So you are looking where to buy cheap infant car seats? This is the right place for you, we reviewed and selected the top 5 cheapest infant car seats out there and where to buy them.
A car seat is one of the most important items you MUST have as a new parent. If you want to take your baby with you in your car, it’s a must-have and most hospitals won’t discharge you without one. But with so many different models, it can be hard to find the right model that will fit your needs.
We consulted parents and our own team of experts to make sure we recommend the best ones in the market to you to make your decision easier.
What is a car seat?
A car seat, sometimes called an infant safety seat, child restraint system, child seat, baby seat, or a booster seat is a seat made specifically to protect children from injury or death during vehicle collisions.
These seats are purchased and installed by car owners, but car manufacturers may integrate them directly into their vehicle’s design and generally are required to provide anchors and ensure seat belt compatibility. (source)
What types of car seats are available?
There are four types of child car seats, including:
- Rear-facing or infant-only.
There are also seats and harnesses made specifically for special needs children.
Each type of seat has specific features that work for the stage of life your child is currently in. Different seats also have different weight restrictions and limits. Make sure you always look at the manufacturer’s information that comes with the seat before purchasing a car seat. These instructions will help you know what seat is best for your child at any stage of life. (source)
- Infant-only seat: Infant-only seats are also known as rear-facing seats. Rear-facing occupants are safest. For the best possible protection, keep your child rear-facing in the back seat of the vehicle for as long as possible. It’s recommended that children remain rear-facing up to 2 years of age.
- Convertible seat: Convertible seats are essentially two car seats in one. They are placed in the back seat and face the back of the car until your child is about 2 years of age and at least 20 pounds. Following that, the seats are turned around to face the front of the car. Forward-facing harness heights should be set just above your child’s shoulder level.
- Combination seat: Combination seats face the front of the car and are intended for children who are at least 1 year and older and weigh approximately 20 to 40 pounds. These seats can also convert into a belt-positioning booster seat when your child weighs at least 40 pounds or more and is at least 4 years of age. These seats should not be used rear-facing.
- Booster seat: Booster seats are intended for children who are 4 to 8 years old and are at least 4’ 9”. Your child should start using a booster seat when he or she grows out of his or her car seat (when his or her ears are higher than the back of the car seat, and his or her shoulders are higher than the top strap slots), or when the weight limit for the seat is reached. Booster seats are usually used until your child is at least 8 years old and 4’ 9” tall. They are then ready to use a regular seat belt.
Read More: Best Safety Rated Infant Car Seats
Car seat placement
A study of car crash data from 16 U.S. states found that children under the age of 3 were 43% less likely to be injured in a car crash if their car seat was fastened in the center of the back seat rather than on one side. Results were based on data from 4,790 car crashes involving children aged 3 and younger between 1998 and 2006. According to data, the center position was the safest but least used position. However, economist Steven Levitt has demonstrated that car seats do not reduce fatalities when compared to regular seat belts.
The move from having car seats in the front passenger seat to having them in the back seat, facing backwards, may make it easier for a busy, distracted parent to leave an infant in the car. Each year, between 30 and 50 infants die of heat illness and hypothermia in the United States after being left in a car.
What to look for when buying a car seat?
First of all spending less money on a car seat doesn’t mean it is not safe. It mandatory that each car seat sold in the United States meet the same federal standards set by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Here are some factors to take into consideration when choosing a seat:
- Fits in your car: Car seats range in size and shape. Some are a better fit for larger or smaller cars.
- Ease of installation: Many car seats can be installed using the regular seat belt or the LATCH system, which is an easier way to secure the car seat using built-in anchors and tethers.
- Safety indicators: Some car seats come with built-in leveling systems and indicators to signal they’ve been correctly installed.
- Fabric: Besides looking for a style of fabric that suits your taste, consider its durability and how easy it’ll be to wash.
- Safety extras: Some car seats include additional shock absorption, padding and higher quality materials.
- Stroller compatibility: You can snap infant car seats into many strollers or stroller frames. A stroller and car seat that come as a set is called a travel system.
- New vs used: Used car seats might be damaged and may not be up to snuff when it comes to current safety regulations.
Where To Buy Cheap Infant Car Seats (Best Prices)
The lightweight Graco SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat supports infants from 4-35 lb and up to 32″.
The car seat weighs just 7.2 lb, making it easy to carry baby from car to stroller.
The 4-position adjustable base with level indicator ensures an accurate install, and soft, two-piece infant head and body supports keep baby snug and comfortable.
The SnugRide 35 Lite LX installs easily using vehicle seat belt or LATCH. It also features a rotating canopy to keep baby shaded. SnugRide 35 Lite LX attaches with a one-step secure connection to Graco strollers so you can create your own travel system.
For over 60 years, the Graco brand has provided thoughtful, practical, and dependable parenting solutions to generations of families. Our approach to caregiving stems from a heritage of innovation designed around safety, durability, and the best intentions of loving parents.
Built to Grow
From the headrest, to the harness straps, to the crotch strap, the seat has multiple comfort adjustment options to fit kids from birth to 10 years.
Multiple recline options means kids can lean back and enjoy a more comfortable
Parent Friendly Design
When arched backs and flailing arms and legs make it difficult to get kids in and out of the seat, our harness holders keep straps out of the way.
Easy to Clean
Messes are going to happen, so we’ve made the seat pad and cupholders easy to remove and machine-wash safe.
- Works for babies 4–30 lbs and up to 30”
- Great LATCH installation, but tough to install using a seat belt
- Slim profile and can often work three-across
The Chicco KeyFit 30 consistently ranks as a top choice for lots of parents. And we see why, as there are some big pros to this well-priced infant car seat. Things like an easy LATCH installation, a thickly padded seat lined with energy-absorbing foam and a removable, washable cover are all big pluses here.
If you’re parenting multiples or anticipating needing more than one car seat across your back seat, you’ll definitely want to give the KeyFit a look. This seat has a slim profile and is a good choice for smaller cars or if you need to fit three-across.
What’s Worth Considering
Kimmenau notes a few important things worth considering with this Chicco seat. Installation without the base is possible, but it’s super difficult, so if you’re planning on using it in taxis, ride shares or on a plane, you may want to keep looking. And getting the right fit for infants can be touch and go; for some, it’s not a problem at all, but for others it can be a bit frustrating.
- Seat fabric removes easily for cleaning
- Lightweight—under 9 pounds
- Straightforward, simple installation
The Mico Maxi has a few great features going for it, namely its light weight and how easy it is to clean. Weighing in at just under nine pounds, it’s one of the lightest seats on our list, making it easier on your arms when you need to tote your baby around in their infant seat. The seat’s pad can be easily removed and machine washed.
Plus, the fabric is self-wicking, which keeps babies dry and comfortable, especially in warmer temps.
The seat is easy and straightforward to install. And when it comes to safety, its features include extra side-impact protection and an anti-rebound bar.
What’s Worth Considering
The anti-rebound bar adds some length to the seat base, which makes it a tight fit in compact cars.
- Lots of safety features
- Easy to install, but no European belt path
- Slim profile
The B-Safe offers standout safety features at a great price point. The deep, narrow seat has sidewalls with energy-absorbing foam for side-impact protection along with a steel frame and an impact-absorbing base. It’s also a cinch to install. If you’re using the LATCH system, you’ll tighten it using straps that extend from the middle of the base, not the sides, a feature that lots of parents really like. (However, installation isn’t so simple without the base. So if you’ll need to use this seat in cabs and friends’ cars, the B-Safe may not be your best bet.)
What’s Worth Considering
This seat is on the heavier side. (But that’s because of the steel frame, so at least you know it’s for a good reason.) And as we mentioned above, it’s not a great choice if you’ll need to install it without the base.