10 Best Baby Car Seat Bases Reviews
As a new parent, one of the most critical pieces of baby equipment you’ll need is an infant car seat. It’s a must-have if you plan on driving with your child at any point. If you frequently transfer vehicles or if your child spends a lot of time with grandparents, we recommend purchasing an extra car seat base.
A new, top-of-the-line infant car seat costs between $500 and $600. It varies on your baby’s age, but a newborn can ride in an infant car seat rear-facing for up to a year and forward-facing for up to two years, so make sure you pick the proper type for your car seat and budget.
The vehicle’s seat belt or the LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) attachment system can be used to secure car seats. Car seat bases were created to make it simple for parents to secure their infant in the car. With the baby inside, the seat may be simply removed, while the base stays in the car and can be used again later.
What is baby car seat base?
The base is the sort of car seat in your vehicle. Most are adjustable, so you can take them with you when you go to the car. Splitting can be used to make them more versatile.
Car seat bases are usually used with infant car seats in the group 0+. The base is sold separately from an infant seat. It can be hung in your vehicle permanently and allows you to click the infant seat onto the base.
The five-point harness clips over the baby’s shoulders and across his chest. Finally, it fastens between his legs. Car seats are needed by law for the first three years of life to help prevent serious injuries.
These seats are used from the time your kid is born until he or she reaches the seat’s maximum height or weight restriction (anywhere between 22-35 pounds, depending on the specifics of your seat). Our objective is to guide you with all of the information you’ll need to narrow down the options and select the best car seat for your needs and budget. Check out our list of the 10 best baby car seat bases that work with the most popular infant car seats on the market.
Graco SnugRide SnugLock Baby Car Seat Base
Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat Base
Safety 1st OnBoard Adjustable Baby Car Seat Base
BRITAX Car Seat Base
Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seat Base
UPPAbaby MESA Baby Seat Base
Baby Trend EZ Flec Loc 32 Car Seat Base
Doona LATCH Car Seat Base
Peg Perego Base Primo Viaggio 4/35 Infant Car Seat
Maxi-Cosi Mico Max 30 Infant Car Seat Base
Baby Car Seat Base Buying Guide: Things to Consider Before Getting One
These are some things to consider when selecting a baby car seat base.
- It fits in your car: Car seats come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some car seats are better suited for smaller or larger cars.
- Installation is easy: You can install many car seats using either the regular seat belt or LATCH system. This is a simpler way to attach the car seat using built in anchors and tethers.
- Safety indicators: Some car seats have built-in indicators and leveling systems to indicate that they are correctly installed. Most safety problems with car seats are caused by incorrect installation. Here are some tips to ensure a safe installation.
- Fabric: You should consider the style and durability of the fabric, as well as how easy it will be to clean up any spillages.
- Safety Extras: Certain car seats have additional shock absorption, padding, and/or higher quality materials.
- The Base: A lot of bases come with an adjustable foot to allow you to recline at the perfect angle. The seat should be 45 degrees for newborns. However, it shouldn’t go higher than that. Older babies can be more upright, provided they maintain good head control.
- The straps: The less likely that they will twist, the thicker and wider the straps. Twisted straps pose a risk to your baby.
- The buckle: Some seats have an adjustable buckle position. This will allow for a more snug fit.
- Simple adjustments: As your child grows, you’ll have to adjust the headrest and harness. You can adjust the height of the harness and straps from the front with better car seats.
- LATCH (Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children): All car seats and cars must be compatible with LATCH (including 2-seat convertibles). LATCH lets you attach your car seat directly to the vehicle, instead of having to use the seat belt.
- Simple cleaning: Baby and mess go hand in hand. However, a surprising amount of car seats have covers that you can’t remove. Cleanup will be much easier with a removable, machine-washable cover.
- Comfort: Your baby will enjoy a more comfortable ride in a well-padded, supportive seat.
- Side-impact protection: Car seats can be equipped with special energy-absorbing foam or other features to protect your baby’s head and chest from a side-impact collision.
Infant Car Seat vs. Convertible Car Seat
Infant car seats are designed for babies and young children. They can be attached to compatible strollers and click into a base that will stay in your car.
To begin, convertible car seats can be rear-facing. Then they can be converted to a forward facing seat. A convertible car seat can be used from the time your baby is born until they grow out of a front-facing seat. According to Trusted Source, children should ride in a front-facing car seat until they are at least 5 years old.
Convertible car seats can sometimes be converted into booster seats, which is the next step in your child’s car seat development. Booster seats should be used until your child is roughly 4 feet 9 inches tall, or around 9 to 12 years old, and can safely wear a seatbelt.
Types of Infant Car Seats
There are many options for infant car seats on our website and in shops. The type of infant car seat you choose will depend on your needs, budget, and child. Some people with smaller or larger babies can’t use any type of seat. A Chicco KeyFit seat is the best choice for a 4 to 5 pound preemie.
These terms will be used on different models to help you better understand what you are looking at when you shop. There are four types of seats.
- Rear Facing Only: Infant car seats, also known as rear-facing seats or infant car seats, are suitable for infants as small as 4 lbs up to 40 lbs depending on the model. These seats are usually smaller and attach to a base. They also have handles for easy carrying. The base can be moved around from one car to the next, but the main selling point is the carrier. It allows you to transport your child without disturbing her.
The five-point harness secures infants in the “cradle”, which is the part of the seat that holds them. Nearly all infant seats include a head support pillow to prevent the baby from squirming. Infant seats are adjustable for comfort and can recline.
- Convertible seating: Convertible seating is exactly what it sounds like: seats that can be transformed. They can be flipped from the rear to the forward, and sometimes they even convert into booster seats. These seats are usually larger and more expensive than rear-facing only ones. They do not have a carry handle or a detachable base. Many people choose to start with an infant rear facing seat, and then move to a convertible.
- All-in-One (sometimes called 3-in-1, 4-in-1, or 4-in-1): All-in-one seats can be used in a variety of ways. They can be used to support the back, forward, or as a booster seat with the harness removed. You may find an all-in-one that converts into a booster without the harness and can weigh up to 120 pounds. You may occasionally find one that has a booster mode that requires a harness. However, they are very rare. These seats meet all safety requirements, but they do not offer the same comfort as the standard.
- Travel Systems: Also known as car seat/stroller combos. Many of the infant car seats that you will see here can be purchased either as a standalone item or as part of an entire travel system. The seat can be attached to a stroller as a travel system. While you may not need a stroller, many parents find it convenient. Keep in mind, however, that not all infant seats will fit all strollers. This is especially true for the UPPAbaby MESA which only fits the Cruz UPPAbaby strollers. There are many stroller options available, depending on what you prefer, such as 3-wheeled, 4-wheeled and jogging strollers, or double strollers.
- Booster seats: Designed for children aged at least 4 years and 40 lbs, boosters can be used to boost your child’s height in the car’s car seat. This will ensure that your child’s car’s shoulder and lap belts are at the right points to secure them.
Car Seat Accessories
Although car seat accessories are not a necessity, many parents find that they make life easier whether their baby is in the car or on the move. These accessories are very popular.
- Base for second car seats: You can buy an extra car seat base if you have a second vehicle. This will allow you to move your infant seat between vehicles.
- Car seat canopy: All infant car seats come equipped with a canopy. However, some can be better than others.
Here are some things to think about: How much shade and sun protection does the canopy offer? Is there a peekaboo window? This is an optional feature, but can be useful for checking on your baby while you’re walking. Is the canopy strong enough to withstand the tugging of tiny hands?
- Car seat covers: Car seat covers are great for providing a safe, comfortable environment for babies to sleep in. Multi-use car seat covers can double as nursing covers and triple as grocery cart covers.
- Insert: Infant car seats are equipped with an insert that is safe for babies as small as one year old. Babies are often very small. Extra inserts are available from some brands that are extremely luxurious.
Use only inserts made by the manufacturer of your car seat (e.g. a Chicco insert for Chicco car seats). Otherwise, they aren’t crash-tested and there is no guarantee of safety.
- Mirror in the back seat: Mirrors in the back seat can help you keep an eye out for your baby while driving.
Car Seat Safety Features
These safety tips are important to remember when you install and use your car seat.
- Your car seat should be securely fastened. Your car seat shouldn’t be able to move more than one inch from side to side or front-to back.
- Make sure you use the correct harness slots for a rear-facing chair, the harness straps should be placed at or below your baby’s shoulders. For a forward-facing one, they should be at or above your child’s shoulders. You should also be able to pinch the webbing between your fingers to make sure they pass the pinch test.
- Choose the right recliner. Your baby’s head should not fall forward when the car seat is reclining. Car seats come with guidelines and adjustments that can be adjusted to ensure the correct angle, depending on your weight, height, and age.
Car seats and winter coats are not compatible. If your toddler is wearing heavy winter clothing, you should not strap them into the car seat. You won’t have the straps tightened enough, and your child won’t feel safe in case of an accident. You can instead cover your child in light layers, or wrap a blanket around the car seat.
Frequently Asked Questions about Baby Car Seat Base
How can you install a baby car seat without the base?
Although the basic idea of installing seats without bases is the same as the one above, it is best to consult your manufacturer (either on the documentation or via Youtube Videos
How do you fly with an infant car seat base?
The car seat and base were always carried together and gate checked that way. The base can still be used on the plane. It’s easier to lose or separate from your car, and it’s less likely that it will be damaged or broken.
When is it safe to put my child in front of me?
Children under 13 years old should be seated in the rear seat, even if they have moved from a booster to a seat belt.
What is the best time to purchase an infant car seat?
Your infant car seat should be available at least one month before you are due. This will give you plenty of time for a professional to help you install it correctly.
What number of bases should I use for my infant car seats?
It is best to have one base for each vehicle so that it is easy and quick to switch between them. If the baby will be frequently switching between cars of your family, how can you make it easy for them? It will be much easier to have three bases.
Is it necessary to replace my car seat if it has been in an accident?
If your vehicle has crashed into your car, you need to replace the seat and base, even if there is no visible damage. In the event of an accident, a damaged base or car seat may not be able to protect your child.