What is an Infant Car Seat?
A rear-facing infant car seat is the first seat you will need to take home your little bundle of joy. As the name implies, it is rear facing and is the safest way to transport your baby while in the car. It is shaped like a bucket, features a 5-point harness and distributes the impact of a collision throughout the baby’s entire body, reducing strain on their neck. Babies have oversized heads relative to their bodies at this early stage, and so rear-facing is the only way to go.
These “bucket seats” also have a convenient carry handle so it becomes incredibly easy to transfer your child from the car to the store, friend’s house or restaurant without needing to remove your baby from the seat. Keep in mind that you could skip the rear-facing infant seat and jump right into a convertible or all-in-one car seat, but you would lose the ability to transfer your baby more easily. No one likes to wake a sleeping baby!
Components of an Infant Car Seat
Infant car seats are made of two major components – a base and a removable infant carrier. The base is designed to be installed in your vehicle, with either LATCH connectors or using you vehicle’s seat belt. All you need to do is click your infant carrier in its base and you’re good to go.
I highly recommend getting more than one base, especially if you have more than one vehicle, or if your child will be spending lots of time with a caregiver or grandma. The bases are not difficult to install, but you don’t want to go pick up your child, only to find out you forgot to put the base back in your car!
All the Bells and Whistles
There are many rear facing infant car seats to choose from and it can be tough to narrow it down. Here are some features that you may find in your infant seat and base. Keep in mind that some features come standard, while others help improve the safety and ease of use of your seat.
FEATURES OF A CAR SEAT BASE:
- LATCH connectors
- Rigid LATCH connectors
- Vehicle belt path
- Level indicators
- Adjustable recline
- Adjustable stability leg/load leg
- Built-in lock-offs
- Anti-rebound panels
- LATCH storage
- Energy absorbing materials
- Steel reinforcements
FEATURES OF AN INFANT SEAT:
- Reinforced with steel
- Ergonomic carry handle
- Side impact protection
- Newborn insert
- European belt path
- 5-point harness
- Removable inner shell (Maxi Cosi Coral XP) + cross-body carry
- Made of energy absorbing foam
- Extendable wheels (Doona)
- Retractable sun shade
So, now what?
Ok, now you’re fully versed on the world of infant car seats! Need help narrowing down your list? Check out our BABY LOGIC TOP 7 BEST INFANT CAR SEATS blog. We love helping you make informed decisions regarding the well being of your family!
Here are some product recommendations along with features to help you make an educated decision regarding your baby gear:
- TOP convertible car seats of the year
- BEST infant car seats of the year
- What’s the difference between the TOP infant car seats of each major brand?
- The TOP baby gear choices for the home