As a mom, one of the most important things you’ll need to consider is how to keep your baby safe while on the go. One of the most important ways to do this is by investing in a high-quality infant car seat. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at everything you need to know about infant car seats, including what they are, whether you need one, what to look for when shopping for one, and more.
Our top 10 picks for infant car seats of 2023
So, without further ado, let’s dive into our top 10 list of the best infant car seats in 2023. As a mom, I know how overwhelming it can be to navigate all of the options out there and find the perfect car seat for your little one.
That’s why we’ve done the research for you and compiled a list of the top-rated infant car seats based on safety, ease of use, and overall value. These seats have been tested and approved by experts, and have received high marks from parents just like us. We hope that this list will make your search for the perfect car seat just a little bit easier.
Best Infant Car Seat Overall
Maxi-Cosi Coral XP Infant Car Seat
The Maxi-Cosi Coral XP is the ultimate solution for busy parents on-the-go. Its revolutionary 3-piece modular nesting system offers a comfortable, intimate, and lightweight carry option for infants weighing 4-35 pounds.
With four modes of carry including cross-body, handle, standard and stroller, you can easily move about with your little one securely in tow. The innovative cross-body flex strap with ergonomic shoulder pad is easy to adjust, and the removable inner carrier weighs only 5 pounds, making it a breeze to transition from one location to another.
The Coral XP also features PureCosi fabrics that are machine washable and dryer safe, without any wool or added fire retardant treatment.
With a 35-year history of setting and surpassing global safety standards, you can trust that the Coral XP meets and exceeds all government safety standards for added peace of mind. Get the best of both worlds with the Maxi-Cosi Coral XP, it is the best overall infant car seat you can buy.
Best Lightweight Infant Car Seat
Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna Car Seat
If you’re in the market for a new lightweight car seat, I highly recommend checking out the Bugaboo Turtle Air by Nuna. The ultra light design makes it so easy to carry your little one wherever you go, and the weight is just over 7lbs.
But don’t let the lightweight fool you, this car seat has superior security with Nuna’s patented Tailor TechTM memory foam for ultimate side-impact protection. And the ultimate comfort is unbeatable, with premium materials, comfort padding, and a merino wool insert. Plus, the no re-thread, adjustable 5-position harness is a game changer!
This car seat also enables you to transition smoothly and seamlessly from car to stroller and comes with a sun canopy with UPF 50+ sun protection rate and peekaboo window for optimal airflow. The turtle recline base also has 4 positions and comes with the car seat, or you can purchase an additional base for other cars.
Best Affordable Infant Car Seat
Evenflo LiteMax Infant Car Seat
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that doesn’t skimp on safety and convenience, the Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat is a great choice. It’s incredibly easy to install and carry, and is made with durable materials that are built to last. It’s also lightweight, making it perfect for on-the-go parents.
Plus, it comes with a stay-in-car convenience base that makes it a breeze to transport your little one. Evenflo is a well-known brand for 100 years for designing superior child-safety systems, and this car seat is no exception. It fits babies from 4 to 35 pounds and it’s been tested at twice the federal crash test standard.
One of the best things about the Evenflo LiteMax 35 Infant Car Seat is the easy-to-install base that comes with a one-step vehicle belt lock-off, making it easy to secure and remove the car seat. The base also offers 4 reclining options to optimize comfort.
It also has buckle pockets that neatly tuck buckle tongues away for improved loading and unloading, a full-coverage canopy to protect children from the elements, machine-washable pads for easier cleanup, and removable head and body pillows to keep baby more comfortable.
Easiest-to-Install Infant Car Seat
UPPAbaby MESA V2 Infant Car Seat
If you’re looking for an infant car seat that’s easy to install, the UPPAbaby MESA V2 is a great option. With its SMARTSecure System that combines auto-retracting LATCH connectors and a visual indicator that turns from red to green, installation is simple and accurate. The front-adjust no-rethread harness with integrated side impact protection as well as a one-handed release from both the VISTA and the CRUZ make it easy to install and remove the seat, allowing parents to move forward with confidence and security. This car seat is suitable for infants from 4-35 lbs and up to 32 inches in height and it comes with an infant insert, wedge, and low harness position recommended for preemies and smaller newborns 4-11 lbs.
The MESA V2 also offers an updated fit inlay for optimized infant body positioning and weighs under 10 lbs. It also has an adjustable headrest with Side Impact Protection, a larger UPF hideaway canopy for extra sun protection, and attaches directly to VISTA and CRUZ strollers without adapters. Additionally, it’s offered in colors to coordinate with VISTA and CRUZ strollers, and no fire retardant chemicals are applied to fabrics across all fashions. It also has European Routing for a more secure installation when installing without the base, and one crotch buckle position for simplicity and to minimize guesswork when adjusting.
Overall, the UPPAbaby MESA V2 is a fantastic choice for parents looking for an easy-to-install car seat that is packed with safety features and easy to use. It’s perfect for busy parents who don’t have a lot of time to spend on installation. I highly recommend it!
Easiest-to-Clean Infant Car Seat
Maxi-Cosi Mico XP Max Infant Car Seat
If you’re looking for an infant car seat that’s easy to clean, the Maxi-Cosi Mico XP Max is a great option. With its patented Air Protect® technology for superior side impact protection and an anti-rotation stability leg for maximum head and neck protection, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your little one is safe. The stay-in-car base features the MaxiLock™ secure locking system with self-retracting one-click LATCH connectors for easy and secure installation.
One of the best things about the Mico XP Max is that it’s made with PureCosi™ fabrics which are free from wool and added fire retardant treatment and are machine washable and dryer safe.
the time to spend hours cleaning a car seat. With its easy-to-clean fabrics, removable cushioning, and simple installation, the Mico XP Max is a convenient and practical choice for parents on the go. Plus, its compatibility with various premium strollers makes it a great option for parents who want a car seat that can grow with their child. So, if you’re looking for a car seat that is both safe and easy to clean, the Mico XP Max is definitely worth checking out.You can choose from a variety of stylish fashions that will fit your lifestyle. The fabric is also easily removable, so you don’t have to unthread the harness, making cleaning a breeze. The plush, premium soft goods provide extra cushioning, and the infant insert can be removed as your baby grows, providing the same amount of comfort and support.
The Mico XP Max is lightweight, and the contoured handle makes it comfortable to carry. Once you’ve reached your destination, the stylish Mico XP Max is compatible with an array of premium strollers.
Overall, the Maxi-Cosi Mico XP Max is a fantastic choice for parents looking for an easy-to-clean car seat that is packed with safety features and easy to use. It’s perfect for busy parents who don’t have the time to spend hours cleaning a car seat. With its easy-to-clean fabrics, removable cushioning, and simple installation, the Mico XP Max is a convenient and practical choice for parents on the go.
Plus, its compatibility with various premium strollers makes it a great option for parents who want a car seat that can grow with their child. So, if you’re looking for a car seat that is both safe and easy to clean, the Mico XP Max is definitely worth checking out.
Best Narrow Infant Car Seat
Britax B-Safe Gen2 Infant Car Seat
Are you looking for a car seat that is both safe and narrow? Look no further than the B-Safe Gen2 from Britax. This next generation car seat features a spacious seating area and tagless smooth-touch knit fabric, making it comfortable for your little one from their first ride home. With a high-strength steel reinforced base and SafeCell crumple zone, you can rest easy knowing your baby is protected head-to-toe.
Installation is a breeze with the SafeCenter LATCH system, and the SafeWash cover is both flame retardant and machine washable. Plus, it’s compatible with all Britax Single Strollers and can even be used with BOB strollers with adapters (sold separately).
Don’t compromise on safety or space – choose the B-Safe Gen2 for your baby’s needs.
Best Infant Car Seat and Stroller Combo
Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller
The Doona Car Seat is a game-changer for busy parents. It’s incredibly easy to switch from car seat to stroller mode in just one simple motion, making it perfect for those on the go. It’s packed with safety features, including a 5-point harness, adjustable handlebar (which also acts as an anti-rebound bar inside the car), and 3 Layer Side Impact Protection.
The car seat fabric is removable and washable, made with baby-safe materials and breathable textiles like bamboo and memory foam. Plus, it’s FAA approved for travel and can be paired with the Doona Travel Bag for a seamless experience.
The package also includes a bamboo infant insert, head support, and a vehicle seat protector. With a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty, it’s a great investment for your little one. Suitable from 4lbs to 35lbs, it’s a rear-facing car seat that will provide both safety and comfort for your baby.
The near-flat ergonomic design of the infant insert promotes proper alignment for your newborn’s upper and lower back, and the stroller mode provides a stylish and practical solution for parents on the go.
Parent’s Choice Infant Car Seat
Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat
If you’re in the market for an incredible infant car seat, I highly recommend checking out the Chicco KeyFit® 30. It’s been top-rated in America and for good reason.
It’s engineered with innovative features that make it the easiest infant car seat to install, simply, accurately, and securely, every time. Plus, the lightweight carrier (only 9.5 lbs) clicks effortlessly into the included stay-in-car base, making travel a breeze.
The base also comes with a ReclineSure™ leveling foot and two RideRight™ bubble level-indicators to help achieve and verify proper angle in the vehicle seat, and it’s equipped with premium LATCH connectors and a SuperCinch® tightener for a secure fit with minimal effort.
And if you choose to install it with the vehicle seat belt, the clear belt routing and integrated lock-offs make it easy to position, tighten and lock the belt into place.
The carrier shell is lined with EPS energy-absorbing foam for improved impact protection and the five-point harness has one-pull tightening to keep your baby secure. The carrier also comes with a removable infant head and body support insert to accommodate newborns as small as 4 lbs, and the adjustable, removable canopy provides shade from the sun and a machine washable, easy-to-remove seat pad makes it easy to keep the fabric clean.
You can also create a baby stroller travel system with the KeyFit® 30 Infant Car Seat, it clicks securely into the stay-in-car base and compatible Chicco strollers for a convenient car seat and stroller combo. The carrier secures easily to the stay-in-car base and stroller with a reassuring audible click and a two-position carry-handle and one-hand release make it easy to remove.
Best Safety Features Infant Car Seat
CYBEX Aton M Infant Car Seat
When it comes to keeping your little one safe on the road, the Aton M infant car seat is a top choice. With its 11-position adjustable headrest and no-rethread harness, it offers protection that grows with your child.
Plus, the included SafeLock Base has an anti-rebound design that reduces movement by nearly 30% in the event of a collision. The height-adjustable load leg further stabilizes the seat and can reduce crash forces by up to 40%.
And, with SensorSafe technology built into the chest clip, you’ll receive app alerts if your child unbuckles themselves, if the back seat is too hot or cold, or if the driver accidentally leaves the child behind.
Additionally, the linear side-impact protection system (L.S.P) absorbs up to 25% more impact forces, and the removable newborn insert provides added support for babies weighing 4-11lbs. This car seat is suitable for babies up to 35lbs and 30 inches, and rear-facing only.
The Aton M offers easy functionality and peace of mind, making it the safest choice for your little one.
Best Infant Car Seat For Traveling
Baby Jogger City Go Air Infant Car Seat
The Baby Jogger City GO AIR Infant Car Seat is the perfect choice for busy parents who love to travel with their little ones. This lightweight car seat is easy to carry and can be quickly and safely installed without the base in cars, taxis, and rideshares.
You can also use it with or without the base, or attach it to your Baby Jogger stroller to create a convenient travel system. The flex shade canopy drape made with breathable fabric protects your child from sun and wind while out and about.
The removable infant insert keeps babies positioned and secure, and the OptiVent fabrics keep baby cool and comfortable. Additionally, the SecureStop anti-rebound bar reduces rearward movement of the car seat during frontal collisions.
With a weight of only 8 lbs, this car seat is perfect for on-the-go parents, and is suitable for infants rear-facing from 4 to 35 lbs and up to 32 inches in height.
What is an infant car seat?
An infant car seat is a type of car seat that is specifically designed for babies and young infants. These seats are typically rear-facing and are designed to protect your baby’s head and neck in the event of a crash. They are also typically smaller and more lightweight than other types of car seats, making them easy to carry and transport.
Do I need an infant car seat?
Yes, you do need an infant car seat, and it’s not just a recommendation, it’s the law in most states that all children under the age of 2 must be in a rear-facing car seat. It may seem like a hassle at first, but trust me, it’s worth it to know that your little one is safe and protected while on the road.
Even if it’s not required by law in your state, it’s still highly recommended by experts for the safety of your child. It’s been proven over and over again that rear-facing car seats are the safest option for babies and young infants. They provide the best protection for their delicate head and neck in the event of a crash.
I know as a mama, we’re all busy and have a lot on our plates, but taking the time to invest in a good car seat is worth it for the safety of your child.
What to look for when shopping for an infant car seat
When shopping for an infant seat, there are a few key things you’ll want to keep in mind as a mama. First and foremost, make sure that the seat is rear-facing. This is crucial for your baby’s safety as it helps to protect their delicate head and neck in the event of a crash. It’s also important to check that the seat is appropriate for your baby’s weight and height. Each seat has a different weight and height limit, so make sure to choose one that is suitable for your baby.
Another important aspect to consider is the 5-point harness seat belt, which is designed to keep your baby secure and in place. This feature is especially important in the event of a crash, as it helps to keep your baby from moving around or sliding out of the seat.
As a busy mama, ease of installation is also an important factor to consider when shopping for an infant car seat. Look for a seat that is easy to install, and comes with clear and detailed instructions. You don’t want to be struggling with complicated installation while your little one is crying in the background. Also, make sure that the seat is compatible with your car, to avoid any unnecessary hassle.
Lastly, It’s always a good idea to check with your car manufacturer for recommendations on which car seats are compatible with your specific make and model.
How long are infant car seats good for?
Infant car seats typically have a lifespan of around 2-3 years. This is because the materials used in the seat may degrade over time, and the seat may become less effective at protecting your child in the event of a crash.
What about stroller compatibility and stroller “systems”?
Many infant car seats are now designed to be compatible with strollers, so you can easily move your baby from the car to stroller without having to wake them up. These types of seats are often part of a larger “stroller system” that includes the car seat and stroller, making it easy for you to move your baby around.
What about crash testing?
When shopping for an infant car seat for your back seat, safety should always be your top priority. That’s why it’s important to make sure that the seat you choose has been crash tested and meets safety standards. One of the best ways to ensure this is by looking for seats that have been tested to meet or exceed federal safety standards, such as those set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
NHTSA is a government agency responsible for implementing and enforcing safety standards for cars and car seats in the United States. They conduct rigorous testing on car seats to ensure they meet safety standards and are effective in protecting children in the event of a crash. Car seats that have been tested to meet or exceed NHTSA standards are considered the safest option for your child.
It’s also a good idea to look for additional certifications such as those from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These organizations also conduct thorough testing and have their own safety standards, which can provide an additional layer of protection for your child.
Another important thing to consider is the expiration date of the car seat, as materials degrade over time, and it may not be as effective in protecting your child in the event of a crash.
How long can babies use an infant car seat?
Babies can use an infant car seat until they reach the maximum weight or height limit of the seat. This is typically around 22-35 pounds and 30-35 inches, depending on the seat. Once your baby outgrows the seat, you’ll need to move them to a larger, forward-facing car seat.
Should I get an infant or convertible car seat for my baby?
It depends on your needs. An infant car seat is designed specifically for babies and young infants, and is typically smaller and more portable than a convertible car seat. This makes it a great option for parents who are always on the go and need a seat that is easy to move from one vehicle to another. Infant car seats also usually come with a handle, which makes it easy to carry around and transport.
On the other hand, a convertible car seat can be used for both rear-facing and forward-facing positions, and typically has a higher weight and height limit. This means that a convertible car seat can be used for a longer period of time, as your child grows. It’s a great option for parents who want a seat that will last longer and save them money in the long run.
Another thing to consider is that there are even rotating convertible car seats available that can be rotated to both rear-facing and forward-facing positions with a simple turn. It’s definitely a luxury upgrade that makes it even more convenient for parents.
What’s the safest infant car seat?
The safest infant rear-facing seat is one that has been crash tested and meets or exceeds federal safety standards, such as those set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Additionally, it’s important to make sure that the seat is the right fit for your baby’s weight and height, and that it’s properly installed in your vehicle. This ensures that the seat is providing maximum protection for your baby in the event of a crash.
Some optional safety features to look for include side-impact protection, anti-rebound bars, and energy-absorbing materials. These features can provide an additional layer of protection for your baby, and can be especially important if you’re in an area with a high risk of car accidents.
One specific product that is considered as the safest infant car seat is the Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat. It has been tested to meet or exceed federal safety standards and has received high ratings for safety and ease of use. It has been tested for side-impact protection, has a 5-point harness and energy-absorbing materials, making it one of the best options for parents who are looking for a safe and reliable car seat for their little one.
Understanding optional safety features
Some optional safety features to look for when shopping for an infant car seat include side-impact protection, anti-rebound bars, and energy-absorbing materials. Side-impact protection helps to protect your baby’s head and torso in the event of a side-impact collision. Anti-rebound bars help to reduce the rebound rotation of the car seat in a crash. Energy-absorbing materials can help to absorb and distribute crash forces away from your baby.
How we selected the best infant car seat of the year
When selecting the best infant car seat of the year, we considered a number of factors, including safety, ease of use, and overall value. We also looked at customer reviews and ratings, as well as expert opinions and analysis.
What car seat is best for your family?
Overall, when it comes to choosing the best infant car seat for your baby, it’s important to consider safety, ease of use, and overall value. Be sure to do your research, read customer reviews, and consult with experts before making a decision. With the right infant car seat, you can have peace of mind knowing that your baby is safe and protected while on the go.
Remember to also always check the expiration date of your car seat and replace it if needed, and to always make sure the seat is properly installed in your vehicle.
And last but not least, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and maintenance to ensure the safety of your baby. As a mama, the safety and well-being of our little ones is always our top priority, and investing in a high-quality infant car seat is a small but important step in ensuring their safety.