When you find out you are expecting, many scenarios and questions may run through your mind. What will he/she look like? Will I be a good parent? Is my baby going to be healthy and happy? There are some questions that are difficult to answer, but one thing that you do have some control over is your child’s safety. One of the most important purchases that you will make for your child is their first car seat.

There are many options when choosing this vital piece of baby care equipment, here are some to take into consideration:

1) Lifestyle

One thing to keep in mind when making this purchase is your lifestyle. Some car seats are made narrow to fit nicely in compact vehicles. This is something to look into especially if you have other car seats or a small car. Not all car seats will fit in every car so look into trying it out before you purchase.

2) Safety

When purchasing a car seat, look for a model that has a 5-point harness. This should include two shoulder straps, two leg straps, and one strap between the legs. Another tip is to avoid buying a used car seat that has been in an accident. The safety features may be compromised after impact and affect the safety of the seat. Car seat safety also includes knowing how to correctly install the seat in your vehicle.

3) New or used

A new baby is expensive and will require lots of gear. There is always the option to buy a used car seat for your little one. There are some things to keep in mind. Do not buy models that are over six years old. Safety standards change and you want to stay current. Also, look for seats that have a model number and a manual included.

4) Budget

Buying first car seats can be a nerve-wracking experience. There is quite the range of models in many price ranges. Luckily, there are plenty of quality choices that are perfectly safe in any budget. There are safety regulations in place that make sure that car seats are produced safely. Often, when you pay a higher price, you are paying for extras.

5) Function

There are some features which some parents don’t want to live without when it comes to car seats. The latest models have cup holders, reclining seats and arm rests among other cool extras. There is also the option of buying an infant or convertible car seat. A convertible can be used as a front facing seat when the child is old enough to face forwards.

Picking out items for a new baby can be overwhelming. Keeping in mind these tips should make researching and purchasing a new car seat a little easier. Enjoy the time that you have with your new infant and breathe easier knowing that you have taken measures to keep your baby safe and happy while travelling.

Do you have any tips in selecting a car seat? Please share in the comments below.

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  • For all 3 of mine it was the capsule and then a 2nd hand car seat purchased from a friend so we knew it hadnt been in an accident. All very differnt now.


  • We had a bassinet for our first, then a car seat from my brother. The 2nd we hired a capsule then they used same car seat. When they were big enough, we were given a booster seat. All so wrong now, using 2nd hand baby products


  • buy on special! I got a good quality one as I was having more than one child


  • I’m also glad I don’t have to go through all the pros and cons for car seats – it’s overwhelming but this article is helpful for those who have to make some decisions.


  • So pleased I don’t have to worry about this any more


  • Very wise and informative. Thanks Delan.


  • Another thing to consider is whether you want a capsule to fit on your pram. I loved this feature with both of my kids when they were bubs. I hired a capsule for both to click on to my stroller, and then bought a 6 month to big kid seat (saved buying two). Having a pram to car capsule means you don’t have to disturb your bub if they fall asleep in the pram or the car. My kids didn’t ever transfer, so this was invaluable!! My recommendation is the Baby Jogger stroller.


  • All about safety and reputation. And absolutely having it properly installed.


  • I found it important to measure the size of your car in comparison to the size and design of your car seat….every car is different.


  • I too looked at CREP website when deciding on carseats. So many other parents i know were surprised how the average priced seats were as safe if not safer than the wizz bang/massively expensive seats. I also reccomend trying the seats for your car. Each car is different and height/width can truly be tested hy trying them first. And most models now are coming out with slimline versions – crucial when trying to fit 2 or 3 seats across the back.


  • Thank You I often wondered about cheaper options but knowing there is a standard it means I can budget more and not compromise on safety


  • We referred to the CREP website to assess the safety of any of the seats we were considering then it cam down to budget.


  • We are about to buy a second car seat for the husbands car. Thank you for the tips.

    • Never buy a second hand babyseat/booster/capsule unless you know the history of it – if you do preferably from somebody you know and know the car hasn’t been in an incident / accident of any type no matter how minor…..unless you are prepared to find a place that can safety test it for you.
      They shouldn’t disintegrate unless they are made of white polyeurathane (what some call white foam). They are not considered good quality by today’s standards. I know one family who replaced the harness for each new baby, otherwise the seat is still in perfect condition. When it wasn’t acutally occupied they kept it covered with a piece of material to keep the sun off it. Continuous heat from the sun will cause it to deteriorate. Some of them you can actually remove the fabric covers and wash them. Another reason I wouldn’t buy a secondhand one as research has shown that they are the worst piece of baby equipment for retaining bacteria. I was shocked to learn of that. You may also find it difficult to buy a second hand highchair from an op shop. Many don’t accept them for hygience reasons. You may be able to get a plastic one or one with vinyl covered seat that can we washed.


  • Great tips. We went for safety and budget


  • I purchased an expensive car seat and once I’d finished with it I packed it away thinking I would pass it on to my brother when he and his wife had children. It must have been packed away for around five years and when I unpacked it the foam cushioning had totally disintegrated. Needless to say I couldn’t pass it on to anyone and I wish I had sold it as soon as I’d finished with it. Oh well, lesson learned.


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