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How to choose the right car seat for your child

Car seats save lives. It’s really straight forward because it’s true. Anything can happen on the roads and keeping your little one safe and healthy should always be priority number one. The question then becomes – how do you know which car seat is right for you and your family?


A little girl with a baby boy in a Joie car seat


There are a few key things to consider when deciding and they’re all unrelated to cost. The most expensive baby car seat is not always the answer and the cheapest one won’t always steer you wrong. The main factors you need to think about are your baby's age, weight and height and whether the car seat meets safety standards.


Newborns and infants need a rear facing car seat. The key here is your baby’s height – when their head is 1 inch from the top of the seat, that means they’ve already outgrown it. We’d recommend this great rear facing baby car seat from Joie as an effective option.


As your child grows, they’ll need to move on to forward facing car seats and, eventually, booster seats. For forward facing seats, your little one usually needs to be at least 2 years old (or needs to be growing very fast). A 3-in-1 wonder like this Graco car seat should do the trick until their head is above the top of the seat. When that happens, it’s time to move on.


The next step is the booster seat. These are for bigger kids and usually have no integral harness. Your child will be sitting high enough that a regular seatbelt should firmly secure them. Booster seats are ideal for kids from about 4 to 12 years of age with many sizes and options available. If you’re asking us, we’d recommend this comfortable Juniors travel car seat as an ideal booster seat for your little one.


Finally, and most importantly, you need to ensure that any car seat you consider meets all safety standards. Our recommendation would be to properly research any car seat you consider by reading reviews and looking into any safety issues or recalls that may have happened. Also, always buy brand new. When it comes to your child’s safety, taking a risk on a second-hand car seat is never smart and should always be avoided.


Happy trails!