4 Things to consider when buying a car seat


Car seats are a safety requirement for babies and young children in the U.S. It is probably one of the most important things you will ever invest in  for your baby’s safety. It is so important that many hospitals in the US will not let you leave with your baby if they are not in a car seat.

Some hospitals go as far as providing a staff that will help you install the seat properly in your car.

There are so many car seats in the market the choosing one is a challenge but before you purchase a car seat for your baby, there are certain things you should consider.


Safety is so important when choosing a car seat and shloud come first before style and design.  Safety is the primary reason behind having a child in a car seat.

  • A safe car seat should have a five point safety harness (two that cross over the shoulders, two that cross over the thighs and one that pass between the legs). This type of harness secures the baby better than t-type harnesses and it is harder for babies to wiggle out of them.
  • A car seat with a latch system is great if you have a car with the appropriate accommodations. Many cars on the road today have a latch system the allow the latch on the car seat to fit securely. It is safer than using a seat belt to secure the seat.
  • Another great safety feature for a car seat is a head and side impact protection. The head area and the side of the seat should come fitted with foam to protect your baby from the force generated during an accident or just any unpredictable motion that occurs in the course of driving. This foam adsorbs a lot of the force that is generated during an accident, therefore protecting your babies head from serious injury.
  • The harness of your car seat should be easy to adjust such that it can fit around your baby properly.
  • Avoid hand me on as much as possible, especially those that have been involved in an accident (even if they show no visible sign of damage). The padding in car seats wear with time and become less effective.
  • A car seat that is JPMA certified is safe, has high quality and good performance. Always check on the product’s box to see if there is a JPMA stamp on it.

Ease of use

If installing and uninstalling a car seat in a car is a hassel, then it might not be worth buying because this might lead to short cuts (improper installation) being taken by an impatient person and can put your baby in danger.

  • Many infant seats weigh around 5lbs. However, there are some that weigh up to 9lbs or more; when you add the weight of a baby to this it becomes very heavy to carry around. If you are a parent who plans on carrying your baby around in the car seat a lot, go for a light weight design.
  • Many car seats come with bases that can be installed in the car along with the car seat. This allows for easy installation and removal of the seat during errands. Some car seats even come with two or more bases that can be installed in other cars that the baby is regularly driven in ( parents do not have to transfer the base from one car to the other every time they change a car.)
  • Some car seats are too big and do not fit well in smaller cars. Choose your car seat according to the space available in your car. The seat should fit well with room for adjusting harnesses if the need arises.
  • A car seat that is easy to clean is great because it can over come a lot of the things kids will put it through. Removable, machine washable covers are a great addition to any car seat.

Height and weight limit

A regular infant car seats can hold a child of up to about 30lbs and 32inches tall. This type of seat has a handle and can be carried around easily. However, when the baby gets bigger, it needs to be replaced.

Convertible car seats as the name suggest can be positioned in both the rear and front facing position. When in the rear position, it can carry babies with weight ranging from 5lbs to 45lbs and in the forward facing position, it can carry a child up to 65lbs.

The down side to convertible car seats is that it cannot be taking out of the car like the infant car seat (the baby have to be taken out of the seat every time you get out of the car). This means you will need a regular infant car seat or stroller when you take the baby out of the car or have to carry the baby by hand.

Style and Price


After a car seat has met safety requirements, you can have fun personalizing your purchase. Many car seats covers come in a variety of colors ranging from gray to hot pink or even rainbow. Some even come in animal prints and polka dots.

It is a fun idea to let older kids pick out what colors they like for themself and they could also help pick out a color for their baby sibling (makes them feel proud and responsible).

For parents who are looking to trim price, a travel system can be a great choice because many stores offer discounts when you buy the combination.

Follow this link to check out car seats on the stroller store (powered by Amazon) on this sit.

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39 thoughts on “4 Things to consider when buying a car seat

  1. Wow i didn’t realize there was so much too carseats. i don’t have any children yet but when i do I’m really glad i have a resource to rely on to make sure I’m making the responsible choices when choosing the right carseat my future children will I’m sure thank you. Great work thank you for sharing i love the way you right your voice through your words is so powerful. Stay blessed

  2. Hi

    You have written an excellent coverage of the top reasons you should consider when purchasing a car seat. I am looking for a gift for my dear friend who is giving birth soon.

    She had a car seat on her wish list. I choose the gift but did not realise what I was getting myself into! Thank you so much for your help.


    1. Hi Ethan,

      Thanks for the kind words. Don’t think too much when you go car seat shopping for friend. Just make sure they meet the safety requirements. Good luck!

  3. All parents must ensure that they buy a car seat for their baby that provides maximum protection. Your review on the importance of safety is very comprehensive. I like how you explain the importance of avoiding hand me down car seats and why they are less effective.

    The more inform we are the more educated we become to make the right choice. Thank you.

    1. Hi Juan,

      You’re welcome. Our babies are precious so they deserve the best. Thanks for reading and leaving feedback.

  4. Wow i thought I knew about car seats but I see clearly it’s more than that, didn’t realize there was so much too carseats. Right now i don’t have any children yet but when i do…I will be ready, I’m really glad i have a resource to rely on to make sure I’m making the responsible and right choices when it comes to the carseat. Great work thank you for sharing i love the way you got right to the point and your voice through your words is so powerful. Stay blessed

    1. Hi AJ

      Technology changes frequently. Just when you think you’ve learned it all, some new improvement comes along. Its a constant learning process . Thanks for the kind words and for leaving feedback.

  5. This article came at the best moment. We are planning on buying a child seat for our 10 months old baby boy. Of course we were looking at the price most in the beginning but the most important factor we need to consider is the life of our son.

    We have a SUV so space won’t be a problem.

    I like your idea of asking the older child about the color we should chose! Our daughter of 8 will be happy with the task!

    Thank you, very useful article, good points every adult should consider when buying a car seat!

    1. Hi Adam,

      I am happy this article was helpful for you and your family. Money this days is tight but a few dollars more can get you a really great and safe car seat. I’m sure your 8 year old will love the responsibility and it will make her a proud big sister. Thank you for leaving a comment.

  6. Hello,

    It’s wonderful the way you set safety first. Our babies are our future.
    I enjoy the details & I feel it’s great guide for any parent to provide maximum protection & safety for their baby when it comes to buying a car seat.
    I don’t have any children yet but I’m extra grateful for finding your review. It’s comprehensive & very informative, so I’ll be definitely much more prepared when the time comes.
    I see that you’re a medical professional yourself & it’s very nice to hear that some hospitals take care of you & even help you to install those seats.
    It would be even better if hospitals worldwide could do that don’t you think so? So, lets spread the word, seems like a very nice thing to do.
    Thank you for your effort!


    1. Hi Henry,

      I think it will be great if all hospitals could help parents install their babies car seat. Many parents do the installation wrong and it is very dangerous for their baby. I am happy to spread the word. Thank you for reading and leaving great insight.

  7. I love the pictures you posted they go so well with the review! Also I noticed many strollers are expensive, can you add prices and tell me where the best place is to buy ?

    Great post, I loved it:) I would like to see more and a post about strollers on a budget.. lol cause some people want safety, but don’t want to spend $250.

    1. Hi Thadpoore,

      Amazon is a great place to go stroller and car seat shopping; they have a huge selection ( with a wide price range). I agree with you that many people will not want to spend a fortune on car seats and strollers. I have been planning on writing a review on strollers and car seats on a budget. I will write a review soon on that topic. Thanks for the kind words and the feedback.

  8. Such a wonderfully written article. It’s so informative and has given me much more to consider when choosing a car seat for when I decide to have children.
    I think it’s worth paying a little more for a car seat when it comes to the safety of your baby.
    Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Davby,

      Thanks for the kind words. I love learning and enjoy sharing what I learn even more. Choosing a car seat that is safe is very important.

  9. Hi there,

    I found your article very interesting, I was absorbed by the reading. My best girl friend has to give birth soon and I didn’t have any idea of what kind of present to look for. You have given very good information and I thank you so much for this:) I have bookmarked your site so I can come back later on and choose a nice car seat.
    Thank you again for this helpful review

    1. Hi Daniella,

      I am happy that you found my post informative. I will be reviewing some car seats and strollers soon. Thanks for leaving me feedback and bookmarking my site.

  10. An informative post! Safety first, according to EU-approved standard, children must be below 13 years old or 135cm tall to use the child car seats. Before we buy the car seat, it is better to check if your car supports the ISOFIX harness as it is built for babies and toddlers. The ISOFIX fittings are preferred since the standard car safety belt is designed for adult use.

  11. An informative post! Safety first, according to EU-approved standard, children must be below 13 years old or 135cm tall to use the child car seats. Before we buy the car seat, it is better to check if your car supports the ISOFIX harness as it is built for babies and toddlers. The ISOFIX fittings are preferred since the standard car safety belt is designed for adult use.

    1. Hi Fred Chong,

      I read about the ISOFIX harness and found that they are comparable to the five point harness and latch system and the EU standards and US standards are similar. You are right about the ISOFIX fitting being safer for kids than the standard seat belt that is made for adults. Thank you for leaving me feedback.

  12. I was interested in finding out basic age and weight requirements of a car seat appropriate for our youngest.

    But wow, you touched on all basis here and I learned things I did not know.

    Never considered a hand me down being a safety issue for carseats, but a lot of wear and tear needs to be considered with a used seat because of children getting in and out daily and even moving the car seat from one location to the next often.

    Looks like its time to consider buying an upgrade.

    Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Jason,

      I love shopping baby products and feel I should share what I learn with others. Happy to hear my post was helpful.

  13. Hi Denise,

    I found your article very interesting and useful, I was absorbed by the reading! I do have two beautiful children, and thanks god they have grown up and don’t need a car seat anymore. But my sister gave birth few months ago and this could be a wonderful present for her baby. I would like to know if the seat car possess hassocks on the sides in order to protect the baby’s head?
    Thank you very much

    1. Hi Daniella,

      A good car seat should have padding(hassock) on the sides to protect the baby’s head.Yes there are plenty of car seats with the right amount of padding. A good place to check this out is Amazon.

  14. I have a question about the JPMA certification. I have been looking around for the perfect car seat and I always come across the advice to look for JPMA certification. However, when I go to Amazon, even the JPMA certified ones has been complained multiple times. Also, if you go to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission website and check for car seat recalls, there are a lot of JPMA certified strollers that has been recalled. I am not sure how to end my search for a car seat with all these inconsistencies. Do you have any advice?

    1. Hi Pitin,

      Some JPMA car seats are recalled because they do not comply with federal standards. To be JPMA certified means the car seat has been inspected by an independent institution. Federal regulations favor five point harness, head p

  15. I did not realise that there is so much to take account of when considering a car seat for babies and toddlers. I assumed that manufacturers have to pass a series of rigorous tests. It is great that you have taken it a step further and almost road tested some of the factors yourself. I am certain that your readers will really appreciate this fact. I will definitely recommend your site to my friends with kids.

    1. Hi Ben,

      Thanks for the very encouraging words. Kids are precious and we should do our best to keep them safe. Thanks for spreading the word.

  16. With all those stories of defective airbags, I’m sure that there are many car seats that aren’t up to the required standards. It sure is important to make sure that are babies who depend on us are safe; good work you’re doing. In any case, never leave a baby in a hot car.

    1. Hi Ben,

      Great advice about not leaving babies in hot cars. I think you should take your baby out with you when ever you leave your car even if it’s not hot. Thanks for leaving feedback.

  17. Brilliant article! Highly informative and very concise. Love the design and the whole style, too 🙂 Nice visual appeal throughout… Anyway, I was thinking about buying a seat for a friend as a gift, they said they could use a new one. Definitely much to consider but now I got all the info I needed. Thanks so much. Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Martin,

      You are very welcome. Anything to make the selection for a car seat easy for parents, friends and family. More so I like to inform about safety too (children are precious and depend on the adults to keep them safe). Thanks for the kind words.

  18. Wow, thank you for the valuable information. I wouldn’t have even thought about half of this when considering a car seat for our new born. Ultimately we decided to go with Britax and are very satisfied with the seat and the stroller. I will check back for more updates. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi there,

      I’m happy to be of help. Picking car seats for our precious ones we need to make sure their safety is put first. Britax car seats are great and loved by many.

  19. Hey Denise, great article. Every parent with infants or little ones should read it several times. This is an important purchase, one that should not be taken lightly. My wife and I have 4 boys, only 1 is still in a car seat, but we have always chosen Britax car seats, and for most of the reasons you site in your article. The main reason by far however was the ease of use. Installation with any model we have purchased is a matter of seconds, as opposed to several minutes, for other brands we have encountered. It is a pricier choice to be sure, but really, we are talking about the safety of your most valued possession.Whats a few extra dollars when you take that into consideration? Thanks.

    1. Hi Michael,

      You are right, a few dollars more shouldn’t stop one from purchasing a safe car seat for our children. Britax is a great brand for both infant car seats and convertible car seats. Ease of use is also a great feature to consider seeing how our life with kids is usually fast pace. With all the car seats in the market, chossing the right one for your family can be hard but if stick to the four things in this post, all will be well.

  20. A very useful guide for parents to be. But also for me as I will be a dad for the second time in January. I got my daughter a car seat that’s 0-4 years. However I think it may be wise to get one that is 0-8 years. Are these just as good as the former?

    1. Hi Owain,

      It will depend on the brand of the car seat. Britax and Graco for example makes very good car seats, designed with safety in mind and also longevity.

      Check out my post on the 3 in 1 convertible car seat for ideas on what a 0-8 or even 0- 10 car seat is like.

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