The Ultimate Car Seat Buying Guide

Are you looking for the perfect car seat for your little one? With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. To make sure you get the best car seat for your child, it's important to understand the different types of car seats, safety features, and installation tips. Before buying, read the labels on the car seat or booster seat. Look for weight, height, and age limits to make sure the car seat is right for your child.

Don't worry, the information you provide on the registration card cannot be used for marketing or any other purpose, except to notify you of a recall. All parents should make these decisions on their own, especially considering that car seats with the most safety features also tend to be the most expensive car seats on the market. This is a quick guide to some of the most common car seat terms found in user manuals and product descriptions. To provide structural rigidity, most convertible car seats (and some infant seats) use a reinforced steel or titanium frame.

Before installing the car seat, make sure you are familiar with the vehicle and car seat parts used in the installation process and these important safety tips for installation. Make the last stop on the car seat journey stress-free by confidently choosing what's right for you and your child. First, the hospital won't allow you to leave if you don't have a properly installed car seat for your newborn. Your child will then move to a forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness until they are approximately 7 years old.

However, installations vary from model to model, so you should carefully review your car seat instructions and your vehicle's owner's manual. Then, they must move to a booster seat until they are between 10 and 12 years old and, finally, use the vehicle's seat belts. Therefore, it's important to keep track of your child's height and weight and to know the car seat manufacturer's guidelines. Take the time to watch the car seat installation videos, fully read the owner's manual, and don't hesitate to ask for help.

Whether you just installed a car seat or need help installing or using it, get help at a car seat inspection station near you. To determine which seats are compatible, look up the dimensions of the car seats and compare them to the interior dimensions. On some larger vehicles, such as vans, vans and SUVs, these tie down anchors can be found on the back of the vehicle seat, on the floor, roof, or other location. All newborns should start with a rear-facing seat and ideally should stay rear-facing until 2 years of age or older.

Car Seat Types

When shopping for a car seat there are three main types: infant seats (rear-facing only), convertible seats (rear-facing then forward-facing), and booster seats (forward-facing only).

Infant seats are designed specifically for newborns up to 22 pounds or 29 inches in height. Convertible seats can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing depending on your child’s age and size.

Safety Features

When shopping for a car seat look for features like side impact protection (SIP), adjustable headrests, adjustable harness straps, LATCH connectors (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), energy absorbing foam padding, and an adjustable recline angle.

Installation Tips

To ensure that your child is safe in their car seat it is important that it is installed correctly. Make sure that all straps are tight enough that you cannot pinch them between two fingers but not so tight that they are uncomfortable for your child.


Choosing a safe and comfortable car seat can be overwhelming but with this guide you can make an informed decision that will keep your little one safe while traveling in your vehicle.