The buying guides we’ve featured in the past are what helped me out so much when choosing baby products the first time I was pregnant. You could say they are the “Meat and Potatoes” of The Wise Baby. We’ve touched on this subject before, but with the success of our recently updated How to Choose a Convertible Carseat post and the fact that we’ve been able to review numerous infant carseats in the nearly two years since we posted our original guide, we figured it was high time to revisit the infant carseat.
In our original post, we mentioned five considerations when choosing the right carseat for you, but of course with years come wisdom so we’ve revisited these considerations here:
1. Safety. There are so many things to consider when picking out the right infant carseat for your child. First on everyone’s list is safety. We wouldn’t even dream of reviewing and recommending a seat that wasn’t upheld to the highest safety standards, so rest assured every car seat we’ve reviewed will keep your precious cargo safe. We always encourage getting your carseat checked by a car seat safety tech if you’re unsure of how to set up your carseat (or if you’d like a little reassurance). The nice thing is nowadays, many carseats come equipped with the rigid latch system which helps ensure your carseat is properly latched into the car.
Another newer feature with carseats on the market that will up the safety standards is the anti-rotation stability leg. This can give you the piece of mind that your carseat and baby will remain as safe as possible in case of a car accident, though it’s not required by any means. While all the carseats we have recommended today go beyond the standard safety features, the Peg Perego 4-35 is one of our favorites for it’s safety features.
2. Car Size and lifestyle. With infant carseats, the footprint of the car seat varies widely. We always encourage you to measure your car to ensure each carseat will fit safely in your backseat. You’ll also want to think about how often you ride in taxis or travel, as many infant car seats can be used without the base unit, but not all can. We highly recommend the Cybex Anton 2 for city dwellers who may have a smaller vehicle.
3. Seat Weight. Infant car seats vary in weight (of the actual seat). Add to that your ever growing baby, and things can get heavy fast. You’ll want to consider seat weight especially if you plan on carrying your baby in the car seat often. The Nuna Pipa is one of the lightest car seats on the market.
4. Carseat Weight/Height. All infant car seats have limitations on the size of your baby, so you’ll want to pay attention to that. You may have noticed that there is often a number included in the name of the carseat (Chicco Keyfit 30, Peg Pergeo Prima Viggao 30/30, Graco Snugride 30, 35, etc.). The number refers to the size of the seat, and as you may assume the number is higher for a larger sized carseat. If you plan on switching your child to a convertible carseat sooner rather than later, you can go with a smaller number, though if you’d like to get a long life out of your infant carseat, definitely consider a larger carseat. The Chicco Keyfit 30 is one of the best carseats to grow with your baby on the market.
5. Stroller Compatibility. The nice thing is that many carseats are compatible with most popular strollers, but don’t assume they are. You’ll want to check to see if you are able to purchase an adaptor to attach your chosen carseat to your chosen stroller before purchasing a carseat. We recommend choosing your stroller first and finding a compatible carseat after that. For example, if you decide to go with any Britax stroller, the Britax B-Safe 35 will be compatible, no questions asked.
While there are so many great models out there to choose from, we’ve rounded up some of our (and your!) favorites that are all wonderful options:
Why we love it: As stated in our original review, the number one thing we love about the Peg Perego 4-35 is the non-rethread harness. Anyone out there who has had to rethread a harness on a carseat, understands the frustration. Aside from that, the Peg Perego is an extremely safe carseat including, but not limited to, a built in anti-rebound bar, shock absorbing foam, and adjustable side impact protection. The carseat is easy to install (though a little on the larger side, so keep that in mind for smaller vehicles!) and features beautiful, breathable fabric to keep your little one cool in the hot summer months. Because of all this (and more) the Peg Perego 4-35 was named our infant carseat pick for Best Baby Products 2013!
Why we love it: The Chicco KeyFit 30 is widely a reader’s favorite and we can see why. It is one of the highest rated in safety standards for infant carseats on the market. As you can read in our original review, the Chicco KeyFit is comfortable for your little one, with an ample, breathable canopy, and easily adjustable 5-point harness. Installation is easy and you can be confident in your installation due to the premium LATCH buckles which click when in place properly and are tightened by a “Center-pull” on the base of the carseat, a level foot which adjusts to your car’s seat, and level indicators.
Why we love it: The safety standards of the Cybex Anton 2 are what make this carseat high on our list of recommended carseats. It has an anti-rotation stability leg (was one of the first on the market to do so!), and it is very easy to install correctly with premium and sturdy LATCH connectors. The footprint of the Cybex Anton 2 is smaller than some other carseats on the market, which make this a great seat for smaller cars. As you can see in our original review, you can see that it has made many of our registry guides and even our Best Baby Products of 2013 list!
Why we love it: The Nuna Pipa is one of the lightest infant carseats on the market (7.7lbs) which is a major bonus when you’re already carrying around a growing baby. The safety features on the carseat, including the anti-rotation stability leg, rigid LATCH, indicators for correct installation, and bubble recline indicators make this carseat one that will give you the peace of mind that your little one is safe and sound. And as you can see in our original review, it is a beautifully, well designed carseat.
Why we love it: The Britax B-Safe 35 is an easy to install carseat with simple adjustable harness length. It’s large enough to hold your infant up to 35 lbs and 32 inches long and provides the highest safety standards out there, so you always know your baby will be safe. The ease “Click & Go System” allows it to attach to any Britax stroller system without needing to purchase extra adaptors. The extremely large sun and rain canopy is a bonus for mamas dealing with weather. As you can read in our original review, we were very pleased with the Britax B-Safe 35.
What infant carseat do you have/are you considering? Anything else you consider when choosing a carseat?