Car Seat 101: Choosing the Right Seat for Bitsy

Choosing a car seat can be one of the most important (and expensive!) purchases you’ll make for your Bitsy!  A lot of thought and care goes into choosing a product that your little one will not only spend a lot of time in, but that you’ll be relying on to keep them safe from Point A to Point B.  But with all of the options, resources, and opinions out there, it can be hard to weed through everything to make the decision that’s best for your family!  Don’t fret — we’re here today to break down everything you need to know about car seats, so you don’t have to experience any buyer’s remorse!

Types of Car Seats

This can be the most confusing aspect of car seat shopping — how can there be so many different kinds?  While there are different makes, models, and different features, car seats can be boiled down to these 4 types:

 

 

  • Infant Bucket Seats: Aptly named, this seat has a bucket style, to help support your Bitsy in their early development stages.  The base of this seat detaches from the bucket of the carrier, allowing you to leave the base permanently seated in your car, while you can use the bucket seat’s handle to carry your little one from car to store to home, all without disturbing them!  These seats are rear-facing only for your Bitsy’s safety.  
  • Convertible Seats or All-in-One Car Seats: These seats are designed for easy transitioning as Bitsy grows, so you don’t need to buy multiple car seats once your little one begins to outgrow them!  These seats can be forward or rear facing, are a complete unit without a detachable base, and can be reclined in various positions for comfortability. These can work from infancy to toddlerhood, creating optimum versatility!  
  • Forward Facing Car Seats:  These are similar to the Convertible Seats, but won’t work for your child in infancy.  They must be used only once your Bitsy has outgrown the need for an infant seat and is safely able to ride forward facing.  These also do not use a detachable base, and will permanently stay in the car.
  • Booster Seat: These are used once your little ones have outgrown their car seats, but still can’t quite reach the appropriate height for seatbelt safety!  These car seats are designed to give Bitsy a boost, and are designed to be used with both the lap belt and shoulder belt.

 

 

When Should Bitsy Use Each Seat?

This is likely the next big question you have! The car seat you should choose for your little one is entirely dependent on their age and development.  Here’s a quick cheat sheet for you:

 

 

  • 0-2 years of age:  Rear-facing seats only.  For this age, you can choose whether you prefer to use the Infant Bucket Seat, or start right away with the Convertible or All-in-One option.  
  • 2+ years of age:  This is when your little ones can ride forward-facing!  This can either be a transition for your convertible seat, or you can purchase a Forward-Facing Car Seat.
  • 4-12 years of age: These next two ranges are a little more ambiguous, and will be dependent on the growth of your Bitsy!  Always talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns, but around this time, Bitsy can use a Booster Seat!  This will ensure that they are the right height to safely use their seatbelt.
  • 8- Adult: At this time, your child can fully move into using just the seatbelt!

 

 

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Now that you know the general guidelines for car seat safety for your little one, there are a few other things to keep in mind when doing your research for your purchase!

 

 

  • Fit: Make sure you use the above guidelines and know your little one’s height and weight — this will help you determine which exact style is the best fit!
  • Vehicle size: Keep in mind the size of your vehicle when shopping!  A small two-door convertible has less space than a four-door SUV.  You’ll be grateful you kept this in mind when you’re installing a giant car seat into your backseat!
  • Safety ratings and reviews: There are plenty of resources available to you when deciding which brand and style of car seat is best for you and Bitsy!  You can check out NHTSA or Safe Kids to start! You’ll be glad to have the peace of mind.
  • Durability and washability: These are mainly for your convenience, Mama!  Car seats can get messy.  Make sure you choose a seat that you’ll be fine cleaning, and be sure to choose material that is durable and sturdy.

 

 

Remember: you’ll be relying on this car seat to keep your little one safe on all your travels!  Pay attention to all car seat rules, regulations, and tips, and it will be smooth sailing for both of you!