Car Seat Search
There's a wide range of these to choose from, depending on which style and brands you decide to invest in for your "travel system". It's all very overwhelming, but one things for sure, no new born looks right or comfortable in one of these! You'll need to consider how much driving you'll be doing with baby in tow and how convenient the infant bucket seat will be. They can run $200-$300 a pop and will realistically only be used for up to 6 or so months. Since we do a lot of walking, we opted for the convertible car seat which should last us for many years into childhood. Granted, putting our newborn into it made me a nervous wreck up until about 6 weeks old when she fit slightly better, but overall it suited us well. Considering our stroller system came with a bassinet which she spent most of the first 3 months in, the infant bucket seat would have been an added expense we were best to divert elsewhere. A few things to keep in mind;
  • Infants are advised to stay in a car seat for no more than 2 hours at a time due to development and breathing difficulties.
  • Car seats have expiry dates, so if you're getting a hand me down, keep this in mind. Also it's strongly suggested to not buy second hand as you don't know the seats history and if the shell has been compromised and weakened.
  • Canada has specific rules and regulations on car seats, so if you're thinking of buying the exact same seat for cheaper across the border, think again. It'll be missing the all important Canadian sticker which deems it illegal and can lead to fines, void insurance and more. Just wait for a sale on your seat of choice and save some $$ that way.
  • Fire stations have members who are certified to install/check car seats. You can either try your luck and pop into one or check for a car seat clinic that's a designated day to help parents check the seat and learn how to properly adjust it at the cost of a donation to the station.
  • Some stores have certified installers that can help you install the seat if purchased with them. We got ours from Lussobaby, who, at the time didn't offer this service, hence the visit to the fire station. TJ Kids does offer this service. We saved quite a bit though, so it wasn't a big deal for us.
  • Companies like Britax have online car seat clinic events which you may like to visit if schedule permits. Often stores advertise these in the e-newsletters.
  • Car seats are changing all the time, so check reviews regularly to decide which one is best for you. Stores like Toys R Us offer online guides to help you understand the differences and what to look for in a seat.
  • Finally, you'll need to consider what will fit in your car! Car seats are large, and may not fit comfortably in some car models. Also, how will the seat connect to the car? Via seat belt, or latch system? You'll need to consult the car manual for this one. We bought ours, not thinking about the fact that we have a Mazda 3 and we're lucky to be able to squeeze it in safely. The front passenger has little room though! Remember, car seats generally aren't returnable for safety reasons.
Good luck and happy car seat hunting!