I remember the time when I was so much obsessed with safety for my child. As a new mom, I made sure to have all the safety gears needed, from baby monitors to baby gates and all kinds of baby proofing gears required for the house. But when it came to travelling by road, I was always apprehensive.
India doesn’t have an outstanding road safety record. I am not so proud of saying this. Nevertheless, the fact always stands out. You never know what could happen when you take your little one out for a drive. We are always prone to accidents on busy roads and highways. One of the best ways to overcome this stress is to get a best and reliable baby car seat.
On my quest to buy the best baby car seats in India, I discovered there are a lot of significant factors to consider before settling for the best.
What Is A Baby Car Seat?
‘Baby Car Seat’ is a fancy term for a lot of us in the Indian subcontinent. However, in the west, there are laws which mandate the usage of car seats for children from infant to 8 years. Moreover, a seat belt is mandatory for kids up to 12 years.
A baby car seat is one of the best safety gear for kids during car travel. This is a small seat for infants and kids which you can latch and fix in your car, for your little ones to sit and have them buckled up.
This is how a typical infant or baby car seat looks like (Images below). You have a headrest, backrest to support the head and body of your child. Also, the seat belts secure the little ones from jerks caused by bumps on the road and sudden breaks while driving.
Best Baby Car Seat– Quick Comparison
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Types of Baby Car Seats
It is pertinent to understand in the first place that car seats vary based on the age of the kids. That is to say; there are different kinds of car seats for newborns, infants, and toddlers. Read the below section to find out more.
Infant Car Seats
Most of the European countries and the United States recommend rear-facing Infant car seats. These are best suited for newborns and small babies, up to 24 months. These usually have two parts, a base which stays fixed to the car and a carrycot with a handle to latch and remove from its base easily.
Features And Benefits
As the name suggests, in a rear-facing car seat, infants are made to sit facing the rear side of the car. To point out, these car seats are designed to prevent the jerk caused during a crash. They absorb the crash forces and support the head, neck and spine. This is because, during a collision, the head, neck and back move forward in unison, thus not straining the baby.
An infant’s head is usually heavy, and its neck and spine are not strong enough to support the head. For this reason, experts suggest keeping your child rear-facing for as long as two years of age.
Another critical point to remember is these car seats come with a handle for you to remove the seat from its base and carry it around without disturbing the baby.
There aren’t many. Bigger and taller babies might not have enough room to stretch their legs. Furthermore, it is a little challenging for parents to reach out to their little ones and tend to their needs if you are driving/ sitting on the front. You cannot monitor your baby constantly while driving.
However, you can fix a car rearview mirror to your baby’s car seat to keep an eye on your little one all the time.
Convertible Car Seats
The ability for you to convert a car seat from a rear-facing to front-facing falls under this category. After your child is 12 months, you can transform the car seat to front-facing.
Features And Benefits
For one thing, a convertible car seat saves you from purchasing a new one, once your child is ready for a front-facing car seat. These are specially designed for you to switch them back and forth as per your needs.
They are usually straightforward to install for any type and vehicle model. Additionally, it is better to look for features like side impact protection. These are additional safety aspects for the safety of your child.
These are larger and heavier than the infant car seats, and unlike the infant car seat, they don’t have a base and a removable car seat. You have to carry the baby in and out of the car or make use of a stroller. Parents usually complain about the car seat not small enough for newborns.
Specialists suggest the use of a proper infant rear-facing car seat for the safety of the babies, rather than getting a convertible one.
3 -In-1 Car Seat
You can use an all in one or 3 in 1 car seat to accommodate the different stages of your child’s growth. For instance, from rear-facing or front-facing to a booster seat and further remove the back support to have just the base seat.
Features And Benefits
Let’s talk about one of the obvious features; this type of car seat suits your child for a more extended period, from 0 – 10 years. Besides, like other types, these have side impact protection and are ECER 44/04 certified.
There are a few models which are just front-facing, but not rear-facing. It is essential to realise that these all-in-one car seats are not designed for newborns and infants. Moreover, these are heavy as they come with a lot of parts to aide the conversion of the car seat in different stages.
You can typically transform your kid from a front-facing car seat to a booster seat if they satisfy the height and weight requirements for a booster. Kids who are above 4 inches in height can have the car’s seat belt fit properly around your child’s body while sitting on the booster.
Features And Benefits
The purpose of a booster seat is to elevate or boost up the height of your child, ensuring the car’s seat belt suits them better. To point out, booster seats do not come with a safety belt, so you would end up using the car’s seat belt.
Most of the booster seats have adjustable back support to cater to your child’s height. Notably, you can detach the back support and use the base seat if you think your child is old enough.
Like other types, these come with a latch and harness at the back of the car seat for fixing. This ensures your child is safely in the booster seat even when there is a high impact collision.
A booster without back support could strain your child’s back and neck during long drives. These are for cars with a good headrest. Younger kids can easily reach and take off the seat belt while driving, which is deemed to be dangerous.
Top Baby Car Seat Brands in India
As of today, you might find plenty of baby gear brands for infants and younger children. Choose the one that could best accommodate your little one’s age and requirements.
R for Rabbit
R for Rabbit is one of the most innovative brands in India developed by parents. Its website cleverly says’ We were parents first and then business parents’. R for Rabbit complies to the European Safety standards while designing all their products. You can entrust your child’s safety on this brand.
Yet another leading Indian brand targeting Indian parents, LuvLap has been in the market for a while now. Their products are of exceptional quality and comply with European safety standards. They carry not just car seats, other baby products as well.
Mee Mee is an Indian brand catering to millions of parents since 2007. Naresh Khatar, the Indian entrepreneur, wished to provide good quality affordable baby products, during the times when overpriced International brands were the only option available.
Chicco is a division of the Artisana group based out of Italy. They have established a good market in India, owing to the demands in the subcontinent. Their products are of exceptional quality adhering to the requirements set by the European Safety Standard.
Based out of Ahmedabad, Little Pumpkin is yet another player. The little pumpkin is dedicated to designing products deemed best for our younger ones. Their products are of high quality, safe and affordable.
Evenflo is a 100-year-old Infant feeding company based out of US. They first started with baby bottles, cups, pacifiers, breast pumps and now are one of the leading manufactures of a diverse variety of baby gears. They have established trust with parents because of their prolonged presence in the business.
Graco is a well-known name for baby gears and products in the west, and their baby gears are safe, reliable and trusted by several parents. Although their quality is outstanding, they are pretty expensive.
Top Baby Car Seats in India – Review
Is your head spinning after learning about these many brands? It is overwhelming when given plenty of options from which to choose. But make sure you have considered a couple of factors mentioned in this section before you pick one of the best car seats in India.
Chicco key fit car seat is crafted for comfort of your baby. It brings in comfort to your baby’s journey. Chicco’s ergonomic design ensures the seat cushion is made of breathable material, helping the posture of the baby as well. 5 point harness and side-impact safety protection help safeguard your child at all times. The shoulder straps are cushioned adequately for proper support. The key fit car seats come with a detachable carrier that can be fitted with a Chicco stroller.
It is a little overpriced, given the fact that you can only use it until your child weighs under 13 kgs.
Evenflo Tribute LX Convertible Car Seat meets the rigorous testing standards of the US and Europe. It has all the qualities which we look for in a good car seat, easily adjustable 5-point harness, the seat reclines for rear-facing use, side-impact tested, and it comes with a nice cushioned pillow along with the headrest.
Overall, you can use the Evenflo Trible Convertible car seat as rear-facing for infants weighing 2-12kgs and as front-facing for a child between 9-15kgs. By and large, this could be one of the best toddler car seats in India.
One of the best booster car seats available for toddlers in India, Graco is a brand that could never let you down. As shown above, this high back booster seat is suitable for kids between 15 – 36 kgs. It has a cushioned armrest and detachable backrest. If your child is old enough, you can remove the backrest and use just the base.
Booster seats do not come with shoulder straps; you’ll have to make use of the car seat’s belts. Priced under ₹6000, the Graco booster is a pricy option; further, the product has a few bad reviews about its poor quality.
LuvLap’s convertible car seat stands on top of my list because of a couple of reasons, and I consider it as one of the best baby car seats for 2 or 3-year-olds. Firstly, it is Certified as Per European Safety Standards (ECER44/04). This is imperative for every car seat manufactured or sold in India. Secondly, this convertible car seat has a 5 point safety harness to secure your little one along their shoulders and waist.
Thirdly, their headrest and harness are adjustable based on the baby’s head and height. Besides, you could remove the outer cover and wash it.
As this is a convertible seat, you could convert have it rear-facing until two years and then convert it back to front-facing afterwards.
With an approval rating of 4.5/5 in Amazon, this is a good option for your child. However, there are a few issues about the quality of the plastic used and durability. They do not come with a carrycot for you to carry the baby without having to lift them.
R for Rabbit’s Jack N Jill is a convertible model car seat designed for rear-facing for infants up to 24 months and front-facing up to 5 years whenever your baby is ready. This model is one of the best car seats for R for Rabbit and has a few amazing features that stand out. For instance, the product is ECE R 44/04 Certified, has a 5-point safety harness, has side impact protection and adjustable headrest. The fabric cuddles and grows along with the baby, so it’s not too tight or too loose. This could be one of the baby car seats available for use from birth.
But on the negative side, a few parents complain about the quality of the car seat. A few others feel the base and seat is wobbly after attaching the seat with the car. This is extremely dangerous and kind of defeats the purpose of getting a car seat in the first place.
Mee Mee’s infant baby car seat is one of the best car infant car seats for the best price available online. You can use this rear-facing car seat as a carrycot and rocker as well. It is ECE R 44/04 certified and has a 3-point safety harness. The fabric has a UV protective layer that protects your child from harsh sun rays. This could be one of the best ‘Mee Mee’ baby car seats available in India.
Exclusively designed for your little munchkins below 15 months, this infant car seat is incredible and is much more than just a car seat. A few features include adjustable 3-point safety belt for you to alter as per the baby’s structure, four different position handle adjustment, for you to use it as a carrycot, a rocker and a feeding chair apart from being used as an infant car seat. It is exceptionally lightweight for you to be able to use it as a carrycot and not strain your arm.
You cannot use the car seat after your baby crosses 12-15 months. Several parents feel its too small to use, especially for tall babies.
Unlike the other LuvLap model mentioned in this section, this is not a convertible type. It is best suited for infants up to 13 kgs of weight. LuvLap 4-1 car seat has an easy one-pull harness system. To clarify, it can be used as a car seat, a carrycot, a rocker or a feeding chair. The height and harness are adjustable, and the car seats come with extra soft cushioned seat and shoulder straps.
Priced under ₹3000, this is one of the best combo car seats available online in India.
Another excellent product from R for Rabbit, Picaboo 4-in-1 car seat is one of the affordable car seats for infants and toddlers under ₹3000. It is designed to be lightweight and gives your baby side impact protection added with a 3-point safety harness. Eventually, as the name suggests, this car seat can be used as a carrycot or as a rocker. This model from R for Rabbit is one of the best available child car seats in India.
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How To Choose Baby Car Seats in India – Buying Guide
Evidently, a baby car seat isn’t something you get to purchase every other week. You have to choose what’s best for your little one for it is going to be an integral part of your child for a considerable period. So, let us look at the factors you should consider before buying a good car seat.
First things first, your car seat has to be absolutely safe and must comply with the European safety standards; in other words, ECE R44/04 Certified. Look for additional features like side impact protection as well. If a car seat isn’t safe enough, it kind of defeats the whole purpose.
Polyester is the widely used material in the design of a good car seat. As a matter of fact, 99% of the car seat manufacturing companies use this fabric. Before you choose a car seat, make sure the fabric is lightweight, cushioned and of high quality to avoid rashes and other allergies for your tiny tots.
Car seats come with a 5 -point or a 3- point harness to buckle up your kids. A typical 3-point (left) and 5 -point (right) harness looks like the image below
It has straps over both shoulders, one on each side of the pelvis, and one in between the legs. You buckle all them in the middle, as firmly as you can. They are extremely safe and avert the risk ejection during collisions and keep the position of the child intact.
This is more for older toddlers and is not as firm and tight as the 5-point harness. You have to make use of the car seat’s belt to secure your child. So, it kind of moves along with your child. Booster seats come with a latch to help you secure them in your car.
But just remember that kids could move out of optimal position frequently while sleeping or moving around.
Baby’s Weight And Height
Another factor to consider before buying a car seat is the height and weight of your child. Almost all the car seats come up with this information in their specifications. An Infant car seat cannot be used once the baby is above 12-13 kgs. Likewise, booster car seats have an age limit of 15-30kgs.
Consider the size of your car before purchasing a car seat. If you do not have a large vehicle, don’t go for the biggest, bulkiest one even if it has all the safety aspects you have in mind. Look for the dimensions given in any car seat and judge if that could fit in your car.
It would be nice if any given car seat could be affixed with your stroller. Mostly, a car seat and stroller combos from the same brand come with this option. Chicco Key Fit Car Seat is a good option for a car seat with stroller compatibility.
Ease of Installation
A poorly installed car seat brings in risk for your child’s safety. A Rear-facing car seat cannot be installed forward-facing, and a convertible car seat can be used both ways. Few come with a different base from which you can remove the seat and use as a carrycot. Therefore, look at the user manuals and how-to videos before you decide to purchase one.
Ease of Use
Go for the car seats which aren’t bulky and heavy. Infant car seats come with carrycots. They have to be lightweight to carry around and hassle-free when trying to detach and attach with the car seat’s base.
Easy To Clean
Removable and washable seat covers help you to clean and easily maintain your car seats. Make sure the model you purchase has detachable outer covers, and the base is made of good plastic for easy protection.
Weight of a car seat plays a substantial role. Parents do not prefer heavy and bulky car seats. Look for models which are easy, comfortable to carry. Check the weight specifications mentioned by the car seat manufacturers before you buy.
You have car seats in different price ranges available in the market. Look for budget-friendly and safe choices. You can invest in a good convertible car seat if you think you are going to use it for a few years. However, if you are planning to get an infant seat, remember that you will have to switch to another one after your baby grows out of the car seat.
Baby Car Seats – Frequently Asked Questions
Let us look at a few questions.
Are Baby Car Seats Safe?
Yes, one of the safest thing for your child during travel.
Do Baby Car Seats Have Expiry?
Yes, car seats come with expiry, and you cannot use them afterwards.
Where Can I Find The Expiry?
You can find the expiry of the car seat on a sticker that has the model number and manufacturer details.
Where Should Baby Car Seats Be Placed?
It is safest to place the car seats in the middle of the rear side.
Are Baby Car Seats Allowed In Front?
It is dangerous to have babies with car seats in the passenger seat of your car.
When Can A Baby Car Seat Face Forward?
It is advisable to have babies rear-facing until 12 to 15 months.
Which Baby Car Seat To Choose?
Consider the factors listed in this article before you choose a good car seat for your little ones, based on age, height, weight and other requirements.
What does an ECE R44/04 label mean?
An ECE R44/04 approval label guarantees that a car seat complies with the requirements as mentioned in the European Safety Standard ECE R44.
In summary, a car seat is a must for your small babies purely for their safety in these unpredictable Indian roads. You can pick up an exclusive infant seat like the R for Rabbit Picaboo 4-in-1 Car Seat Under ₹3000 this is a rear-facing infant multifunctional car seat.
On the other hand, you can pick a convertible car seat like LuvLap Sports Convertible Car Sea . Though it is a little expensive, you have about 300+ approval ratings in Amazon, and you don’t have to worry about replacing it for the next 4-5 years.
Do not think twice about getting a good car seat for your little munchkin. This baby gear is a must and is the best way to protect your kids during a car drive.
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