6 Best Infant Car Seats for Newborns-Cheap, Lightweight, Travel

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Quick List: Best Infant Car Seats

After comparing and reviewing 20+ infant car seats with the basic and bonus features, we can reveal that the best infant car seats are:

1. Best for travel: Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller ($550) – foldable, infant car seat stroller combo, car seat with wheels.

2. Best for preemies: Chicco KeyFit 30 ($219.99) – 16.75″ width. Friendly for preemies.

3. Best for big infants: Chicco Fit2 ($319.99) – 35″ height limit and friendly for big infants.

4. Most comfortable – UPPAbaby MESA ($279.99) – well padded and made of high-end materials.

5. Best Lightweight: Nuna Pipa Lite/ R ($320) – 5.3 lbs and made of high-end materials.

5. Best affordable: Graco SnugRide SnugLock ($159.99) – budget-friendly for most families.

See Our Top Picks

Find the best infants car seats

Best By Bonus

See the best infant car seat by bonus (e.g. foldable, lightweight, etc).


Compare key performance stats and specs to listed best infant car seats.

If you have the same question as us when we have our first baby: what is the best infant car seat for my newborn? That’s very dependable on your needs and budget.

As we have gone through the same research process, we did this list of our considered best infant car seats, including cheap ones under $200, the lightest ones for easy carry, and the best portable ones for travel.

Different families have different needs for an infant car seat. So we do this list for first-time parents who are looking for a top-rated and safe infant car seat for newborns, saving you time to do the paperwork in the research stage.

Being a parent is very exciting, I know this feeling as you, ensuring your baby’s safety is the next biggest thing in your mind. The car seat might be the first and most important investment you can make for your newborns. After all, the hospital won’t let you leave if you don’t have a child safety seat in your car.

It’s not easy to find a perfect car seat for newborn babies, especially for new parents who have their first kid. There are a few types of car seats are designed for newborns, besides infant car seats, convertible car seats, and all-in-one car seats are also good options. 

The right one makes the perfect one. Both the car seat experts and official US bureaus like NHTSA advise parents to purchase an appropriate car seat based on the baby’s age and size.

Best Infant Car Seats

Best for Travel

Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller


Best for big infants

Chicco Fit2 infant car seat
Chicco Fit2


Best for Preemies

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
Chicco KeyFit 30


Most Comfortable

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat


Best Lightweight

Nuna Pipa Lite
Nuna Pipa Lite / R


Best under $200

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat
Graco SnugRide SnugLock


The size limit allowed by most infant car seats range between 30-35 pounds for weight and 30-32 inches for height. You should have known that infant car seat can ONLY be used rear-facing.

The 35-lb and 32-inch combination works well to make infant car seats for kids at 1 year old or 18 months at most.

According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) new guidelines, it is better to keep your children rear-facing as long as possible. Some states in US require parents to ride a kid rear-facing until 2 years old

Of course, there are other things for consideration, like the SIP (side impact protection), features and functionality, Amazon reviews, and extras such as lightweight for easy portable (see the lightest infant car seats), and narrow profile to fit 3 across in small cars. We narrowed our search to 6 of the best infant car seats you can consider buying.

Or, if you’d rather view the best infant car seats by bonus features (e.g. portable, fit 3 across, etc), click on either of the below.

Best Infant Car Seats by Bonus Features

All these best infant car seats are good options for optimal protection. Some of them may have bonus features to satisfy different needs. Check below. 


Further Information

Best foldable car seat for travel


Further Information

Lightest infant car seats

Cheap under $200

Further Information

Cheap car seats under $200

With Wheels

Further Information

Best car seats with wheels


Extended rear-facing

Best Infant Car Seat for Travel

Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller

Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller

Key Features
The Good
The Bad


If you want an infant car seat with the best portability for travel, you won’t miss the Doona Car Seat Stroller. It’s the Swiss Knife of an infant car seats-expensive but high quality with broad practicality. It gives all that a young parent wants in an infant car seat.

First, it works as a common infant car seat to offer a safe ride from birth until they reach the highest weight limit at 35 pounds or the highest height limit at 32 inches. That means the Doona will be a good infant car seat for 1 year old kids before they outgrow this car seat and move to another car seat with extended rear-facing use.

More than being an average infant car seat, the Doona combines a stroller with the infant car seat. It’s a complete travel system. No need to detach and attach it to a separate stroller anymore. There are four wheels included, making Doona the only car seat with wheels on the market. You don’t need to carry a stroller and a car seat, even though the strollers are foldable and stored in a compact space. That’s why we say that the Doona is the best car seat for travel. It’s a one-piece travel system. With the wheels folded, it’s an infant car seat – support base and baseless installation as well as other infant seats; with the wheels unfolded, it’s a stroller. The folding wheels make Doona one of the best portable car seats that are really convenient for traveling parents.

The company also considers the different tastes and needs of children and parents and provides various color options, which are decided by the color of the canopy. The pink is available for baby girls. See also the best pink car seats if you want more car seats in this color for girls.

The only drawback of the Doona car seat is the price. It’s one of the most expensive car seats, priced at over $500. However, if you can afford it, we strongly recommend buying it if you’re a parent who travels a lot.

Lightweight Infant Car Seat

Nuna Pipa Lite

Nuna Pipa Lite LX

Key Features
The Good
The Bad


If you don’t have enough budget for an infant car seat, we don’t recommend getting the Nuna Pipa Lite LX because it’s a very expensive price. All six Nuna Pipa infant car seats are over $300.

But this doesn’t mean the Nuna Pipa Lite LX isn’t worth the value. It’s one of the three Nuna infant car seats that feature Sky Drape-a unique design that extends the canopy to provide a fully dark and quiet space, where your baby won’t be disturbed when sleeping. We REALLY love this feature! And I’m sure you’ll love it as well.

What also impressed us with the Nuna Pipa Lite LX is the light weight. It weighs only 5.7 pounds, ranking top in the lightest infant car seats. Even though the light weight won’t feel a big difference while carrying a 20-pound baby in the car seat, it’s still a good thing to mention if you’re finding an ultra-lightweight infant car seat. After all, the average weight of an infant car seat is around 7.5 pounds.

The light weight does not affect its performance in safety and comfort. Featuring side impact protection as well as high-end and comfy material, the Nuna Pipa Lite LX is one of the safest and most comfortable infant car seats.

The biggest downside of this infant car seat is that it doesn’t support baseless installation. The Nuna Pipa Lite LX requires to be installed with the base for normal use. That’s not as convenient as other infant car seats. As far as we know, only the three Nuna Pipa infant car seats are not able to support baseless installation.

The lightweight increases its performance in portability, but the non-baseless installation decreases its performance, making it less friendly for travel as the Doona infant car seat. The Lite RX would be a better option if you want a lightweight infant car seat with baseless installation. However, it’s much more expensive, over $500, with a different car seat base. See also the Nuna Pipa car seat comparison to find which best suits your needs.

Best Infant Car Seat for Big Infants

Chicco Fit2 infant car seat

Chicco Fit2

Key Features
The Good
The Bad


Chicco Fit2 is absolutely the best infant car seat if you want to extend the rear-facing ride, because of its 35-inch height limit. This makes it the only infant car seat for big infants. Most other infant car seats are designed to have a 30-inch or 35-inch height limit.

To match its size performance, the Chicco applies multiple positions for both the headrest and recline adjustment. For example, the headrest in the Chicco Fit can be adjusted in 7 positions to fit growing infants. Along with the 6-position recline adjustment, you can always find a perfect angle for your baby’s comfort.

It’s also the one of safest infant car seats. The 5-point harness is necessary for side impact protection, thick padding around the steel frame, and the anti-rebound.

But the price is high and not friendly for families with limited budgets. You probably won’t want to spend over $300 on an infant car seat, while there are some all-in-one car seats around the same price range, for example, the Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 car seat.

Most Comfortable Infant Car Seat

UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat


Key Features
The Good
The Bad


If you want to ride your baby in a stylish car seat, the UPPAbaby Mesa won’t disappoint you. It features a sleek design and is made of look-premium fabrics, making the UPPAbaby Mesa one of the few high-end infant car seats, like the Nuna Pipa Lite LX, both in price and features.

As a premium infant car seat with a beautiful design and look, the UPPAbaby Mesa is worthy of consideration if you have a $300 budget for an infant car seat. However, it is still a good option with some excellent safety and convenience features, if the budget is not your major concern.

Like many other infant car seats, the UPPAbaby Mesa can securely fit newborns as small as 4 pounds, thanks to the included infant insert which provides a flatter and safer riding position for preemies and small newborns 4-8 lbs. As babies grow, the MESA supports accommodate children as large as 35 pounds until they reach 32 inches in height. In other words, you’ll be able to use this seat for your baby until he or she is 15 to 21 months old, according to average growth rates. And if your little one grows faster than others, this car seat can also be used for younger tall babies anyway.

Like all car seats on the market, the UPPAbaby Mesa meets or exceeds federal safety requirements. This car seat also features side impact protection, which is incorporated into the shell construction and EPP foam-constructed wings, keeping your child’s head stationary, reducing the forces, and minimizing head trauma and whiplash in any event of a collision. The adjustable headrest offers extra protection and can be moved up as your child grows.

Most infant car seats use the LATCH connectors for simple fast, accurate installation, and so does UPPAbaby MESA. It’s even easier to set up the MESA car seat in vehicles, thanks to the unique tightness indicator that helps to assure you that the seat is installed correctly by turning from red to green.

To keep your little cool and comfortable in the seat, the UPPAbaby MESA is made of soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking fabrics that are machine washable for practical use. And the canopy is large enough to protect babies from the sun when you attach the seat to a stroller for outside walking. However, some customers complain about the canopy that could be stained in the rain. This is the biggest disadvantage of the MESA as it can’t hold for all weather conditions.

This car seat is compatible with only two types of strollers coming from the same UPPAbaby company – VISTA, and CRUZ. Better less than none. But if you want a car seat with more compatible stroller options, you might want to consider the Nuna Pipa Lite. It can be compatible with a few strollers from other bands with adapters.

The car seat is also FAA-certified for airplane usage. Considering its weight at about 9.9 pounds, the UPPAbaby MESA is quite acceptable for air travel and you can easily take it to the airport.

Best Infant Car Seat for Preemies

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Chicco KeyFit 30

Key Features
The Good
The Bad


For newborn infants, we’ve identified the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat as the best bet. While it has an affordable price of under $200, this car seat has some excellent features which won’t disappoint you, especially if you have a compact car without much space for a car seat. The Chicco KeyFit 30 is the only car seat on the market recommended for premature infants. That’s why we select it as our best pick for baby car seats.

The Chicco KeyFit 30 can be used for newborns who are weighing from 4 to 30 pounds and up to 30 inches in height. If your baby is born prematurely, a small infant car seat is necessary to ride him/her safely and comfortably. Then you should consider the Chicco KeyFit 30, which is recommended by many neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurses for premature infants.

To make the little one stay comfortable in the car seat, the Chicco KeyFit 30 includes a removable infant head and body insert. For premature or smaller babies, the infant insert offers extra support and keeps them secure. As they grow large enough, the insert is removable. There is also an adjustable and removable canopy that can provide shade from the sun when taking the little one outside with the base in the car.

The Chicco KeyFit 30 comes with many excellent features to be the easiest-to-install infant car seat so that first-time parents will place it in their car simply, properly, and securely. A ReclineSure leveling foot and two RideRight bubble level indicators help you to set up the car seat at the proper angle. The base included in the seat is equipped with LATCH connectors and a SuperCinch tightener, ensuring for a secure fit in the cars.

All the car seats are required to pass crash testing before going to the market, and so does the Chicco KeyFit 30. It also meets the Federal Safety standards and offers extra side impact protection by the EPS energy-absorbing foam carrier shell. The five-point harness with one-pull tightening gives more support to keep the baby secure in the cars.

The KeyFit 30 is a relatively lightweight infant car seat, making it very portable and easy to switch between cars. And it’s recommended to get multiple bases that are compatible with the KeyFit 30 in different family cars so that you don’t need to purchase several baby car seats. The 2-position carrying handle gives you a comfortable grip when you take the carrier out of the car. The carrier weighs only 9.5 pounds and is compatible with Chicco strollers for travel system use.

This car seat is FAA approved for air travel. So if you’re a frequent-flyer family and like to take babies for traveling in different cities or countries, this KeyFit 30 can serve the dual purpose of keeping your baby safe in the car and in the air.

The KeyFit 30 is made of machine-washable fabrics that can be removed separately into the washer with cold water for cleaning, but not use bleach; The plastics and hardware may be sponge cleaned using warm water and mild soap and dried with a towel, while the harness is not machine washable and can only be cleaned using warm water and mild soap.

Cheap Infant Car Seat

Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat

Graco SnugRide SnugLock

Key Features
The Good
The Bad


If you’re a frequent-flyer family and love traveling around the world even after you have a kid, the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 might be a great choice. Weighing at only 7 pounds, the SnugRide SnugLock 35 is ultra-lightweight, making it easy for you to carry your baby from car to stroller and everywhere in between. It’s one of the lightest infant car seats. This car seat is also FAA-certified to be used in aircraft, meaning that you can even it for air travel with your tiny through different cities.

The Graco SnugRide SnugLock is able to fit newborn infants as small as 4 pounds. Thanks to the 5-point, front-adjust harness, this infant car seat will still give small babies a secure and snug fit until he or she outgrows the baby car seat by reaching the weight limit of 35 pounds or a height limit of 32 inches. This size limit is good to make Graco SnugRide SnugLock a good infant car seat for 1 year old kids.

But Graco SnugRide 30 is still a safe infant car seat, goes through rigorous crash testing, and meets or exceeds the US safety standards FMVSS 213. Featuring side impact protection, along with the EPS energy-absorbing foam, this car seat offers great protection for your little one in case any crash happens.

Like all infant car seats, the Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 also provides shade and sun protection for your baby with a canopy, which is rotatable for more space when you need to carry the handle. This car seat is compatible with all Graco Click Connect strollers, thanks to the Click Connect technology, with which you can easily attach the seat to strollers in one step for a customized travel system that best fits your lifestyle.

The seat cushion is machine washable and you can simply remove it for cleaning. For the metal and plastic parts, you can clean them with mild soap and water, but for a buckle, you’d better use a damp cloth for cleaning.

When to Buy an Infant Car Seat

After the exciting news that a new young is coming to your family, it’s time for you to prepare for his or her birth. There are many things you need to prepare, and a car seat is the most important one.

The hospital won’t let you take your newborn home without a child safety restraint seat in your car. So it’s better to find and buy an infant car seat before the baby’s birth. Generally speaking, the third trimester of pregnancy is the best time to buy a baby car seat.

The car seat is not an easy-to-understand device, especially for novices in parenting. For proper protection, the infant car seat must be placed and used following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Getting an infant seat in advance not only ensures that you have time to read the guide, but you’ll also need to compare and check if the car seat is compatible with your car or not. Some bulky car seats won’t fit well in small or compact cars.

Plus, you need time to find an excellent infant car seat for your newborn, comparing the seat’s functions, price, safety ratings, made of washable materials or not, and more.

Compare Best Infant Car Seats

Compare Infant Car Seats by Weight/Height Limits

Weight/ Height Limits Infant Car Seat Price Best for
30 lbs/ 30" Chicco KeyFit 30 $199.99 6-9 months babies
32 lbs/ 32" Nuna Pipa Lite LX $320 9-12 months
35 lbs/ 32" Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 $159.99 9-12 months
35 lbs/ 32" UPPAbaby MESA $299.99 9-12 months
35 lbs/ 32" Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller $550 9-12 months
35 lbs/ 35" Chicco Fit2 $319.99 9-18 months

Compare Infant Car Seats by Price

Price Infant Car Seat Weight/ Height Limits Best for
$159.99 Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 35 lbs/ 32" 9-12 months
$199.99 Chicco KeyFit 30 30 lbs/ 30" 6-9 months babies
$299.99 UPPAbaby MESA 35 lbs/ 32" 9-12 months
$319.99 Chicco Fit2 35 lbs/ 35" 9-18 months
$320 Nuna Pipa Lite LX 32 lbs/ 32" 9-12 months
$550 Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller 35 lbs/ 32" 9-12 months

Things to Consider to Look for the Best Infant Car Seats

Okay, it’s time to purchase a baby car seat, now what’s next? Do a search, find some, compare them and pick up the best option. It’s easy to make a list of dozens of car seats, you can find them on Amazon, Target, Walmart, or any other online or offline stores, but the most important and time-consuming part is to compare the car seats’ features, to check if it is the best option for your specific needs.

It’s recommended to keep these five questions in mind when selecting the best infant car seats for the coming little one.

Which infant car seats offer the safest ride?
Which are the most comfortable (for both babies and parents)?
Which are the most user-friendly in terms of installation and daily use?
Which have the highest weight and height limits to allow for extended rear-facing?
Which is the most value for the money?

These questions give you a rough view. Based on the questions, we list some basic but important features to look for when you find a suitable infant car seat.

Your budget

It’s absolutely okay that your kid deserves the very best. However, what he or she needs during their upgrowth is quite a lot more than just a car seat. All the baby things can add up quickly. You can always find a great seat whatever your price range, so just focus on those fall into your budget. This will save you both money and time.

Your vehicle

Car seats are available in different sizes. Not all car seats fit well in compact or small cars. Also, consider how many car seats you want to place in the back row. Make sure you have measured and known how much room there is for a car seat and how much space will a car seat take up, especially when you need to locate it in a small car.

The safety

All the car seats on the market are required to meet federal crash-test safety requirements. All best infant car seats in this list are FAA approved to assure you for your baby’s safety in a car seat. Some manufacturers promote their seat about additional safety features like anti-rebound bar, which is not federally regulated or testing proved for better protection.

Easy to install and use

Proper car seat installation increases safety. However, a study revealed that almost 95% of maiden parents made at least one mistake while installing and using infant car seats. Seats that are very easy to set up and intuitive to use are much less likely to be used incorrectly.

You might need special attention on the car seat buckles, clips, and LATCH system. You usually use a harness and chest clip to put the infant seat in your car and make sure you have the straps tightened strongly to secure your baby. Look for buckles, clips, and straps that are simple and require less strength to use and tighten.

The LATCH straps are also a necessity to set up the car seat with your car’s built-in LATCH system. Look for car seats coming with a LATCH that don’t require much strength for setup. Push-on connectors are generally easier than clip-style. Luckily, all the infant car seats recommended are using push-on connectors.

Seamless switch

Infant car seats generally come with a separate base that can be left in the car. The separable design allows you to take the seat in or out of the car for easy switch between different cars. Most of the baby car seats can be used with strollers for a travel system. Look for some car seat that can be simply attached and detached to the base and buckled onto a stroller for a travel system, without waking up your little in his/her sleep during the switch.

Easy-to-clean and breathable fabrics

Infant car seats made with a smooth fabric can be wiped for cleaning more easily than a textured fabric such as corduroy. Most car seat covers are machine washable, but not all are dryer-safe use, but as long as you’re not in a rush, hanging it with air drying is acceptable.

Car seats made of breathable materials provide the best comfort to your baby. If you can’t check this from the product description, you can check out the customers’ reviews to see what other parents say about their experience.

Grow with your child

The infant car seat is rear-facing only. To keep your young rear-facing as long as possible, the car seat with a higher weight limit is better for longer use, of course. Convertible car seats generally have a higher weight limit than newborn car seats. But for preemies, it’s recommended that parents use the infant car seat.

Infant car seats generally have the shortest lifespan and usually get expired around 6 or 7 years after the manufacturer date.

What about the car seat brands? Graco and Britax have a few years of experience in the car seat industry, but other new brands found in millennial times are not bad anyway.

Infant Car Seats Alternative for Rear-Facing

You’ll see many car seat types suitable for newborns and small infants on the market. What you buy will depend on your preferences, budget, and child. After comparing the pros and cons of targeted ones, you’ll have the final decision.

Parents who have smaller or taller infants may have specific needs for a car seat. For example, a premature newborn of 4-5 pounds is better to be kept in a seat that fits small babies well, like the Chicco KeyFit 30.

There are four types of infant car seats. These terms explained below help you understand the newborn car seat better and make a better choice for your own little’s needs.

Infant Car Seats

Infant car seats (or infant car seats) are designed for newborns and infants weighing as little as 4 pounds with an upper weight limit of up to 30-35 pounds, depending on the model. They are smaller and much lighter weight, typically have handles for carrying, and attach to a base, which is separated and can be left in the car. The base is also available for sale separately, most makers provide additional bases for those families that have several cars.

Infants are put in the “cradle” of the seat and are secured using a five-point harness. Most infant seats come with a head support pillow or system to protect the little’s head and neck. Infant seats can recline and can be adjusted for comfort.

Convertible Car Seats

Convertible car seats can be used for both rear-facing and forward-facing modes. Some even have a higher rear-facing weight limit of up to 50 pounds and can be used for a longer time as your baby grows.

Many parents start with a convertible car seat because it will save money for this point, and toddlers can stay rear-facing until their second or even third birthday. Families that have taller babies could also use this type of car seat for the first stage.

However, convertible seats tend to be bigger, heavier and cost more than rear-facing only seats. They don’t have the detachable base or carrying handle for portable use or switch.

All-in-One seats (or called 3-in-1 or 4-in-1)

All-in-one seats combine the three usages into one: rear-facing, forward-facing, and belt-positioning booster.

All-in-one car seats can be used with babies of various sizes, and they allow them to stay in the rear-facing position longer with a higher weight limit of up to 50 pounds. They also have the highest forward-facing weight limit, some may ride children up to 120 pounds. See also our post on the best car seats with 5-point harness up to 120 pounds.

There are two included groups in this type – 3-in-1 and 4-in-1. The only difference between these two groups is in the modes. The first has three modes while the latter has an extra backless mode. This expands its usage situations for big kids. See our posts on best 3-in-1 car seats and best 4-in-1 car seats.

Travel Systems

Also called car seat/stroller combos. Most infant car seats can either be bought alone or as part of a baby travel system. The seat can simply click on the stroller. Actually, it’s a money-saving way to buy a baby car seat and stroller so that you don’t have to buy both.

Generally, newborn car seats can be only compliant with strollers coming from the same company, and not fit well in strollers from other manufacturers. Some infant car seats have great compatibility with many strollers, like the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4/35; other car seats, like UPPAbaby MESA, only fits the Vista and Cruz strollers.

Different stroller models are available for option, you can pick up to match your lifestyle. 3-wheeled, 4-wheeled, jogging, or double strollers, it’s up to your choice!

How to Install Infant Car Seats

Buying a baby infant car seat is just the first step for your child’s safety, installing it PROPERLY is the second and most important step, because improper installation of a car seat can cause injuries and even death to babies. You should always thoroughly read the car seat manual before doing anything. The state car seat laws also suggest setting up and using the car seat following the manufacturer’s guide.

If you have any questions, you can search for tips and video guides on YouTube or the manufacturer’s official website. Or you can ask help from someone at the local police station, a pediatrician, a hospital, or even a baby store if you still have questions. Do remember to call the manufacturer’s customer service if there is anything not clear.

1) Where

Infant car seats for newborns should be installed in the rear-facing position, and the best place for fitting is the center of the rear seat row. If you have a van or SUV with more than one backseat, the middle seat in the center row is better. Putting the car seat in the middle of the backseat will prevent your child from playing with the window buttons and door locks.

The second best spot is the seat behind the passenger. This allows you to check your child in the child safety seat occasionally more easily without taking your eyes off the road for too long. And it’s much easier for parents to take the little one in and out of the car seat placed behind the passenger’s seat.

2) When

Just like you’d better buy a car seat in advance before the baby’s birth, you can also locate the seat in your car to test if it is installed properly or not, or if it is stable in the car. You can test by going around some corners to see how the seat moves. If it tips, slides around or rattles too much, you may have to make some adjustments.

For extra security, go to your local car seat technician, pediatrician or police station to have the seat checked by someone who will help to confirm that you’ve set up the seat correctly.

3) How

Let’s take installing a rear-facing infant car seat for example to explain the steps.

Step 1, put the car seat base in the middle seat of the car with a proper angle at a 30-45 degree to ride your baby most comfortable.
Step 2, use the vehicle’s seatbelt to secure the car seat base to the vehicle.
Step 3, lock the seatbelt by pulling the seatbelt all the way out and retracting back. You will hear it retract while it’s retracting.
Step 4, tighten the seatbelt by placing one hand on the car seat base and holding the seat belt shoulder strap with the other hand. Simultaneously pull the seatbelt slack while pushing down on the base.
Step 5, check the base for slack. The base should not move when wiggled more than an inch at the seat belt path.
Step 6, double check to make sure that the car seat base is tight when buckled and does not move more than an inch.
Step 7, install the car seat into the base using the “click connect” system. Different baby car seats may have a different system, but all have one.

These are the basic steps. If your car seat manual have different explanation, follow the manual.

FAQs on Best Infant Car Seats

This is related to the position where parents need to place the car seat for their babies. The safest position is the centre of backseat or second row. A study showed for children from newborn to 3 years old seated in the center rear seat is 43% safer than sitting in eight of the side in the back.

However, only 28% of parents place their baby’s car seat in this spot. It was found that the rear passenger side is the most common place in the vehicle for a car seat, up to 41% parents in the research mount the child’s car seat here.

How to install more than one seats in the car?

It’s a common case to have two or more babies in a families. Follow the car installation location, the middle of the back seat is the safest place, the seat behind the passenger’s seat is the next and the last is the seat behind the driver’s seat.

If you have to set up two seats in the car, it would be better to put them in the back seat side by side, with the car seat for younger babies placed in the middle, and the other for older behind the passenger’s seat. But make sure the two car seats can be put in the same row.

Can a newborn use a convertible car seat?

Yes, some convertible car seats can ride newborn infants as little as 4 pounds, like the Graco 4Ever 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat. But for parents who have premature babies, it’s recommended to start with a baby car seat. Most infant car seats include support insert for the baby’s head and body for better security.

How long can you use infant car seat?

You can’t use a baby infant car seat for life time. They have a lifespan, which is different from usage time. While babies always outgrow their seats during their 1-3 ages, the car seat can be used for a longer time for their following siblings. Generally, most newborn car seats feature about 6 years of lifespan.

Do infant car seats need a base?

Yes. All baby car seats come with a base, and most parents place the car seat on the base, but this doesn’t mean you always need to set up the car seat with the base. Want to know the way to settle a baby car seat without base, just move to next question.

How to install infant car seat without base

Car seats featuring either American-style belt path or European-style belt path can be set up without their base.

This installation video on YouTube demonstrates to locate Chicco KeyFit 30 that features an American-style belt path without its base.

The summarised steps:

  • Recline the seat for an appropriate angle.
  • Pass lap belt through guides and buckle belt.
  • Engage seat belt’s locking mode by pulling slowly to end.
  • Apply pressure & pull shoulder beltCheck for tightness

If you have an infant seat with European-style belt path, it is supposed to Put the seat more securely in a much wider variety of vehicles. Seats with European-style belt path include Doona, Graco Snug Ride 35 Classic Connect, Nuna Pipa, Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35, UPPAbaby Mesa (older version before 2015), and more.

The installation video shows the steps:

  • Buckle babyPass lap belt through guides and buckle belt
  • Engage seat belt’s locking mode by pulling slowly to the end
  • Pass shoulder belt around carrier and into designated guide
  • Recline seatApply pressure & pull shoulder beltCheck for tightness

Many parents may wonder: Is it safe to use a carrier without a base? The Answer is yes.

Do you need an infant car seat?

That depends. For parents who have prematurely newborn infants, it would be better to use a baby car seat like Chicco KeyFit 30 for the child’s safety. But if your baby can fit a larger car seat well, it is perfectly OK to use a convertible car seat instead of buying an infant-only car seat and then transition to a convertible car seat. Whatever you use, make sure your newborn fits into the height and weight range for rear-facing to ride safely in these car seats.

What car seat is best for a newborn?

Both infant and convertible seats are a great option for newborns. For small babies, the infant car seats may be better, featuring some head and body inserts for better safety. Newborn car seats are also portable with a carrying handle so that you can take the baby in and out without waking them. Convertible car seats will save money for their longer use and lifespan and is better for families that have few budgets on a car seat.

How do I choose a newborn car seat?

It’s time- and energy-consuming to find a suitable car seat, this But there are some basic things you should consider for choosing the seat: your newborns, your car, your budget. A car seat that lets your little stay most comfortable is a more appealing option. Before purchasing a car seat, you should always check with your doctor with the baby’s conditions, like the estimated weight or height range, measure your car interior room for a seat. Then pick up one that falls into your budget.

How do I get my baby to LATCH properly?

To use the LATCH connectors to set up the car seat, make sure your vehicle has lower LATCH anchors. You should always read the car seat’s instruction manual and the vehicle’s owner manual before starting. Then you can follow these steps to mount the car seat with LATCH:

  • Place the baby car seat in the back center seat of your vehicle, in the rear-facing position. Locate the lower anchors in your vehicle.
  • Connect the lower anchor attachments on the car seat to the lower anchors, making sure the straps aren’t twisted across your toddler’s head or body.
  • Press down firmly on the car seat and tighten the straps. Tips to check the tightness: the car seat won’t be moved side-to-side or front-to-back more than 1 inch.
  • Make sure your car seat is installed at the correct recline angle.
    • 30-45 degree angle: Babies must ride sitting semi-reclined to keep the airway open.
    • Most rear-facing car seats have built-in angle indicators or adjustors to assist you, generally found near to the bottom on the side.
    • The angle may need to be adjusted as your child grows, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

How do you strap a baby in a car seat?

The car seats that can be used in rear-facing generally have 5-point harness to strap and secure the babies. Doctor Alisa from the Car Seat Lady has made this video for parents to strap their babies in a correct way.  The summarized steps:

  • Loosen the straps. You should pull the shoulder straps towards you while pushing/lifting loosening tab to make the straps loose.
  • Slide bottom back. Make sure the baby’s bottom is all the way into the back of the car seat.
  • Buckle between legs on both sides.
  • Buckle chest clip.
  • Tighten the straps by gathering the slack bottom to top. Pull straps up while still keeping chest clip low, then pull the tail of the bottom of the seat to make sure the straps tighten enough.
  • Check for snugnessMove the chest clip to armpits

The video also shows how to put a blanket to swaddle the baby correctly in the car seat.

Will an infant car seat expire?

Yes. All car seats have limited lifespan, about several years. For the infant car seat case, the lifespan is generally 6 years. Convertible and booster seat can be used longer and generally also have a longer lifespan up to 10 years.

When stop using baby infant car seat?

All infant car seats have weight and height limits. Most US State laws recommend you stop using them and move your child to a higher-weight-and-height-limit convertible car seat once your little one has outgrown their infant car seats. The highest weight or height limit is usually reached somewhere between 9 and 18 months. But it’s better to ride your child in rear-facing position until age 2.

Can I take an Infant for air travel?

Yes. Most baby car seats are certified for air travel. Although airlines typically allow infants to ride on a caregiver’s lap during flight, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) recommends that infants ride in properly secured safety seats. You may need to