Best Infant Car Seats Rated and Reviewed:The Ultimate Guide
You will agree with me when I say that carrying your child in your arms or on your lap anytime you are driving can be tiring if not outright dangerous.
Thank God that if you can get your hands the best light weight infant car seats, you do not have to carry the child when you do not have to.
If you a baby weighs less than 30 pounds and has a height of 32 inches, you need to buy an infant car seat.
"An infant car seat differs from a convertible car seat in that the infant seat is suitable for babies in the 95th percentile (typically age 1 and below)"
There are many brands of baby car seats from a variety of manufacturers that you can buy online.
However, for an inexperienced eye it is not that easy to tell how one seat differs from the next.
As such in this section I will analyze the different aspects and features of baby car seats and discuss them in terms of ease of use, installation, price and safety.
Many baby seats will claim to offer utmost safety, but it is always better to be informed before proceeding to buy one.
Best Infant Car Seats Comparison Chart 2018
Graco Snugride Click Connect
Why Buy a Lightweight Infant Car Seat
If you are buying a booster or convertible seat then buying the lightest car seat 2018 is not a factor given that these seats will for the most part be left installed on the vehicle.
However, the baby carrier is made to be carried around and one of their biggest advantages is that:
- You can click them in and out of their bases very easily.
- You can also click them onto most of the best infant stroller travel systems and have the convenience of your kid without a heavy weight on your arms.
- Given that they are also very small they are the best fit for small cars as they will not take up too much space or increase the load on your compact vehicle.
- Most of them are in compliance with FAA regulations on car seats to be used on airplanes
N.B If you have an older child check out some of the best car seats for small cars
Features of Infant Carriers
Infant car seats are different from convertible car seats both in function, weight, and look.
Given that they are made for younger babies they come with features and functionalities that make it easier for you to move them around in a stroller or in the vehicle.
Check out the Best Travel Stroller for Airplane
How to Install an Infant Seat
The following videos and tips will guide you on how to install an baby car seat.
You can also read the infant baby seat manual on the specifics of installation for your child seat and also your vehicle owners manual:
Two important points to keep in mind are:
- You should always install the infant seat in the rear facing mode, and never in the forward facing mode
- Always install baby seat in the back seat and even better in the center of the seat
- Just like with seat belts you need to read your vehicle owners manual and the infant carrier manual carefully before installation. Be careful to read all instructions on how to locate the lower anchors and how to install the car seat on them
- Install the baby seat on the vehicle's back seat since this is usually the safest place for a baby seat. Given that the seat is installed rear facing, it protects the child's spine, neck and head from serious injury.
- Find your lower anchors on the back seat
- Connect the seat base's lower anchors to the lower anchor attachments on the car seat and ensure that you do not twist the straps.
- Firmly press down on the infant carrier's base and tighten the straps to ensure that the the car seat does not move back to front or side to side for more than an inch.
- Ensure the appropriate recline angle of the seat for child's age and comfort according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Attach the infant seat to the base
Best Infant Car Seats 2018 Reviews
The Graco Snugride is the highest ranking and best car seat from the Graco line of baby car seats. It is made by Graco which affirms that its car seats are designed and tested to exceed US FMVSS safety standards thus providing the best safety for your newborn
It is similar to the Chicco Keyfit 30 though it has more weight and height limits meaning you can use it for longer. Like all infant car seats, the Graco is made to be used in the safe rear facing mode from as low as 4 pounds to as high as 35 pounds
It has also scored well in several industry standard safety tests and is a top choice for many industry publications in addition to scoring highly in many mom reviews.
The Chicco Keyfit and the Keyfit 30 which are manufactured by Chicco a company that dedicates itself to making car seats that provide safety and comfort and ease of use and installation making them the top baby seats that you could buy.
Coming with LATCH Technology, the Chicco has performed well in tests conducted by Consumer Reports and Baby Gear Lab given its plethora of safety features and conveniences for the parent and child
It is the safest infant car seats out there and is the number one rated car seat in the United States coming with innovative features that make it the easiest car seat to securely, accurately, and install into your car or stroller
The Maxi Cosi infant car seat is manufactured by Maxi-Cosi, the premier European baby car seat manufacturer that prides itself on making the most comfortable and safest car seats that have taken more than 50 million babies from the hospital back home
The Bohemian range of infant car seats is great if you are an adventure head who wants to go along with your little one. It comes with colorful unique and authentic patterns on tactile fabrics that your little one will just love.
The Evenflo Litemax infant car seat is a cheap char seat made by Evenflo, a company that has committed itself to excellence through taking into consideration the well being and safety of children who are the users of its products
The Evenflo Litemax is one of is the best lightweight infant seats making it great for the urban parent It provides ultimate comfort for the parent and the child with plush materials, and ergonomic handle, and is the easiest car seats to install in the car or on the stroller
The seat is also the safest out there having undergone some of the highest federal testing standards including rollover test. It is also a versatile infant car seat that is best for your baby from 4-35 pounds
The Baby Trend Flex Loc Infant Car Seat in Elixer is a great infant car seat made by Baby Trend,a company that has made a name for itself manufacturing innovative, award winning and exclusive products
The Baby Trend is designed to carry babies starting from as low as 5 pounds or 2.2 kilograms up to a high of 30 pounds or 36 kilograms. It comes with all manner of conveniences and safety features that will ensure that both you and your infant have a great time using this car seat.
Frequently Asked Questions About Infant Car Seats
Can my baby wear a jacket while in the newborn seat?
It is never advisable to dress your child in any type of bulky clothing such as a snowsuit or jacket as these make it hard to tighten the harness to the snugness required to keep them safe. If you feel that the child may feel cold, you are better off covering them with a blanket over the straps.
Can my baby sleep in their infant car seat?
If your seat s properly secured, and you are going on a very short trip, it is perfectly safe for the child to sleep in their infant seat. However, according to the Journal of Pediatrics, you should never leave the child sleeping in their infant seat if unsupervised. To ensure your child is not a victim of sudden death syndrome you need to supervise them while traveling in the car and have them sleep on their back in the cot while at home.
Can I place the newborn car seat in the shopping cart?
Most modern baby carriers seats are made to lock onto shopping carts. While this can be very convenient while shopping, it can be very dangerous too. The weight of the infant and the car seat will make the shopping cart top heavy which increases its likelihood of tipping over. Instead use a stroller, baby carrier, or a sling. Else take extra care when you have the child in the shopping cart.
When should i move from the newborn car seat to a convertible car seat?
According to a new study by Consumer reports, it is advisable to move your child to a convertible car seat when they are about a year old. The best convertible car seats offer a greater height and weight limit and hence will provide more protection for your child aged a year or more.
Can I use an infant car seat on a flight?
While you do not have to use a child safety seat for a child under the age of two in an airplane, the FAA recommends that you use a car seat for better safety. You can use your newborn car seat on the plane as long as it is certified for use on airplanes by the FAA. Check out a list of FAA approved car seats you can use on an airplane