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CostHelper > Babies & Children  > Car Seat

Car Seat Cost

How Much Does a Car Seat Cost?

 average costRange: $30-$180 
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All car seats sold in the United States must meet federal safety standards. Before shopping for a car seat, parents should visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety[1] to familiarize themselves with current child restraint laws in their state. Information is also available from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The three main types of car seats are infant seats (rear-facing seats for babies up to 22 pounds); travel systems, which include an infant car seat and stroller; and convertible seats (which are designed to be rear-facing for infants and later to face forward for toddlers). Experts recommend starting with an infant seat. There are also special models for preemies and children with physical disabilities.

Typical costs:

  • According to Consumer Reports[2] , infant seats run $30-$180; travel systems $40 -$400; and convertible seats $50-$290.
Related articles: High Chair, Stroller

What should be included:
  • Look for a seat with an adjustable five-point harness system; impact protection foam; and one-hand release mechanisms. Vehicles made after 2003 are equipped with the LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) system, an alternative for the traditional seatbelt method of securing your car seat. Visit[3] for more information.
Additional costs:
  • Look for sales at online retailers. Albee Baby[4] , Babies "R" Us[5] , Sears[6] , Wal-Mart[7] and Amazon[8] offer a variety of reputable models and brands with sale items available. Purchases over $100 at Babies "R" Us get a free umbrella stroller.
Shopping for a car seat:
  • According to Consumer Reports[9] parents should make buying a car seat a top priority. Federal law requires that every child up to four years old ride in a car seat, and hospitals and birthing centers generally won't allow new parents to leave with their baby without a car seat.
  • When shopping for a car seat, parents should make sure it's compatible with their vehicle. It should fit properly both in the cabin and when stored in the trunk or cargo area.
  • Top brands include Chicco, Combi, Evenflo, Graco, Peg Perego[10] and Safety 1st.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. For medical decisions, always consult your physician for the right course for your infant or child.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Got the Chicco Keyfit 30
Amount: $160.00
Posted by: First Time Parent in San Jose, CA.Posted: February 19th, 2008 01:02PM
Brand: ChiccoModel: Keyfit 30
Store: Babies R Us
During the course of our shopping, we decided we wanted a travel system car seat+stroller (where you can carry the infant car seat or place it onto a stroller). But even after we decided we wanted the Chicco, it took a while to find a store that carried the newer Chicco Keyfit 30 models (up to 30 lbs) in a color we wanted (most stores carry the same 1 or 2 colors for a given model). But, when a new Babies R Us opened nearby, we found a color we could live with (the "Extreme" style, which is orange and blue.) We're really glad to get this done before the babe comes!
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