Finding the “perfect” infant car seat can feel like a major decision.
With our first, my husband and I didn’t actually plan to get an infant seat. We were going to go straight to the convertible car seat to save money. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with this plan, my mother in law bought us an infant car seat for our baby shower and we did get a ton of use out of it.
Now that we are on baby number two, I am definitely planning on getting an infant car seat. It’s a very convenient thing to have and I think it will help with the transition to two kids I have to get in and out of the car every time we stop. (I’m tired thinking about it y’all)
So that brings us to the actual process of choosing an infant car seat. Which can feel really overwhelming even when you’ve been through the process once before. These are a few factors I’m considering and then I’ll let you know which infant car seat we end up with!
Is there a stroller you totally love? Be sure to find out which infant car seats are compatible. If you don’t have your mind made up on a stroller but you do want a travel system, go to the store and “test drive” a few options. You will probably find something you prefer.
To be totally honest, car seats all have to pass the same tests. They are all safe. Sure some come with additional bells and whistles and convenience features. But they are all safe. You are far more likely to have an opinion about how a stroller pushes than how an infant car seat feels to carry.
I was skeptical, but the convenience of a travel system is really so nice!
In our case, we are getting a BOB duallie as our only double stroller. And the BOB Revolution is our single stroller. It fits our lifestyle and needs and I just love the stroller a ton. This means I am going into the infant car seat shopping process knowing there are only a few brands that are compatible with the stroller I’ll be using.
If you are near a buybuyBaby they are a totally awesome resource. They can help you see how each car seat installs then how it feels to get the seat on and off the base. These are huge huge factors.
If you are not near a buybuyBaby, Target does have a good selection you can get your hands on and test out. They don’t have the expert store employees or the ability to demonstrate how the seat installs into the car, but you can see which seat feels best to you.
YouTube videos are also a great resource, especially when it comes to install of a car seat. There are a few channels out there that will give feedback on how easy or difficult particular seats are to install.
Consider your car
If you, like me, are on the taller side, consider the size of your car and the size of the infant car seat you are looking at.
Now that we will have two car seats in our car, they will have to go behind the front seats. My son is currently in the middle which gives us more room. Now one of the car seats will have to go behind the driver.
I drive a small SUV so the back seat is decently large, but this is still an important thing to consider. My husband has a regular car so if his car was the one we were mostly using we would have to be even more conscious of getting a more compact seat.
Cost of the infant car seat
Obviously this factor affects everyone differently. Maybe you are on a tight budget or maybe you can spend as much as you like.
As I said before, every infant car seat is safe. They all have to pass the same basic tests.
Used car seats are one thing I won’t buy in an effort to save money though. If you are getting it from a friend or family member that is a good option, but I just don’t trust a stranger on the internet to be 100% truthful about the history of a car seat. Especially when I could be putting my child’s life at risk.
That said, make your budget before you start shopping for an infant car seat. You don’t want to find “the one” only to realize it’s wayyyy more money than you can spend.
Be sure to look out for sales. We are deciding on an infant car seat pretty early this time around because we want to take advantage of the Target trade-in sale. Car seats are already on sale and, by bringing in an old car seat to trade in, you get an extra 20% off. (At the time of writing this, the sale is almost over. I believe it ends tomorrow. But this is something they run at least once a year, maybe twice!)
So which infant car seat are we getting?
After looking at all these factors, we are purchasing the Chicco Keyfit 30.
It is compatible with the BOB double stroller.
The base of this infant car seat is the easiest to install that I have ever seen. This was a HUGE deciding factor for me!
It is slightly more compact than the Graco infant car seat (which was the runner up.)
With the Target sale, it was perfectly in the budget I had set for an infant car seat.
All around it is looking like the perfect choice for us. Once baby girl is here to use it I’ll be sure to do a review and see if it lives up to the hype.
How did you pick an infant car seat?
Which one did you use and did you love it?