We know you can not wait to take your small cute newborn home from the hospital — and then to Grandma’s house and the park along with the library. But if you’re planning to generate any of those trips in a car or taxi, you know everything you will need to look for? The Best Car Seats For Infants.
What is an infant car seat?
Infant car seats are essential — you won’t be able to leave the hospital without having a rear-facing car seat available or installed in your car.
While there are other types of baby car seats that can suit young babies, an infant car seat is made specifically for newborns. Infant car seats offer more support for your little one’s head, neck and spinal cord (all of which are still growing stability and strength ) and face toward the rear of the car, a must for early childhood safety.
This may be particularly beneficial in the first newborn days when you will do just about anything to not disrupt a baby who’s contentedly snuggled in her car seat.
Why you might want an infant car seat
You do not own a car or may often be travelling with a baby in cars that are not your own. Infant car seats can normally be installed more easily than the convertible car seat.
The major seat of your stroller has a minimum weight or age requirement. Some strollers aren’t acceptable for newborns without a harmonious infant car seat, especially jogging strollers and people without a seat that can lay completely flat.
You intend to transfer your child from the car to the stroller on a normal basis. Many infant car seats can be clipped into compatible full-size strollers, which means it’s possible to go from car to stroller without unbuckling baby.
Choosing the best infant car seat for you
All car seats sold from the U.S. must meet government safety standards. But that does not mean all baby car seats are the same. A few factors to consider when shopping for an infant car seat:
Can it be installed easily? Some infant car seats have additional safety checks that help you ensure your seat is properly installed.
Check how easily your seat can be installed with this helpful graph from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and get your car seat checked at a fire station, baby store or police station to make sure that you know how to correctly set up it before your child arrives.
Can it be installed easily? Babies get messy, and you’re going to want an infant car seat that could easily be cleaned. The cover must come off and be machine-washable.
Can it be installed easily? Not every stroller can attach to each infant car seat. Check with both manufacturers before settling on a stroller-car seat combo.
Even if they can’t be attached out of the box, some strollers have adapters for frequent car seats.
Can it be installed easily? You want to maintain your baby rear-facing for as long as you can, and you’ll also want to get the most time from your investment.
There are tons of models to choose from. Here, our best picks for the very best infant car seats.
Best Infant Car Seat
Why We Love It
The Chicco KeyFit is among the most popular infant car seats among What to Expect community members — and won 2019 Things to Expect Award.
The setup method is so straightforward, mother and Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) Sylvia Fallas advised us she’s installed this seat in under 30 seconds! You can not wreck the recline, thanks to a built-in level.
The Chicco KeyFit is somewhat heavy compared to another infant car seats, but that rarely deters safety-conscious parents from picking this model. It is suitable for children up to 30 pounds or 30 inches tall (and preemie parents also love the insert for babies weighing as little as 4 lbs ).
Best Car Seats For Infants for Extra Crash Protection
Nuna PIPA Infant Car Seat
Why We Love It
While the Nuna PIPA may not be the most wallet-friendly infant car seat on this list, it was the number-one pick among many of the CPSTs we consulted (not to mention, yet another 2019 Things to Expect Award winner).
These experts raved about the flexible base with a load leg, metal assistance that rests on the floor of your car for extra collision protection.
There’s also a red/green indicator that tells you when the base and leg are properly connected. Talk about foolproof!
If needed, the Nuna PIPA may also be installed without the base, due to the European seat belt path routing.
“I have got the Nuna Pipa,” writes our community member Headena. “Looooove it. The Nuna Pipa is among the lightest car seats… The base is super simple to set up using latch, but you can also strap it if you need to take a taxi or forget your base in someone else’s car.”
Best Budget-Friendly Infant Car Seat
Why We Love It
Among the biggest selling points of the Graco SnugRide? The unbeatable price tag.
But while it may be a no-frills choice, this car seat still offers plenty of benefits. It is lightweight, and many parents rave about the new Click Connect technology, which eliminates setup errors as you’ll literally hear a click when it is done correctly.
“I had the SnugRide together with my initial,” states community parent Shakira. “I liked it because it was fairly lightweight.
It is possible to use this infant car seat before your baby is 30 lbs or 30 inches tall so that you won’t be able to use it for as long as some other infant car seats with greater weight limits.
However, with its affordability, in addition, it enables you to invest in a bigger, longer-term option in the future.
Best Infant Car Seat for Families on the Go
Why We Love It
If you’ll usually be getting in and out of taxis with baby or logging frequent flier miles with her, the Doona will make your life so much easier.
Many parents love this car seat converts into a stroller so you don’t have to worry about carrying it out or unfolding a foundation once you reach your destination.
“I’ve [the Doona] and I love it,” raves community parent Sabia. “I love that carrying it on the bus is easy.”
Some parents find the Doona somewhat heavy, but the convenience of owning a car seat which may transform into a stroller still makes it a favourite.
Just remember: Infants shouldn’t be in car seats for extended periods of time. So while the Doona is great for running errands around town, it should not be used instead of a bassinet or even flat-lying stroller for longer captives.
The Doona is acceptable for babies up to 35 pounds and 32 inches tall.
Best Infant Car Seat for Little Nappers
Why We Love It
While infant car seats aren’t created for toting your infant around, let’s face it: Who wants to wake up a sleeping baby when he dozes off in the back seat?
The Cloud Q is intended to address this dilemma. In case your little one falls asleep while you’re on the street (and many do), you’ll love this infant car seat can completely recline when out of the car.
Additionally, it wins safety factors for its adjustable loading leg safety feature and linear side-impact protection (LSP).
The Cybex Cloud Q is a little heavier than some versions, but if you’re planning to be out and around for extended trips with baby, the safety features might outweigh the extra heft. The Cloud Q is suitable for babies up to 35 pounds and 30 inches.
“I’ve just bought the Cybex Cloud Q and really pleased with it,” says Hamida. “It fits into the stroller we intend to purchase and can lay flat when it [isn’t ] in [the] car, so perfect for newborns without the demand for a bassinet when on the go”
Easiest Infant Car Seat to Clean
Why We Love It
If you have ever had to deal with a diaper explosion or carsick baby while on the street, you will appreciate that the Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 has a readily removable seat pad that does not need you to thread the safety use.
The moisture-wicking fabric is also machine-washable and dryer-safe.
This infant car seat’s lightweight design has won over many parents. Also good? It is compatible with many strollers employing Maxi-Cosi adaptors.
“I totally love it,” states community parent Stacy. “I like how lightweight it is, how simple the cloth is to remove and it is comfortable to carry.”
As the name implies, the Mico Max is safe for infants up to 30 pounds.
Most Stylish Infant Car Seat
Why We Love It
Safety is the first priority when picking an infant car seat, but the UPPAbaby Mesa offers top safety features and a layout that parents love. The slick look does not come at the expense of comfort, either: The Mesa has generous cushioning at the centre and sides, and an adjustable headrest that’s reinforced for extra security in the event of a side-impact collision.
“The head support adjusts up and down together with the shoulder straps, and it can be a big plus in infant seats,” writes community member Rebbeca.
Another attribute many parents enjoy is the setup index, which switches from red to green to allow you to know that you have secured the seat correctly every time.
Best Infant Car Seat for Anxious Parents
There’s no getting around it taking your teeny-tiny baby home from the hospital is nerve-wracking. But parents that are extra worried about that first trip may breathe a bit easier knowing that they have strapped their newborn into a super-safe car seat for the ride.
While all car seats must meet minimum requirements to keep baby safe in the event of a wreck, Britax goes the extra mile.
The Britax B-Safe includes”SoftCell” cushioning — a steel framework covered with a foam shell that’s designed to absorb impact from both sides and transfer it away from the baby.
The B-Safe is also designed to be easy to install, giving nervous parents another boost of confidence. Level indicators inform you if the seat is placed properly, and if you want to switch cars for any reason, you don’t need to take your base along with you once you go — the seat can be installed in a car with just a seatbelt.
The B-Safe is safe for babies up to 35 lbs.
Consider To Read: Best Affordable Convertable Car Seats