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Picking a car seat can be a pretty daunting ordeal…so many options and safety features. How did you decide on your car seat? Which one did you get and are you happy with it? What are its pros and cons? -- Julie, Strongmoms Facilitator
The best part about being a parent of young children is there are many resources available, mostly other moms and dads that I trust. Whenever buying a baby safety product, I read the latest safety literature, access resources like Strongmoms, and talk to other parents in our circle. A good sturdy and durable car seat can last through multiple children, so it's an item that I was willing to spend almost any amount on to get the best possible one.
Our hospitals have really good information on car seats. Many even offer to sell car seats. Additionally our children's hospitals offer fit checking on some Saturdays for free. All great resources!
i say go with the newest and and up to date because the car seat law just changed agine
Thank you Bonnym for the heads up. After reading your post i did some searching around and this is the most up to date information i have found.
I shopped on line and read the customer reviews of different car seats (and other products) I was interested in. Reading the customer reviews was very informative as it tells you things about the product you might not otherwise find out until after you spent the money. However on something like a carseat, consumer reports might be a good source of information. I picked out a Saftey First carseat. It's really cute and has held up well, after 9 months it still looks brand new. It was one of the lighter carseats (12 pounds) but still has good durability. It has shock abosorbers (I think is what it's called) that helps protect babies heads from the impact that can result in a car acident.
With my first child it was all about the money...keeping it down! I chose a reasonably priced carseat that ended up being a great one! When I was pregnant with my third child I needed to upgrade to a Britax and I have been very very happy with that one as well. It is a nice transition car seat for a 2-5 year old and is very sturdy. It cost a bit more money but last a long time. It is already 5 years old and in excellent shape still.
Another thing to look out for with carseats is their expiration date. Most carseats and bases expire 5 years from the date of manutafture. That date is posted on a sticker on all carseats and bases. I was reading the other day that they expire after 5 years because the studies on the breakdown of plastc and their durability after that period of time is still inconclusive... something of that nature. I didn't feel the need to go into too much detail with the reason because i figure the regulation was set in place for safety of children and infants... Anyway make sure you are checking the dates and expiration regulations on your carseats. I think i have heard some places like babies r us take old ones in.. I don't know if there is a trade in value on them or not, but it may be worth looking into. Hazels baby carseat still has until 6/2015 before it expires, but i just realized that i have to bee pregnant by the end of next month to have full use of it before having to buy another. That seems like a really stupid reason to bring a baby into the world so I am gifting mine to my little sister, who is expecting her first very long awaited baby.
This is a great point - expiration dates are super important with car seats. I love the idea of you gifting yours to someone else if you aren't going to be able to use it in time for its expiration. Way to think ahead!