Taking baby on the road? There are a number of things to keep in mind when you are shopping for strollers and car seats. First, consider the age of the child. Furthermore, how will you be using the stroller or car seat before you buy.
Buckle up baby
First, you will start with a portable infant car seat. It will also double as a carrier and a rocking chair in a pinch. Infant seats are designed to be rear-facing (the safest seating for a baby) and it snaps into a base. You will find all-in-one car seats on the market. They are a tempting choice because they could potentially save you money. However, the one-size-fits-all design may not work for smaller babies or smaller cars. For example, this car seat is big and bulky. It is built to last and could be a good backup car seat for a caregiver. One car that can accommodate any kind of car seat is the Jeep Compass. Make sure the seat you are buying will actually fit in your vehicle.
Traveling with a toddler
Your next car seat will be a convertible model when your baby is about a year old. Experts advise you to keep the seat rear-facing until your child is at least two years old. So, the seat has to be able to accommodate the extra leg room while facing backward. When your child has passed the 40 to 50lb. mark, you will want to change the seat to a forward-facing installation.
Toddler booster seats are also available, and they are cheaper than convertible seats. However, they are only safe for a child who has reached the recommended front-facing age of two years old. Next, basic booster seats are designed to “boost” your child up to the proper level for seatbelt coverage. High-back versions are recommended as a safer and more comfortable option. Be sure to check your state’s car seat regulations. They could vary from state to state.
Let’s go for a stroll
Before you buy a stroller, consider how you will be using it. Will you be walking through the city or down a country road? You will need a durable, comfortable stroller with strong wheels and a safety harness. Some strollers collapse down into a lying position so baby can nap comfortably and safely. This is perfect for trips to the mall or other events.
If you are moving baby from car to stroller for your walks, you may appreciate the kind where you can strap the car seat right into the frame. As baby grows and is able to sit up, walk and toddle away, you may want to switch to a lightweight, collapsible stroller that is easy to pack when not in use.
As with any baby equipment, it is important to take your time. Most importantly, do your research and invest in a car seat or stroller that you feel good about. Once you do, pack up baby and hit the road.