Britax Emblem Convertible Car Seat
While we don’t suggest you buy a convertible car seat for your baby in the first year, you might decide you want to buy something now anyway, so that you don’t have to worry about it a year and a half down the line. The Britax Emblem is worth a try for parents with few specific needs, who don’t mind shuffling baby in-and-out inside something slightly larger than the norm.
The Emblem is an attractive car seat with ample padding for the baby to rest against. It’s as easy to install as the B-Safe 35, featuring LATCH connectors and built-in lock-offs to keep the seat securely in place. It doesn’t secure quickly using the seatbelt method, so it’s not a prime choice for parents moving in and out of vehicles.
The Emblem can handle rear-facing babies up to 40 pounds and forward-facing toddlers up to 65 pounds, allowing for a bit of growing room between birth and when it’s time to upgrade to a toddler-specific car seat.
It flips around, so your infant is rear-seated on the ride home from the hospital, and can be flipped to face forward when they reach the initial weight limit. The Emblem also performed well in crash tests, offering an extra bit of protection in the head area compared to similar models in its class.
Upgrade Pick: Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
Theres nothing wrong with the Liing, per se. But when youre paying this much for a seat, its easy to start nitpicking and finding slight room for improvement. For example: As your baby grows, youll have to adjust the Liings harness by removing the straps and rethreading them. Its not tough to do, and not having a no-rethread harness keeps this seat lighter, since that feature does add a bit of weight. Still, once youve experienced the convenience of a no-rethread harness , you miss it when its not there. Ditto for an easy-off seat cover and a handle that can be adjusted using one hand.
Ultimately, we didnt think it was fair to eliminate the Liing or ignore its merits purely because of its price. Although we acknowledge that it will be cost-prohibitive for many families, we have made an effort to include other excellent options in this guide that will suit a wide range of budgets, and were confident in all of our picks.
Guide To Infant Car Seat Shopping
You know that you want the safest possible car seat for your infant. That is a given for any parent but for many new, or first-time parents, the knowledge around what to look for can be limited.
If youve never had a child or have not had a new baby in the house for quite some time, you may know you want the safest seat possible but may not know how to find it or what to look for to ensure the highest standard for your baby.
Lets start by defining what we mean by infant car seat since the term can sometimes be misunderstood. An infant car seat is one that has a base that stays in the car. The actual seat is detachable and can be used as a baby carrier. They can only be used in a rear-facing position and therefore, they are typically grown out of rather quickly.
Below, weve highlighted a few tips to keep in mind when you are doing your shopping.
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How Long Can My Baby Use An Infant Car Seat
How long you can use an infant car seat will depend on which option you choose. Many of the infant car seats we discussed in this article can hold up to 35 pounds. Some infant car seats may hold less so always check the manufacturer recommendations before using.
This means that your baby can fit into the infant car seat until they reach 35 pounds, or whatever the maximum weight limit is for that particular car seat.
Using A Baby Or Child Car Seat
- Make sure you always put your baby into their car seat from the pavement side of the car.
- Make sure your baby is securely strapped in according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When you buy your car seat, ask the retail staff to demonstrate how to strap your baby into it.
- Use a rear-facing car seat for as long as your child fits into it, as these offer better protection in the event of a car accident.
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Where Is The Best Place To Put An Infant Car Seat
The middle of your vehicles back seat is statistically the safest place to install your childs car seat. Thats because many crashes involve a side impact, so a middle position will help to avoid direct impact.
However, not all vehicles allow for a car seat in every spot that has a seat belt. Always check your specific vehicles owners manual prior to installation. The Safe Kids Ultimate Car Seat Guide Installation Tips is a great resource for car seat installation.
Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4
Passenger Weight:Carrier Weight:REASONS TO BUY
The Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 is a higher-quality product with impressive crash test results, indicating a potential additional margin of protection when correctly installed and used according to directions. We believe this stylish and comfy carrier is super easy to install without the base, making it a possible contender for those using public transportation it is almost as easy to install with the vehicle belt and the base. This Peg Perego features an anti-rebound bar, has thicker padding, and soft fabric for a comfortable ride plus, it is easy to use.
Unfortunately, the Primo Viaggio 4-35 is more expensive than most of the competition we’ve tested, and it isn’t compatible with most strollers outside the Peg Perego brand. However, if your budget allows and limited stroller options aren’t a concern, this Peg may be for you.
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Will My Car Seat Fit Safely In Someone Else’s Car
Car seat safety expert, Damon Marriott said, “All child seats can be easily transferred from one car to another, for most this takes around 30 seconds, so we would recommend using your usual safety seat as familiarity in fitting is essential. If you use Isofix and a friend’s car doesn’t have this fixing then there are many well made and easy to fit seat belt seats that offer good value like the Joie Stages that covers from birth to seven years for around 50p a month great value without compromising the safety.”
Q: How Long Can My Baby Stay In An Infant Car Seat
A: This depends on the growth and development of your child. Most guidelines used to suggest that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach two years, but the modern guidelines are based on their weight and height. Those exact guidelines, however, varies from brand to brand. Convertible seats are a good option as well, as these will last through the toddler years until your child is ready for a booster seat.
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What To Look For When Buying Infant Seat
The most important things to look for when shopping for an infant car seat are safety, ease of cleaning, durability, and pricing. Parents want their baby to be protected. They also want a car seat that lasts and that doesnt need a complicated cleaning procedure. And of course, they want to get a good value.
Safety is always the number one priority, as it encompasses a car seats primary purpose. All of the infant car seats on our list meet rigorous safety standards. Every infant car seat must meet these standards of protection to be sold. Of course, parents want maximum security when it comes to their babies.
When shopping for an infant car seat, look further than the basic standards. Select a seat with the highest-grade safety features.
Ease of Cleaning
Newborns drool, spit-up, and even have blowouts. In general, they make plenty of messes! Cleanliness also protects from germs. Moms will undoubtedly need to take time to regularly clean their infant car seat.
Therefore, ease of cleaning is an essential factor to consider. Ideally, you will want an infant car seat with removable fabric that can be machine washed.
Even better if smaller spills can be wiped up with a damp cloth. Try to select an infant car seat whose straps remain in place when you remove the fabric to wash it.
When it comes to kids, going out seems like an absolute chore. This makes versatility an essential factor when deciding on any baby item, let alone a car seat.
Usage Of An Infant Car Seat
Can you get a used car seat to save money? Sure! But on one condition only: Find someone trustworthy! Get it from a loved one or a relative whose baby has traveled in that seat with 100& safety. Never compromise on your babys safety to save a couple of bucks! Buy a new and customized car seat if you do not find a trustworthy person to buy a used one.
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Different Types Of Narrow Infant Car Seats On The Market
There are a number of different types of narrow infant car seats on the market. Here is a breakdown of some of the most popular models:
- Britax B-Nimble: This seat is designed for children who weigh up to 22 pounds and are 32 inches tall or less. It has a slim profile that makes it perfect for small cars, and it comes with an adjustable base that can be customized to fit your vehicles seating configuration.
- Chicco NextFit: This seat is designed for children who weigh up to 40 pounds and are 32 inches tall or less. It has a narrow design that makes it ideal for smaller vehicles, and it comes with a nine-position headrest that provides extra comfort and security for your child.
- Graco SnugRide: This seat is designed for children who weigh up to 30 pounds and are 32 inches tall or less. It has a slim profile that makes it perfect for small cars, and it comes with a five-point harness system and infant head support that provides extra safety and comfort for your child.
If you are looking for a narrow infant car seat, then these are some of the best options on the market. Be sure to do your research before making a purchase, as each model has its own unique features that may be better or worse suited for your needs.
How We Chose The Best Infant Car Seats
The various models and special features of infant car seats can be mind-boggling. Weve selected the best infant car seats in a variety of categories. Our research is based on product reviews, ratings, and customer feedback that way you can hit the road instead of poring over endless options.
Keep in mind that certified car seats of all prices have undergone rigorous testing to ensure they are safe. So dont think that by buying a cheaper model youre compromising the safety of your precious one.
Here are the criteria Healthline looks for in infant car seats:
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Easiest Infant Car Seat To Clean: Maxi
Maxi-Cosi Mico 30
The Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 is one of the most popular models for infants due to its numerous advantages and nice upgrades.
The Mico 30 has been on the market for quite a while and has earned thousands of positive reviews and gave thousands of infants the pleasure of staying in it during drives. The car seat has a wedge cushion insert which will be a great add-on if you have a preemie whose weight is 4-5 lbs, buckle and harness strap covers, and a round insert for head support. All this makes it the best infant car seat.
There is a recline angle indicator that is built on the side of the carrier, however, the base doesnt have any but can offer three recline positions that can be adjusted at the back. The Mico is pretty easy to install with the help of push-on lower LATCH connectors, without the base or with a seatbelt. Note that this infant car seat doesnt have a lock-off device so, first and foremost, make sure to check how the seatbelt locks. As some cars possess switchable retractors, some have seatbelts that lock to keep the baby seat tightly in place, in some you can find locking latch plates.
The cover of this infant car seat is made from self-wicking fabric and it is easy to remove when youre going to wash it. Another advantage of this model is that you can use both a washing machine and a dryer !
The Maxi-Cosi Mico 30 is compatible with all the available strollers with an adapter .
Why You Might Want An Infant Car Seat Vs A Convertible Car Seat
According to Chan, You may prefer an infant car seat if:
- You don’t own a car. Or, you’ll often be traveling with baby in cars that aren’t your own. Infant car seats can usually be installed more easily than a convertible car seat. Plus, many infant car seats snap right onto your stoller so you can get in an out of the car without much fanfare.
- The main seat of your stroller has a minimum weight or age requirement. Some strollers aren’t suitable for newborns without a compatible infant car seat, particularly jogging strollers and those without a seat that can lay entirely flat.
- You want the flexibility to easily move your child from car to stroller. Many infant car seats can be clipped into compatible full-size strollers, so you can go from car to stroller without unbuckling baby. And because they’re generally more compact, infant car seats are also easier to pick up and move around.
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How We Made Our Picks For The Best Infant Car Seats
To come up with a list of the best infant car seats, we considered expert input from CPSTs, polled our editors and scoured the What to Expect community for recommendations. Here, youll find the final list: comfortable and safe car seats at a variety of price points to help you get baby from place to place.
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Should I Buy A Second
Damon added, “Second-hand car seats are fine providing you know the history, ensuring it hasn’t been in an accident or suffered damage in another way, as you are trusting your child’s life with the seat. So, if its from a friend or relative then this should be OK.
“What you need to check is the age of the seat as most plastic shells have a shelf life of between five and 10 years, the seat will have a date of manufacture on it to help identify the age, check nothing is missing and if possible, obtain a set of the instructions to ensure your friend/relative has been fitting it correctly. For your own peace of mind, however, we would recommend opting for a new one with a warranty if possible.”
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Chicco Keyfit 35 Infant Car Seat
When it was first released, the KeyFit 35 was usually about $250, but its price has slowly fallen over the past year, putting it in a very competitive position: with its amazing features, safety, comfort, and convenience, it’s a clear winner at this price point! We definitely prefer the KeyFit 35, but also realize that many parents are looking to use an infant car seat for the first year and then transition to a rear-facing convertible car seat, which makes a strong case for the KeyFit 30. This makes sense especially if your baby is below the 80th percentile for height and weight if they’re relatively big or tall, they might grow out of the KeyFit 30 at a surprisingly young age . No major cons to speak of with the KeyFit 35. It does only have one crotch buckle position, which is limiting, and it’s lightweight but not as light as some competitors like the Nuna Pipa or Graco Snugride. Highly recommended, and we’ll let you figure out whether the 30 or 35 is best for your situation! Who else thinks the KeyFit is a top pick? Our friends at BabyList, Babygearlab, WhatToExpect, and Wirecutter. You can check out the KeyFit 30 and KeyFit 35 here!
List Of Recommended Carseats For Preemies & Multiples
Priced under $125:
Safety 1st onBoard 35 LT: 4-35 lbs. up to 32 tall 4 sets of harness slots, 3 crotch strap/buckle positions, option to shorten the crotch strap length for small newborns 2-position adjustable base energy-absorbing EPS foam. Available as part of Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System.
Summer Infant Affirm 335: 3-35 lbs. 15-32 tall 4 sets of harness slots 3 buckle positions 4-position adjustable base with belt-tensioning feature optional anti-rebound handle position energy-absorbing EPS foam lower body positioning insert for babies 3-11 lbs. Available as part of the Summer Myria Stroller Travel System.
Priced $125 $175:
Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35: 4-35 lbs. up to 32 tall 4 sets of harness slots, 2 buckle positions 4-position adjustable SnugLock base energy-absorbing EPS foam. Compatible with any single or double Graco stroller that accepts a car seat. Graco car seat adapters available for many other premium stroller brands. You have lots of choices!
Priced $175-$225 :
Britax B-Safe 35 : 4-35 lbs. up to 32 tall 4 sets of harness slots 2 buckle positions impact-absorbing base with SafeCell technology lockoffs for seatbelt installation premium push-on LATCH connectors EPS foam, newborn insert. Britax B Safe 35 Review Here. Compatible with any single or double Britax stroller that accepts a car seat. Britax car seat adapters available for many other premium stroller brands. You have lots of choices!
Priced $225-$300 :
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