Community Curated • Updated 03, 2019
Once your little one is out into the big world, you’re certainly gonna want what’s best for them. Best cribs and crib mattresses, best strollers, best carry slings, best baby blankets, and so on and so on.
Best infant car seats are other such items you can’t do without in the early days of your little one’s existence. They make it much easier to carry your baby around safely and comfortably, and are required by law in most countries for babies under the age of 1.
Whether you’re going to need them for everyday use or special traveling occasions, you’re definitely going to need an infant car seat at one point if you have a newborn on the way or one that has already arrived!
Now, we know what you’re gonna say. Sure, but how to choose one?! There are plenty of models and brands out there and how can I know which is the best one to pick? Well, we’re saying no worries whatsoever! We’ve got you covered in all important areas concerning infant car seats.
In our FAQ section, you can find the most frequently asked questions about infant car seats and in our product guide below you can find a selection of the best ones currently on the market.
So sit back, relax, and make the best choice for your little one without spending too much time and energy!
A little bit on the expensive side, the Doona infant car seat is definitely worth the splurge. First of all, look at the design! It’s like it has emerged from a super-cool sci-fi film that features hip mom and dad superheroes! And if the looks haven't caught your attention yet, wait for this next thing… The Doona infant car seat is one of the rare ones on the market (if not the only one!) that has a stroller integrated into its design. Yes, you read that right! If you’re fed up with searching for the right fit between your car seat and your stroller, then look no further because Doona offers you an easy and practical solution. You’ll be able to transform this infant car seat into a stroller in less than 10 seconds. The car seat has wheels and stroller legs that stay tucked away when you’re not using them, but which easily unfold the second you need them! If you’re one of those parents that has a limited storage space in their homes, then this is a perfect solution since it gives you a whole travel system in one product! And if you are wondering about the safety features, Doona has them all! Five-point harness with adjustable handlebars, and it also includes a 3-layer side impact protection. The adjustable handlebar is also designed to act as an anti-rebound bar in the insides of the car. The fabric of the car seat is removable and easy to clean. The fabric is breathable and safe for your baby, so you can easily leave them all day in the comfy seat, if it takes, without worries! So, besides the price, there’s nothing much we’d complain about when it comes to this infant car seat/stroller. It’s a great-quality, super-practical product that will save you tons of space and energy, and what’s more important, it will keep your little one safe at all times!
With almost 7000 Amazon reviews, this is by far the most popular car seat option on the market. This convertible car seat can be used as both an infant car seat and a toddler one. You can use this super-practical convertible car seat for rear-facing positions and forward-facing ones, going up to 50 and 65 pounds. Why is it a good idea to get this convertible car seat? Well, first of all, it has a 4-position extension panel that allows for an additional 5 inches of legroom. The Graco’s Simply Safe Adjust Harness System allows you to adjust the height of both the headrest and the harness easily, in one stroke. The headrest allows for 10 positions which are designed to grow along with your child, while the 6-position recline is there to keep your kiddo comfortable throughout their growing process and their fun rides. Wondering about Graco’s safety performance? Well, you don’t have to! This superbly-crafted convertible car seat has been through a number of rigorous tests and passed them all! Among them is the US Standard FMVSS 213, as well as side-impact tests that have proven the efficacy of the built-in 5-point harness system. The InRight LATCH system makes up for a super-easy, one-second LATCH attachment. The Graco convertible seat has included a level indicator for an easier installation process that’ll save you lots of time and energy, as well as wondering whether you’ve done it right or not. Another great thing about the Graco car seat is the seat pad which is machine washable - able to easily take in all the potential spills and messes and ready to get rid of them just as fast! There is another version of this Graco model that’s a 3-in-1 car seat, which is a bit more expensive. Both models are, however, definitely worth the money and trust because both of them are much beloved and, proved time and again, superior products!
The Britax B-Safe 35 is another popular infant car seat that offers extraordinary safety features and a great price, all in the same product! You need only to throw a glance at this firm, sturdy car seat, and you’ll see how it exhumes confidence and security! At one point it even reminded us of those fancy Formula 1 car seats! The great thing about Britax is that it can hold very small newborns, with a weight minimum of 4 pounds - you only need to use the included infant padding insert and your little one will be safely tucked in the car seat without further ado. As your child gets bigger and bigger, you’ll be able to remove the extra head and body padding and give more room to their bodies. The seat is deep and narrow and offers great side protection from potential impacts because it has energy-absorbing foam in the sidewalls of the seat. Britax has easily adjustable protection pads for the head of your little one, as well as a weight limit of 35 pounds, and multiple shoulder harnesses and strap positions so it can fit to the growing body of your baby. The seat base that comes along with the Britax car seat can be easily attached to the car with the latch system or the seat belt of the car, depending on what you prefer more. This car seat is perfect for smaller cars that have less room in the back and require narrower car seats for a better fit. So, if you’re looking for a compact infant car seat solution that will accommodate perfectly with the size of your car, then this is the one for you!
Are you looking for a car seat that will last for a long time? The Graco 4 in 1 is designed to grow along with your child, which is a big advantage if you don’t want to spend money buying different sized car seats throughout the years. This amazing car seat can support from 4lbs to 120lbs, and you would never have to worry that the safety of your child has been compromised at some point of their development. In fact, you can use this item for 10 years straight! Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 has been designed to protect your child in case of rear, front, side, and rollover accidents. The harness system can be adjusted up to 10 positions - it has a rear-facing harness, high-back booster, backless booster, and a forward-facing harness. Some additional features you’d love as a parent are the inRight LATCH system that allows easy transport and the RapidRemove seat cover that makes this car seat a breeze when it comes to cleaning. This is quite a popular product with parents worldwide - in any event, with more than 6000 Amazon reviews, how can you say no to this gem?
Do you want simplicity, ease of use, good-quality and a good price, all in one infant car seat model? Then look no further because Chicco KeyFit 30 offers you just that. Chicco has been a well-known name in the baby essentials industry for quite some time now, and it never fails to deliver quality products for reasonable prices. Their infant car seat is one such item. This product is said to be one of the easiest car seats to install currently on the market. So, whenever you’re in a hurry, you won’t need to additionally worry that you haven’t secured your little one’s seat well enough or tight enough, or accurately enough - Chicco will make it much easier for you. The base is super-simple to install, with only one tightener in the middle of it that secures it tightly in place. The designers have also made sure to include a reader that tells you whether the car seat has been positioned correctly. And, of course, there’s always that “click” the seat makes once it has been placed in the base the right way. What’s more, the five-point harness is made to be easily pulled and tightened with only one hand. If you already have a stroller, Chicco includes a KeyFit adapter that’s compatible with most strollers out there, which means you can easily take your little one out of the car and put them in the stroller without much effort. This is an overall great infant car seat that makes it super-easy for you to travel around with your little one. And if you have a really small baby (minimum weight of 4 pounds), the Newborn Positioner will help your child fit right in through the removable head and body support system.
There are different types of baby car seats depending on the age of the baby and its particular use and location in the car. These are the main types of baby car seats:
Infant car seat - as the name itself says, this is a car seat designed for a newborn baby which can last till they’re about 2 years of age and the appropriate weight limit (from 20 to about 35 pounds). The infant car seats are meant to be placed in the rear-facing position. The good thing about them is they can also be used as carriers. A lot of these models can be attached directly into the car seat or can also be attached to a base strapped in the seat of the car. If you happen to have more than one car, then you can also purchase multiple bases.
Convertible car seat - these car seats are a mixture of infant car seats and toddler car seats. They’re designed to last from age 0 to about age 3, which means they should give you an additional year of use over the regular infant car seats. You can use the convertible car seat in both the rear-facing position and the forward-facing one - it all depends on the weight of your baby. The forward-facing position is used for children that have reached the age of 3, while the rear-facing one is used for babies up to 3 years old. The bad thing about these convertible car seats is that you can’t really use them as an infant carrier. Also, they’re bulkier than regular car seats, harder to move from car to car, and don’t have any bases.
3-in-1 Seats - dovetailing on the convertible car seat model, the 3-in-1 seat model can also be used as a booster seat. If you’re a super practical parent and want to save a buck, then this seat might be a great idea. All you have to do is buy one such seat and it can grow along with your child in both rear and front-facing positions, and then fulfill its use as a booster seat until your kiddo ditches car seats in general and just uses a seatbelt.
Booster Seat - booster car seats can be used only in the forward-facing position. They usually go by weight requirements, and the minimum weight for your child to use them is 30 or 40 pounds, which depends on the model you choose. The good thing is that these car seats are not easily outgrown, since they can be used till your kiddo outgrows the need for a car seat in general.
Depending on how much you use it, how fast your baby grows, and the size of the car seat itself, the infant car seat can last somewhere between 6 and 24 months.
Babies grow by different rates so it’s hard to pin down the exact moment they will outgrow it. But, it’s important to remember that as soon as your baby goes over the weight and height limit of the car seat, then it means it’s definitely time to replace it with a bigger one.
NOTE: Like most products out there, infant car seats also have an expiration date. When purchasing one, make sure to check the guarantee or information leaflet about the particular seat. The same goes for a used seat that you plan on using from your older child.
The currently recommended age for using a car seat is from age 0 to 8-12 years old, depending on the child’s height (up to 4 feet and 9 inches). Guidelines say that your child must only ride in the back seat of your car till they turn 13.
The majority of infant car seats have a weight minimum of 22 pounds and higher. However, when purchasing an infant car seat, it’s best to check the information leaflet or instruction manual provided by the manufacturer in order to be sure about the weight limit of the particular model.
Your baby’s safety and comfort are the most important things when choosing an infant car seat. Those two main criteria can be found in these several important factors you should look for in an infant car seat:
Safety indications - look for infant car seats that satisfy the government-regulated safety indications. Look for precise and clear safety instructions from the manufacturer. Have in mind that a large part of the safety issues coming from car seats are related to faulty installations. Some infant car seat models have built-in indicators and leveling systems which signal if they’ve been installed correctly. Also, some more premium models include extra safety features such as high-quality materials and padding, and also enhanced shock absorption.
The fabric of the seat - look for a type of fabric that’s both comfortable for your little one, durable enough, and easy to clean since your baby is very likely to make a mess of it, quite often.
Size - not all car seats have the same shape and size. Make sure the one you choose fits the size of your car.
Stroller compatibility - getting a travel system that includes both a stroller and an infant car seat is always a good idea. If, however, you already have a stroller and are only looking for an infant car seat, and you want to make a travel system of your own, then you should check whether your preferred car seat is compatible with your stroller.
Installation - car seats are usually installed either with the seat belt from your car or a latch system. The latch system is considered an easier way to secure the infant car seat, since it has its own tethers and anchors.
New and used car seats - it’s advisable that you always buy a new infant car seat since a used one might be damaged or worn out. If you do get a used car seat, then make sure to check the expiration date and also check whether the model you’ve bought has been recalled from the market in the past.
Infant car seats are a great way to have your little one while you’re doing your daily chores with the car, or if you’re going for a shorter or longer trip, as well.
Whatever you’re doing, your baby’s safety must always be a priority number one, which is why choosing the best infant car seat can be a bit challenging. Luckily though, you have us!
We give you a small selection of the best infant car seats currently on the market. Yours is only to look at this list again and make the final purchase!