To say that a car seat is one of the most important purchases you'll make during the first year of parenting is an understatement, to say the least. That's why we obsess over making the right choice. The ideal car seat needs to be incredibly safe, of course, but it also needs to be easy to use (since you'll likely be using it every single day, multiple times a day). Luckily, with all the post-holiday markdowns, now is the perfect time to shop. So what are the best infant and toddler car seats on sale right now?
We all have different needs when it comes to car seats, depending on the size of our car (and baby). Some of us want models that will grow with our kids; others are hoping for seats that will be easy to carry or even (miracle of miracles) look cool in our backseats and when we click it onto the stroller. One main thing every parent wants is a car seat that will hold up under the worst of circumstances, even if we hope that we never have to find out if it lives up to its promises!
For that reason, car seats are something it's never worth skimping on when it comes to price, but there's no reason why you shouldn't take advantage of some of the fabulous discounts happening at the moment (especially considering how many of the seats on sale are top-sellers). Here are 10 options to check out.
When they say "grow and go," they're not kidding: This car seat (originally $169.99) is for kids who weigh between 5 and 100 pounds (yup, you read that right!). Depending on your child's age and size, it can convert from rear-facing (5 to 40 pounds) to forward-facing mode (22 to 65 pounds) to the belt-positioning mode (40 to 100 pounds). With an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, it's a popular choice (we love the harness holders, which hold straps out of the way while you're loading baby in the seat).
Nationally recognized by Safety Advocates for low birth weight babies, this top-rated seat is designed specifically for infants (from 4 to 35 pounds) and is rear-facing only. Originally $89.99, the seat also has three shoulder harness positions (essential as your baby grows) and the separate base makes it easy to transfer your baby from car to home... hopefully without waking her up in the process!
The whole point of a car seat is to keep your little one safe, and this model has a variety of features designed to offer the most protection possible in the event of a crash: A foam-lined shell helps to absorb the force of impact and shield your baby from debris, while an "energy-absorbing headrest" helps to keep his head secure. Can be used for rear-facing (5 to 40 pounds or forward-facing (20 to 65 pounds). Originally priced at $269.99 so it's not a huge savings, but because you can use it for several stages of your child's life, from infant to toddler, it's worth every penny.
Another seat that converts from rear-facing (5 to 40 pounds) to front-facing (22 to 65 pounds), this one is known for being easy to install (a major plus, as any parent who's ever broken into a sweat while trying to secure a car seat knows). Marked down from $349.99, this one is also a major deal — and we love that you can easily remove and clean the "Zip & Wash" seat pad.
A particularly well-padded rear-facing seat for babies from 4 to 30 pounds, this seat wins rave reviews for holding up under pressure (and typically retails for $199.99). Wrote one reviewer:
"I don't normally write reviews but I am extremely pleased with this car seat. We bought this car seat 6 months ago for our newborn. It has held up really well and was very easy to wash. Also very easy to install. We installed this car seat in the middle seat. Last Friday we were at a complete stop when a drunk driver rear ended us at 40 mph. My head smacked against the wheel and I suffered a concussion. My child was totally unharmed and only cried for a second until I was able to get to him. So thankful this car seat was made so well and held up against the impact."
Consistently well-reviewed, this seat (originally $199.99) can be used for rear-facing (5 to 40 pounds) or forward-facing (22 to 110 pounds) and was safety tested at approximately double the federal crash test standard. We love the convenient extras, like the latch system that allows you to detach the car seat from your car with one hand (!) and a harness adjuster (so you don't have to rethread the straps after every growth spurt).
Originally $289.99, this model's "TinyFit System" was designed with smaller babies (and smaller cars) in mind, though it accommodates bigger kids, too (rear-facing, 4 to 40 pounds; forward-facing, 22 to 70 pounds). Reviewers rave about how soft and cushy the seat is, even for babies who tend to get fussy in the car.
Rear-facing only for babies 4 to 35 pounds, this is another exceptionally sturdy model (weighing in at 19 pounds) that aims to protect your baby above all else. The most persuasive review on Amazon reads:
"Totaled our car. Our son came out unscathed. Immediately repurchased."
It's currently marked down from $209.99.
Quite possibly the most fashionable infant car seat we've seen on the market, the Nuna Pipa (for babies from 4 to 32 pounds) is super lightweight (7.9 pounds) and comes with a patented "Dream Drape" to keep the sun out of your baby's eyes. It also promises "5-second installation" (speaking of dreams, that would be a dream come true). Originally priced at $299.95 it's $100 off.
Rear-facing only (for babies from 4 to 35 pounds), this seat is a classic, sturdy option for newborns and beyond — particularly if you're looking for a seat that can attach to a stroller system (this works with Graco Click Connect strollers). Originally $134.99, this one is a great deal, too!
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