Tag Archive | "toddler car seat"

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.


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

  • 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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Basic Child Car Seat Safety Rules

When on the road with your toddler, it is not enough to use seat belts. Seat belts are physically unsafe as this cannot properly secure your fidgety toddler. This is why toddler car seats are imperative. Along with these seats, correct installation and use must be observed to make sure your toddler stays safe and happy during the entire journey.

Cars are the number one mode of transportation in the United States. Hence, knowing the basic rules on child car seat safety is very important. After all, nothing is more important than your little one’s safety.

Law On Child Car Seats

The Basics

  • Children under 8 years of age must be seated at the car’s backseat in a child car seat or booster.
  • Make sure you read the instruction manual of your car and toddler car seat. Take note of important details such as specific information about car seat installation.
  • Before deciding on a particular car seat, see to it you have the seat inspected by an authorized technician to ensure correct fit and size.
  • Your toddler’s car seat must come with a warranty. A return policy must be stipulated if in case the seat does not fit your car or if your toddler experiences discomfort using it.
  • Take note of the seat’s expiration date. Most often, toddler car seats have a 6-year lifespan. Make sure you check the manufacturer’s manual that comes with the seat.
  • Refrain from buying second-hand toddler car seats as these may have missing parts, can easily crack and sag which only puts your toddler at risk.

For Rear-facing Car Seats

Infant or Bucket Seats

  • Only use infant car seats until your toddler is 11 months old and weighs no more than 20 pounds.
  • A 5 point harness with a modifiable front gives the most protection. Its strap slots must be below or level with your toddler’s shoulders. The chest clip should be at armpit height, not on the neck or tummy.
  • Make sure the infant seat has an impact foam feature (to help minimize shock in case of collision).
  • Rear-facing seats should be situated in the car’s backseat and it must not face front air bags.

Convertible Car Seats

  • Switch to a rear-facing convertible car seat once your toddler hits the age of 1 and weighs no more than 35 pounds.
  • See to it that the convertible car seat has a 5 point low bottom harness and front adjuster feature.
  • Secure the harness straps below or level to your child’s shoulders avoiding the stomach.
  • Chest clip must be at armpit level.
  • Make sure latch hooks are used rear-facing.

For Forward-facing Car Seats

  • Use a forward-facing car seat until your toddler reaches the age of 4 and weighs at least 40 pounds.
  • Install in the backseat of your car, never on the front seat to avoid the air bags.
  • Keep the shoulder part of the seat belt fastened so the car seat stays in place securing your toddler a snug fit even when he tries to move around it.
  • Secure the car seat’s harness as firmly as possible to ensure a tight fit.

For Booster Car Seats

  • Use a booster car seat until your toddler reaches 9 years old and weighs more than 40 pounds.
  • Tighten the car seat’s seat belt in a snug and safe position. If needed, use your body weight to put pressure. Make sure to tug on the harness to be sure the car seat will not move.
  • Extra padding, a headrest, lap and shoulder straps must be present.
  • Secure the lap harness low over his hips, avoiding the stomach. Shoulder belts must be positioned crosswise your toddler’s shoulder and chest, avoid his neck and face.

For Combination Car Seats

  • Recommended once your toddler is between 10 to 12 years old and weighs at least 65 to 85 pounds.
  • Install car seat using only 1 of these methods – LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), lap belt or lap and shoulder belt.
  • Combination seats must have a high 5 point harness feature.
  • The harness straps must be above your child’s shoulders.
  • His ears must stay under the top of the shell.
  • His back must be flat against the back of the car seat.
  • If shoulder belt does not fit accurately, refer to the shoulder belt guide.

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