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Top 6 Infant Car Seats

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Infant car seats face the rear of the vehicle only and are suitable for newborns and young babies. Based on my experiences as a child passenger safety technician, these infant car seats are among the easiest to install in many vehicles, hold up well over time and are easy to adjust to fit your growing baby. All of these infant car seats have passed U.S. government crash test standards. If you read the instruction book and take care to use the car seat properly every time, these infant car seats are all safe for your baby. Need help figuring out which features you need? Take a look at this infant car seat buying guide for more information.

1. Chicco Key Fit 30 Infant Car Seat

Chicco Key Fit Infant Car Seat
Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber.com. Used with permission.
The Chicco Key Fit is incredibly easy to install in many vehicles, which can help make it a safer choice since proper installation is key to safety.The Key Fit 30 can be used for babies up to 30 lbs., so you should get a longer useful life out of it. Key Fit has liquid leveling indicators, an easy to find belt-routing area and a secure locking system that makes it easy to get a tight fit without LATCH. The center-pull LATCH adjuster makes LATCH installations incredibly easy. Chicco Key Fit is also fairly lightweight, which is nice if you intend to carry it outside the car a lot.

2. Graco Snugride Infant Car Seat

Graco Snugride Infant Car Seat
Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber.com. Used with permission.

The Graco Snugride is one of the most popular infant car seats ever made, and for good reason. It's easy to use, fairly low in price, and comes in many colors and patterns. Graco also makes some nice strollers that go with this car seat as a travel system, if matching gear is important to you. This car seat is rated for babies from birth to 22 pounds, and has Graco-pedic foam lining the shell for comfort. Matching head supports are usually included with the SnugRide. Graco does make some Snugride car seats with a rear-adjust harness that can be difficult to use correctly. Look for the front adjust models for ease of use.

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3. Graco Snugride 35 Infant Car Seat

Graco Snugride 35 infant car seat
Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber.com.

Graco has updated the very popular SnugRide car seat again with the SnugRide 35, which, as you might guess, has a 35 lb weight limit. It's also a little taller in the shell to accommodate babies up to 32 inches. The base angle can be changed easily with a dial, and there are built-in seat belt lock-offs to help you get the installation just right. Parents also love that there are loads of patterns and colors to choose from, and that these car seats can be used as a travel system with many different strollers.

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4. Safety 1st On Board 35 Air Infant Car Seat

Safety 1st OnBoard 35 Air Infant Car Seat
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The stand-out feature of this infant car seat is the side-impact crash protection. The air-filled sections that line the car seat act like a stunt man's landing pad in a crash - releasing air at a controlled pace to minimize the forces to your baby. I also love that this car seat is rated from 4 to 35 lbs. It gives a good fit to smaller babies, including some preemies, but also has plenty of space as baby grows. There's a customizable padded insert, too, so you can add padding where baby needs it for the right fit.

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5. Baby Trend Flex-Loc Infant Car Seat

Baby Trend Flex Loc Infant Car Seat
Photo courtesy of Pricegrabber.com. Used with permission.
The Flex-Loc car seat is particularly easy to install if your vehicle has LATCH anchors. The connectors on the car seat base are perfectly designed to make it easy to secure the base, while built-in level indicators help you be sure the car seat is installed at the proper angle. The four base height positions make it easier to install without using towels or pool noodles for proper recline. If you don't want to take the harness straps out of a car seat to change the harness height, the Flex Loc is the car seat for you. All you have to do is turn a knob to change the harness height. The harness tightness is also very easy to adjust on the Flex Loc infant seat.
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6. Orbit Baby Infant Car Seat System

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The Orbit Baby infant system is an incredible car seat for those who are willing to pay top dollar. The infant car seat and one base costs about $400. However, the base is truly easy to install properly, and the designers have done an amazing job of creating a system that scores major points for safety and comfort. The car seat can be docked in the base from any angle, but won't lock until it's properly aligned. The soft carry-handles make parents more comfortable, too. The infant seat can be docked onto the Orbit stroller and rocker (sold separately). You'll need to buy an Orbit toddler seat later on, so be sure to budget for that, too.

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