Tips for Pregnancy Week 30Brought to you by
The Best Seat in the Car: Choosing your seat is only half the battle. Installation inspection can ensure a safe ride for your most precious cargo.
The most common choice for the first car seat is the infant bucket seat. These seats are often sold as part of a travel system, with a matching stroller. They are widely available, and can range in price from around $70, up to $300. All car seats are required to meet the same minimum safety standards. The price is influenced by your color choices, added features, and brand names. These seats are used rear facing only, and usually have a weight limit from 22 to 30 lbs.
Many parents find that removable infant seat to be very convenient–it’s easy to install in the car and “clicks” in an out, and it’s easy to transport a sleeping infant in and out of the car. However, the infant car seat will be an additional cost, since your baby will eventually outgrow it.
Alternatively, you can opt to move straight to a convertible car seat. These operate in rear-facing mode until the baby reaches the height and weight limits for rear-facing, or is ready to face forward.
Current forward-facing recommendations are for children to be at least two years of age, but the American Association of Pediatrics suggests rear-facing for as long as possible – until your child reaches the maximum height and weight for rear-facing in a convertible seat.
Using a convertible seat from the beginning means only purchasing one seat, but it also means sacrificing the convenience of being able to move a sleeping baby from the car to the stroller to the house without having to disturb his slumber. You also may face difficulties in using a convertible seat from the start if you have a preemie or low-birth weight baby. Smaller infants don't always fit safely into the larger convertible seats.
No matter which type of seat you choose, it is a great idea to get your seat installation checked by a certified car seat safety tech. Your hospital or local police or fire department may offer safety checks. To find an inspection location in your area, you can visit seatcheck.org to search.
Car seat manufacturers offer different patterns of the same seat through different retailers. If you don't see a pattern you like in your local store, search online to find more options.
If you'll be transporting your baby in more than one vehicle on a regular basis, you can purchase a second snap-in base that works with your infant seat for additional cars. It can save time getting in and out of the car, making daily daycare runs a little easier on you.
You don’t need to purchase additional padding or head support for your car seat–these positioners can pose a potential suffocation hazard and car seat manufacturers recommend never using anything in or around the car seat, as it could cause the car seat to malfunction in the event of a crash.