BestCarSeatHub’s Comprehensive Family Vehicle Buying Guide

Happy family at the car

When you’re single, sometimes your tastes in car buying are as simple as, “Does it get me from point A to point B?” or “I love the color.” Add a spouse and a new baby, or babies, and maybe even a dog or two, and your car buying criteria just got a little more complicated.

There isn’t any one perfect car for all families. Luckily, there are many to choose from. We’re not stuck with the old family station wagon anymore. Those choices can be a double-edged sword, however.

There are tons of features on today’s vehicles that will fit pretty much any lifestyle. Sorting through them to find a car that fits your growing family and budget is a lot of work. We’ll help you narrow it down in this car buying guide.

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Worried About Car Safety For Your Big Kids? Don’t Be – Follow These Tips

Car Safety For Your Big Kids

Often, parents think that once their child isn’t a baby anymore, they are ready to just sit in the car and go for a drive. This isn’t the case – while many of us want our children to simultaneously stay little forever and grow up at the same time, we are still responsible for the choices that make them safe. Part of keeping your child safe is ensuring that no matter what vehicle he or she is in, safety is the primary concern.

So how can you keep your older child safe in the car? There are two main options for you:

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You’re Probably Making These Car Seat Mistakes Right Now

Car Seat Safety

Did you know that most parents aren’t using their car seats properly? Sure, when we go home from the hospital with our newborn babies, the doctors and nurses will check our car seats and ensure that we have installed it properly and we know how to clip our babies into the seats. However, as your baby grows, you need to adjust and change your car seat as necessary. That is where the mistakes come into play.

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Wearing a seat belt during pregnancy & how you may be doing it wrong

Pregnant woman sitting in car

If you’re already using safety restraints for yourself and your kids for every trip, good for you! But, if you’re pregnant, a growing belly can be an obstacle when trying to fasten your seat belt. How would you put it on? Many moms just pull the lap belt over their bellies, thinking that it will be safest for securing their baby in a crash.

In fact, wearing a seat belt like that could risk your baby’s life.

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Is your newborn head support adequate?

newborn head support

New parents often worry around the position of their newborn’s head. However, what you may think looks safe may not actually be the best position for your child’s head. Observe your baby when he’s sleeping in his bassinet. You’ll notice that his head will most often be turned to one side.

Same goes when you hold them on your shoulder or wear them in a sling. Turning their heads to one side is the most natural way for them to breathe. When some parents see babies with their heads turned to one side in a car seat, however, they think the baby isn’t positioned right.

That’s when they’ll turn to padded head supports (aka infant inserts) or even rolled up receiving blankets to hold their heads straight up. Unfortunately, these additions can push the baby’s head down onto his chest, which is dangerous because it can obstruct the airway. This is especially true for any aftermarket products that didn’t come with the car seat.

So, how do you ensure your newborn is safely positioned?

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Why height and weight limits are important for rear facing car seats

Newborn baby sleeping in car seat

From the time your baby leaves the hospital until he can use a seat belt alone, you’ll need a child safety seat. With the vast array of car seats on the market, it’s hard to determine which one is best as your child gets older.

The AAP now recommends keeping your child rear-facing for as long as you can past 2 years of age. Some infant rear-facing car seats have a low weight limit of 22 pounds that make extended use almost impossible. Likewise, most forward-facing seats on the market have a minimum age of 2 years. While it’s technically legal to turn a child forward-facing at this age, it’s better to wait.

Luckily, more car seat manufacturers are listening to the AAP’s recommendations and are now making car seats that allow for extended rear-facing use. But why is this even necessary?

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