When you have a new baby, one of the essential things you need to have is a car seat. However, it can be difficult determining what type and size you need, as well as how to install it properly. Here are some tips for choosing a new car seat and ensuring it is installed correctly.

Learn About the Different Types

The first thing you should do before buying a new car seat for your child is to look at the different types of seats. Infants, toddlers, and young children are often in a rear-facing seat. This provides extra protection for your child in the event of a collision with another vehicle. There are special rear-facing car seats that fit infants, while others have the room for toddlers and small children. There are also convertible rear-facing seats that can be adjusted from newborn and infancy and beyond. All-in-one seats go beyond this and can go between a rear-facing and a forward-facing seat for when your child gets bigger. There are also standard forward-facing seats in addition to booster seats that help children who are not tall enough to sit in the regular seat in the car but don't quite need a special car seat.

Choose the Right Size

After you have considered the different types of car seats, you then need to choose the right size. Not only are you looking at the size of the seat and what size children it fits but also whether or not it will fit well in your vehicle. The car seat boxes are clearly labeled so you can find the right one. You need to consider your child's weight and height when determining the right car seat size. After you have installed your new car seat, you can place your baby or child in it and see exactly how well it fits. For example, you know you have chosen the right size if the harness is snug and the harness straps are at the right position, as well as if the child's bottom is flat in the car seat. You also want to look at the position of the harness chest clip and the crotch strap.

Have the Car Seat Inspected

After you have installed the car seat, it is a good idea to consult a car seat fitting professional who will inspect its position and make sure it is fitted properly. It is a good idea to bring your child and have them sit in the seat, as this lets the inspection station look to see that you have chosen the right size as well. If you have yet to install it, you might be able to find a local fire department or police department that has someone trained in fitting the car seat in your vehicle.