We all know how important it is to use a car seat for our kids when we drive anywhere. It is not only important for their safety, but it is also the law. Each of the 50 states has some sort of requirement for parents to use a child seat for their kids. When we first had our daughter we spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect car seat. What we thought was a smart choice turned out to be a waste of money for us.
We ended up with an infant seat because we thought it would be great to use with a stroller and end up being easier on our backs for at least a year. In reality we never used it how we thought we were going to and we wished that we had gotten a convertible child seat to start with. This is not to discourage parents from using an infant seat, but rather to point out the importance of knowing what you hope to get out of it before you buy one.
You will eventually end up having to switch from an infant seat to a convertible option eventually when they grow out of it. With a second child we decided to go with a convertible car seat from the start and for us it was a smart choice. Since we had some experience with our first kid, we kind of knew what to get and what features would serve our family well. Here is a little guide we stuck to to help us wade through all the options out there that let us get the best convertible car seat for both us and our children.
What We Looked For In A New Car Seat
This time around we made a plan. We sat down and made a list of the features that we not only wanted for the safety and protection of our children, but we wanted a seat that was easy for us as parents to use every day. We used the convertible car seat reviews on Momma Trauma Blog as a starting point and weeded through the best rated models before we settled on one that we loved. Here are just some of the aspects we were looking for in a new child seat.
This is something that is always on a parents mind. We needed something that we could afford and we did not want to go over the set amount. Knowing how much you want to spend before hand and sticking to it requires some discipline but it can be done. Everyone has a different amount that they will want to spend, but this is a crucial part of the process. Luckily, we had a bigger budget this time around and our second child wound up with a much better overall car seat, and so did we.
If you have two or more cars that you plan on using the seat in then getting something that is light enough to switch back and forth will save you a lot of back strain. Some seats are more ideal for use in just one vehicle due to their overall weight. We knew this going in so we paid attention to the different weights of the car seats that made our list. My wife is kind of small so this was something that I needed to keep in mind when choosing different options.
Materials and Fabric
This is another vital aspect to enjoying your car seat. The right materials can impact the comfort, durability, and maintenance of your convertible car seat. For this we recommend spending time to read through the various customer reviews to see how parents react. You want something that will breathe and not get your child to sweat while riding in it. You also want fabrics that are easy to clean because children are extremely messy creatures. And since your seat will hopefully be used for a number of years, you will want to get something that has a proven track record of holding up over time.
This is something strictly for parents. This is a crucial step in using a child safety seat every day. You have to make sure that it is properly installed as well as make sure that your child is correctly strapped in to the seat in order to avoid causing more harm. Getting a seat that is easy to install will save you a ton of headaches. Find a seat that has a clear owner’s manual or enough videos online that you are comfortable knowing what you are doing. This is something that will also show up in owner feedback, so pay close attention. You do not want to fight your child’s car seat every time you want to switch it to another vehicle. We learned this lesson the hard way so it was something we wanted to correct this time around.
Learn From Our Mistakes
We hope that some of what we learned from dealing with our first child can help you as you try and find the ideal safety seat for your child. We took a different approach this time around and it has really paid off for us. Not only does our second child really enjoy going for rides in her new convertible car seat, but we enjoy using it as well. Getting a seat that does exactly what you need will end up saving you a ton of frustration in the long run. Put in the time beforehand and you won’t regret it.