Archive | Toddler Car Seats

How To Choose A Booster Car Seat

A toddler car seat is crucial to ensure a toddler stays protected in a vehicle. If you feel your toddler is ready to move to a booster car seat, here are some tips you must keep in mind when shopping for one.

Research

First and foremost, you have to do your homework before you buy. Check the internet for popular brands of booster car seats and customer reviews so you have an idea which brands are worth checking. In addition, take the time to visit SaferProducts.gov and NHTSA.gov. These websites allow consumers to check for product recalls and a manufacturer’s safety track record.

Choose Between A Backless or High-back Booster

A backless booster seat is affordable and has better lap-belt placement while a high-back booster car seat has a 5-point safety harness, offers more support and security and is more expensive (depending on the brand). Most parents prefer getting a high-back booster for younger children since it provides more comfort.

Get The Correct Size

Getting the right fit is very important when buying a car seat for your toddler. Consider the size of your toddler. See to it your toddler meets the height and weight range of the booster car seat. Most booster car seats have a maximum weight capacity of 40 pounds. Getting the correct size will ensure your little one stays secure and comfortable in the car.

Look For Safety Features

Your toddler’s safety is very important while on the road. Go for a booster car seat that has a 5-point harness that fits your toddler well to protect your child in the event of a collision, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system to make sure the booster seat stays securely attached, cushioned seat for a relaxing ride and a side impact protection to support your toddler’s head from side to side. Most importantly, make sure the booster seat is approved by ASTM (American Society For Testing and Materials) to ensure it has been tested and has met current safety standards.

Check Extra Features

Check out booster car seat accessories such as suspended toys, a cup holder, snack tray, extra storage compartment and removable padding for easy washing.

Test It Out

Test driving the gear is essential. Try out the model in your car to be sure it will fit in your vehicle. The booster car seat should be securely in place with very little sideways movement. Have your little one sit in the booster car seat to make sure it is snug. Press your hand onto the seat to gauge its comfort level. The belts, especially the shoulder traps should be tight yet snug, not slack. There should be no sharp edges, cracks, loose items and chipping paint.

Do not be in a rush to make the switch. If your toddler has not reached the weight limit, keep him in a child-restraint car seat. Choosing a booster car seat should be done slowly but surely. Taking your time can help you pick one that best suits your toddler.

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Five Features A Good Toddler Car Seat Should Have

A toddler car seat is every parent’s best friend when driving. It keeps your toddler safe and happy so you no do not have to constantly check on him and lose your focus on the road. With all the choices available today, how will you pick the best one? Here are five basic features of a good toddler car seat.

Five-point Safety Harness

The first feature you should look for is a 5-point safety harness. Although a 3-point harness is okay, it does not offer ample protection for your child. These are straps that will hold your toddler in place without obstructing movement. There should be straps for each of your toddler’s shoulders, one each for his thighs and in between your toddler’s legs. This will provide your baby security as well as give protection against ejection (in case of  a head-on collision).

Head Protection

Every toddler car seat must have a head protection feature. This will give your toddler extra safety when it comes to side-impact collisions. The amount of head protection offered depends on the seat so go for toddler car seats with TSIP (True Side Impact Protection) or car seats with a layer of EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam.

Easy Installation

The third feature is the ease of installation. A good toddler car seat must be easy to install yet secure. Reports show that accidents in children mostly happen inside the car due to an improperly installed car seat. A toddler car seat wrongly installed can lead to injury and even death. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) website has a list of car seat ratings that will help you look for car seats that are easy to install and at the same time safe. Some car seat brands feature buckles on the backside for easy modification. You should avoid seats like these and go for a car seat with automatic adjusting features or front adjustment systems instead.

Comfortable

A good toddler car seat should be comfortable. Your toddler has to enjoy his stay in the car especially during long hours of driving. A well-padded car seat that will support your little one’s head, neck and back will help him stay comfy and relaxed for hours. In addition, the car seat should permit your baby to move his arms and legs and also watch the view from the window.

Easy To Clean

Last but not the least, a toddler car seat should be easy to clean. A toddler cat seat is used frequently and toddlers tend to be messy. As a result, the car seat easily collects dust and grime, therefore, it needs to be cleaned regularly. A car seat should have removable parts and a cover that you can take off easily. Also, you should be able to clean it just by vacuuming, brushing, wiping or placing it in the washing machine. Toddler car seats are quite expensive and a car seat that breaks easily or those that cannot withstand constant usage and washing is a waste of money.

There are a lot of toddler car seat brands available. They key to getting the perfect one for your toddler is to not get overwhelmed and prioritize what is most important – the well-being of your precious one.

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The Best Toddler Car Seat Brands

A car seat is an essential toddler gear you need to pick out early. However, shopping for a car seat can be overwhelming since the toddler car seat business is huge right now. To help you with your search, below are 4 brands of toddler car seats that captured the hearts of parents in the United States.

1.) Britax
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Britax is considered as the big player in the industry since this brand is one of the most sought-after manufacturers of toddler car seats to date. The team focuses on creating high-quality seats making them the safest and most comfortable brand of car seats.  All the models are packed with modern safety features that ensure the well-being of your toddler. You can be sure to find the perfect car seat from their extensive collection of infant, booster, convertible and combination car seats. Although pricier than other brands, Britax car seats are worth it since they were built to last for a lifetime, making them an investment you can pass on to your children.

Some of their popular models include:

Britax Marathon Classic (classic convertible)

  • Has a 5-point harness providing a snug fit around the body
  • Lined with energy-absorbing EPS foam for side impact protection
  • With integrated lock-off and extra padding
  • HUGS (Harness Ultra Guard System) which gives resistance to forward movement in case of collision
  • Available in black, denim, grey, pink and tan and in cow and butterfly designs

Britax Roundabout 55 (convertible car seats)

  • Has a 5-point, tangle free harness and 2 buckle positions to accommodate your growing toddler
  • Has SafeCell Technology and attached steel bars which distributes collision forces protecting the head, neck and body of children
  • Can be positioned rear or forward facing
  • Anti-slip
  • Portable (especially for plane travel)
  • Available in colors black, blue, grey, granite and tan

2.) Graco

Graco car seats are inexpensive and packed with features. Graco offers more cost-effective toddler gears, perfect for parents on a budget. They have a wide range of car seats that are all safe and practical. You can easily find the perfect rear-facing car seat and forward-facing car seat to appropriately accommodate your maturing toddler. Their best-sellers include:

Graco Highback TurboBooster Car Seat

  • Has a maximum weight capacity of 100 pounds (can accommodate a 3-year old child)
  • Converts into a backless booster seat
  • EPS, energy absorbing foam (for impact management)
  • Height-adjustable padded armrests and headrest
  • Has side to side hide-away cup holders
  • Open-loop harness for accurate positioning giving a tight yet comfortable fit
  • Offered in colors black, brown, grey, red and white

Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat
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  • Has a 100 pound weight capacity
  • Steel reinforced frame providing resilience and stability
  • EPS, energy absorbing foam and side impact protection
  • 5-point harness system
  • 3-position recline
  • Adjustable headrest
  • Contoured armrests with cup holder and storage pockets

3.) Recaro

Recaro ProBooster Blue Opal

Recaro is the premier crafter of ergonomic seats for airplanes, boats and cars. This company has earned the reputation of developing high-class, durable and great looking toddler car seats which are made to stand the test of time.

Recaro Start IQ Car Seat

  • For toddlers from 0 to 4 years old
  • Hassle-free installation in 3 easy steps
  • A wrap-up type car seat giving your toddler the feeling of being held in your arms
  • Has an extended side protection offering higher head security
  • Inner cushion pads supports your toddler’s head
  • Highly breathable with its 3D air mesh material
  • Available in black, brown, pink and violet

3.) Cosco

Cosco car seats boast 4 features – comfort, design, quality and safety. The Cosco brand focuses on making affordable and superior toddler car seats making them a crowd favorite in the United States. All of their seats were tried, tested and proven to be safe by the Federal Government and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). Cosco designs are more modern, perfect for fashion conscious moms. Check out these car seats that earned excellent consumer reviews:

Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat

  • 5-point modifiable harness
  • 4 adjustable padded headrest
  • Has 2 modes – car seat and booster seat mode
  • Can be used rear-facing and forward-facing
  • Comes with a pillow (removable)
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) equipped
  • Offered in colors brown, blue and grey

Cosco High Back Booster Car Seat

  • Has a 5-point up-front adjustable harness (2 piece knob harness, 2 harness heights and 1 crotch belt)
  • With 2-position shoulder belts
  • Has a maximum weight capacity of 80 pounds
  • With detachable cup holder
  • Can be reclined forward-facing
  • Available in colors blue and green

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Finding The Best Toddler Car Seat Covers

It is a well-known fact that toddlers are exceptionally hard to please especially during car rides. Generally, car trips with toddlers are difficult, their short attention span and queasiness can sometimes take a toll on parents. Thus, a car seat is essential to provide comfort and security. To make the ride even more pleasant, adding a toddler car seat cover to his car seat can make a world of difference.

Toddler car seat covers are an incredible way to brighten up your car and make your little one feel extra special while taking advantage of its practical purposes. Admit it, your toddler can make a mess and ruin his new car seat in no time. So instead of regularly changing his car seat, why not buy a toddler car seat cover instead? It’s comfortable, colorful, fun, secure and provides adequate protection to your child.

Tips For Selecting Your Toddler’s Car Seat Cover

Toddler car seat covers come in different designs and styles, and with a wide range of choices, you will probably have a hard time just selecting one. To help you out, here is a guide to help you locate the best car seat cover for your toddler.

Tip # 1: Choose a car seat cover that fits your car.

Different cars have different sized seats. To make sure your toddler’s car seat cover fits, look at the back packaging of the car seat. You should be able to find a list of car seat models that the cover will fit into. If you are still confused, then ask for assistance. Do not just make guesses. Remember, if it is just too big or too small, it will be useless.

Tip # 2: Be brand conscious.

The car seat cover’s brand is another important factor. Always keep in mind that quality and your toddler’s safety should be on top of your list. Buying cheap brands of car seat covers only increases your expenses and add discomfort to your child. Search the web and look for brands that are famous for its superb quality. Check out customer reviews. Some popular brands include:

  • Baby Bella Maya. Offers fashion forward designs of covers, perfect for stylish moms. Most car seat covers are compatible with any toddler car seat. It provides additional comfort and protection with its extra padding, belts and straps.
  • Itzy Ritzy. The brand promises to deliver excellent quality and exceptional customer service. Car seat covers are designed with beauty, fun, function sophistication and style in mind. Also uses baby bamboo fabric ensuring your toddler’s sensitive skin does not get any irritation. Plus, it offers custom made car seat covers ideal for toddler’s with special needs.
  • Nomie Baby. An online store that offers car seat covers for a reasonable price. Its cotton and polyester materials are gentle on toddler’s skin. Covers are securely padded ensuring a peaceful and happy journey for the family.

Tip # 3: Remember the Five S’s.

Safety

Protection must be the number one goal when choosing a car seat cover. See to it that the materials are hypo-allergenic, no chemicals and other unsafe products are involved during production.

Savings

Budget is always an issue. Choose a toddler car seat cover that will not strain your cash flow. There are a lot of modern covers that are high-class, multipurpose and reasonably priced.

Season

There are special covers intended for the summer and winter season that offers additional comfort for your little one.

Shape

A perfect toddler car seat cover must not only be stylish. It needs to provide versatility, ample space for him to move comfortably, can snugly accommodate his height and weight and is user friendly.

Stability

The toddler car seat cover must be steady, able to hold your toddler even if he moves and can last wear and tear.

Tip # 4: Know the materials used.

Aside from looking good, it must be functional. Find a car seat cover that can be easily washed. You must also check if it can last through multiple washings and will not easily tear. You can also go for waterproof car seat covers. These are moisture proof, made from cotton fibers and prevent leaks. Plus, these car seat cover perfectly fits most toddler car seat designs. You can easily determine if it is durable by feeling the materials in your hands. If you are buying online, refer to its specifications.

Beyond style, always go for a toddler car seat cover that guarantees your toddler’s comfort and safety. Ask questions to help you find the perfect match for your toddler and your car.
 

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Tips For Buying The Best Toddler Car Seats

Your toddler’s safety is always number one on your list. One item that should be on top of your extensive list especially if you own a car should be a toddler car seat. Your little one is very precious that is why it is important that he travels securely. Thus, the task of choosing the perfect toddler car seat must not be taken lightly.

A toddler car seat is an essential child safety gear. It makes the travel bearable for the family and it provides comfort and security to your little one.

Toddler Car Seat Buying Tips

The best toddler car seats do not merely offer style but as well as comfort, function and safety. When buying your toddler’s car seat, think about these things:

Always Check Customer Reviews

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website provides a section that ranks toddler car seats based on four important features – assessment of instructions, assessment of labels, vehicle installation qualities and securing the toddler. Before visiting your local children’s store or searching online for car seats, always check the customer’s feedback first. This will give you a general idea of how efficient each brand of toddler car seat is.

Secure Your Toddler’s Height and Weight

Toddler car seats vary based on the height and weight of your toddler. If your toddler is still below the age of one, basic car seats are alright. But, if he is a little older, it is best to opt for the more high quality and modern toddler car seats. If your toddler’s weight is less than 20 pounds, a forward facing car seat is recommended until he weighs 40 pounds or when his ears are level with the car seat.

Know How Different Toddler Car Seats Function

Combination Car Seat

A more durable toddler car seat that accommodates the different height and weight changes of your toddler. It comes with a built-in-five-point harness ensuring your toddler is securely buckled in. This car seat can be used as a booster seat once your toddler reaches the maximum height and weight limit of the harness.

Convertible Car Seats

A convertible toddler car seat transitions with your toddler making it the best type of car seat. Rear facing car seats are best for infants to early toddlers (from 10 months to 18 months old) while forward facing car seats are for older toddlers (from 20 to 30 months old). These seats are constructed to offer comfort and security until your toddler is geared up to sit on the seat of the car by himself.

Belt Positioning Booster Car Seats

Best for toddlers from ages 4 and up and whose weight does not exceed 40 pounds. A belt positioning booster car seat must only be used forward facing. It improves your toddler’s sitting height making the shoulder belts fit more accurately. This toddler car seat includes a high-back, no back and base only style supporting your toddler’s head.

Preemie Car Seats

A type of small car bed that is specifically designed to accommodate toddlers with special needs (e.g. very small toddlers who cannot fit in standard car seats, toddlers who need to travel lying down due to a health condition, breathing problems and other physical conditions).

Prioritize Comfort and Function Over Style

Always buy a toddler car seat that is comfy and snug for your child, has comfortable padding’s, snug fit of straps and adequate space for the toddler to comfortably move.

Know Its Installation Process

Pick a car seat that is easy to install. Never go for modern car seats with a tricky installation process as this only adds the risk to your toddler’s safety. You know you correctly installed the car seat when it does not move more than an inch.

Buying a car seat for your toddler is like investing in an asset, it requires time and effort to guarantee safety and protection. In this way, the journey gets to be enjoyable for you and your little one.
 
 
 
 

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