best baby car seats / best baby car seat

The Best Baby Car Seats of 2019

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Congratulations on your tiny miracle!

When that adorable little bundle of joy arrives, one of the first things you’ll need for baby is a car seat to safely bring him or her home.

But where do you even start?

With so many styles available, the task at hand can feel overwhelming. You have enough to do already to prepare for baby’s arrival!

To make this task a bit easier, here you’ll find 5 of the best baby car seats to consider along with the information you need to make an informed decision.

What is the best baby car seat to buy for a newborn?

The best car seat for your newborn is a rear-facing infant car seat. Infant car seats generally carry babies weighing between 4-35 lbs. This creates the best fit, which is key to providing the safest ride for your baby.

What age do babies outgrow infant car seats?

Your baby will typically use an infant car seat between the ages of 0-12 months. However, this will vary depending upon on your child’s size. The only way to determine when your child has outgrown their car seat is if they have reached the weight and height limitations of that particular car seat.

5 Best Baby Car Seats

Below are the best baby car seats to consider for your little one. Each of these infant car seats lifts out of a stay-in-the-car base and can be paired with a compatible stroller for your convenience.

Plus:

You can have any of them delivered straight to your door with Free Shipping from Amazon.

Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat

Child Size: Infant and Babies

Rear-Facing: 4-30 lbs. | Child Height: Up to 30”

best baby car seats / best baby car seat

Pros:

The Chicco Keyfit 30 Infant Car Seat is rated the #1 infant car seat in America. As far as best baby car seats go, not only does it boast high safety ratings, but consumers agree that it is one of the easiest infant car seats to install and use.

The Chicco Keyfit 30 is recommended by nurses as it has a padded infant insert to safely carry the smallest babies. Buckling your baby in properly is simple too with the upfront harness adjuster. Easily pull it tight with just one hand.

This car seat lifts in and out of a stay-in-car base with an audible click and can be comfortably hand-carried in 2 different positions. You can also pair the Chicco Keyfit 30 with any Chicco strollers or purchase an adapter for use with other popular stroller brands.

Cons:

The canopy does not rotate all the way down, which makes completely shading your baby a challenge. A quick fix solution is to purchase a separate car seat canopy cover, which will only run you an additional $10-$20.

Read reviews here.

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Graco SnugRide SnugLock 35 Infant Car Seat

Child Size: Infant and Babies

Rear-Facing: 4-35 lbs. | Child Height: Up to 32”

best baby car seats / best baby car seat

Pros:

Want less tired and sore arms when hand-carrying your growing baby? The Graco SnugRide Snuglock 35 is one of most lightweight infant car seats weighing in at just 7.5 lbs.

This car seat features Graco’s SnugLock technology. This allows easy attachment to the infant car seat base as well as to any Graco Click Connect strollers. You’ll hear an audible click so that you can be sure your baby is secure.

The car seat also offers top of the line comfort for baby at a very reasonable price. This includes a large rotating canopy that provides lots of shade and soft, removable cushioning for newborn support.

Cons:

The biggest complaint seems to be in regards to the large canopy. While it provides great shade, some parents have complained that it interferes when adjusting the handle.

Read reviews here.

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Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat

Child Size: Infant and Babies

Rear-Facing: 4-35 lbs. | Child Height: Up to 32”

best baby car seats / best baby car seat

Pros:

The Britax B-Safe 35 Elite Infant Car Seat will give you complete peace of mind as the brand was awarded #1 in safety technology in 2015 by the NHTSA. It also received 5 stars from the NHTSA in all four categories for overall ease of use. You’ll love how easy it is to install with the Safe Center LATCH system. Aside from some of the best safety ratings, this baby car seat takes up very little space making it perfect for smaller vehicles.

Cons:

The Britax B-Safe 35 Elite has a deep and narrow design. This means your baby may outgrow it faster than other infant car seats. The design also includes a steel frame, energy absorbing foam and extra layers of side impact protection, which makes the car seat safe, but ultimately much heavier for hand-carrying.

Read reviews here.

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Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat

Child Size: Infant and Babies

Rear-Facing: 4-35 lbs. | Child Height: 17-32”

best baby car seats / best baby car seat

Pros:

The Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat is one of the most comfortable baby car seats. It has a soft, plush fabric interior with removable head pillow and 4 recline positions for however your baby likes to ride.

This car seat isn’t just comfortable for your baby though – it is designed with you in mind too. You’ll love how lightweight the car seat is as well as the padded, ergonomic handle that makes carrying your baby outside of the car as sweat-free as possible.

Along with its cozy features, the Evenflo LiteMax 35 boasts high safety ratings. In addition to meeting federal safety standards, it passes industry leading side impact and rollover test standards and has also been tested at extreme high and low temperatures.

Cons:

The canopy does not rotate all the way down making completely shading your baby or protecting her from the elements difficult. You can solve this easily though by covering baby with a blanket or purchasing any number of available car seat canopy covers.

Additionally, if you have a smaller car, you may be limited to room in the front seat as the Evenflo Litemax 35 has a long base, which requires you to scoot the seat forward to accommodate it in the back.

Read reviews here.

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UPPAbaby MESA Infant Car Seat

Child Size: Infant and Babies

Rear-Facing: 4-35 lbs. | Child Height: Up to 32”

best baby car seats / best baby car seat

Pros:

You might be surprised to learn that most baby car seats are made with fire-retardant chemicals. If you find this information disturbing, then consider the UPPAbaby MESA car seat for a more organic option. This car seat is made with non-toxic merino wool fabric. It is the only infant car seat to pass government safety standards without the use of these potentially harmful toxins.

The UPPAbaby MESA car seat also includes many other top of the line features to justify the higher price you’ll pay. One is the ease of installation. You can feel confident that you’ve installed it correctly with the red to green visual indicator. Plus, you’ll never have to rethread the straps as your baby grows with the car seat’s auto-adjust headrest.

Lastly, the UPPAbaby MESA is compatible with popular CRUZ and VISTA strollers without an adapter.

Cons:

Even though the fabric is free of fire retardant chemicals, because it is wool, your baby may end up a bit sweaty from the extra warmth of the fabric as some parents have reported.

Read reviews here.

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Conclusion

When it comes to the best baby car seats for your infant, the safest option is always going to be one that is made specifically to fit an infant like the ones on this list.

You might be wondering though:

Can’t I just buy one of those “all-in-one” convertible car seats that convert from an infant to a toddler to a big kid seat and be one-and-done?

Well… you could. But there are some things you’ll want to consider when comparing an infant car seat to an all-in-one convertible.

Infant Car Seat vs. All-In-One Convertible

Aside from not giving you the great fit that an infant car seat does, all-in-one car seats are big, heavy and bulky. This means that the car seat stays in the car. There is no option for hand-carrying your baby in it once you’ve arrived at your destination.

With an infant car seat, you’ll have a lot more convenience and a better experience for both you and your baby. Infant car seats are lightweight and typically lift in and out of a base that is secured to your vehicle’s seat. This provides the option to hand-carry your baby in the car seat or place the car seat into a compatible stroller.

These two options make getting around outside of the car with baby much easier. With an infant car seat, you will always have somewhere to set your baby down whether you’re at a restaurant, the doctor’s office or the grocery store.

If you only have an all-in-one car seat, you would have to remove your baby from it each time. That means either carrying her in a baby carrier on your body or placing her in a separate stroller.

And let’s face it, babies fall asleep in the car ALL THE TIME. Despite that “sleeping like a baby” saying, some babies are not happy when they are disturbed. Having to take your baby out of the seat may lead to some unnecessary frustrations.

On the other hand, do you live in a very walkable town?

If you don’t plan on doing much driving with your baby, an all-in-one car seat may work for you from the start.

You can check out the best all one car seat picks here.

Tips for using infant car seats and beyond

Have more than one car?

Instead of buying two infant car seats, you can purchase an extra base for your existing infant car seat. This way you can have a base secured in each vehicle and be ready to go at all times.

Want to keep the amount of car seats you have to purchase to a minimum?

Buy an infant car seat carrier to start. Then when your child reaches the height limitations, switch to an all-in-one convertible car seat like the Graco 4Ever or Evenflo Symphony Elite.