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Expecting? Here's What You Need to Know About Car Seats

CARS.COM — I’ve been there. You learn you are expecting and visions of a tiny, sleeping baby in an impossibly soft pink — or could it be blue? — blanket smelling of clean cotton, warm skin and sweet milk come rushing to mind. And then you start to realize this baby has needs — lots of needs. You sit in front of your computer for hours at a time weighing the pros and cons of different bottles, carriers, cribs, diapers, car seats … and that’s when you realize, “OMG! I have to drive around with my precious cargo in the backseat of a huge, hurling hunk of metal on the actual road!”

Welcome, my friend. You have joined the ranks of expecting parents everywhere trying to navigate the confusing, and often overwhelming, world of car seats.

Thankfully, I am a certified child passenger safety technician and a mom of two, and I am here to help with advice on car-seat basics from common mistakes to how to install a car seat with a seat belt.

How to Safely Wear Your Seat Belt When Pregnant

It’s easy to maneuver your seat belt around a baby bump, but things get a lot more complicated as your belly swells. Read our tips on the best way to ensure that you and your baby are belted in safely in the car — and yes, you must wear your seat belt.

Buying Your First Family Car

A baby changes everything, including your daily driver. If you’re driving a two-seater or a car that has a backseat in name only, it’s time to upgrade to a family car. Before you start cruising the dealer lots to find that new ride, use our guide to find the family car that’s right for you.

Cars.com’s 2016-17 Car Seat Check Honor Roll

These cars made the grade when it comes to car seats. They earned all A’s in our Car Seat Checks, meaning they’ll easily accommodate your little one’s infant seat to booster seat.

10 Common Car-Seat Mistakes

It’s no secret that car seats are confusing, especially for new parents. Child passenger safety technicians take a 40-hour, hands-on course to become certified and then attend continuing education courses to maintain their certification. We know it can be difficult to install a car seat correctly, so we’ve run through the top car-seat mistakes and how to correct them.

How to Install a Car Seat with a Seat Belt

Cars today have lower Latch anchors that are supposed to make car-seat installation a lot easier, but hard-to-reach anchors can mean that parents need to use a seat belt to install their car seat. We walk you through how to install a car seat with a seat belt.

Which Cars Fit Three Car Seats?

Maybe you’re not just expecting one, but two or even three. We’ve got you covered: During our Car Seat Checks, we install three car seats in a backseat to see if they’ll fit. The list has grown over the years, and it’s good for parents to know that there are options, though we love the utility of minivans.

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