Safe travel is important for everyone. This includes a new born as well. All states in the United States have made it mandatory that babies and young children be seated safely in a car seat placed on the back seat. It is a good idea to start looking for baby car seats during sixth month of pregnancy. This way you will ample time to search for the best seat suiting your requirements.
You can also take this time to compare different brands in terms of safety features and prices. Don’t delay the purchase when you have decided. You will require the seat for bringing the baby from the hospital.
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics children who are under 20 pounds and/or one year of age are not recommended to ride in the front seat with either parent. For the safety of such children a rear facing seat is to be installed in back seat of the vehicle. A rear facing seat will protect the child in case of an accident. The seat needs to be installed correctly in order to keep the child safe and restrained. A seat with five-point harness belt is the best. These seats restrain the shoulders, thighs and between legs and are thus help prevent injury to these parts. They are safer than the seats that have plastic chest restraints on the belt.
You should do a market survey to decide on the model of the car seat you want. There are rear-facing infant-only seats, seats that can be converted for infant stage to toddler stage. Then there are seats that can also be used as infant carrier. Also available are toddler car seats that act as booster seats as well. All reputed brands will almost cost you the same. However, local brands will come cheaper.
Select a seat with soft fabric that can be washed easily. Some seats have fabric attached to the plastic body with screws that are hard to remove. Look for a seat with snaps or elastic. Make sure that the seat is soft and cushiony. The baby will be comfortable in a seat with lot of well padded cushion. If going for a forward facing car seat, check the top tether straps that will secure the seat well in place and prevent it from falling forward in case of sudden breaks.