Car seats can be a bit confusing. We get lots of questions about which one to use and when. The most common question we get is what car seat to use and when they should be changed from one to the next. So in this article, you’ll learn the progression from newborn through adulthood.
For new parents, the first thing to do is install an infant car seat. Once your child grows enough that they can sit up without help or support, you should move onto convertibles for shorter trips and then high back and five-point harness. The last step is to use a combination of high-back and no-back booster seats.
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Infants and toddlers are the most vulnerable to crash injuries. Make sure that you always use a car seat for them when driving or riding in any type of vehicle. The infant car seat is typically the first one that you use with your child. A common misconception is that you have to start with an infant car seat when bringing your child home from the hospital. You actually don’t; most, if not all convertibles are safe for use at home right away. The right infant insert will make all the difference in your baby’s safety.
Some of the car seats include inserts to start with, while others do not. But you can buy additional ones if needed. The price is cheaper for buying them as opposed to installing the infant seats which are also available separately. However, you may be missing out on some convenience if you don’t get an infant seat.
The infant car seat is designed to be installed in your vehicle with the base, which can make it easy for you when switching between different types of vehicles. The clicking action will help keep little ones safe while they nap during long journeys.
The convenience of this product is unparalleled. It’s so easy to install, and you can take your entire infancy with you on the go. With the click of a button, your child can be cradled in their car seat and transported safely to any destination. It can also be clicked into a travel system, making it easy and convenient for you to take your little one on the go. You can’t create a travel system with a convertible car seat. It just stays in your vehicle and you take the baby out and then put them back. When most parents buy their first car seat, they tend to go with an infant carrier. This is because it has all of those convenient features that make life easier for you.
Infant car seats are designed to protect your child from as early of an age as possible. You can use an infant seat up until they weigh 30 pounds or measure 32 inches tall on average with other requirements depending upon their height/weight limit. To be safe, you should also put your kids in a convertible car seat once they reach the maximum weight limit.
You should stop using an infant car seat once your baby starts to grow and get too heavy for you. It’s not really convenient anymore because of their size, so it might be time to change the car seat.
The importance of staying safe while driving can’t be overstated. If your child has reached their allowed weight or height for an infant car seat, then it’s time to stop using them and switch to a convertible car seat. The car seat is designed to keep them safer in any type of vehicle.
If you’re using it on an infant then make sure that they use the proper insert for their age. The weight limit for a car seat is typically 10 or 15 pounds. In order to ensure the safety of your child, it’s important that you check with their manual about how much force they can withstand.
This is a rear-facing-only seat. Do not install an infant car seat forward facing as it will not protect your child from any possible injuries in case of accidents.
This handle is another point of confusion for many people. Some people think that you should keep the handle up when installing, but it doesn’t matter what position they’re in because of different manufacturers’ recommendations. You’ll need to check your manual for directions on whether or not this matters.
Moving to a Convertible Car Seat
It’s common to move your child out of an infant car seat and into a more expensive, but safer option called a “convertible” seat. This allows your child to grow with you as they get bigger and can be used from age one up until about four years old, depending on their height. With a simple click, you can convert your car from rear-facing to forward-facing and enjoy the flexibility of two systems.
When rear-facing, the frame is designed to accommodate your little baby. Using the appropriate inserts is key when it comes to ensuring your baby’s comfort. Make sure you take them out when they’re not needed. The manual will guide you through when exactly to do this.
The decision to switch your child from rear-facing seats to forward-facing depends on a number of factors including their weight and age. The minimum requirement for this type of conversion is two years old with 30 pounds in order to make them ready enough before turning around so they can be switched over without any harm done.
The car seat is designed to protect your child from harm in the event of an accident. The weight and height restrictions will ensure that it can remain protecting them until they are no longer small enough for their age or size, at which point you must turn them forward facing so as not to risk injury if there’s another collision with another vehicle. In order to ensure the safety of your child, it is important that they are seated correctly. The forward-facing position is the best for kids who are reaching their weight or height limit. Once they reach this stage, you have to turn them.
One of the most common concerns with keeping your child rear-faced longer is leg room. Is my child comfortable? The best way for your child to be comfortable is by making sure they are in an appropriate seat. The more upright and planted the better! They can put their legs straight up, cross them at the ankles, or tuck underneath themselves as desired – just ensure it’s something safe.
However, some people think that they’re going to get a leg injury because there’s no room for the legs. But it turns out this isn’t true at all! The crash forces or energy is traveling in the exact opposite direction as you expect and so rare injuries happen only when someone crashes while sitting up straight with their knees bent. The key thing is to keep your child safe while they’re in the car. Neck and spine injuries can be much worse than leg ones so it’s important for you not only to monitor their movement but also to make sure that nothing is blocking any of their airways or vision.
The more time you spend facing forward, the better! As long as your child is in a convertible car seat and can reach their limits there’s no need to switch.
The Weight Limits
What’s the weight limit on a convertible car seat? The average is about 65 pounds. But, you can go up to those limits and 9-year-olds are usually around that mark. The ideal weight and height for your child’s car seat are important to consider. If you can, try not to exceed these limits so that they stay as safe while traveling in the vehicle.
Once you are ready to take your child out of the car seat, there are a couple of different options for them. Most parents will go right into a high-back or even no-back booster without considering other alternatives first.
That’s not recommended. This means that if you want your child to be safe, then it is best for them not only to meet the height and weight requirements of their booster seat but also to have reached maturity level.
Putting your child in a booster seat is one thing that most parents don’t know- even if they’re able to sit upright, there are still safety straps for when you need them. You must make sure the harnesses fit properly and stay fastened at all times; even while sleeping. Well, I’m not sure if your five-year-old is capable of saying that they are big enough for the next level but go ahead and put them in a booster seat.
The Boosted Seat
This is a combination high back booster and a five-point harness. With a five-point harness and high back booster, this is the perfect product for parents looking to give their children more room. This one is getting a little squishy. The seat and back are both taller, making your child more comfortable!
Now, this seat is just for forward facing, so you don’t have the option of going back and forth but still, keep them contained in case there’s an accident. The five-point harness will make sure they stay where they need to be during any shakey situations.
When your child reaches the limits of their car seat, you can raise its height so they are safer. You’ll no longer need to use a five-point harness and instead secure them with an appropriate belt from within your vehicle. With this choice, you have quite a bit of flexibility.
The attached seat or similar ones have a weight limit of 120 pounds, so you can really use this until your child is able to sit directly on the vehicle’s seats. It is important for kids to reach the maturity level and be able appropriately to use a booster. But I recommend going into combination high-back/no-back boosters as I showed before. The back can come off when it’s appropriate so you don’t need to worry about that.
The reason behind having a high back or booster is so your child’s seatbelt doesn’t come off in the event of an accident. You want it snug on their hips as well right here at shoulder level where they will be safer from any movement that may occur during accidents with cars. The high back of this seat can be used as long you need it, and then when your child is older they will only want the shorter cushion for booster seating. A lot of people will take the high back off if it takes up too much room in their car, but this is okay as long they remember to secure kids with a seatbelt at an appropriate height.
The Right Time To Stop Using A Booster
You may be wondering when you can stop using a booster seat. The answer to this question depends on how old your child gets and if they are able-bodied enough for their growth spurt. A lot of parents are not using their car seats or boosters long enough. I would say that most people don’t know when they can stop using a booster because it’s such an individualized decision. When your child has grown enough to sit properly in the car seat, it’s time for them not only to use a safer place but also to belt themselves safely. If they are seated correctly with both feet on the floor and back against the seatback then you do NOT need an extra layer of protection by using a booster anymore. But until then, I recommend using a booster.
I’m a CPS tech which stands for child passenger safety technician. As such, I know all about car seats and how they can protect your kids from harm in the event of an accident or near-miss with another vehicle. This is my personal car seat progression. This set of seats has been a lifesaver for me and mine, so I hope it will be the same with you.
I hope this information was helpful to you!
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