Hey Mamma’s, if you’ve been following along you know that I checked off one major item from my baby gear list, my stroller. Up next is the infant car seat. Since I wanted the car seat to be compatible with my stroller for easy transition from the car to walks, I shopped for both when I was at Snuggle Bugz last week. I found out that there is more than stroller compatibility to think about when you’re picking the right car seat for your little one. This is what I’ve learned…
Where to start?
I asked Katrina – one of the Senior Associates- what most people normally ask about car seats (because to be honest… I had NO CLUE where to start). She said, a lot of the time people will ask her “what’s the safest car seat?” She chuckled and said to me, “the safest car seat is the one that’s installed properly.” Personally, I wanted to know what car seat would take up the least amount of space in my vehicle. Both my husband and I drive cars and there is no budget for an SUV any time soon so we are definitely looking for something practical that works with our current lifestyle. Her response for the infant seat that takes up the smallest footprint in your car are the Chicco Keyfit 30 and the UPPAbaby Mesa, which also has the cool feature of self tightening. For me, that sounds like a major win! If you’re looking for the lightest car seat on the market test out the Maxi -Cosi’s AP 2.0 as that’s exactly what they’re known for. Maybe you’re adamant about buying a car seat that has no recalls from the brand… Peg-Perego is for you. This infant car seat is also known to carry the most weight. So if you think you’re having a BIG baby this might be a good investment haha.
Size, Weight & Fit
Most infant car seats can hold anywhere from 4-35 pounds and up to 32″ in length. I was informed that most babies outgrow their infant car seats from 8 months old to about a year. Some infant car seats can carry a bit more weight and length than others so if this is important to you be sure to ask which ones. It’s also VERY important to consider the actual size of the car seat itself. Many parents think they want a certain car seat until they go to put it in their car and it’s too big. Your solution? At Snuggle Bugz you can actually do what they call a ‘dry fit’ run. An associate will help you fit the floor model car seat to your car so you get a good feel for how much room it’s going to take. Depending on the vehicle that you drive, you may not be able to use the front passenger seat safely if you get a larger footprint car seat. But your passenger ride can always ride in the back with baby… which they may enjoy better! lol In either case, it’s always best to test out the seat in your own car as car seats are non-refundable and fit is very important when it comes to making your decision.
Does the car seat have to be the same make as my stroller?
Nope (I didn’t know this either). There are car seat adaptors so pretty much any infant car seat can fit into pretty much any stroller. Pretty convenient right!? So get the car seat that is just right for you and check to see if it works with the stroller you end up choosing.
Did you know you have to replace car seats every 6-8 years?! I had no clue. This is because the plastics can expand and contract in our climate and may not hold up as well as they use to. To avoid any uncertainties when it comes to safety you must replace your car seat when it expires. If this is your first child, they will out-grow their infant car seat before it expires but it’s a good thing to keep track of if you’re planning on using the same car seat for your second or third.
Here’s the fun part for mom and dad. Looking for some accessories for the car? Snuggle Bugz has those little mirrors that attach to the back of your seat so that you can see your baby and sun shades to protect your little one from too much sun. I was told that there are leather seat protectors you can buy but that it’s important to buy the same brand as your car seat. This is because they are crash-tested together. Last but not least, there are car seat covers and there are some REALLY cute ones to choose from. Ladies, we know this will become a new fashion accessory because it will be with us all the time. Have some fun with it and check out the different colours and patterns that are available.
Thanks for tuning in for some baby talk. Next week we’re talking about diaper bags!
Jackie is a Southern-Ontario based TV Host, Interior Stylist and first-time mom due in October. Follow her journey through pregnancy and into parenthood weekly through this series “Baby Talk” with Jackie and check out her Nursery planning tips and tricks in her blog “Nursery Style” with Jaclyn Colville.