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Choosing the right car seat for the right stage

One thing that really confused me was picking the right car seat.  There were so many different types and all the descriptions I read said I really needed "this one" because its so great because blah blah blah.  My eyes glazed over and I moved onto something more fun like baby dresses because I just didn't want to deal with picking a car seat.  Then a friend of mine told me to register for two because blah blah blah... it was already hard picking one now I need two?  So confusing!

What you may want to consider:

  1. A newborn/infant will probably be more comfortable in one of those "bucket" infant car seats that are removable and can click into a stroller.  This is the first car seat you're going to need.  Register for one of these for sure.  I bought the Maxi Cosi Mico and the only complaints that I had were that the straps became tangled and the shade wasn't large enough to cover baby's face fully.
  2. As mentioned above, infant car seat can click into different strollers.  You can choose a stroller that you really really want (check out this post for help on choosing a stroller) and find an infant car seat that is compatible with the stroller.  Or, if you find an infant car seat     that you really really like, then you just need to find a stroller that has adapters to make it compatible.  However, I recommend finding the right stroller because your baby won't be in the infant bucket forever.
  3. Once your little baby boo grows out of the infant car seat you'll be moving them over to more upright car seat.  This car seat can typically be installed both rear and forward facing depending on the make and the height/weight restrictions.  
  4. The last seat you'll need to buy is a booster seat (that's if your upright car seat doesn't also work as a booster).  At this point he or she will be weighing 60+ lbs.
  5. All car seats have: a height limit, an age limit and an expiry date.  Pay close attention to all three when shopping around.
  6. I wish Toys R Us had posted the image below on their site when I was looking to add the two car seats to my registry.  You'll see that my friend was actually saying that I needed a car seat (bucket) for stage 1 and an upright car seat for stage 2.  

Transport Canada has explained the four stages of seating for kids very well at this link.They have also posted a checklist that you can print off and take with you when you're purchasing a car seat.  
I hope it helps!
Emily

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