Where did I research? Blogs. Informational websites, including BabyCenter.com and TheBump.com. Amazon.com reviews. BuyBuyBaby.com reviews. I also read reviews in Baby Bargains. I've mentioned this book before - it's fantastic. If I were researching today, I would add WeeSpring.com to the list. It's a (free) member's website and the gist is personal reviews for any and all baby products. I highly recommend it.
What did I research?
- Safety. Obviously.
- Stroller compatibility. Some strollers and some car seats
don't have great chemistrydon't connect with adaptors.
- Infant vs. Convertible. Infant car seats are made strictly for infants and expire around the 10-14 month mark. Convertible car seats last from infancy through toddlerhood. I didn't look at 3-in-1 car seats (which supposedly last from infancy through small childhood) because that just seemed like too much and, therefore, not safe.
- Cost. I didn't harp on this one. Thanks to some good, old advice from my mom, I live by the rule that you get what you pay for. And for this particular purchase, I wanted to get HIGH quality.
- Weight. Lugging that thing around with the added weight of your little bundle is no joke. Every pound counts.
- Ease of Use. This included installation, buckling, stroller adaptor use, cleaning, etc.
A couple weeks ago, I was asked to participate in a survey about my car seat purchase. The website hosting the survey asked 50 mom/baby bloggers to answer questions about their car seats and recently posted the results (here). Participating in the survey and reading through the results made me think back through my intense process. Each and every baby product purchase I made in the beginning was thoroughly considered. Nowadays, I've loosened the reigns a touch. I bought my daughter a toy Volkswagen hippie van at CVS the other day, the epitome of an impulse buy...which was fine for $5.99. But, for the most part, I remain an educated buyer when it comes to anything that's for my daughter.
We have so many choices when it comes to car seats and toy hippie vans and everything else. Too many choices. Taking the time to know what we're giving to and getting for our little ones is always a good idea.
This (above) is on my living room floor. Pretty groovy, huh?