Parents spend a lot of time researching and choosing the best car seat to keep their little ones safe. But what about the accessories for the car seat?
There aren’t any mandated federal safety standards established for car seat accessories. Yes, there are individual standards that are developed throughout the industry; however, the information can be confusing and misleading.
In some cases, if you add an accessory that did not come in the same box as the car seat, the manufacturer may not be held liable for any failure of the car seat in the event of a crash.
How Do I Know Which Car Seat Accessories Are Best for Us?
Before you run out and start purchasing items right off the shelf, be sure to do your research. Just because the accessories are on the market and in the big box stores, doesn’t mean they are made to work with every car seat or in every vehicle. You will want to think about what you need and want and what is compatible with your car seat and vehicle.
For instance, do you live in the north where winters can be harsh? Then you may want to look into a car seat cover that covers your baby’s entire seat insulating him/her from the frigid air.
Or do you live in a southern region where the suns harmful UV rays beat in through your car window? Then a car sunshade may be a good option for you.
With so much baby gear available on the market these days, it’s difficult to tell what is a necessity and what is merely clever marketing.
We have put together a list of necessary car seat accessories that will help you keep your little bundle comfy and safe during your commutes.
The 8 Best Car Seat Accessories for Your Baby’s Car Seat:
1. The Shynerk Baby Car Mirror, Safety Car Seat Mirror for Rear Facing Infant with Wide Crystal Clear View
Our Top Accessory Choice!!
It is essential to be able to see your baby when you are driving. The Shynerk Baby Car Mirror is a second mirror you attach to the rear seat, facing forward and angled toward your baby allowing you to easily see him/her without turning around.
- Safety certified and crash tested
- Extra wide clear reflection
- Easy to tighten straps
- Fits most vehicles
- Mirror can shake while driving
2. Cozy Cover Premium Infant Car Seat Cover
Our Second Top Choice!!
A breathable, lightweight infant car seat cover will provide a safe environment for your little passenger protecting him/her from direct sunlight, rain, wind, snow, and even pesky insects.
- Fits most standard car seats/baby carriers
- Insulates baby
- Weather resistant outer shell
- Can be used from birth to toddler
- Zippers can be sharp
- May not fit all car seats
3. Enovoe Car Window Shade
Our Third Choice!!
There are several benefits to purchasing an Enovoe Car Window Shade. It can protect from harmful UVA rays, drastically reduce the amount of sun entering the vehicle, reduce the temperature inside the vehicle, and keep the sun out of your baby’s eyes.
- Easy installation
- Blocks 97% of harmful rays
- Fits most car windows
- See-thru mesh
- Foldable for easy storage
- Static cling may not work well in cold weather
- May not stick on some SUV windows
4. McKardon Infant Car Seat Toy
Our Fourth Choice!!
Keep your little one entertained by hanging this toy on the car seat handle. It can be a real sanity saver by providing your baby with something to look at and play with as he/she grows. The McKardon Infant Car Seat Toy provides a soft, multi-sensory experience certain to keep your little bundle occupied during your car trip.
It can also be attached to cribs, playpens, and strollers.
- Unique hook and loop system
- Made in accordance with US toy safety standards
- Multi-purpose usage
- Pieces can hang too low coming into contact with the baby
- May slip down
5. MZTDYTL Car Backseat Organizer
The MZTDYTL Car Backseat Organizer is an excellent option for storing diapers, baby blankets, drinks, and your child’s toys. As children get older, they can become bored with the hanging toy. You can fill up the organizer with toys, snacks, and other items you may need for a long ride.
- Easy to install
- Easy to clean
- Multi-storage pockets
- Extra-long adjustable straps
- Buckles are flimsy
- Material is not very sturdy
6. Beloved Belongings Kids Travel Tray for Toddler Car Seat
Our Sixth Choice!!
Traveling with small children can be extremely challenging. They are easily bored, tend to leave crumbs everywhere, and often spill their drinks. So why not give your toddler their own activity table with this Kids Travel Tray. Your child will have everything within their reach so you can keep your eyes on the road.
- Spill-proof and easy to clean
- Attaches to car seat or high-chair
- Can support a tablet
- Doesn’t stay secure in some car seats
7. Munchkin Auto Seat Protector
Having children means a lot of things are going to get messy and children’s car seats can damage the fabric of the seat of your vehicle. A car seat protector is an upholstery saver that can protect the interior of your vehicle from dirty messes your child or baby might make. The Munchkin Auto Seat Protector is for the car owner who wants to make sure their car seats are well protected.
- Non-skid texture fabric – it won’t slip off the seat
- Storage pockets
- Fits most cars
- Dye from the protector could stain seat
8. Brica Smart Move Toddler Car Seat Stroller / Transporter
Our Final Accessory Choice!!
What’s the easiest way to get your baby’s seat through the airport and to the plane? Roll it. The Brica Smart Move Todder Car Seat Stroller turns forward facing car seats into strollers. It has inline skate wheels to make maneuvering easy and a sturdy aluminum handle.
- Works with most major brand car seats
- Fold flat wheels
- Compact storage
- Lightweight design
- No assembly
- Safe sit angle design
- Slightly heavier than most
- Not compatible for some car seats
When spending so much energy researching and purchasing the best car seat for your baby, it only makes sense to accessorize it with the safest and best products that work for you and your baby’s needs. And with so many baby items available on the market, be sure to do your research. Not all accessories are compatible with all car seats and vehicles.
Happy and safe travels!!
Keren Simanova is a busy mommy by day and a passionate writer by night. While spending countless hours researching car seats for her children, she created an educational car seat blog, CarSeatsMom.com to educate other mothers about the importance of car seats. Further, along the way, the blog became an invaluable source for research of a variety of car seat brands, unique features, and mommies’ reviews.