Tips for Choosing an Infant Seat

  • The simplest and least expensive model usually will work as well as one with fancy features. Choose a seat that you find easy to use and that fits in your vehicle.
  • Look for the seat you can use facing the rear as long as possible. Read the labels to check weight limits. If you buy an infant-only seat, you will need a convertible seat later. Most babies need to use rear-facing convertible seats as they get larger, because they outgrow their infant-only seats before age 1. Some products are made to carry a baby over 20 pounds facing the rear. Look for a seat with a higher weight limit when you shop.
  • Look through the manufacturer’s instruction booklet for safety features and warnings before making a purchase.
  • A seat that is easy to install properly and simple to use will be used more consistently than a fancy one with features that require extra time to safely restrain the child. Read the instruction booklet.
  • Look for a convertible seat that has a higher weight limit in the rear-facing position if your baby is less than 1 year and over 20 pounds.
  • Try the seat in your vehicle. Make sure it can be belted in securely with very little movement. Cars with bucket seats, contoured or small rear seats may present special installation problems. Make sure you can return the purchase if it does not fit in your vehicle.

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