The question was which brand to go with. I teetered between the Peg Perego, Graco and Britax infant models. My final decision was made based on the following questions:
--Which seat was easiest to use?
--Which seat had the lowest recall rate?
--Which seat did better in crast tests?
All these questions led me to one seat, the Graco SnugRide. It had the lowest recall rate, did GREAT in crash tests and was VERY easy to use. I purchased mine as part of a travel system, it was a Laura Ashley print and that made it a little more expensive. The best part about it being the best choice was that it was also cheaper then other two, came in better, fun prints and actually weighed less then most of them.
One caveat, Consumer Reports released a VERY controversial study early this year that deemed 90% of Infant Car Seats as unsafe. They retracted the study when it came out that the speeds tested were nearly 70MPH, not 38.5 which is the standard the NHTSA uses. I took one thing away from that study though, 2 seats, one of them the Graco SnugRide with EPS passed. I certainly would feel better knowing that my child was in a seat that tested well at excessive speed as well as lower speeds!
I know nothing about the safety of the latest Peg Perego Viaggio TRI-FIX, Maxi-Cosi Mico or Orbit Baby system seats. There have been tons of changes to manufacturers' lineups so make sure you read up if you're debating another brand.
SnugRide Carseat With EPS
Made by Graco
5-Point harness ensures that baby is in the seat tightly
Equipped with LATCH system to ensure easy installation
Equipped with belt fastening system in case your car doesn't have LATCH capability
Priced at approximately $90
Find yours at GracoBaby.com
Buying Tip: Read up on crash tests, carseats change all the time. Make sure you get your professionally installed, or at least checked by a safety inspector. Don't EVER buy a carseat used, they are no good once they have been in an accident and you have NO WAY of knowing whether it was in one or not. Lastly, make sure you register your seat with the manufacturer so that they can keep you posted on recalls.