Infant, Convertibles & Boosters OH MY!
Picking out a car seat is a very daunting task. Which stage do I need? Will it work with my stroller? How do I install it? These questions, and many more, plague parents. I present to you the next prize in #BabyGuyMotherLode: the Britax car seat—OF THE WINNER’S CHOICE!!!!
Need an infant seat? Need a convertible? Need a booster? I am going to offer you a few tips to help you use your seat safely and determine which seat will fit your needs.
Also referred to as “baby buckets,” you can immediately spot an infant seat by the carry-handle. The seats usually have a weight limit of 5-22 pounds, although many now begin at 4 lbs and end around 30-35, which is great for low birthweight infants and also allows you to use them in a travel system a bit longer. These seats usually install with bases, but most seats now allow you to install without a base by using the lap and shoulder belt in the back seat. Infant seats are ALWAYS rear-facing, and the AAP now recommends keeping children rear-facing until at least 2 years old. Your child is 5 times safer riding rear-facing (thank you, CPS Technician certification ;)). The harness in a rear-facing seat should always be at or below the infant’s shoulders, and tightened enough so that you can only fit one finger between the baby and the harness. Installing car seats is made easier now that many cars have the LATCH system; however, the tricky thing is that your child is 44% more protected by riding in the middle of the back seat, and many cars and car seats do not allow LATCH attachment in the middle—make sure you check your automobile’s owners’ manual, as well as your infant car seat to make sure. Many people think that as your baby’s legs hang off the seat, you need to change your car seat. Incorrect! Your child can ride in an infant carrier until their head hits 1 INCH below the top of the car seat shell. Once this is reached, or the weight limit has been hit, you convert to a:
A convertible seat is a car seat that can be used both rear and forward facing. You can usually use these from birth, which does eliminate another purchase—BUT you loses the portability that an infant carrier provides. I RARELY suggest not starting with an infant seat. Convertibles have weight limits that max out anywhere from 40 pounds on up. These are great because they allow your child to rear-face longer. Once your child flips forward (again, wait at LEAST TWO YEARS), the straps on the harness should rest at or above the child’s shoulders. Many parents have concerns about their child’s legs being bunched up due to rear-facing longer, but there are many comfortable ways for kids to continue to ride like this (cross-legged, legs up back of seat, etc). There are VERY few instances of injuries to legs in positions like this—just remember, legs heal faster than the spine 😉 It’s also advisable to keep children rear-facing as long as possible, but make sure you take notice of your seat’s rear-facing weight limit. Also, it should be noted that many automobiles and car seat manufacturers max out the LATCH weight limit at 40 lbs, but CHECK YOUR MANUALS!!! Once the child’s ears hit the top of the car seat shell OR the weight limit is reached, it’s time for a:
These seats are used to elevate the child into the proper position to be able to use the car’s seat belt. Many boosters now convert from a 5-point harness into a regular booster. If you can get those, they are preferred. This allows your child to be harnessed a bit longer, which is especially handy if you have an antsy child. Most boosters do not install with the LATCH, but a few now allow this. When a child is using the seat belt, the lap belt should rest across the child’s thighs—NOT THEIR STOMACH—and the shoulder belt should rest comfortably across their shoulder. ALWAYS use the shoulder belt, even when you’re out of a booster (which always has to be used with one). The shoulder belt might look uncomfortable, but it keeps your child from lurching forward in the event of a collision. Your child is ready to be taken out of a booster when they can sit with their back against the car seat, feet on the floor, lap belt across their thighs, shoulder belt across shoulder, COMBINED with the ability to sit still.
I am a HUGE Britax fan, and have actually been to their factory to see the tests they put their products through. I am THRILLED to offer the Britax seat of the winner’s choice.
HOW TO ENTER:
We will keep this one easy: go visit BritaxUSA.com. Which car seat do you want?? Difficult, right??
This is VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Three ways to enter:
1. Comment on the Blog
2. Comment on Facebook.com/TheBabyGuyNYC and leave that comment linked here
3. Tweet the following: “I entered to win the @Britax _________ in #BabyGuyMotherLode at BabyGuyGearGuide.com”
MAKE SURE YOU READ THE ORIGINAL POST HERE!!!!! http://babyguygearguide.com/babyguymotherlode