Being a parent means always putting your child’s well-being and safety first, whether it be at home or out and on the go. You can’t help but watch over their every move and ensure that everything is okay. Keeping them safe also means making sure you have all the right baby and child gear, with the most important being a child car seat.

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The car seat is what will keep them safely strapped in place and give them that extra bit of protection should you be in an accident. Child cars seats literally save thousands of lives each and every year and this isn’t something to toy with. Of course with that said you want to be sure you pick the right seat for your child, which can be overwhelming thanks to the options available. Here we’ll take a look at five things you’ll want to look for when shopping for a new car seat for your child.

Be Aware of State Laws

Before you can even hope to narrow down the options out there, it’s important that you understand the child seats laws by state. These laws dictate what type of seat you will need for your child whether it be a rear-facing, front-facing, or booster seat. The requirements are based on age or weight, so you'll need to do a little research before you begin.

Buy the Car Seat in Your Country

The next step is to make sure you're buying a car seat from the United States. This will ensure that it meets all safety requirements here in the US, rather than other countries which will differ. You will also want to be sure that you are buying new, never used or second-hand. In general, most car seat warranties will expire six years after they are made, and buying new will also ensure that the seat has its full integrity still.

What Kind of Attachment System Does Your Car Offer?

It's also important you look at your car and determine what kind of attachment system it offers. There is the LATCH System (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children System) or the seat belt. You need to know that the seat you purchase will be compatible with your car.

Do You Need It to Work With Your Stroller?

If you are purchasing a car seat for a newborn on the way, then you may want to look into a travel system. This will include a car seat base, an infant seat, and a stroller. The idea is that you can snap the rear-facing infant seat into the base quickly and with ease, and then remove it and pop it right into your stroller. This can make transporting a sleeping newborn much easier.

Consider a Convertible Seat

Convertible seats are also very popular and for good reason. These are meant to grow with your child so you don't have to keep purchasing a new seat. There are convertible seats that can start out rear-facing for newborns and can then be turned forward-facing when the time is right. Some can even go on to convert to a booster seat.

By using all of these tips, you’ll be able to find the best seat for your child.