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Are Car Seat Bases Important or Are They Just a Convenience?

Are Car Seat Bases Important or Are They Just a Convenience?

Hey, Mom and Dad, are you preparing to welcome a little one into the world? If so, congratulations!

By now we are sure you have been researching at length the best and safest baby strollers and car seats for your infant. And with that comes the question if you need a car seat base or not. Today, several different car seats come with a compatible car seat base.

With these new additions to the traditional car seats, some new parents may begin to question if they need a base with their car seats. But as it turns out, car seat bases are considered more of a convenience than a safety measure.


So why do people use a car seat base?

The purpose of a car seat base is to make it so that parents don’t have to buckle and unbuckle the car seat each and every time they pull the seat in and out of their vehicle. The base is what gets strapped into the car and the car seat clicks in and out of that base.

As Lucie’s List reports, “typically, you don't need the base to properly use your car seat — it's just a convenience. To install without the base, just thread the seat belt through the grooves on the side of the seat and tighten in the same manner as above.” This means with or without a car seat base, so long as everything is strapped into the car properly your car seat is safe.

In fact, if you use more than one vehicle to transport your car seat, a base isn't easy to transfer in and out as it often take more effort to install it.

Lucie’s List further states that what parents should really pay attention to isn’t so much the car seat base but the angle in which your car seat is sitting. As Consumer Reports suggests “the correct recline angle usually is between 30-45 degrees from upright, depending on the seat.” 


The Consumer Report continues to say that “the correct car seat recline angle is especially important for preemies, who may already have respiratory difficulties and are often checked in their child restraint for breathing and oxygenation before they even leave the hospital. When it comes to getting the right angle, always refer to the child car seat manufacturer’s instructions, and install the seat at the recline angle designated by the instructions or the recline indicator on the seat itself. In many cases, this may mean using the recline-adjustment knob or other adjusters on the seat itself, or adding a rolled towel beneath the seat to reach that angle. Newer seats sometimes have “two-zone” recline indicators—one for younger babies and another that’s more upright as your baby grows—referring to the instructions and periodically checking your child’s seat is critically important.”

So when it comes to choosing your car seat, it shouldn’t be based on if it comes with a car seat base or not. It should be based on the car seat only.

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