A Guide of Practicality: Choosing a Car Seat by Elizabeth Reynolds

All parents know a crucial part of car safety is having a proper car seat for you children, most parents also know there is an overwhelming amount of options and choices. It's easy to spend hours searching through the thousands of types, brands, and models. Luckily there are many resources like these ones to help navigate the options

To begin your search, keep in mind these key factors:
Know all the facts – The car seat right for your child will change and develop as your child does. To know which seat your child needs at different ages, start here.  Besides varying by age, car seat selection should also vary with laws, check here to see the laws in your state. It may surprise you to learn that for most states, children should be in some sort of safety seat until age 7 or until 4'9" tall. Take the time to first establish what kind of seat is right for your child, it will make the search process much easier to narrow down. It's also important to remember that all car seats are safe when used correctly, so don't worry too much about making the wrong decision. Every car seat on the market has been rigorously tested and certified to ensure it meets federal safety standards.  As long as it is a legal car seat on the market, it's okay to consider things like ease of use and extra features. Manufacturers who claim to have extra security or safety features should be applauded for trying to advance safety technology, but we can’t consider their features a bonus when comparing seats until there’s a standard.
Ease of use – Luckily the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) makes this a bit easier for consumers by assigning a rating to each car seat (on a scale of one to five stars) considering labeling, instructions, securing a child, and vehicle installation features. Five stars meaning excellent features and one star meaning poor features. When looking for a car seat, look for something that rates at least a four or above. It should also be a versatile and compatible option. Some options may not fit your car, or you might find out it doesn’t fit in your spouses car, your babysitters car, etc. It's important to note which seats are versatile with the most cars.
Look for features that will make life easier – Look for something that is easy to clean, fits your needs, and obviously is comfortable for your baby. A car seat has the potential to make life so much easier for your family while also being a necessary safety standard. It should be light enough to carry (if you opt for one that is moveable) and the materials should be practical. It should be easy to clean able to stand a lot of abuse.
The difference  between Infant and Convertible – An infant car seat allows you to detach a carrier, which is amazing for not waking a sleeping baby. These options are often compatible with strollers, allowing for an even more cohesive system and less disturbance to our children. However, infant car seats are limited in length, and won't last as long with your baby. Kids will usually outgrow an infant carseat around 2 years old and will ned to make the switch to a convertible seat. A convertible car seat will grow with your child for much longer, but it usually isn't exactly portable. 
Once you've found the perfect car seat, register it. This is how you will be alerted if there is a recall. Also, clean it. Stains and unattended food can get gross fast. And lastly, love it. This car seat can be a staple for your family, make the most of it!


Sourced from Elizabeth Reynolds at Reviews.com


*Your Zen Mama is not paid by, or affiliated with Reviews.com but we do love this sensible guide for people starting to sort out this new phase of baby life