Mama Junior | Buyer's guide and review for best baby car seats

Mama Junior

Motherhood | Parenting | Family

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Before you buy a car seat for your baby, consider this


The importance of a car seat cannot be overstated

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a 71 per cent death risk reduction rate for children less than one year who use a car seat. It is these figures that has put Jackson Craig, a car seat seller, on a mission to inform parents on what to look out for when buying a car seat from the weight of the child to the position it faces.

A lot goes into buying a car seat, says Craig. However, in order to ensure maximum security for your child, certain key considerations have to be looked into.

First, Craig insists that all children should travel in a car seat.

“Kids should be placed in car seats at least until they are 36kg which corresponds to around 12 years,” he said.

This car seat changes over time as the child grows.

One of the first considerations parents should look into when choosing a car seat is the child's weight and age.

“Any child zero to nine months has to sit in a back facing car seat,” remarks Craig.

These type of car seats are usually placed in a reclining position therefore if there is an accident the child will not be thrown forward.

“Kids below nine months can't sit in a forward facing car seat because their backs are not well developed enough to sit upright for long,” added the car seat entrepreneur.

“When an an accident happens the head is thrust forward and for children below one year, the impact is so high such that their brains might move causing them brain damage, breaking their neck and spine,” added Craig.

ALSO READ : The top 3 car seats you will need from birth to nine years

The front facing car seat is for older children usually above one year. In this car seat, the child seats upright. For a child transitioning from a back facing to a front facing car seat, Craig advises parents to get one with extra padding.

“The extra padding is usually around the head area and it helps to increase comfort. For instance if a child dozes off, they will not strain their neck because there is padding to the left and right side of the head,” explains Craig.

The paddings are removable and can be taken off when the child is older. Some of the front facing car seats also come with adjustable headrests which can be increased in height as the child grows.

As the child grows older, some front facing car seats offer the option of removing various parts of the seat such that in the end one is left only with a booster seat.

“At around four years old you can remove the cushioning and belts so that you use the car safety belt instead. At a later age still the back part can be removed so that only a booster remains,” explained Craig.

He goes on to add that most manufacturers make the front facing car seats n such a manner that the various parts can be easily removed and put back together for another child.

According to Craig, the booster seat can be used until the parent feels that the child is ready to transition to the car safety belt in that it is comfortable and fits them well.

Another consideration when purchasing a car seat is the type of harness. The harness helps to hold the child back in the case of an accident. It comes either as a three point or five point. The difference between the two is that whereas the normal three point harness holds the child in place across the shoulder and hip areas, the five point harness has additional hip straps, therefore making it more secure.

britax baby car seat
The five point harness secures the baby at five different points

Parents should also decide whether they want a car seat with a base or not.

“Normally this applies to the back facing car seat and it just helps to increase stability therefore making it more safe,” said Craig.

She goes on to add that one can even leave the base behind in the car and just carry the baby in the car seat which sometimes resembles a cradle.

Whatever type of car seat one plans on buying, Craig advises that safety and comfort should be top priority.

“If your child is comfortable then you are assured of a smooth ride because kids tend to get irritated very quickly,” remarked Craig. Craig hopes that this guide demystifies the process of buying a car seat and make it much easier to acquire one.


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The top 3 car seats you will need from birth to nine years

A car seat is the only baby item that new parents…


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