Friday, July 2, 2010

The 411 on Car Seats

It seems for every stage there is a different car seat. For newborns you need the infant size that fits into a base, then when baby gets too big you switch over to the toddler size, and then finally when your toddler gets really big they graduate to a booster seat. And praise Jesus the day your kid can just ride in the car.

At Project Mom we are all about giving you options based on your budget and your preferences. So here are some options for car seats:
1. Infant Seats-  some seats are designed ONLY for the infant stage. Once baby weighs 20 lbs these seats are done. In our opinion, not a good choice because you get little use out of them.
2. Convertible Infant-Toddler Seats- A wiser choice. These seats can hold a baby/toddler up to 30-35 lbs. So once baby is too long to be facing backwards, you just turn the seat around in the base and voila! the seat can now be used through the next stage. More bang for your buck.
3. Booster Seats-  When baby, who won't be a baby by this point, is 3 and weighs at least 40 lbs you will need a booster seat. No need to register for one of these yet. Wait till it is closer to time because the safety regulations change and who needs one more baby thing to store, right?

* Project Mom Tip:  for the infant stage, purchase or borrow from a friend who is done with it, 2 bases. That way when Daddy needs to take baby somewhere, or you need to use the OTHER car, you don't have to spend 20 days strapping the base in. Makes going from car to car a whole lot easier. It is also good to have that extra base in case someone else has to pick up baby for some reason. You can keep yours in the car all the time and have an extra on hand. *

There are car seats at every price point, style, and brand. Britax is pretty much the Prada of car seats. Not cheap, but worth the investment. Do not just casually purchase a car seat. Research the brand and model and read reviews. Get one that has high safety ratings (duh) and longevity.

If you have a friend who is just enough ahead of you that she can pass down her stuff or you hit a consignment sale that had a car seat in great condition but costs $40 instead of $270, buy it! There are car seat covers for sale now at about $80 a pop. So even though your friend had a boy and the fabric is not really your thing, just cover it and smile all the way to the bank. This trick can also work if the exact model of car seat you want to buy new is on sale but you don't like the fabric. Get it and add the cover. This cover is from The Bumble Collection. Just Google car seat covers and you will find loads of options

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