Choosing the best car seat for your newborn baby can be a challenge. There are just so many options out there. My advice is to visit a few of the popular stores to see what your options are.
All infant car seats must be rear facing in the United States. In Canada, they are a bit more strict than the US when it comes to manufacturer date of the car seat. You are not allowed to use a car seat that is old than 2 years old in Canada. So if your family in the US plans to give you a used car seat, reconsider it.
The seats designed for infants typically have two components. There is a base that is secured to the car, and there is the seat that secures to the base. Most modern cars have these metal hoops called anchors that are located at the base of the back seats on each side. They are usually not visible, and you have to put your finger in between the seats where your tail bone is located when you are sitting down. The anchors are the easiest and safest way to install a baby car seat. If your car does not have anchors, there are other ways to install the seat using the seatbelt, but it will not be as secure as using the anchors.
One of the most important features of a car seat is how easy is it to detach the seat from the base. This is something you will be doing very many times as your baby tends to fall asleep in the car, and you do not want to wake the baby up. When you are at the store, test out seat to see which has the easiest mechanism to remove the seat from the base. If its difficult to do, I would not consider it a good seat.
The second most important factor to consider is how does the car seat fit into the total travel system. What I mean by this is, does the car seat offer an option for you to connect it to a stroller base. This is a feature you want when you are going to the store or to the park. You want an easy travel system that makes it simple to put the baby seat in the stroller and just go.
How easy is it to clean the car seat? That is the final feature you want to consider. Small children spit up alot, and you do not want your baby sitting in a dirty seat with a sour milk smell. Some infant car seats are easy to clean, and some allow you to remove the outer cover and place it in the washing machine.
The best selling infant car seat is the Britax B-Safe 35 but I went with the Chicco Key Fit 30 because it was the easiest to detach from the base. What most companies will not tell you is that they all have to meet the safety standards, so do not base your decision solely on how safe they advertise their seat as being.