When is the best time to buy a car seat? Should you get one every year?
You do realize that a car seat is a long-term investment and you shouldn’t have to invest in a new one every now and then. The car seats manufactured today are sturdy, functional, and designed to support your constant demand over the years.
Therefore, this is not something you should take lightly. You should learn as much as you can about car seats before you decide to buy one. There are various factors to consider, such as the material, durability, functionality, and the size of the vehicle.
Ready for all the juicy details? Let’s go!
Best Time to Buy a Car Seat: When to Switch Car Seats
The best time to switch car seats is
- when your child has outgrown the weight and height limits imposed by the car seat manufacturer.
- when the vehicle seats have worn out or have been damaged in some way due to mishandling and accidents.
- if you received a new one as a present by donating the old one!
Car Seat Upgrades: How to Know It’s Time to Buy a New Car Seat
Here is the million-dollar question: when is the right time to buy a new car seat or to upgrade it to a new one? This section will cover all the details. Read carefully!
When Should You Upgrade Your Child’s Car Seat?
Your child is supposed to keep growing every week and month. That is why, when you buy a car seat, make sure you get something a little bigger than your child. He or she will be surpassing the car seat pretty soon, trust me.
When you notice that happening, that is the time to upgrade your child’s car seat. You will notice the seat being too small for the baby, too tight, or just plain uncomfortable for him or her.
The label should clearly indicate the maximum height and weight limit. As the baby grows up gradually, you may have to change from a rear-facing to a bigger rear-facing convertible car seat.
Then, once your child reaches the ultimate limit of the rear-facing seat, upgrade to a forward-facing car seat with a harness. When the child has outgrown that, move to a booster car seat.
Types of Child’s Car Seat to Buy
Generally, a child’s car seat is categorized based on the stage of development of the child. Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, school-going children, and older ones need different types of car seats for safety and comfort during travel.
|Age of the Child||Type of Seat|
|Infants and toddlers||Rear-facing-only, and rear-facing convertible|
|Toddlers and preschoolers||Forward-facing convertible, and forward-facing with harness|
|Older children||Seat belts|
Best Car Seats on the Market
Need some help finding out the best children’s car seats on the market right now? Take a look at my quick list.
- Graco 4Ever DLX 4 Car Seat
- Britax Boulevard Convertible Car Seat
- Cybex Aton 2 Sensorsafe
- Chicco KeyFit Infant Car Seat
Top Car Seat Brands
Want to explore the world of car seats more? Here are some of the best brands for car seats. Visit their websites to find out more about their functionalities and benefits!
- The First Years
- Maxi Cosi
- Orbit Baby
- Safety First
- Peg Perego
What to Expect When Buying a Car Seat
Before you impulsively buy a car seat, do some research. Check your car’s manual and see whether the car seat can be attached using the latch or belt.
If your choice is a latch, identify yourself with the latching system of your vehicle. Also, measure the back seat to get familiar with how much space there is for the car seat.
Car seats can either have a narrow or wider base. Make sure the car seats fit at the back of your car.
A convertible car seat is the best investment, as it can grow with your child. These are known for safety and can last till toddlerhood!
Sometimes, a seat and a stroller are sold together at a good discount. Don’t miss that chance!
Furthermore, check if the car seat on your mind is approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). This is important because the safety standards are constantly improving and you need to keep up with it.
Moreover, the most crucial features to look out for in a car seat are the 5-point harness (that includes two waist straps, two shoulder straps, and one strap between the legs), a latch, and side-impact foams and pads. Other secondary features include an anti-rebound bar and a bigger canopy.
How Do You Save Money on a Car Seat?
There are many ways to save money on a car seat. First, you can buy convertible car seats which can be the only ones you will ever need in life!
- If you’re planning to have more children, you should get one of these to save on expenses.
- Second, get second-hand car seats from reliable sources. That may even be people you already know.
Be careful to check if the ones you’re buying meet existing safety guidelines recommended by your state.
Also, inspect the car seat in person before committing to buy it. If it’s a genuine product, the seller will provide adequate information about any crash history and expiration date.
- Third, look out for trading in old car seats to upgrade them to new ones.
- Fourth, keep a lookout for coupons at Target and other reliable places. You can save up to 15% on car seat purchases!
- Fifth, add this to your registry before the baby shower to let friends and family know that you’ll be needing it.
How Can I Get a Free Car Seat?
To get a free car seat, you can try calling your insurance provider to check if your insurance can cover a free car seat. Local Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) can help you get a car seat on a budget.
They are constantly trained to aid in matters regarding car seats and their safety uses. They are your best friend when it comes to anything car seat-related!
In addition, call ‘211’ to get in touch with United Way to find a cheaper car seat available on the market. This service also provides aid when it comes to food supply and rent support.
Some of the other places you can get help regarding this matter are local Women, Children, and Infants (WIC) services, hospitals, Everyday Miracles, Baby 2 Baby, and Safe Kids Worldwide.
Do Insurance Companies Pay for Car Seats?
Some insurance companies are known to reimburse clients for car seats. But you have to show them the receipt for the new car seat that you bought.
This is applicable even when your kid outgrows the old seat and you have bought him or her a new one. Additionally, the company will cover the cost of the car seat after any crashes and accidents as long as you have proof of the incident.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I bet there are a sea of questions squirming in your head right now. Don’t you worry! My FAQs have got you covered!
Q1. Why is Car Seat Sales Predictable?
A) Car seat sales are hosted twice a year by Target in the Car Seat Trade-In Program. Make the most of this opportunity by getting a 20% coupon on each purchase! This program takes place from the last week of April to the first week of May. Then, resurfaces in the first two weeks of September.
Q2. Where are the Best Places to Buy Car Seat Covers in the US?
A) If you are not looking to buy a child car seat cover online, there are a number of places that you can get it from. For example, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, and the main websites of the top brands for car seats.
Q3. What is the Target Car Seat Trade-In Event?
A) The Target Car Seat Trade-In Event is an occasion to get 20% off on all car seats. This event takes place in April and September every year!
Q4. What if My Child's Feet Touch the Back of the Vehicle Seat?
A) Even if your baby’s feet come in contact with the back of the car seat, there is simply nothing to worry about. It is unlikely for your child to injure his or her legs, feet, or hips when exposed to the back of the car seat.
Q5. When to Buy a Car Seat during Pregnancy?
A) If you’re expecting a baby, start looking for a cute car seat for your little one when you are close to the due date. Ideally, that can be from the last four to three weeks before delivery.
You also need time to get familiar with the new car seat, its maintenance, and its process before it becomes physically impossible for you to do these things.
Q6. Which Car Seat Cover is Better for Driving?
A) Functionality, durability, and comfort play the biggest role in picking the right car seat cover for your child. Since it is your little one who will be taking up the space, hygiene, breathability, and allergy-free elements must be kept in mind.
To save money on the new car seat cover, consider the quality of material used, ease of use, functionality, and durability of the cover. The last thing you want is to replace car seat covers over and over again.
Whether you are getting a brand-new car seat, a used one, or an upgraded version, you need to know a handful about these innovative products. In fact, not only are the safety standards for car seats improving but so is the competition among the top car seat companies to get more customers.
Since the core concern for having a car seat relates to security, make sure the brand that you are buying from is following the right regulations. There is no point in getting a car seat if it fails to protect your child from injury.
Sometimes, an injury may be caused by sharp ends, overly tight latches, and a lack of extra space in the car seat. That is why the height and weight measurements of your child must meet the correct requirements of the product.
In simple words, the best time to buy a car seat is when your child has outgrown the seat.