The Product: Infant Car Seat
An infant carrier seat is for newborns weighing up to 20 pounds. These systems allow you to easily carry around your baby in the “carrier” portion which then attaches to a base in your car to form a rear facing carseat. Your baby will spend a good deal of time in his/her carrier and will probably use it for many of their daytime naps.
Bobby’s Best Recommendation: Graco SnugRide Review with EPS
The Graco SnugRide is the market leading seat. Its lightweight, easy to assemble and take apart, well priced and comes in numerous colors and patterns. A key feature is that is can also be used in a car without its base, which is very important if you want the ability to put the seat in someone else’s car or if taxis are your primary form of transportation (i.e. New York City). The Graco SnugRide also fits very well with all of the universal infant seat carriers and comes with a carrying handle for your convenience when transporting your baby. Another thing we loved was the sunshade which was great for keeping sun out of our kids eyes and helping with the wind in the winter weather. This is the infant seat we used very happily with both of our children.
Consumer Reports continually rates this seat as their top pick. However, make sure that you get the higher end version with the EPS and GracoPedic foam as this provides the necessary side impact protection and in general is a more comfortable seat. EPS foam is known as one of the most reliable and effective impact absorbing materials available. The regular Graco SnugRide seat has no padding between the fabric and the plastic frame and you will wince thinking about your baby’s head hitting that plastic. The premium versions of the seat can often be identified visually by their foot warmer cover and are mostly sold at specialty retailers.
If you have a second car or your parents will also be helping out, it makes a lot of sense to buy one or two extra bases so that you can use the same seat in different cars.
Graco also has a newer seat called the Graco Safe Seat, which offers the ability to fit infants up to about a year old. However, in addition to performing poorly in the Consumer Reports test, most parents will find that it’s just too difficult to carry a seat around with a 20lb + infant., despite the convenience of being able to transfer them.
While the Graco SnugRide is a safe and popular seat, Graco has been resting on its laurels as they really haven’t made any fundamental changes to the product in over five years. Personally, I’d like to see them be a little more innovative.
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