Keeping your child safe is obviously the most important thing, and this includes having the right baby car seats installed in your vehicle. The only problem is; most parents don't have any extensive knowledge in this area except to find the cheapest price. Well, the most inexpensive price from a quality product. After all, your first goal should be figuring out whether or not the baby seat for cars is going to protect your child.
During the searching process you have to address the basic safety issues. Connecting the seat belt securely is probably the first place most parents look. This should come with an integrated LATCH system or a Lower Anchor and Tether for Children. It's what fastens the car seat to your vehicle's seat. So whenever you're in a normal driving situation the baby seat will stable, especially with the regular seat belt being used as well.
You should also find a baby seat that offers the Versa Tether Energy Absorbing system. If by chance you have to stop suddenly, the VTEA system holds the seat in place. A great example is the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat. Basically it keeps the seat from moving unexpectedly up to 6 inches, which is also an integrated part of the LATCH system.
Sometimes the force of an accident can be enough to jolt your child, which is where EPS foam comes into play. It's something also used in bicycle helmets, so if something unexpected does occur, the force of the crash will divert away from your child. While this was created to provide a forgiving barrier between your baby and any hard surface, the HUGS harness also prevents any type of movement. So if you get hit from behind or from the side, both of these will be extremely helpful.
Even though all of these safety features are important, it's the safety harness that provides a secure fit for your child. During your research we recommend finding an option that offers a 5pt. system. It should offer a form fitting safety harness that allows an extremely small range of motion. Refer to Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat to get an idea. It will also latch down to the seat, but will out of reach from wandering hands.
Comfort for your baby is also something to consider, so the car seat should have plenty of cushioning such as the Graco 3-in-1 Car Seat. We recommend finding something that can be detached in case it gets dirty. Therefore it should be allowed to be placed in the washer for a proper cleaning. During this time we recommend wiping down the body of the seat and using anti-bacterial wipes to get rid of any germs. A good choice is the 3-in-1 seats. They can change from rear-facing to front-facing, and basically complement your child as he or she grows. Eventually you can transform your baby car seat into a booster seat and still get the same support in the process.
While your budget may not allow you to spend hundreds of dollars on a car seat, that doesn't mean you should buy some cheap seat, or buy from a second hand store. Buying used seats, is not a good idea, because they have had a lot of use, and may not have the same structural integrity as a new seat. It is important to know that a good quality seat is going to range from one to two hundred dollars.