Gone are the days of "jumping in the car" for new mamas. Whether it's a trip to the grocery store or even that first slooooow ride home from the hospital, getting your baby to and fro is no quick or simple task. You've made lists and gathered all your must-have items for your baby's arrival, and at the top of that list is an infant car seat—one of the first necessities you'll use straight out of the hospital or birth center.
As any parent will tell you, an infant car seat is one of those things that you cannot skimp on in terms of quality. Hospitals often require you to have one before discharging you, because until that sweet baby is big enough, this essential item is the only way to travel with them.. But with so many varied Google results for "best infant car seats" deciding which one you'll use can be overwhelming and challenging at best. That's why we're here.
To help you make the best choice for you , we rounded up seven of our top picks, taking into account factors like support and safety , weight, fabric and ease of installation.
If you're ready to go mobile, check out our favorite infant car seats that will make traveling not so impossible (and maybe even— dare we say it —fun).
The Nuna Pipa is a 2019 What to Expect Award winner and built to withstand any bumps in the road. The adjustable base and load leg offer rock-solid support to protect from collision, and you won't find any flame-retardant chemicals anywhere on this product, keeping your baby healthy and exposure-free. You can install it with or without a base—even on airplanes.
Weighing at just 8 pounds, this car seat can rest comfortably on your arm throughout a whole day of running around. Talk about lightening the load!
Another What to Expect award winner , The KeyFit 30's stay-in-car base utilizes two RideRight bubble level indicators as well as a ReclinSure leveling foot to help keep your baby at the safest possible in-vehicle angle. This car seat gets an A-plus in our book because it's suitable for children up to 30 pounds with an insert specifically for babies weighing four pounds or more (for our preemie babies!).
The Chicco KeyFit has a slim profile and an easy-to-install base, which makes for easy-as-pie maneuvering, and you'll feel that much safer with its built-in level that indicates whether the car seat has been properly installed and positioned. Just listen for the "click" sound when the car seat has successfully connected to the base.
If bulk is not your style (and honestly, if you just can't with another pound of stuff to carry all day), famed brand Combi offers a light, narrow and safe solution in the Coccoro Convertible Car Seat. At just 15.5 inches wide and weighing at 15 pounds, this infant car seat is so narrow that you can fit three side by side in the backseat (hands in the air if you have triplets!). The seat accommodates kids up to 40 pounds and can stay rear-facing for babies ranging from three to 33 pounds.
More on safety: The Coccoro is designed with side impact protection with deep walls and a layer of energy-absorbing foam that helps distribute crash forces away from your baby. We personally love the tether connector strap that reinforces a rear-facing position and the five-point harness with a color indicator that lets you know when the harness is securely buckled.
Popular car seat and stroller company Britax's infant car seat is beloved by moms for a few key reasons. Not only can the car seat connect seamlessly to most Britax strollers (making those on-the-move days brighter!), but its deep steel-framed seats and "SoftCell" padding offers more than enough cushion and support that are meant to absorb impact from the side and away from your bundle of joy. Plus (as you can tell), we love our level indicators, which tell you if the seat is correctly installed and positioned.
Bonus for you mover and shaker mamas: You don't need to take the base with you when you move from car to car—you can simply install the car seat with a seatbelt. The B-Safe is a great option for babies up to 35 pounds. Weighing at just over 18 pounds, you can be sure that your baby is fully protected in this car seat.
Well-known children's company Graco offers much in the way of comfort, ease, and—of course—safety in the SnugRide SnugLock 35 infant car seat.. Meant for babies weighing four to 35 pounds, this car seat is great for preemies or small babies. We love the three-step installation process and the four-position recline, which allows for a completely customized fit to your car. Plus, this car seat utilizes a European belt bath (unique!), which means you can install the seat using the base or simply your vehicle's seat belt.
What stood out to us most was the SnugLock Technology, helping to protect rear-facing infants from any outside impact. The car seat's Click Connect technology provides secure attachment in just one step to all other Graco Click Connect strollers and bases. Your baby will love this car seat because of the rotating canopy providing ultimate shade and sun protection, and because of the super-cushy removable newborn head and body support.
Maxi-Cosi's Miso Max 30 infant car seat gets points from us on how easy it is to clean—and every mama knows that messes are really half the battle in every situation). Not only does this car seat implement deodorizing fabric that draws liquids away from the skin but has a seat pad that is so easily removable, it doesn't require you to undo the safety harness. The Miso Max 30 is compatible with other strollers using Maxi-Cosi adapters.
This car seat is lightweight and safe for babies up to 30 pounds (rear-facing from five pounds!),
and even includes a convenient stay-in-car adjustable car seat base for easy in-and-out travel. Mamas will love the contoured handle that can curve around your body for easy handling and carrying.
Our only Italian pick, the Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 infant car seat, makes us think "Grazie!" Rear-facing, it's suitable for babies four to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches tall. We're drawn to the innovative energy-absorbing shell design and adjustable side impact protection that can adjust to six vertical positions, which shields your baby from harm while offering top-notch comfort. We're not gonna lie—we are so into the well-fitted Italian upholstery features that keep you and baby traveling in style.
Also noteworthy: We love the multiple-stage cushions that support and grow with your baby. The first stage cushion, which is for newborns four pounds and up, focuses its support on baby's neck and bottom, while the second stage cushion continues to keep baby's head properly positioned. Not to mention, this car seat is fitted with breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that will keep them cool even on scorching hot days.
A car seat with wheels? We're sold! The Doona car seat is ideal for moms recovering from C-sections who cannot carry anything heavier than baby (which rules out every single car seat in the market!). This revolutionary car seat provides parents with the solution they need when they are on the go, since you won't be waking baby up when going from a stroll around your neighborhood to back in the car to go home. It's super easy to push and even easier to go from stroller mode to car seat mode.
There's more: This is the perfect car seat for those parents who travel a lot, since it cuts down the need for also bringing a stroller in the plane or car. It includes a car seat protector, so you won't have to worry about the base of the car seat ruining your upholstery. Can be used from 4 to 35 pounds and up to 32 inches for height.
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