We’ve been looking high and low for a good infant car seat. But one thing i learnt is that if you ever want to research and learn about child car seats, talking to the typical Malaysian may not be the best solution. A lot of people we spoke to said they hardly needed one. I remember one aunty who told me that although the car seat was installed in her car, her child hardly uses it.
Zee and I have decided from the start that the child will be using a car seat regardless of the travel distance and we are going to train the child to get used to it. Research in the US shows that:
- In 2004, there were 495 passenger vehicle occupant fatalities among children under 5 years of age. Of those 495 fatalities, an estimated 173 (35 %) were totally unrestrained.
- Among children under 5 years old, an estimated 451 lives were saved in 2004 by child restraint use. Of these 451 lives saved, 413 were associated with the use of child safety seats and 38 with the use of adult belts.
- Child safety seats can reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers, ages 1-4.
We initially planned to get an infant carrier which doubles as a car seat like the one shown below:
The problem we found with this was that firstly, the base for this infant carrier was not easily available and secondly, the child would only be able to use it till about 1 year old. The fact that we had to also keep fixing and removing the belt and latch each time made it a bit inconvenient. So we did lots of research and finally found a great car seat by The First Years.
We compared it with other brands we were looking at (Graco, Britax etc.)
From the official website:
Looking for a car seat that is easy to install? Did you know if you have a seat that is easier to install there is less of a chance that it will be installed incorrectly? The True Fit Convertible Car Seats have all been awarded high “ease of use” ratings from the National Highway Transportation Administration, NHTSA for short. What does that mean? That after reviewing our seats, our labels, and our instructions it was determined our seats were Easy To Use! The True Fit Rebound (model C670) was awarded Five Stars in both the rear and forward facing modes, the maximum awarded by NHTSA, and our True Fit (model C630) was awarded Four Stars in both the rear- and forward-facing positions. And new to the True Fit of highest-rated car seats is the True Fit Recline (model C650).
Why buy the True Fit convertible seat? Did you know that you can use our seat from 5 to 65 lbs., and during the entire time of use your child will be secured in a 5-point harness. And most Safety Advocates recommend keeping your child in a harness as long as possible! Advocates also recommend keeping your little one rear-facing for as long as possible. We have a removable headrest that really is easy to remove. One finger lifts the release and you are able to pull the headrest off until you need it, usually up to 22lbs. As your infant starts to grow, simply add the headrest back on and you are good to go in the rear-facing position up to 35lbs. And when your infant is ready to watch you drive (at 35 lbs. or so) simply make sure that headrest is in place and turn your seat around. And remember, when your child does move to a forward facing position, (around 35 lbs), your child will still be using the 5-point harness.
The C650 model features smaller bottom rails and a flip foot on the bottom—flip it forward for rear-facing installation and flip it back with your move to the forward-facing installation. This seat is fully-lined with EPP foam and has deep side wings that really surround your child.
We have added a centre angle indicator in the front of our seat for use when installing in the rear-facing position. This new easy-to-read indicator will help you determine if you have installed your seat correctly. For your infant, it will indicate the advocate-recommended 45-degree angle for installation (without our headrest), and as you keep it rear-facing to 35lbs (with the headrest) you can check for the recommended 35 degree angle for installation.
We have also moved both side LATCH attachments so they are easy to access when you are installing your seat and easy to secure when you remove the seat from your vehicle.
Here’s a full list of the True Fit Recline features:
- Removable headrest for better rear-facing installation, can be used rear facing with headrest for infants up to 35lbs.
- Easy-to-read center angle indicator with two position settings
- Easy adjust, no rethread harness for use to 65lbs
- Multi-position crotch strap adjustment
- Easy-off pad, snaps on and off with out rethreading harness
- Color-coded belt paths for easy installation
- Built-in lock offs for both rear- and forward-facing installation, external LATCH storage
- Two-position recline for better installation
- Deep side wings, side-impact tested to international standards
- For use with children 5-65lbs and up to 50′ tall
- Weight: 19lbs.
It may be a bit pricey compared to the other car seats but we think its something worth investing in.