a travel system. The combination stroller, seat, and base are usually much less expensive when purchased together. They offer the convenience of being able to slip the seat out of the car and tote it anywhere with you. If you’re not planning to use the stroller very often, it is important to note that infant seating can get really heavy if they’re carried for a long period of time, so consider taking the stroller with you, or using the cutouts that fit on the handle of a cart.
One rule that rings the truest is that you never want to be a used car seat that is older than one year. The safety standards for car seats change so quickly that buying a car seat older than a year old would be considered unsafe. Car seats can be expensive, so the temptation is there to buy one from a consignment shop or at a yard sale, but you don’t know what that seat has been through, and you don’t know that it meets current standards for safety.
A car seat doesn’t have to cost you hundreds and hundreds of dollars. All of the seats available in stores have been certified and regulated by today’s standards, so the brand isn’t going to matter. You could consider what your friends recommend if they’ve recently shared the experience of car seat shopping, but ultimately, it’s going to be able what fits your budget and your style the best. All of the seats are safe, so don’t be swayed into purchasing something more than what you need.