While a car seat is an essential piece of baby equipment, it can be difficult to remember all of the rules and regulations pertaining to its use and installation.
When to upgrade from an infant car seat to a convertible car seat is a common source of confusion for new parents. How and when to make the change was discussed with Rebekah Kimminau, a consultant for Babylist and a certified child passenger safety technician.
- 1 What Varieties of Child Safety Seats Exist?
- 2 Explain the Distinction between a Car Seat Designed for Infants and one that can Grow With a Child.
- 3 When should you Stop Using an Infant Car Seat?
- 4 Converting From an Infant Seat to a Regular Car Seat
- 5 When it Comes to Height, Most Youngsters will Outgrow Their Baby Seats First.
- 6 Last Words
What Varieties of Child Safety Seats Exist?
When deciding when to switch from an infant to a convertible car seat, a little bit of research can go a long way.
Explain the Distinction between a Car Seat Designed for Infants and one that can Grow With a Child.
Infant car seats, commonly known as bucket seats, are designed for infants and younger children travelling by car. Your newborn can ride safely in an infant seat until he or she reaches the maximum height or weight allowed for the seat, which often occurs around one year of age. Infant seats are always set in a rear-facing position and can be easily clicked in and out of a stationary base.
Children of varying ages and sizes can ride safely in convertible car seats. Once your child reaches the maximum height or weight for the rear-facing position, you can flip the seat around to face forward. Unlike infant car seats, which require a separate base for installation, convertible car seats can be secured in your vehicle using the vehicle’s existing seat belt or the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system. (The acronym “LATCH” refers to the system of built-in straps and hooks on a car seat and anchor hardware in your vehicle, which are designed to safely secure a child in the seat. The use of LATCH systems facilitates the secure and hassle-free installation of child safety seats in vehicles. Most convertible seats are bulky and hefty, making them unsuitable for frequent swapping between vehicles.
When should you Stop Using an Infant Car Seat?
Most infant seats can be used until the child is between 30 and 32 inches tall or weighs between 30 and 35 pounds.
However, before putting your infant in a car seat, make sure they meet the rules for your particular model’s minimum and maximum height and weight.
Converting From an Infant Seat to a Regular Car Seat
Your child can remain in their infant car seat until they reach the maximum height or weight allowed by the manufacturer, as stated by Kimminau.
Or is the operative word, argues Kimminau. If your child reaches the weight criteria but not the height requirement, you need to swap seats, and vice versa.
When it Comes to Height, Most Youngsters will Outgrow Their Baby Seats First.
Kimminau says that while many baby seats are advertised as being suitable for use for up to two years because of increased weight limitations (35 pounds and above), “most youngsters will outgrow their infant seats by height long before they reach the weight limit.”
She recommends making the switch when your child’s head is within one inch of the seat’s top shell.
Finding a board book that is an inch thick and placing it on top of your child’s head while they are properly fastened in the seat is the simplest approach to be sure they are getting the correct level of protection.