Infant Vs Convertible Car Seats
Really quickly: Lets go over safety basics for newborn car seats. These rules apply no matter what type of seat you get.
Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the weight limit or height limit of their specific model, whichever comes first. You should plan to keep the car seat rear-facing until at least age 2 and maybe even longer, depending on your babys growth. Infant car seats and convertible car seats both allow babies to ride rear-facing from day one.
Now, lets get into the differences between the two.
Infant Car Seat Vs Convertible Car Seat
Are you stumped on whether to go for the infant car seat or the convertible seat?
Well, you are not alone I still remember the first time we were expecting.
While some parents swear by the infant car seat and others by the convertible car seat, your choice will typically come down to what youre looking for. However, even the convertible or the infant car seat has its advantages and disadvantages.
The most important thing to consider is the needs of the newborn infant, which are typically very different from that of the toddler or older child.
The following are some of the most important things to take into consideration when making a choice:
- Strap positioning just as important as the harness tightness. You need a car seat with straps positioned at or just below the childs shoulders. Given the newborn infant usually has a torso about 7 inches, you need a car seat whose lower strap slots can fit that torso length.
Related reads: Chicco Keyfit vs Fit 2
Why Are Car Seats Important
Using a car seat, also called a child safety seat, is the best way to protect your kids when they’re in a car. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injury for children. Because car seats save lives, using a car seat is the law in every U.S. state.
But keeping your child safe depends on choosing the right safety seat and using it correctly. The best car seat is the one that fits your child’s weight, size, and age, as well as your vehicle.
Here are some things to know so you can pick a seat that’s right for your child:
Babies start out in infant-only seats or convertible seats. As they grow, kids switch to forward-facing seats before moving to a booster seat. Here’s a rundown of which seat to use when.
Recommended Reading: Can I Give My Car Back To The Bank
Infant And Convertible Car Seats: Whats The Difference
Parents have the option of choosing between an infant and a convertible car seat when traveling with their baby. Both are safe options if your baby meets the car seatâs height and weight recommendations. You also have to make sure you know how to securely install the seat. Itâs important to choose the seat that works best for your baby and your needs. Here are the key differences between infant and convertible car seats.
Recommended Reading: How To Burn Mp3 Cd For Car
How To Properly Position Your Baby In The Infant Car Seat
Proper positioning is important for your babys safety in the motor seat.
There are many different types of auto seats and restraints for babies, and the most popular ones are newborn seats, convertible seats, and booster seats.
The newborn motor seat is a type of restraint designed to be installed in the rear-facing position only, and it must be installed with a three-point or five-point harness system so that it can provide the best safety for your baby during travel.
Don’t Miss: What Kind Of Car Battery Do I Need
What Age Does The 2 Hour Car Seat Rule End
The age of the child does not matter when it comes to using a car seat. The law states that you must use one until your child is over eight years old.
Some parents may feel their children are ready for this transition earlier than others, but there is no set time frame in which they will be able to complete the switch without issue.
An exception can also be made if another method of transportation is used on a regular basis and the parent feels like this would make more sense for them or their family members. This could include any form of public transit including busses, trains, etc.
While some families do find success at making these changes early on with no issues arising from them doing so, others have found that a gradual transition between methods of transportation is the best course.
The Risks Of Keeping Your Baby In An Infant Car Seat
Car seats are vital for keeping your baby safe and secure in the auto. Infant car seats are designed for babies up to 22 pounds, or until they reach 1 year of age. They are rear-facing and can be installed either in the front seat or the backseat.
There is a risk that you have been unaware of, however. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants ride in a rear-facing motor seat until they are at least 2 years old or reach the maximum height and weight limit for their specific model. Its important to note that children under 13 pounds should always ride in an infant car seat, even if they fit within their models height and weight limits.
You May Like: How To Get Smoke Smell Out Of Car Vents
How Do Infant And Convertible Car Seats Differ
When traveling with their baby, parents have the choice of a convertible or infant car seat. If your baby is at least the recommended height and weight for the car seat, both are safe choices. It is important to know how to install the seat securely. You need to find the right seat for you and your baby. These are the main differences between infant and convertible car seats.
Buying And Installing A Car Seat
If you’re wondering which car seat to buy, Dr. Hoffman advises: “The best seat for you is the one that fits your child.” It’s also important to remember that not every car seat fits every car. And while there isn’t necessarily a simple fix for that, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration rates car seats based on ease of use.
Parents should follow all manufacturer instructions for installing a car seat safely. If you’re confused, Dr. Hoffman says the best thing is to speak to a certified car seat technician. Parents can search for a certified car seat technician on the Safe Kids Worldwide website, on the NHTSA’s website, or by calling a local children’s hospital.
Don’t Miss: What Is My Car Trim Level
When To Stop Using Your Toddler Seat The Latest
Step 1: Check the weight/height limitation of your seat
If your toddler seat is approved to UN R129, you have to stop using your seat once the maximum height of your seat according to its approval is reached. In addition, ISOfix-installed UN R129 seats also have a weight limitation which you can find on your seats approval sticker and/or user manual. It is time to change to another seat once your child has reached one of the two limitations, whichever comes first.
If your toddler seat is approved to ECE R44-04, the seat has a maximum weight which you can find on your seats approval sticker and user manual. Once your child has reached this maximum, you have to change. However, practically you might not always be able to use the seat until the maximum weight as your child can outgrow the seat in height before. Check step 2 for this!
Step 2: Check the shoulder belts and ear-to-headrest level
When the top of childs ears reaches the highest point of the headrest, it is high time to change.
Additionally, check how the shoulder belts are sitting on your childs shoulders and what your seats user manual advises about this. Many manufacturers say that the shoulder belts should not come from below your childs shoulders. So if the shoulder belts are not coming straight onto the shoulders anymore when having the headrest/belts in the highest setting, then its time to change as well.
When Can I Move My Baby From Her Infant Carrier Into The Next Stage Seat Babycentre Uk
It depends whether youâre using a seat thatâs sold by weight and size, or an i-Size seat thatâs sold based on height and age. If youâre using a Group 0 or 0+ seat thatâs sold by weight, your baby should move to the next stage seat when she weighs more than the maximum limit for the seat, or when the top of her head is level with the top of the seat.
You May Like: Who Is Eligible For Usaa Car Insurance
When To Switch From Infant Car Seat To Convertible
According to Kimminau, your child can stay in their infant car seat until they outgrow the seat by either the height or weight restrictions.
Or is the key word to remember here, says Kimminau. It means that even if your little one meets the seats weight requirement but is over the height requirement, its time to make the switch, and vice versa.
Most children will outgrow their infant seats by height first.
While many infant seats are being marketed to hold children up to two years because of higher weight limits , explains Kimminau, most children will outgrow their infant seats by height long before they reach the weight limit.
A good rule of thumb for most seats is that if the top of a childs head is within one inch of the top of the shell of the seat, its time to transition, she says.
The easiest way to check this is to find a board book that is one inch thick and place it on top of your childs head while they are properly secured in the seat.
Are Their Feet Going To Get Hurt
If your childs feet hang over the end of the seat, it is not an indicator to move them up a stage, as is commonly believed. Childrens’ feet and legs are very unlikely become injured in a collision when they are rear facing, and they will not be uncomfortable. Children are much more flexible than adults and will happily sit with their knees bent or their legs crossed.
Recommended Reading: How To Put A Battery In A Car
Child Safety Seat Tips For Baby
The following are some important child safety seat tips for your baby:
- Your infant or toddler should ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their seat. Most convertible seats have limits that will allow children to ride rear-facing for two years or more. Don’t be concerned if your child’s legs bend at the knees or touch the back seat of the car when rear-facing this will not harm her feet or knees.
- Always put your infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in the back of your car. A baby riding in the front seat can be fatally injured by a passenger side air bag.
- The shoulder straps must be at or below your babys shoulders. Child safety seats have several pairs of harness slots so you can adjust the harness as your baby grows. Make sure you use the harness correctly by following these tips:
- The harness must be snug so you cannot pinch a fold in the harness material after buckling in your baby.
- The straps should lie flat in a straight line without sagging or twisting.
- The top of the chest clip should be positioned at armpit level.
The Child Is Too Big For The Car Seat
This is the most obvious reason to change your childs seat. The first goal is to keep your child in the most protective type of seat available for their height and weight. Granted, this should not mean keeping them in a rear-facing seat if their heads are above the back of the car seat. But dont be in a rush to move to the next car seat. The more protection against a crash or collision, the better.
Recommended Reading: How To Unlock Car Door From Outside
Tips On Moving Your Child Into A Convertible Or 3
A convertible car seat is a auto seat that can be used in four different modes: a rear-facing tiny seat, a forward-facing toddler seat, a belt-positioning booster, and finally as a backless booster.
The average age for children to move from a newborn car seat to one with harnesses is at least 1 year or when the child has reached the maximum weight or height allowed by the manufacturer.
Can be used A 3-in-1 motor seat in three modes: rear-facing infant motor seats, forward-facing toddler seats, and belt-positioning boosters.
How Long Can A Newborn Be In A Car Seat 2021
Once your baby is born, they should be placed into their car seat as soon as possible. This will help them to adjust more quickly and feel secure in the new environment.
However, there are some guidelines related to how long a newborn can remain seated down securely on an airplane or road trip before it becomes bothersome for both of you again depending upon the individual situation.
Safety experts and most car manufacturers recommend that babies should not be in a car seat for longer than 2 hours at a time and they should be taken out frequently.
Don’t Miss: Where To Sell Car Parts
Time To Move To The Next Type Of Car Seat
When Should You Make The Switch
While infant car seats have weight limits ranging from 22 to 35 pounds, nearly every baby is too tall before reaching the weight limit, especially for the seats with 30+ pound limits. Too tall is when the child’s head is 1 inch below the top of the seat. It would be best if you familiarized yourself with your car seat’s height and weight requirements to ensure your child is riding safely.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends transitioning your baby from the infant seat to a rear-facing convertible seat, once they meet the minimum height or weight requirement for their infant seat. If a child is over the weight limit but still within the height limit, it is not safe to use the seat . Once your child reaches one limit, they are too big.
While the max height for most infant seats is when the child’s head is 1 inch below the top of the seat, crash testing from Consumer Reports indicates that it may be best to transition to the rear-facing convertible seat earlier, before your child’s head is within an inch of the top.
Rear-facing kids will slide up their car seat. A child in a convertible seat has a lot more of the car seats’s shell above their head, making it much less likely that the child’s head will slide over the shell of the car seat and be able to hit something hard, like the back of the front seat.
You May Like: Who Has The Cheapest Car Insurance
What Is An Infant Seat
So what exactly is an infant car seat? To start, these sturdy rear-facing car seats are traditionally where you place your baby in as you make your way home for the first time from the hospital. Other than having a rear-facing feature, these seats also come in a bucket-style built that most parents use through the first year of the babys life and up until the second year in some cases.
Many infant car seats also come with the feature of being attached directly to a stroller for added ease and comfort while walking. This car seat type can also be attached to a base latched into your car, making the seat easy to be taken in and out without disturbing your babys much-needed sleep.
These seats are also known to use a five-point harness and come with a newborn insert to use from birth until the child is between 11 and 15 pounds .
As for reclining options? Infant seats has several. However, if you have a newborn, it is advised that you position the seat in its most reclined angle possible to give your baby more added comfort and security. So if your little one continues to cry in the car, go from having a steep setting to a more reclined position.
Trying to cope with a newborn? Find out Alex’s newborn survival tips to keep you sane.