When it comes to the safety of your baby, a car is no exception. And this is where the concept of car seats for toddlers come into the picture. Toddler car seats come in three basic varieties: those that can be used only as a toddler car seat, those that can be used as both an infant and a toddler car seat and those that can be used as both a toddler and a booster car seat. While selecting the best car seat for your toddler, there are a number of options that you will come across and you have the pick the one that is not only safest, but also the most comfortable. It is also very important to ensure that your toddler car seat is compatible with your vehicle. Given here are some tips that will help you narrow down your choices and find a good fitting car seat for your toddler. Read on further to know the factors that need to be taken care of, while choosing a car seat for a toddler.
How To Buy Best Car Seats For Toddlers
Height, Weight & Age
If your baby is under the age of one, the seat needs to be in a rear-facing position. Get a convertible infant-toddler car seat to start your baby in a rear-facing position and change it to a front-facing position when he turns a little older. In case your toddler is above the age of one, a forward-facing car toddler seat would be fine. While purchasing a car seat, ensure that it is compatible with your child’s height and weight and he/she is able to fit into the seat comfortably. If you think that your toddler will outgrow the seat too quickly, you can get a combination seat that can be converted into booster seat when he/she is older.
Ease of Installation
If your car has been equipped with LATCH compatible hooks, you can get car seats that have the LATCH system for easier installation. In case your car is older, ensure that your toddler car seat can be easily installed with the seat belt. There are some car seats that contain small levels or gauges to help you make sure that they are installed at the right angle. The car seats having this feature are the best since they ensure optimal positioning.
The most important feature while selecting a car seat is comfort. The upholstery fabric should be soft. Avoid seats made of vinyl, as they are less comfortable and get hot in warm weather. Make sure that the seat is well padded, with layers of fiberfill and foam for maximum comfort. The harness straps should be sturdy and not have sharp edges. Car seat with padded straps and padded covers buffer the buckles to easily press against the toddler.
Ease of Cleaning
Carefully read the owner’s manual for instructions on how to clean the car seat. Some covers can be removed and machine-washed, while others simply have to be wiped with a damp cloth. Car seats with washable covers are a great advantage as toddlers are expected to make a mess often and you are the one who will have to clean it up.
There are some deluxe car seats available in the market with lots of extra features. These features may not necessarily be necessities, but they can make your toddler a happier passenger. Some such features include cup holders, clips to attach toys, pockets, adjustable armrests and removable pillows. Choose the best features that come within your budget.