Car Seats: Your Top 5 Questions Answered

car seat

How do you get your child to tolerate a car seat?

Some babies and kids love car travel. In fact, many babies are known to love the car seat so much that parents take them on drives just to get some solid nap hours in. But this love can quickly turn to hate as a child grows older. In many cases, though, the solution is simple: adjust the fit of the car seat to your growing child.

I removed the infant insert and took out the car seat cover and he’s much happier now. I also gave him a rattle and that helped too. He’s not 100% but he’s so much better. Katie

My son started doing that and I realized that the bottom buckle between his legs needed to be moved to a bigger spot. After that he was totally fine again. Jessica

Adjusting the fit of the car seat is the first thing to try. Read the manual if you’re not sure because often the proper fit isn’t what you’d guess. If you’ve done this and you’re still hearing protests from your little one, you may have to try some more advanced techniques like playing music, singing, bring toys, or having a full on conversation! You can find more tips on what worked for parents here.

Car sickness happens. How do you clean vomit from a car seat?

Your first instinct to clean your car seat is probably to spot clean it the way you would a mattress, a carpet, or a pillow. Unfortunately, this will usually not do the trick of removing the vomit smell from the fabric. Here’s a secret: most car seats come with a manual that will tell you exactly how to dismantle them completely and stick the “soft goods” (fabric parts) in the washing machine. This will get your car seat looking and smelling brand new.

Scoured your manual, called your manufacturer, and you’re absolutely positive you’re not one of the lucky ones who can dissemble your seat and stick it in the wash? There’s still hope. Buy an enzyme cleaner like Biokleen Bac-Out, just make sure it won’t void your warranty.

What is the best car seat?

Most of the time, the “best” car seat depends on your situation. Some factors to consider include the size of your car, how many car seats you need to fit in it, your stroller situation, and the weight of the seat. The site Car Seats for the Littles allows you to compare specs of different seats to find one that is right for you. Of course, you can also see what other parents recommend.

What’s the best car seat for travel?

When you have to lug your car seat on an airplane, or move it between vehicles frequently, it’s important it’s lightweight, durable, and in some cases, snaps into a stroller. Graco and Cosco are popular brands in the travel use case.

I love the Cosco Scenera Next for travel. It’s lightweight and also one of the less expensive carseats. It does both forward and rear facing. Sara

Anything that you can adjust as baby grows is always best for your $. I use Graco Aire3 travel system. –Vanessa

You can find a lot more recommendations here.

When should you turn a car seat forward-facing?

There are two main categories of car seat: infant car seats for babies and convertible car seats for toddlers and up. Infant car seats are always rear-facing but convertible car seats have a weight limit for the rear-facing position at which point you still use the same car seat but in a forward-facing position. While every car seat has slightly different specs to tell you when your child has outgrown the rear-facing position, it’s usually much later than you think! Because it’s safer for your child to be in a rear-facing position, you want to keep them this way as long as possible.

PLEASE PLEASE wait until baby is at least 2 years old to turn around. The longer baby rear facing, the safer they are. –April

Don’t assume that forward-facing will be the answer to your car seat woes. As many parents share, there are plenty of things you can try if your child is upset with the rear-facing position that don’t require them to be forward-facing.

Posted in Parenting ∙ Updated April 2019

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