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Black Friday is the best time to get a great price on a car seat. A car seat is perhaps the most important purchase you'll make as a new parent. You can't even bring baby home from the hospital without one! Parents shopping for their first car seat have two types to choose from: the infant car seat or the convertible car seat.
The infant car seat is a small, portable car seats specially designed for babies in approximately their first year of life. The weight and height limit for infant car seats is generally around 35 pounds and 32 inches. Most families choose an infant car seat for its convenience factors. Unlike the convertible car seat, you can attach the infant car seat to your stroller or carry it with you on a quick errand. The infant car seat comes with a base that stays in your car, allowing you to simply click the car seat off and onto the base. All infant car seats on the market are safe, but some have additional safety features to look for such as side impact protection and indicators that show you whether you've installed the car seat correctly. Car seats including the Nuna PIPA and PIPA Lite, the Cybex Aton Q and Cloud Q and the Peg-Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 Nido also include a load leg, a metal component that extends from the car seat base to the floor of your car. The load leg has been proven to reduce movement of the base in a collision, reducing the risk of head injury by as much as 50 percent.
Convertible car seats are also a safe choice for newborns and can grow with the child up to 65-85 pounds, making them a popular choice among parents who are looking to save money by skipping the purchase of an infant car seat. The downside of using a convertible car seat for an infant is that the seat is semi-permanently installed in your vehicle and cannot be easily removed for transport, nor can it be attached to the stroller to create a travel system. For that reason, many parents wait until their child has outgrown the infant car seat to purchase the convertible car seat, usually around age 1. The convertible car seat gets its name because it can convert from a rear-facing to a forward-facing car seat. Experts recommend that children stay rear-facing until at least age 2, as it's the safest position in a crash. Once the child is too tall or heavy for the rear-facing capacity, the seat can be turned around so that the child faces forward. Your child will use the forward-facing convertible car seat for several years, making the purchase of a convertible car seat an important one. All convertible car seats are safe, but some, such as the Clek Foonf, have additional safety features such as an anti-rebound bar that limits the rotation of the seat in a crash. Clek car seats are also made of steel instead of plastic, as are the Nuna RAVA car seats. Other features to look for include ease of use and easy cleaning when the inevitable juice spills occur. Car seats such as the Maxi-Cosi Pria 70 and Pria 85 Max feature removable fabrics that are safe for both the washer and the dryer.