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Car Seats

Car seats provide vital protection when you’re transporting your child. But whether you’re using an infant car seat, convertible car seat, or booster car seat, ensure that the model is correctly installed and adequately fits your child’s height, weight, and age. 

Types of Car Seats

Depending on his age, your child will require a rear-facing infant car seat, convertible car seat, or booster car seat. Selecting the right car seat can be tricky, though, as products have a wide range of weight limits and car-seat laws vary greatly from state to state. (Visit http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/childsafety_laws.html to find the current minimum requirements for your state). In addition, the National Highway & Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issue recommendations on car-seat use. Your best bet is to consult all three sources for the most extensive and up-to-date information.

Infant Car Seats

An infant car seat consists of two parts—a base unit that stays in the vehicle and a removable infant carrier that slides into the base but can be toted or clicked into a stroller. (This portability is especially useful for moving a sleeping baby.) Solely rear-facing, infant car seats are suitable for newborns up to 25 to 35 lbs., depending on the brand.
Shop Infant Car Seats
Mountain Buggy
$199.99 at Hayneedle.com

This Mountain Buggy Protect rear-facing car seat offers protection, versatility and comfort to your infant on the go. In black/sto...ne. PRODUCT FEATURES High side-impact protection with EPS foam 5-point safety harness with chest clip for enhanced safety performance Ultra lightweight, ergonomic & easy-to-move design at 8.3 pounds Ideal for transporting baby with minimal distrubance Seat can be installed with included click-and-go LATCH base or without base Travel system ready with recievers on board Included adjustable energy-absorbing seat wedge & head support inserts for newborns Compatible with all Phil & Teds & Mountain Buggy strollers as well as other popular stroller brands (adapter sold separately) PRODUCT DETAILS Rear-facing weight capacity: 4 to 35 lbs. For newborns up to 32 long Manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty Model no. CSPLATCH_200_USA Promotional offers available online at Kohls.com may vary from those offered in Kohl's stores. Read More

Maxi Cosi
$289.99 at Hayneedle.com

A comfort- and safety-minded car seat features Air Protect and G-Cell HX technology so little heads stay stable and comfortable wi...thin the adjustable headrest. Plush fabric, a harness cover, infant insert and adjustable, 5-point harness system keeps things stable and secure, while an adjustable base lets you customize the design even more. Color(s): envious red. Brand: MAXI-COSI. Style Name: Maxi-Cosi 'Prezi' Infant Car Seat. Style Number: 614007_4. Manufacturer part number IC090BIY Fits infants from 4 lbs to 30 lbs and up to 29Stow-away sun canopy Compatible with most premium strollers Base is plastic; seat is polyester By Maxi-Cosi; made in the USA and imported Read More

Baby Trend
$139.99 at Hayneedle.com

Shop for Infant/Rear Facing Car Seats from Cribs.com! The ultimate in lightweight comfort and safety the Baby Trend Flex Loc Infan...t Car Seat - Baltic is durably crafted for baby's comfort and your peace of mind. With a five-point safety harness that features simple one-hand adjustment and push-button release this baby car seat is intuitively designed for moms on the go. It's crafted of durable heavy-duty plastic with a smooth carrying handle and EPS energy-absorbing foam for superior side impact protection. The seat is versatile and adjustable with a four-position height adjustable base and back that requires no harness rethreading and flexible Flex-Loc latch straps. The Baltic line of the Baby Trend Flex Loc Infant Car Seat is designed in neutral stain-resistant charcoal and red and is suitable for infants between five and 30 lbs and under 30 inches. About Baby TrendFor over two decades Baby Trend has been developing innovative solutions to meet the changing needs of modern parents. As one of the worldwide leading manufacturers of juvenile products the company's goal is to provide reliable products at an affordable price. From the Snap N Go stroller to the Diaper Champ Baby Trend's revolutionary designs are celebrated by busy parents everywhere. Based in Ontario California Baby Trend protects your children with car seats and other products that exceed federally regulated safety standards. Read More

Maxi Cosi
$289.99 at Hayneedle.com

A comfort- and safety-minded car seat features Air Protect and G-Cell HX technology so little heads stay stable and comfortable wi...thin the adjustable headrest. Plush fabric, a harness cover, infant insert and adjustable, 5-point harness system keeps things stable and secure, while an adjustable base lets you customize the design even more. Color(s): reliant blue. Brand: MAXI-COSI. Style Name: Maxi-Cosi 'Prezi' Infant Car Seat. Style Number: 614007. Manufacturer part number IC090BIV Fits infants from 4 lbs to 30 lbs and up to 29Stow-away sun canopy Compatible with most premium strollers Base is plastic; seat is polyester By Maxi-Cosi; made in the USA and imported Read More

Infant Car Seat Bases

All infant car seats come bundled with a base. The latter remains in the car and attaches the seat to the vehicle. Families with multiple vehicles might consider purchasing additional bases so that it is easy to switch the car seat between the cars.
Shop Infant Car Seat Bases
Graco
$79.99 at Babyames

The Graco SnugRider Elite Stroller Base is specially designed to take up less space during transit. All Graco infant car seats can... be attached to this stroller base to function as a full stroller, freeing up trunk space for other necessary items. The infant car seat stroller frame is designed with a lightweight aluminum frame and can hold up to 30 lbs. It features a one-hand folding mechanism with automatic storage lock and all-wheel suspension. The front features single swivel wheels for easy steering. Other features include a parent's tray with two cup holders and an extra-large storage basket with zippered pocket. You will be able to take your baby where you go with ease with this black Graco SnugRider Stroller Frame. Read More

Graco
$99.99 at Hayneedle.com

Shop for Car Seat Accessories from Hayneedle.com! The only seat base designed for a convertible car seat the Graco Smart Seat Conv...ertible Base gives you the convenience of installing the base one time; it doesn t need to be rearranged when going from rear-facing to front-facing. Made to go with the Graco Smart Seat All-in-One Car Seat this base is reinforced with steel for added strength and durability. LATCH-equipped this car seat also features a seat lock-off so you can choose how to install the base. Locking indicators help to insure proper installation and the base is easy to clean with mild soap and water. Additional Features One-time install for ease and simplicity Also features a seatbelt lock-off Available in a soft gray About GracoWhen Russell Gray and Robert Cone joined forces in 1942 baby products were not their focus. The pair originally formed Graco Metal Products in Philadelphia Penn. The firm created machine and car parts for local manufacturers for 11 years. Gray left in 1953 leaving Cone as sole owner and Cone got the idea to manufacture baby products from a Graco employee David Saint a father of nine. Inspired by the idea of Mrs. Saint soothing her babies on the backyard glider the Graco Swyngomatic was born. The Swyngomatic sold millions catapulting Graco to become a leader in manufacturing juvenile products in the process. Since then Graco has set the industry standard with products like the Pack N' Play and the Travel System. Graco is one of the world's Read More

Phil & Teds
$79.99 at Hayneedle.com

Shop for Car Seat Accessories from Hayneedle.com! Easily transfer your car seat from one car to another with the phil&teds LATCH B...ase for Alpha and Protect Infant Car Seats. Designed to be used with the Alpha and Protect Car seats, this base features LATCH connectors that will attach to any car with latch anchor points. Able to easily click in and out of the base, you'll feel secure knowing that this base reduces the risk of not installing the car seat in the car correctly. Compact and flat with a slim fit, this base also features a level indicator to ensure that the base is installed at the correct angle. About phil&tedsBased in New Zealand, phil&teds extraordinary line of functional, durable baby products are sold in 50 countries worldwide. Their products are exceedingly tested for safety, durability, toxicity, environmental impact, flammability, you name it, and they exceed the safety standards in every country they're sold. phil&teds unique combination of intelligent design, rigorous safety testing and industrial hardware makes them some of the highest quality, most versatile and reliable products available for active, urban moms and dads. Read More

Travel Systems

Comprising an infant car seat and stroller sold as a set, travel systems give you double bang for your buck. The pieces can be used separately or together, with the car seat usually attaching directly to the stroller without needing special adaptors.
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Graco
$157.49 $209.99 at Kohl's

Combine convenience with style with this Graco travel system. Stroller Features One-second fold Multi-postion reclining seat Extra...-large storage basket Lightweight design Snugride Click Connect 30 Features Ultra-lightweight design Rigorously crash-tested Energy-absorbing foam Product Details Stroller: for children up to 50 lbs. Car seat: for children 4-30 lbs. Model no. 1893759 Manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty Promotional offers available online at Kohls.com may vary from those offered in Kohl's stores. Read More

Safety 1st
$132.99 $139.99 at Kohl's

Easily go from car seat to stroller with this Safety 1st travel system. In black/red. Product Features: Ultra-compact one-hand fol...d and stand Adjustable canopy with peek-a-boo window Multiposition seat recline QuickClick stroller attachment Car seat with side impact protection, infant head support and stay-in-car base. 5-point restraint system Child snack tray with cup holder and slide guard protection Parent organizer tray with two cup holders, large storage basket and fabric storage pocket Product Details: Includes: stroller & Comfy Carry infant car seat Maximum weight capacity: Car seat: 22 lbs. Stroller: 50 lbs. Spot clean Some assembly required Manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty Model no. TR263BSD Promotional offers available online at Kohls.com may vary from those offered in Kohl's stores. Read More

Disney
$151.99 $159.99 at Kohl's

Side impact protection keeps baby safe while a Winnie the Pooh and Friends print lends an adorable look. In brown. Disney Based on... the "Winnie the Pooh" works by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepherd Product Features: Ultra-compact 1-hand fold and stand feature offers convenience. Dual-section adjustable quilted and lined canopy with peek-a-boo window keeps baby protected from the sun. Multiposition seat recline grows with your baby. QuickClick stroller attachment provides easy placement into stroller. Comfy Carry Elite Infant Car Seat with side impact protection, infant head support and stay-in-car base. 5-point restraint system ensures baby is snug. Child snack tray with cup holder and slide guard protection. Parent organizer tray with two cup holders, large storage basket and fabric storage pocket holds your essentials. Product Details: 41.5"H x 22.95"W x 36.77"D Maximum weight capacity: Car seat: 22 lbs. Stroller: 50 lbs. Spot clean Some assembly required Manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty Model number: TR207AKU Read More

Baby Trend
$180.49 $189.99 at Kohl's

Baby Trend Outback travel system is the luxurious choice for Mom and baby, even featuring a parent tray with two cup holders for o...n-the-go snacks. STROLLER FEATURES Height-adjustable Padded handle Dual safety brakes Large storage basket Peek-a-boo canopy CAR SEAT FEATURES Car seat base easily installs with LATCH clips 5-point safety harness EPS energy absorbing foam PRODUCT DETAILS Stroller: for children up to 50 lbs. & 42" tall Car seat: for children 5-30 lbs. & up to30" tall Manufacturer's 180-day limited warranty Wipe clean Model no. TS25768 Promotional offers available online at Kohls.com may vary from those offered in Kohl's stores. Read More

Convertible Car Seats

Created with an eye toward longevity, a convertible car seat can graduate from being a rear-facing car seat for infants to a forward-facing car seat for older children. 
Shop Convertible Car Seats
clek
$249.99 $299.99 at Hayneedle.com

The first of its class in booster seating. Oobr is Clek's full back booster seat built just like the seat in your car but sized fo...r your child. Its metal sub structure and unique recline feature bring new "firsts" to booster seating. Oobr also easily converts into a backless booster seat and is tailored with crypton super fabrics a ride your kids can enjoy as they grow. Read More

Combi
$227.99 $239.99 at Kohl's

This Combi car seat is ideal for your family's busy lifestyle. Product Features Front-adjust, five-point padded harness ensures sa...fety. Energy-absorbing EPS foam liner provides extra protection. Four-position height adjustment grows with your little one. Rear-facing tether with connector strap delivers a secure fit. Cushioned seat pad and Tru-Safe buckle offer comfortable support. Forward- and rear-facing lock-offs provide safe and easy installation. Single-pull adjustable harness system, shoulder-belt retainers and washable seat cushion add convenience. Anti-slip material on seat bottom allows firm positioning. Compact, lightweight design fits in smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles with ease. Product Details 28 1/4"H x 14 2/3"W x 17"D Rear-facing: for children 3 to 33 lbs. Forward-facing: for children up to 1 year & 20 to 40 lbs. Conforms to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Standards Model numbers: Key Lime: 8220-62 Cool Mint: 8220-99 Cherry Pie: 8220-100 Chestnut: 8220-101 Carrot Cake: 8220-102 Licorice: 8220-105 Strawberry Shake: 8220-103 Hazelnut: 8220-104 Manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty Promotional offers available online at Kohls.com may vary from those offered in Kohl's stores. Read More

Diono
$223.99 at Kohl's

This Diono booster and car seat's convertible design grows with your child from newborn to toddler. Product Features LATCH-equippe...d Memory foam padding in seating area Deep sidewalls with energy-absorbing foam Full steel-alloy frame Aluminum reinforced sides Fits 3-across in a mid-size vehicle Industry leading 12-year product life Product Details Maximum weight capacity: Rear facing for children from 5-45 lbs. Forward facing in harness for children from 20-70 lbs. Booster for children from 50-110 lbs. & up to 57 in. Some assembly required Manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty Promotional offers available online at Kohls.com may vary from those offered in Kohl's stores. Read More

Safety 1st
$170.99 $179.99 at Kohl's

This convertible car seat by Safety 1st features Air Protect+ to provide your child with full body side impact protection. PRODUCT... FEATURES Air Protect cushion system combined with patented GCell HX hexagonal shaped foam for superior protection around the torso for full-body side impact protection QuickFit harness system with up front adjuster 4-position recline with easy rear facing installation Integrated cup holder Color-coded belt paths correlate with matching labels Instruction manual for improved ease of use Latch equipped PRODUCT DETAILS Rear-facing from 5-40 lbs. Forward-facing from 22-65 lbs. MODEL NUMBERS Saint Germaine: CC114CKQ Plumberry: CC114CKQ Twist of Citrus: CC114CLC Promotional offers available online at Kohls.com may vary from those offered in Kohl's stores. Read More

Booster Car Seats

Geared toward older children, these forward-facing seats “boost” the child up so he can safely and effectively use a car’s seatbelt system.
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Maxi Cosi
$249.99 at Hayneedle.com

Smooth travels are ahead for your whole family with the RodiFix featuring Air Protect Advanced Side Impact Technology that protect...s your childs head where its needed most in a side impact crash.With IsoFix rigid LATCH connectors and an adjustable recline to match the vehicles seat-back angle for the best fit the RodiFix is easier for parents to install. IsoFix connectors install in a flash which means transferring between two cars is a breeze. This belt-positioning booster also features a synchronized multi-height headrest and expanding side wings that grow along with your child and help ensure that the vehicle belts are in the correct position.The RodiFix Booster is specially designed to make it easier for children to buckle themselves in with a belt routing system that is easy for young travelers to learn. The stylish colors and premium fabrics complement any car and give your child a comfy ride. With all this and more its the booster the whole family will love. Read More

clek
$249.99 $299.99 at Hayneedle.com

The first of its class in booster seating. Oobr is Clek's full back booster seat built just like the seat in your car but sized fo...r your child. Its metal sub structure and unique recline feature bring new "firsts" to booster seating. Oobr also easily converts into a backless booster seat and is tailored with crypton super fabrics a ride your kids can enjoy as they grow. Read More

Maxi Cosi
$159.99 at Hayneedle.com

MXC1127: Features: -Booster seat.-AirProtect technology.-Multi-height headrest and expanding side wings.-Built-in retractable rigi...d LATCH connectors.-Front-access recline system.-26.5 - 31 H x 17.5 W x 16.5 D, 11 lbs. Collection: -Rodi collection. Warranty: -1 Year warranty. Read More

Diono
$223.99 at Kohl's

This Diono booster and car seat's convertible design grows with your child from newborn to toddler. Product Features LATCH-equippe...d Memory foam padding in seating area Deep sidewalls with energy-absorbing foam Full steel-alloy frame Aluminum reinforced sides Fits 3-across in a mid-size vehicle Industry leading 12-year product life Product Details Maximum weight capacity: Rear facing for children from 5-45 lbs. Forward facing in harness for children from 20-70 lbs. Booster for children from 50-110 lbs. & up to 57 in. Some assembly required Manufacturer's 1-year limited warranty Promotional offers available online at Kohls.com may vary from those offered in Kohl's stores. Read More

Car Seat Accessories

Common car seat accessories include sun shades, sleeping covers, rain shields, decorative fabric covers, mirrors, organizers, cup holders, seat protectors, car seat trays, newborn inserts, head supports, harness covers, pacifier holders, and travel bags.
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Phil & Teds
$79.99 at Hayneedle.com

Shop for Car Seat Accessories from Hayneedle.com! Easily transfer your car seat from one car to another with the phil&teds LATCH B...ase for Alpha and Protect Infant Car Seats. Designed to be used with the Alpha and Protect Car seats, this base features LATCH connectors that will attach to any car with latch anchor points. Able to easily click in and out of the base, you'll feel secure knowing that this base reduces the risk of not installing the car seat in the car correctly. Compact and flat with a slim fit, this base also features a level indicator to ensure that the base is installed at the correct angle. About phil&tedsBased in New Zealand, phil&teds extraordinary line of functional, durable baby products are sold in 50 countries worldwide. Their products are exceedingly tested for safety, durability, toxicity, environmental impact, flammability, you name it, and they exceed the safety standards in every country they're sold. phil&teds unique combination of intelligent design, rigorous safety testing and industrial hardware makes them some of the highest quality, most versatile and reliable products available for active, urban moms and dads. Read More

Maxi Cosi
$289.98 $299.99 at Hayneedle.com

Maxi-Cosi Prezi Infant Car Seat White Collection in Devoted Black - IC158BIZ - A new standard is born! The Maxi-Cosi® Prezi&tr...ade; Infant Car Seat combines two technologies which provide superior side impact protection for your little one from birth all the way to the thirty pounds. G CELL™ technology, an advanced patented rebounding foam technology with hexagonal shapes, mitigates FIRST IMPACT energy. Air Protect® side impact protection is designed to protect where it’s needed most – around the head – by immediately reducing impact forces through the precise release of air. Together, these technologies provide superior side impact protection for children in the event of crash. The Maxi-Cosi® Prezi™ Infant Car Seat doesn’t just provide your little one with safety. You and your little one can travel in style and comfort and with ease. The Prezi features a European-style sun canopy, ergonomic parent handle, easily adjustable head rest, and a deep seat pan which provides extra leg room. Enjoy being on the go! Features Superior Side Impact Performance: Featuring New G-Cell HX™ & Air Protect® technology Easy-out harness lifts out of the way 5-position no re-thread adjustable headrest 5-point harness with Center Front Adjust 5-position adjustable base with built in Rebound Control 1-click mini LATCH connectors Plush cushioned fabrics, harness covers, infant insert & boot European-style sun canopy stows away when not in use Compatible with a multitude of premium strollers including Quinny strollers* *Not compatible with the Maxi-Cosi Leila and Piazzo Travel Systems or the Quinny Yezz. Read More

Bugaboo
$54.95 at Neiman Marcus

BugabooDonkey Chicco Car Seat AdaptorDetailsBugaboo car seat adaptor allows select Chicco infant car seats to be attached to the c...hassis of the Bugaboo Donkey strollers. Allows parents to make it quick and simple to go from car to stroller. Compatible with the Chicco KeyFItAvailable in black. Designer About Bugaboo:Born from a final project in design school, Bugaboo was launched in 1999 by designer Max Barenbrug and physician Eduard Zanen. Bugaboo is a visionary Dutch stroller company that is constantly innovating with the goal of keeping people mobile - especially the littlest people. The line focuses on integrated functionality and streamlined design. Read More

Bugaboo
$45.00 at Neiman Marcus

BugabooMaxi-Cosi Car Seat Adaptor DetailsCompatible with Bugaboo Bee stroller, Maxi-Cosi CabrioFix and Citi SPS car seats. Importe...d. Designer About Bugaboo:Born from a final project in design school, Bugaboo was launched in 1999 by designer Max Barenbrug and physician Eduard Zanen. Bugaboo is a visionary Dutch stroller company that is constantly innovating with the goal of keeping people mobile - especially the littlest people. The line focuses on integrated functionality and streamlined design. Read More

Car Seat Toys

Mirrors, rattles, activity bars, plush toys, teething toys, and electronic gadgets are among the goods that can keep your child amused while she’s in her car seat.
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Melissa & Doug
$14.99 at Target

Find infant and toddler developmental toys at Target.com! The melissa & doug first bead maze encourages color recognition, hand-ey...e coordination and fine motor development but to baby, it just feels like play. This classic baby toy has a variety of brightly colored beads that spin and slide along red and yellow wire pathways. With its strong suction cup base, it's easy to attach to a car seat, high chair or stroller tray. Ages 1 and up. Read More

Infantino
$8.49 at Target

Find infant and toddler developmental toys at Target.com! Babies will go gaga for these moving characters! Pull down and watch the...se fun friends climb back-up. Easily links to car seats, strollers and activity gyms. Read More

Infantino
$7.99 at Target

Find infant and toddler developmental toys at Target.com! Babies will love this moving, jittery peter rabbit! Pull him down & watc...h this fun friend climb back-up. Easily links to car seats, strollers & activity gyms for travel. Includes a soft teethable radish! Read More

Lamaze
$11.19 at Target

Find infant and toddler developmental toys at Target.com! Captivate and entertain your wee one with the bright and colorful lamaze... captain calamari toy. Babies will love exploring the textures and sounds of this captain calamari baby toy, including its crinkly hat, clacking rings, 8 knotty activity legs, rattle and a surprise mirror. This lamaze toy comes with a plastic link for attaching it to a stroller, car seat, diaper bag or activity mat for stimulating play anytime, anywhere. Ages newborn and up. Read More

Product Features

All car seats sold in the U.S. must meet federal safety standards, but some car-seat companies include additional safety features to their models. Along with padded seats, harness covers, and cup holders, watch for parent-friendly options like infant car-seat handles, washable seat materials, and aids (such as bubble levels) that help ensure that you’re installing your car seat correctly.

Infant Car Seats

Most infant car seats come with a canopy, adjustable 5-point harness, and moveable carry handle. Many also include infant head and/or body support pillows that can be helpful for supporting newborns and are a necessity for some preemies. Car seats are available in a wide variety of colors and interior fabrics.

Infant Car Seat Bases

Each infant car seat comes packaged with a base; multi-car families might consider purchasing additional bases to avoid having to lug the base from vehicle to vehicle. Secure the infant car-seat base with either your car’s seat belt or with the base’s L.A.T.C.H. (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system. Some bases offer special leveling aids or recline options.

Travel Systems

Travel systems allow you to attach the infant car seat directly to the stroller without the need for additional adaptors. The systems come in coordinated color palettes for both stroller and car seat.

Convertible Car Seats

Designed to adapt to your growing child, a convertible car seat can be installed rear-facing (for infants 5 lbs. through 30 to 40 lbs., depending on the model) or forward-facing (for children 20 lbs. through 40 to 120 lbs.). Amenities may include cup holders, adjustable headrests, and/or removable infant head and body pillows. Unlike infant car seats, convertible car seats are meant to stay in the vehicle between uses. They also allow you to keep your child rear-facing past the standard weight limit for many infant car seats, a practice now recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Booster Car Seats

Booster car seats come in the largest variety of designs and styles. Some have backs, offering additional protection for the neck and belly; others are backless, simply pushing the child up so the seat belt can fit over her thighs and shoulder bone; and some have removable backs, offering the best of both worlds. Some new combination booster models include a 5-point harness system that allows parents to choose between the harness or seat-belt option. Some boosters have cup holders, armrests, and/or adjustable head supports. There are even inflatable booster seats that are ideal for travel.

Car Seat Accessories

You can make the ride more comfortable, protected, and stylish for your little one with a host of car-seat accessories. Seat inserts, head supports, and harness covers provide added padding; sun shades, rain shields, travel bags, and seat covers guard your baby—and your car seat—from the elements. Decorative fabric covers protect the seat material from stains and add a splash of personality.

Car Seat Toys

Car seat toys amuse your child with lights, colors, sounds, and motion. They may be plush or hard plastic and usually include a way to attach the toy to the car seat. Some car seat toys also can be affixed to a stroller or used on their own.

Purchase Considerations

When buying any car seat, bear in mind your child’s size and weight, as well as the size and weight of the seat. Ensuring that the model adequately fits your child—and that it can be correctly installed in your vehicle—are vital to increasing its effectiveness. Then you can focus on fun features like cup holders, seat padding, and fabric design.

Infant Car Seats

Infant car seats allow you to carry your child in the removable seat. First, factor in the weight of the carrier (plus the weight of your baby) as well as the comfort and design of the carrier’s handle. Next, think about the carrier’s interior fabric. Is it easy to clean? Does it coordinate with your stroller? Is it removable and breathable? With the current NHTSA/AAP recommendations to keep your child rear-facing until the age of 2, consider investing in an infant car seat with a higher child weight limit so you won’t have to purchase an additional rear-facing seat when your child reaches that milestone.

Infant Car Seat Bases

Check your car’s manual to see if it allows for L.A.T.C.H. installation. Determine the base’s measurements to ensure that the piece will fit securely in your vehicle, especially if you have multiple car seats in the back seat.

Travel Systems

Although travel systems offer the benefit of a coordinated, easy-to-connect stroller-car seat combo, many of the strollers in these duos are on the bulkier side and lack the maneuverability, amount of recline, and/or compact fold of non-paired options. Most stroller brands now offer car-seat adaptors to attach a variety of infant car seats to their models. 

Convertible Car Seats

Convertible car seats allow you to use one car seat from a child’s birth until she’s roughly 3 or 4 years old. But unlike infant car seats, convertible seats do not allow you easily to move a sleeping child from a vehicle to the house, store, or stroller. When shopping for a convertible option, look for a seat that offers the comforts that a newborn would need (such as a recline and head pillow) and the conveniences that an older child would appreciate (including a cup holder and armrests). And make sure the seat’s interior material is washable. After all, four years = lots of crackers crumbs, sippy cup spills, and diaper blowouts.

Booster Car Seats

Depending on the car seat laws in your state, your child may be in a booster until the age of 8 — an age at which your child may have strong opinions about the look of the booster. Consider skipping the cutesy prints and opting for a subdued color and mature style. Backed booster models provide better support for car sleepers; backless boosters are more compact and easier to switch between cars. Combination harness-booster seats give you the option to secure your child with the 5-point harness or a seatbelt—a nice touch that allows the seat to adapt to your growing child.  

Car Seat Accessories

Some car seats come with accessories such as cup holders or infant inserts, so be sure to check what’s included with your model before purchasing additional items. 

Car Seat Toys

Infants can easily get over-stimulated, so limit the number of car seat toys you purchase. Buying ones that also can be used in the stroller or house will help you get the most bang for your buck. 
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