How to choose a baby car seat
All children below the age of eight are required to use a car seat to promote car safety. Find out how to choose a baby car seat...
Buying an appropriate baby car seat for your child is imperative for their safety. And with the new rules on infant car safety in Singapore, a baby car seat is increasingly becoming a must-buy for parents who drive.
However, with the huge range of car seats in the market it can be daunting for new parents to choose a baby car seat.
We’ve made it easier for you by creating a checklist to help you choose a baby car seat.
Who are you buying it for?
Only parents know the age and size of their child, so get the measurements of your child before going to the shops, or better yet, consider bringing them along when you shop. This ensures that the baby car seat not only fits your baby but is also comfortable for them.
What vehicle are you driving?
Once you find a car seat that fits your child, you need to check if it fits your car. Some cars will be smaller than others and since no car seats are one-size-fits-all, you need to measure the dimensions of your vehicle to ensure that the car seat can both fit through the car door as well as sit comfortably on the seats.
What’s your budget?
Since a baby car seat is meant to keep your child safe, we suggest that you don’t skimp on cost. However it is good to have a budget in mind so that you can find a car seat that suits your needs, meet safety requirements and still won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
If you really are on a tight budget, you might want to consider getting a used car seat. New car seats can cost anywhere from $400 upwards while used car seats cost around $150 and are usually negotiable. You can shop for preloved baby goods on our Facebook group.
Do note that safety experts warn about buying a preloved car seat unless you know and trust the person selling the item. That's because they may have been damaged in an accident.
What are your needs?
Do you need a car seat that can be fitted to a stroller because you are always on the move and need your baby to travel with you most times? Or, do you just need a standard no-frills car seat to just bring baby back and forth for their doctor’s appointments?
Once you have figured this out, you will be in a better position to decide which car seat suits your family’s lifestyle.
Know the market
Once you have checked off those preferences, it is time to choose a baby car seat. These are the three main types and kinds of car seats in the market right now which fit all budgets and lifestyles:
- Children under six months require a rearward-facing child seat or infant capsule. Infant capsules such as those from Quinny and Maxi-Cosi come in travel system compatible versions, so you can easily disconnect them from your car and transfer them to the corresponding pram. This is especially useful for easy transference of sleeping babies.
- Children aged between six months and four years need a rearward-facing child seat or forward-facing safety seat with an inbuilt harness. The rearward-facing seat has been known to better protect the head, neck and spine of infants and toddlers in an accident while a forward-facing seat allows you to keep a close eye on your child and let them see the road as well.
- You can also consider getting a convertible car seat which is suitable for infants up to around the age of four (depending on the weight of the child). This is our favourite pick because of their adaptability and long term usage.
We hope these tips will help you when you choose a baby car seat for your child.
The video below has further information on how to choose a baby car seat that is right for your child.