Car Seats - High on Your List of Baby Gear
Once your baby has been born you will need a car seat, as most hospitals will not allow the child to leave without one. Most states by law say a baby must be in a car seat up to three years old. A baby that has been born early may require a car bed because the car seat might not fit secure enough. Some babies may need a special seat due to needs that will need to be met. One type of car seat is fitted for infants that will be facing the rear of the vehicle. These seats will be for infants between twenty-two and thirty pounds or more. You will, also, need to know the height limit of these types. If your child either reaches the weight or height requirements then he or she is ready for the next phase.
You may use a convertible car seat as well for infants. Then, again, you may want to stay with a design for infants, because they will fit more securely and these types tend to attach from the base of the seat. A lot of infant seats that you may purchase will attach to a stroller frame that you may also want to purchase as it will be much easier for you. The seat can be detached from the car to the stroller frame without even waking your infant. Most of the infant seats come with a base that will keep the seat attached to your car either by a latch or a safety belt. The word latch stands for lower anchors and tethers for your child that has a belt that hooks or clicks to the base to metal anchors in the car. You may not need a base for the car seat as the safety strap can secure the baby. Usually these seats come with a three point harness, but they may come with two straps that will come together as a buckle in itself. Now, most seats these days will come with a five point harness which is usually recommended.
The handle that is on an infant seat will usually swing from behind the seat for the convenience of carrying your infant when in an upright position. You will want to make sure that your car seat is in a reclined position so that your infant's head doesn't fall forward and cause possible breathing problems. An infant can grow out of an infant seat rather fast as your baby can become too heavy in usually a period of six to nine months. At this time you will want to consider going to a convertible car seat. In this case, the baby will be more secure and safe when traveling. These types of seats usually range about $75.00 to $300.00 and are compatible to a stroller frame that is most the time sold separately. This type usually takes a child from thirty or thirty-five pounds depending on which model you have. The convertible seat that goes forward will accommodate a child anywhere from forty to sixty-five pounds. Convertible seats can help you get your monies worth as they can take a child as far as kindergarten and maybe even longer.
Now I advise you to keep the convertible seat facing the rear of the car until twenty-three months or until your child reaches at least forty pounds which along with the recommend height limits by the manufacturer. When your child meets these requirements you can turn the seat to the front of the car. It can be said that the longer you keep your child facing the rear the better. This is what the Health Educator and Certified Child Passenger Safety Tech believes from John Hopkins Children's Safety Center in Baltimore, Maryland. The movement of the baby can cause your baby to wake up when in the front direction and this could hinder even small trips to your local grocery store.
Now a travel system includes an infant car seat, a base for the car and a separate stroller all in one purchase. With this particular piece of baby gear the car seat generally snaps into the stroller, it also allows one to move a sleeping baby without waking them. You will also want to have a soft seat to give the baby a break from the infant car seat. There can be a negative side to the travel system as some manufacturers only make a seat that goes with their own stroller system. This can be avoided by choosing a stroller that takes different car seats. Also, these types of strollers and car seats can be bulky so you want to make sure you have enough room in your car's trunk.
Features you may want to consider when looking for a car seat is one that will allow the seat to recline in as many as five different positions. There should be a nob or a dial that will allow you to use this feature with convertible seats that will be safe and easy to use along with more comfort for the baby. Some seats come with a level indicator which allows you to know that the seat is in the proper position.
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On the safety front, car seats are installed incorrectly causing injury to a child. About 80% or more are installed incorrectly according to experts at John Hopkins Safety Center. That is why it might be a good idea to stop at a free safety seat inspection station in your area to make sure your seat is installed properly. You will be able to locate one of these stations through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Grandparents should also be involved, if they intend on taking your baby traveling. Some manufacturers have a video on their website instructing you how to install your car seat properly.