I just finished cleaning up my toddler’s car seat, a Britax Roundabout.
One thing that irritates me is that most car seats have all this tiny crevices where food stays, or if your child happens to get car sick or have a diaper blowout, you are screwed.
Nothing fun about cleaning up the car seat on a Monday😅
Helpful tip: Use resolve laundry stain remover or laundry detergent [mixed with water] and a brush to clean the belts. Disinfect the surface with Clorox cleaning wipes.
I shaked the car seat upside down so all the breadcrumbs would fall off the crevices. I still needed to use a brush to help with sand from the beach (we live in Florida), and used butter knife to reach for a goldfish cracker that got stuck 😣.
Use a brush to swipe off crumbs or sand… A vacuum will only do half the job.
Britax car seats have the added (fun!) part in the back where a ton of grossness falls. Use a brush to remove crumbs.
But how do I even pick a car seat?
It took me a ton of research to get to the car seat I wanted (aka what is the safest seat?).
The answer to the “best” car seat is just the one that can go the longest time rear facing, as baby’s necks are not fully fused (formed) until they are about 3 years old. [source]
You may also want to keep in mind how “easy” they are to adjust.
I strongly recommend having an infant car seat and switching to a convertible car seat later for 2 reasons. The first reason is that your baby will be too small for a convertible car seat, and the second is that babies sleep the entire day. Therefore, you want a very comfortable infant car seat where they can sleep while you disconnect them from the car and can bring them still happily sleeping.
When looking for an infant seat, look for:
- Seat reclines
- It is cushiony (there are many infant car seats that have very thin foam and are very uncomfortable- your baby will struggle to sleep in it).
- Easily disconnects with a base.
- The base is adjustable in height (it will save a lot of hassle installing it).
- Is easy to use (and that your husband, grandparents, or anyone who will use it can figure it out easily). Some car seats will make you feel like you need a PhD.
When looking for a convertible car seat, look for:
- Ultimate comfort-cushiony enough for a heavier toddler.
- Can go a long time rear facing.
- Cup holders are a plus, but ultimately you want to avoid giving food to your toddler while they ride. (On the other hand, if your toddler refuses to eat in general, this might be your only chance to trick him to eat. For more on this, check out how I made my picky toddler gain weight[link].
- Great head support. Ideally, it should contour around the head so that your toddler is protected in a side-car accident.
- Easy to clean and remove the fabric.
- Easy to install.
- Easy to use on a day-to-day basis, and can be properly and easily buckled by your husband/grandma/babysitter without too many instructions.
- Has LATCH for super easy install.
- Is not super expensive, so that you can throw it away if needed… The closest thing to a disposable car seat.
- Is FAA approved if you need to fly with it.
While I have a Britax as our main car seat because it is super comfortable, I would never attempt to lug that monster through an airport.
For traveling by air, we use our simple $35 Cosco car seat that is a) lightweight, b) easy to wash, c) small enough that it fits on planes and d) has LATCH and of course b) FAA approved. I do not like that the padding is so thin, but I live with it as our temporary, second car seat.