Things to think about when choosing a baby car seat

When traveling on a road trip with a baby in tow, there are lots of essential items to remember. Whether it’s snacks and toys or music and blankets, the list of what you need to bring with you is long! Before you even get started, you’ll need to purchase a baby car seat to put your child in while on the road. Like anything safety-related, choosing the right one is crucial. There are a number of different factors to consider, so here’s a quick overview of what you should be keeping in mind when you make your decision.

What are the different types of car seats to choose between?

There are a few different types of car seats available, and the right one for you will mainly depend on the age and weight of your child. The different types include:

  • An infant car seat is designed to be used from birth up to around 15 months old (depending on the child’s height and weight). They are rear-facing seats, which is an absolute must for safety at this age, and provide plenty of protection for your baby’s head and neck. They can be easily removed from your car and carried, which is ideal for undisturbed sleep or use in multiple vehicles.
  • A convertible car seat is a popular alternative that can be used in both a rear-facing and forward-facing position. This means that it can be used from birth all the way up until your child outgrows the need for a car seat. The downside is that they don’t double as a carrier because they are not portable, and it’s harder to move them between cars.
  • A booster seat is only to be used in a forward-facing position and is for older kids who are not quite tall enough to go without a car seat at all. Some have buckles of their own, while others can be used with your car’s normal seatbelt.


All car seats sold today are required to meet certain rigorous safety standards, but you may wish to opt for a model that goes beyond this. Some have additional features, such as side-impact protection systems and anti-rebound bars. It’s not advisable to buy a second-hand car seat, as you cannot be sure of its safety and condition. You should also always install your baby’s car seat in the back seats if possible and deactivate the airbag in the front seat if not.


In addition to being safe, of course you also want your baby to be comfortable in their car seat. Check the feel of the padding and the straps, and also consider how easy it will be to install and to clean up the inevitable messes that will occur! Additional accessories such as a sunshade or a mirror that enables you to see your baby’s face when they are in a rear-facing seat can be nice touches. Some are also compatible with strollers for extra convenience. Happy travels!