Baby Car Seat

Everybody would be safest facing backward while riding in a car.

Babies are lucky to have seats that work this way. Infants are safest when riding facing the rear, because the back of the safety seat supports the child’s back, neck, and head in a crash. So, whichever seat you choose, your baby should ride rear facing until about one year of age and at least 20 pounds.[1]

Infant car seats not only protect your baby in the car, they allow you to carry your baby between the house and the car (and elsewhere) easily, even during naptime. Before buying an infant car seat, take a look at these considerations to help you find the right infant car seat for your baby.

Choosing a car seat for your baby is no easy task. Parents often try to find the best and safest car seat, but car seat safety varies by vehicle, car seat and baby. Before you buy a baby car seat, learn how to choose the best car seat for your baby.[2]

The chart below is a quick guide on where to start your search. However, it’s important to read more about the features and how to use your car safety seat.[3]

AgeType of SeatGeneral Guideline
InfantsInfant seats and rear-facing convertible seats All infants should always ride rear-facing until they are at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 pounds.
Toddlers/PreschoolersConvertible seats It is best to ride rear-facing as long as possible. Children 1 year of age and at least 20 pounds can ride forward-facing.
School-aged childrenBooster seats Booster seats are for older children who have outgrown their forward-facing car safety seats. Children should stay in a booster seat until adult belts fit correctly (usually when a child reaches about 4' 9" in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age).
Older childrenSeat beltsChildren who have outgrown their booster seats should ride in a lap and shoulder belt in the back seat until 13 years of age.

Two kinds of safety seats are made for babies:

1. Small, lightweight “infant only” safety seats are designed for use rear facing only. This kind can be used only as long as the baby’s head is enclosed by the top rim of the seat (A). The label on the seat gives the upper weight limit (17 to 22 pounds). One seat can be converted into a car bed for babies who must lie flat.

2. Larger "convertible" seats usually fit children from birth to about 40 pounds. Some new models have weight limits as high as 30 to 32 pounds for rear-facing use. These products are especially good for babies under age one who are growing more rapidly than average (B). It may be turned around to face the front when the baby is about one year old and at least 20 pounds (C).[4]

Toddlers and preschoolers—forward-facing

Once your child has reached the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of the seat for rear-facing, she can ride forward-facing in a convertible seat. However, it is best for her to ride rear-facing to the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer of her car safety seat. She should ride in a forward-facing seat with a harness until she outgrows it (usually at around 4 years of age and about 40–65 pounds).

There are 5 types of car safety seats that can be used forward-facing.

* Convertible seats—seats that “convert” from rear-facing to forward-facing seats.
* Forward-facing toddler seats—these seats can be used forward-facing with a harness for children who weigh up to 40 to 80 pounds (depending on the model).
* Combination forward-facing/booster seats—these seats can be used forward-facing with a harness for children who weigh up to 40 to 65 pounds (depending on the model) or without the harness as a booster (up to 80 to 120 pounds).
* Built-in seats—some vehicles come with forward-facing seats built in. Weight and height limits vary. Read your vehicle owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for details about how to use these seats.
* Travel vests—these can be worn by children between 20 and 168 pounds and can be an alternative to traditional forward-facing seats. They are also useful for when a vehicle has lap-only seat belts in the rear.[5]

baby car seat
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About Me:
I am a 297 days / 9 months, 4 weeks old baby
A breastfed baby for 6 months and a formula-fed baby months after.