Car Seat and safety – Necessity or Fad?

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In India, Car seat Safety is not mandatory for children. But not only are car seats safer but much more comfortable than carrying the baby in arms -both for the parent and the child. Afterall as adults, we too wear a safety belt!

car seat safety

Many parents I met didn’t feel the need to pick an infant seat and by the time their kids are toddlers they are so used to sitting on their own that a car seat is too alien a concept.

Being in nuclear setup we knew we wanted to move out more often even after the baby. We did not want to miss on our social life or going on road trips. So buying a car seat was imperative.

Types of Car seats to choose from

  1. Infant car seat  – typically carries children up to 35 or 40 pounds and is rear-facing only.
  2. Convertible seat converts from rear-facing to forward-facing. It carries children from birth to between 40 and 80 pounds and 40 and 57 inches tall.
  3. 3-in-1 or all-in-one car seat can change from rear-facing to forward-facing, then into a booster seat for children up to 120 pounds. (Note: Some 3-in-1 car seats are not for babies since they’re forward-facing only.)

What helped me make a decision?

  • It’s cheaper to buy a convertible car seat instead of starting with an infant car seat and then transitioning to a convertible.
  • Also, experts say young babies are safer in an infant car seat. Many parents say their newborn seems overwhelmed in a convertible seat.
  • Nonetheless, if you go for a convertible, make sure it has padding or a newborn insert that helps your baby fit comfortably.

I preferred the Infant Car seat

We bought a Graco infant car seat when Kenisha was just 2 months old because

  1. This model can be used as a rocker and carrycot.
  2. It gives the baby her independent space when outdoors which is comfortable and cosy.
  3. And the best part is it is easy to safely place the car seat as a cot next to you or on the table or chair in a restaurant.

 

Tips on buying and using Infant Car seats

  1. Infant car seats must be kept rear-facing all the time.
  2. Make sure to read its manual so you can assure you are not only using it correctly but also installing it correctly. Know about the Latch system and how you can safely install car seat HERE
  3. The cushioned infant car seat ensures the baby is stable and comfortable in motion and speed.
  4. The baby is always in a lie-flat position which is great for their delicate structure.
  5. Ensure it has a 5 point harness which keeps the baby tucked in safely and comfortably.

Once kenisha learnt to sit she started hating her infant seat and we saw the sign to upgrade. So we picked a Mothercare car seat that also had a reclining option once the baby slept.

One of the biggest concerns most parents have is the cost. Here is a pro tip.

Buy a pre-loved car seat like us! It might cost you just one third the price but ensure it comes with instructions and a label with the date of manufacture and model number, isn’t nearing expiry or is more than 6 years old, has no visible damage or missing parts and has never been in a crash, even if moderate.

Hope I have convinced you to buy a car seat if you haven’t yet. And if you believe in safety you must explain and convince other parents

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  1. Car seat is must in US. Obviously because of it’s benefits, it’s the law. We use convertible car seat for my son and booster for daughter (very soon she will be free from booster as well).

  2. A very informative post for someone who is looking to buy a car seat. They are extremely important. I’ve also purchased a preloved car seat.

  3. If little children are in the car a car seat is a must.A Pre-loved car seat is a great idea if the quality is good.A great way of getting the job done without crashing the budget,

  4. Rule or no rule, a standard rule for a family with a baby or toddler is a car seat. Why hesitate to spend a few thousands for the safety of the kid? Glad to read a post encouraging the use of car seats.

  5. I can’t stress more on this fact, that it’s important that we have car seats for our little ones..

    Highly recommended

  6. Car seat is a breather. I feel they should have a mandatory rule for car seat in India as well. I get so worried when I see people holding infants on a bike. These tips you have given is so helpful for people who have made their mind to use car seat and to the ones who want to