Height/Weight Limits - I think this is one of the most important things to look for when purchasing a car seat. As a big advocate for extended rear facing I feel it is very important to get a seat that will make it possible to rear face your child comfortably for as long as possible. If you are looking for an infant seat, you'll see that some have a weight limit of only 22 pounds while others have a limit of up to 35 pounds, like The First Years Via 35 Infant Seat. Depending on whether or not you want to move your child up to a convertible car seat sooner rather than later will depend on if you want to look in to an infant seat with a larger weight limit.
For a convertible carseat the weight and height limits are very important because you can rear face and forward face with these seats. So if you are looking for a good carseat to practice extended rear facing you want something with a larger rear facing limit. The Diono Radian R120 rear faces all the way to 45 pounds! It forward faces in a five point harness from 20-80 pounds and up to 57 inches. Considering my four year old isn't even 45 pounds yet and could still be rear-facing in this carseat, I'd say this is a great carseat to practice extended rear facing in!
Versatility- I think this is another very important thing to look at when purchasing a carseat. If the carseat you purchase isn't versatile to fit your needs it's not going to be a good fit for your family. First, you definitely want a carseat that fits well in your car. If you have a small car you aren't going to want to purchase a huge car seat that won't fit in the car. Or if you have more than one child in carseats you want to make sure they will both safely fit in the back seat of your car.
You will also want to see how easy it is to install and uninstall. I didn't think we'd be switching my son's carseats between my car and my husbands car as much as we do, but we do it pretty often. The fact that they are so easy to install and uninstall is a big perk.
You'll also want to check into things like what materials the carseat is made of. Will the seat be easy to clean? Will the cover come off easily to clean it? How do you clean it? The Britax Marathon 70 G3 Convertible Carseat has a cover that is easy enough to remove for washing without having to uninstall the carseat.
Safety Ratings- Of course, you want your child to be safe in the car seat you choose for them. So it's important to be sure that it truly is safe. Do some research online and find out how the car seat you are interested in measures up to other carseats as far as safety goes. Check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for ratings, recommendations, and recalls of carseats. Make sure you are putting your child in a safe seat, because unfortunately you never know what could happen once you get out on the road.
Safety Features- As well as safety ratings, safety features are also nice to check out too. Features such as side impact protection are good to look at. The Maxi Cosi Pria 70 Convertible carseat has side impact protection and the FlexTech system to provide multi-directional crash energy management.
Extra Features- Even though things like cup holders or head rests may not seem important, they are a good thing to consider. My oldest son's car seat has a cup holder, but my youngest son's does not. I really wish my youngest had a cup holder for his because that is so much easier to deal with on car rides. While they may not be as important and weight limits or safety features, the extra features of a seat are definitely something to be checked out.
At Pish Posh Baby you can choose from a huge variety of infant, convertible, and booster carseats! They carry all of the carseats I mentioned above and many more! Pish Posh baby gives you the answer to all of the questions you have when looking for all the things above and you can even talk to someone via email or phone to answer any other questions you have. Finding the right carseat for your baby is so important and Pish Posh Baby wants to help you find the perfect one for you and your baby!