How to Find the Best Rear-Facing Car Seat

So, you need the best rear-facing car seat for your little one – but how do you even start looking?

It’s true, the same seat your purchase will likely be the one that carries your newborn on the drive home from the hospital – so we understand why you’d only want the safest, most reliable model around. Well, the good news is: all car seats sold in the United States meet federal safety standards, meaning they’ve all undergone a 30 MPH crash test.

So, what you really need to focus on is finding a crash-tested car seat that works for your family, your lifestyle and your car. Because when you’re running errands or traveling across town with your newborn– you want the right infant car seat in tow.

That’s where our infant car seat buying guide comes in.

Make Sure It Fits in Your Car

First thing you need to do is make sure that your rear-facing car seat fits nicely in your car. They come in all sorts of sizes, and some may be more fitting for a large SUV than a hybrid sedan. So, before you set out to buy one, take a tape measure and note the height and width of your cars’ seats. 

Make Sure It Has a Newborn Insert

Newborns not only have to fit perfectly in a car seat, they also have to be elevated and positioned correctly. That’s where an infant insert comes handy – these soft paddings can surround your growing child and hold the in the proper position until they’re big enough to fit securely in the harness.

Since safety standards vary by manufacturer, we recommend that you only use inserts made by a car seat’s manufacturer. A car seat without its own insert is a major red flag.

Canopy

Car seats sometimes have the option to choose between a full and a partial canopy. Always select devices with a full canopy and take into consideration how much shade coverage and sun protection the canopy provides. 

Approved for Air Travel

It’s important to find a car seat that’s approved for airplane travel as it is not recommended to hold children during entire flights. Before purchasing your car seat, check the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website for a list of carriers that are safe for air travel.  

Anti-Rebound Crash Technology

Sometimes, an impact isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. Parents that want that extra peace of mind can opt for a rear-facing car seat with an anti-bounce bar to prevent the carrier from rebounding into the back of a seat in the event of a crash.

Side Impact Protection

Why is it so important to have side-impact protection? Because side-impact crashes result in more severe injuries than frontal collisions. So, when you’re looking for an infant car seat, look for multiple side layers of protection.

Machine Washable

Spit ups and accidents – they happen. And when they do, you’ll want an infant car seat that’s easy to clean and machine washable.

Pick an infant car seat/stroller combo

Not all infant car seats are compatible with all strollers and trying to find two that fit together can get complicated. Our recommendation is to get an infant car seat and stroller combo – also known as a travel system.

This eliminates the need to worry about finding the right pairing, or lugging around two separate pieces of equipment everywhere.

Installed Without a Base

Most infant car seats come with a LATCH Base, meaning the base can be tightly strapped down into a car seat using a series of tethers and bars built into the car. Most cars manufactured after 2002 offer a LATCH-specific system, but what if you’re in an older car? You’ll need to find a car seat with a base that can be secured with the seat belt.

In the end, the most important bells and whistles in a car seat are the ones that make your life easier. That’s why the Doona Car Seat & Stroller was designed to help parents get in and out of the car in less than 5 seconds. Without even waking your little one, you can lift the Doona right out of the car, press a button, and voila, the integrated wheels pop out and you’re ready for a day out on the town.

With Doona, you’ve got more than just car seat safety – you’ve got a solution for making parenting simple. If you’re ready to navigate the world with this one-of-a-kind device, check out our entire collection of Doona infant car seat & strollers. Don’t forget to check out the remarkable certifications and safety ratings.