How to Choose the Right Car Seat for Babies

I’m writing this blog post as a parent and responsible writer to help you choose the right car seat for your baby. This process should be simple, but you may have a few questions about it. I can imagine, for example, that a price tag of over $200 might tempt you to save money and buy used or online from an off-shore retailer. After all, your baby car seat is one of the dozens of items you have to buy as a new parent. But please read on and hopefully, you’ll see why these options aren’t really options.

Baby safety car seat
Baby safety car seat

Be Very Wary of Used Baby Car Seats

  • Do not buy a used car seat just to save money. That includes hand-me-down car seats from your siblings and/or best friends who are trying to help you out. There are a few reasons for this.
  • All car seats have an expiry date. Even if your hand-me-down baby car seat is in fine condition and has never been in a car accident, dropped, thrown, or otherwise involved in some sort of impact, many other factors can affect its effectiveness.
  • In addition, the used car seat you have may have been subject to a recall at some point. If you do opt for a used car seat, thoroughly investigate if a recall on it was ever issued.
  • And last but not least, laws change, and what may have been acceptable five or ten years ago may no longer be acceptable now.

Rear-Facing Baby Car Seats

For example, when my kids were of car seat age, the recommendation to keep them facing the back past 9 kilograms (20 pounds) was just coming out. Now, however, the Ministry of Transportation says, “It’s best to keep your child in a rear-facing child car seat until they reach the manufacturer’s recommended maximum weight and height limits. Some rear-facing car seats are made for children that weigh up to 20 kg (45 lb.).”

Certified in CanadaCar Seats for Kids says, “All car seats for sale in Canada undergo the same rigorous testing and all are safe when used correctly. When buying a car seat, look for the National Safety Mark label, which indicates that the seat is legal for use in Canada.” I’d be very surprised if you found a new baby car seat without this sticker for sale at a trusted retailer. However, if you do buy used (and again, I strongly suggest against it), make sure that sticker is there.

Baby Car Seats Have Come a Long Way: Take Advantage of the Knowledge

We’ve come a long way with ensuring our babies are safe in our cars. A study published in 1975 in the revered journal Pediatrics urgently called for physicians to encourage mothers to use child safety seats because they weren’t legally mandated back then.

Thankfully, they are today, but you still need to do your part to ensure your baby’s safety. Because with the right baby car seat, and a minute or two of your time before each trip, you can dramatically decrease the chances that your baby will be injured (or worse) in a car accident.

Visit the Ministry of Transportation’s website for the most up-to-date information on baby car seats and the law.

Related Articles: