You will agree with me when I say that carrying your child in your arms or on your lap anytime you are driving can be tiring if not outright dangerous.
Thank God that if you can get your hands the best light weight infant car seats, you do not have to carry the child when you do not have to.
If you a baby weighs less than 30 pounds and has a height of 32 inches, you need to buy an infant car seat.
“An infant car seat differs from a convertible car seat in that the infant seat is suitable for babies in the 95th percentile (typically age 1 and below)”
There are many brands of baby car seats from a variety of manufacturers that you can buy online.
However, for an inexperienced eye it is not that easy to tell how one seat differs from the next.
As such in this section I will analyze the different aspects and features of baby car seats and discuss them in terms of ease of use, installation, price and safety.
Many baby seats will claim to offer utmost safety, but it is always better to be informed before proceeding to buy one.
Best Infant Car Seat 2018: Graco Snugride Click Connect
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Car Seat
Out of the Infant carriers on the list the Graco Snugride Click Connect is the best bucket seat being ultra lightweight, easy to install with click connect, ease of cleaning, high safety ratings, and compatibility with all Graco Click connect strollers makes it the best choice.
Best Infant Car Seats Comparison Chart 2018
Graco Snugride Click Connect
Why Buy a Lightweight Infant Car Seat
If you are buying a booster or convertible seat then buying the lightest car seat 2018 is not a factor given that these seats will for the most part be left installed on the vehicle.
However, the baby carrier is made to be carried around and one of their biggest advantages is that:
- You can click them in and out of their bases very easily.
- You can also click them onto most of the best infant stroller travel systems and have the convenience of your kid without a heavy weight on your arms.
- Given that they are also very small they are the best fit for small cars as they will not take up too much space or increase the load on your compact vehicle.
- Most of them are in compliance with FAA regulations on car seats to be used on airplanes
N.B If you have an older child check out some of the best car seats for small cars
Mother Carrying Baby in Baby Car Seat
Features of Infant Carriers
Infant car seats are different from convertible car seats both in function, weight, and look.
Given that they are made for younger babies they come with features and functionalities that make it easier for you to move them around in a stroller or in the vehicle.
Check out the Best Travel Stroller for Airplane
- Detachable Seats/Separate Bases – Baby car seats come with detachable bases that you can install permanently on your vehicle.You can then click the seat onto the base when ever you want to use it and remove it to carry the baby out of the car into a stroller.This feature makes the seat very convenient as you can take the baby out of the car without disturbing them as you would in the ordinary child seat.
- Rear Facing Only – Unlike convertible seats that are front and rear facing, car seats for infants are only front facing.However, this is an advantage particularly if you are involved in a head on collision as it is the recommended position for a baby riding in a child seat
- Canopy – The canopy is one of the features that makes this the best car seat for newborns. Unlike other safety seats, baby safety seats come with canopies to protect your baby from the sun.This canopy can be very useful whether you are using a stroller or are in the vehicle.
- Smaller Height and Weight Limits – Since they are made for children usually below the age of 1, most of these seats have smaller height and weigh limits. However, this is an advantage if you travel a lot. Given that they are lightweight, they are very easy to lug around which makes them the best car seats for infants. Baby safety seats will usually be suitable for children weighing from between 4lbs up to an average of about 30lbs.
How to Install an Infant Seat
The following videos and tips will guide you on how to install an baby car seat.
You can also read the infant baby seat manual on the specifics of installation for your child seat and also your vehicle owners manual:
Two important points to keep in mind are:
- You should always install the infant seat in the rear facing mode, and never in the forward facing mode
- Always install baby seat in the back seat and even better in the center of the seat
- Just like with seat belts you need to read your vehicle owners manual and the infant carrier manual carefully before installation. Be careful to read all instructions on how to locate the lower anchors and how to install the car seat on them
- Install the baby seat on the vehicle’s back seat since this is usually the safest place for a baby seat. Given that the seat is installed rear facing, it protects the child’s spine, neck and head from serious injury.
- Find your lower anchors on the back seat
- Connect the seat base’s lower anchors to the lower anchor attachments on the car seat and ensure that you do not twist the straps.
- Firmly press down on the infant carrier’s base and tighten the straps to ensure that the the car seat does not move back to front or side to side for more than an inch.
- Ensure the appropriate recline angle of the seat for child’s age and comfort according to manufacturer recommendations.
- Attach the infant seat to the base
Best Infant Car Seats 2018 Reviews
The Graco Snugride is the highest ranking and best car seat from the Graco line of baby car seats. It is made by Graco which affirms that its car seats are designed and tested to exceed US FMVSS safety standards thus providing the best safety for your newborn
It is similar to the Chicco Keyfit 30 though it has more weight and height limits meaning you can use it for longer
For a detailed comparison between KeyFit 30 and KeyFit 35, check out KeyFit 30 vs KeyFit 35: A Detailed Comparison.. Like all infant car seats, the Graco is made to be used in the safe rear facing mode from as low as 4 pounds to as high as 35 pounds
It has also scored well in several industry standard safety tests and is a top choice for many industry publications in addition to scoring highly in many mom reviews.
- With a newborn you definitely want a stylish option for your baby girl or boy and this is what the Graco provides with its gender neutral modern looking colors and design. If you prefer girly colors you can go for the magenta, pink or green colors which are all great choices
- Your child gets to enjoy the highest of safety standards as the car seat has undergone vigorous crash safety tests and comes with energy absorbing foam and EPS, and five point harnesses to give you peace of mind
- The child rides in comfort as the infant seat is chock full of features that include a rotating canopy to protect them from the sun, a removable head support for when the child grows up and lastly a leg/foot cover for ultimate comfort for the kid
- The Graco provides easy installation of the car seat which comes with the latest of LATCH technology, easy to read level indicators so that you can be sure the recline is just right, and the Click Connect technology that provides a secure snug attachment with all Graco Click Connect strollers.
- And the cream on top of the cake, you have yourself a lightweight infant car seat that is easy to move from vehicle to vehicle or from stroller to vehicle and vice versa
- Use for longer with high height and weight limits
- Has the best safety standards
- Stylish infant car seat for the newborn
- Easy installation with LATCH
- Lightweight and easy to move between cars
- The infant insert is made of plastic
- Canopy is not expandable
The Chicco Keyfit and the Keyfit 30 which are manufactured by Chicco a company that dedicates itself to making car seats that provide safety and comfort and ease of use and installation making them the top baby seats that you could buy.
Coming with LATCH Technology, the Chicco has performed well in tests conducted by Consumer Reports and Baby Gear Lab given its plethora of safety features and conveniences for the parent and child
It is the safest infant car seats out there and is the number one rated car seat in the United States coming with innovative features that make it the easiest car seat to securely, accurately, and install into your car or stroller
- Your newborn child gets all the support they need as the Chicco baby car seat comes with removable head and body support for the newborn child who may be too small for the child seat
- At only 9 pounds, it is the best lightweight infant car seat which is an excellent choice for you if you are a regular commuter who travels with their child often as the seat is very easy to move from car to stroller or to remove from car and carry along
- Enjoy ease of installation as the Chicco is designed with all kinds of features to ensure a quick and secure installation. These include a force multiplying LATCH tightener, easy to read bubble level indicators, and spring loaded leveling to ensure the correct recline angle.
- Make your very own travel system quickly as the Chicco infant car seat is compatible with your Chicco stroller
- Easy to use two position handle that provides a comfortable grip especially as the child becomes heavier
- Best lightweight infant car seat
- Compatible with all Chicco strollers
- Easy to install and use
- Comes with modern conveniences and features
- Canopy is not that great
The Maxi Cosi infant car seat is manufactured by Maxi-Cosi, the premier European baby car seat manufacturer that prides itself on making the most comfortable and safest car seats that have taken more than 50 million babies from the hospital back home
The Bohemian range of infant car seats is great if you are an adventure head who wants to go along with your little one. It comes with colorful unique and authentic patterns on tactile fabrics that your little one will just love.
- You do not have to suffer lugging around a heavy infant seat as the Maxi Cosi is a lightweight and smallest safety seat at only 16.5 x 18 x 31 in and 18.8 pounds that also comes with an ergonomic handle making carrying your little one a joy
- If you are looking to go for a travel system right from the time you get your newborn then there is nothing better than the Mico AP which you can easily convert into a travel system by simply installing it into a Quinny or Maxi Cosi Stroller.
- Your kid is well protected in the Maxi Cosi which comes with a range of safety features such as an innovative air protect cushion system that will protect the head of the child in the instance of a crash, padded five point harnesses for the baby’s comfort, head insert and premium fabrics.
- Comfort does not end with premium fabrics as one of the most important thing s that your child needs is protection from the elements. The Mico provides an expandable canopy that has flip out visor to protect the child’s eyes from bright lights and the sun.
- Each mico AP comes complete with a multi-position sun canopy with a flip out visor to help protect baby’s sensitive eyes from bright lights. When compared to similarly priced infant car seats as of January 2014.
- Colorful patterns for the adventurous parent
- Small, easy to carry baby car seat
- Can be easily converted into a travel system
- Innovative proprietary safety features
- Canopy is hard to remove
- Baby may outgrow it fast
Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Seat
Up-front Harness Adjust
The Evenflo Litemax infant car seat is a cheap char seat made by Evenflo, a company that has committed itself to excellence through taking into consideration the well being and safety of children who are the users of its products
The Evenflo Litemax is one of is the best lightweight infant seats making it great for the urban parent It provides ultimate comfort for the parent and the child with plush materials, and ergonomic handle, and is the easiest car seats to install in the car or on the stroller
The seat is also the safest out there having undergone some of the highest federal testing standards including rollover test. It is also a versatile infant car seat that is best for your baby from 4-35 pounds
- Even as it is the cheapest infant car seat you could ever buy, the Evenflo has some of the highest safety standards having undergone rigorous testing and exceeded Federal safety standards
- You get to enjoy an easy to carry and lightweight car seat that you can carry comfortably given that it has an ergonomic handle so that you will not hurt even if you have a big baby
- Installation of the Evenflo Litemax is easy and secure as it comes with a reclining base level indicator to ensure the seat is properly reclined and accurate and easy installation with a lock off belt system
- For you, the child car seat is very convenient as it comes with machine washable pads so that you can remove and wash the baby seat covers when they inevitably get dirty
- For the child’s comfort the seat offers removable head pillows and makes it easy to get the child in and out of the baby seat with upfront harness adjust and buckle pockets to store away the belt buckle tongues when they are not needed
- Lightweight car seat best for urban parent
- Made of premium materials
- Excellent safety standards
- Versatile and convenient to use
- Dirt and stains easily show
The Baby Trend Flex Loc Infant Car Seat in Elixer is a great infant car seat made by Baby Trend,a company that has made a name for itself manufacturing innovative, award winning and exclusive products
The Baby Trend is designed to carry babies starting from as low as 5 pounds or 2.2 kilograms up to a high of 30 pounds or 36 kilograms. It comes with all manner of conveniences and safety features that will ensure that both you and your infant have a great time using this car seat.
- You get to enjoy not only a safe installation but also an easy one given that the Baby Trend Infant car seat comes with a 5 point safety harness and a push button release for harness which makes getting the child out of the seat a breeze
- You can never get your installation wrong with the Baby Trend as the base comes with a level indicator and a similar push button style installation similar to that of harnesses so that you always know when the seat is installed into the base securely
- If you are like me you know how much of a hassle re-threading can be when getting the child into their seat. Well with this seat you never have to re-thread the adjustable height back of the seat
- For the child, the Baby Trend provides superior side impact protection for the baby through energy absorbing EPS foam that absorbs shocks in the instance of a crash.
- There are so many infant seats that are just plain rough on the hands. Well not this one as it comes with an ergonomic smooth handle designed to be easy on the hands even if you are carrying a heavy child
- No rethread harness on the seat back
- Superior safety ratings and features
- Easy installation
- Ergonomic handle and backseat
- Releasing the handle is a bit tough
Best Infant Car Seat: Graco Snugride Click Connect
Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35
Out of the Infant car seats on the list the Graco Snugride Click Connect is the best in being ultra lightweight, easy to install with click connect, ease of cleaning, high safety ratings, and compatibility with all Graco Click connect strollers makes it the best choice.
Frequently Asked Questions About Infant Car Seats
Can my baby wear a jacket while in the newborn seat?
It is never advisable to dress your child in any type of bulky clothing such as a snowsuit or jacket as these make it hard to tighten the harness to the snugness required to keep them safe. If you feel that the child may feel cold, you are better off covering them with a blanket over the straps.
Can my baby sleep in their infant car seat?
If your seat s properly secured, and you are going on a very short trip, it is perfectly safe for the child to sleep in their infant seat. However, according to the Journal of Pediatrics, you should never leave the child sleeping in their infant seat if unsupervised. To ensure your child is not a victim of sudden death syndrome you need to supervise them while traveling in the car and have them sleep on their back in the cot while at home.
Can I place the newborn car seat in the shopping cart?
Most modern baby carriers seats are made to lock onto shopping carts. While this can be very convenient while shopping, it can be very dangerous too. The weight of the infant and the car seat will make the shopping cart top heavy which increases its likelihood of tipping over. Instead use a stroller, baby carrier, or a sling. Else take extra care when you have the child in the shopping cart.
When should i move from the newborn car seat to a convertible car seat?
According to a new study by Consumer reports, it is advisable to move your child to a convertible car seat when they are about a year old. The best convertible car seats offer a greater height and weight limit and hence will provide more protection for your child aged a year or more.
Can I use an infant car seat on a flight?
While you do not have to use a child safety seat for a child under the age of two in an airplane, the FAA recommends that you use a car seat for better safety. You can use your newborn car seat on the plane as long as it is certified for use on airplanes by the FAA. Check out a list of FAA approved car seats you can use on an airplane