Walking into a baby show at a convention centre can be an overwhelming experience. With the right preparation, you’ll be able to ask important questions that will help you get the information you need to make educated choices about your baby equipment. A baby expo is also an excellent way to learn about car seats in particular because you’ll be able to see them, how they attach, and what features they include.
Infant, Convertible, Booster Seat
The first question you’ll want to ask when it comes to car seats is – what kind of car seat is it? Infant seats are rear-facing only and are the best fit for babies up to approximately 20 lbs. The weight and length limits vary by manufacturer so be sure to know what they are.
Convertible seats can grow with your child. They start rear-facing for the infant months and can be used forward facing once your child reaches the correct weight and height. Some can even be used as a booster seat until your child weighs well over 100 lbs.
Booster seats come with or without a back and help to place the car safety belt in the correct position over a child. They can only be used for older children with the minimum weight limits starting around 40 lbs.
Ease of Removal
Your next question should be – how easy is it to remove and install the car seat? This is especially important for parents with two cars that need to transfer the car seat often. Some car seats come with easy to remove latch belts while others require you to put your hand between the seats to undo a hook.
Another good option if you need to remove the car seat often is a seat with a detachable base. This type of car seat snaps in and out of a base that is left in the car. By purchasing two bases you can leave one in either car for quick transfers.
Your last question should be – How do you adjust the safety harness? Some difficult to use safety harnesses require you to remove the car seat from the car to change the length or height of the safety harness straps. Other models have easy to adjust features that allow you to change the shoulder height of the harness as well as the tightness of the straps with the seat still in the car. This type of seat is easy to adjust and can be done while holding your child.
A baby expo gives you the opportunity to test the ease of using a car seat and see how you might use the included features. With the right questions, you’ll be able to narrow down your search for the car seat that is best for you and your baby.