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Guide on Car Seat Carrier Safety

 

Life is about to get way more complicated now that you have a baby on the way. Between interrupted sleep schedules, unfamiliar pumping machinery, hand washing baby bottles and everything else you'll need to do, you'll soon start craving convenience wherever its available.

That's why baby travel systems have attracted such widespread interest. They're a complete package that includes a car seat that converts to a carrier and can attach to a frame to become a stroller. 
If you haven't purchased one yet, you may be swayed by the idea of having a three-in-one baby traveling powerhouse. With travel systems, you can knock three things off your baby shopping list in one swoop. What's more, you can rest assured knowing every piece fits together and looks nice (no clashing colors here!)

That said, we don't recommend going out and buying the first travel system you see. There are many car seat carrier safety concerns to review before you make that purchase. After all, you'd hate to waste your time and money purchasing a rickety car seat carrier and frame, wouldn't you?

That's why we've created this handy baby carrier safety guide. Read on to discover the important details you need to know before buying a travel system:

Car seat carrier safety issues to consider

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has rules and guidelines dictating the structure of all kinds of products - including those meant for infants, toddlers and children. This means that, theoretically, every system manufactured in recent years will adhere to the latest safely standards.
Unfortunately, mistakes can be made and certain requirements overlooked, so baby products are recalled all the time. First and foremost, keep an eye out for recalls on your travel system model and return it immediately if necessary.

a baby being carried by his dad in a carrier

When viewing your options, look for a frame with a wide base, strong materials and well-connected joints. A narrow base distributes weight poorly, making the stroller more likely to tip over when the car seat carrier is attached. Similarly, lightweight materials and bad connections might not fully support the weight of the carrier, your baby and anything you throw in storage. While the travel system will likely have a weight limit listed somewhere, it's often hard to estimate just how much everything you plan to carry weighs - especially when you're on the go. Choosing one with sturdy construction and materials will give you greater peace of mind.

Finally, make sure you choose a car seat carrier and frame that are appropriate for your baby's age and, most importantly, weight. If you get a full travel system, you can continue using the stroller after your little one outgrows his or her infant car seat. However, if you opt for a separate car seat carrier and frame, you can generally only use them for six months to a year. At that time, you'll need to purchase a new system that fits your child.

So, to summarize, here are the ideas to keep in mind when purchasing a car seat carrier and frame:

Keep an eye out for product recalls.
Choose a system with a wide base, strong joints and sturdy materials.
Make sure the travel system is appropriate for your baby's age and weight.

Keeping your baby healthy when using a car seat carrier

Now that you know the safety concerns involved in choosing a car seat carrier, it's time to review the tips that will keep your baby happy and healthy once you've made your purchase.

What's most important is keeping your baby from spending too much time in the car seat carrier. Doing so is very tempting for parents - after all, they can strap their little one into the car seat, leave her there while attaching the carrier to the frame, push her around in a stroller while running errands, return her to the car seat and finally head home. This can all take several hours - far too much time for your baby to spend in one position. Keeping your child's head resting against a car seat for an extended period can lead to plagiocephaly, also known as flat head syndrome. Similarly, one study found that a lack of tummy time - the time babies spend on their bellies - can lead to motor delays. Because car seat carriers are so convenient, parents may be tempted to over-rely on them, reducing the total amount of tummy time their children get.

Also, avoid hanging anything from the handle of the carrier. This can also cause the frame to tip, injuring your baby.

Now that you understand car seat carrier safety, learn more about preparing for a baby!