Buying guide for infant and toddler safety seats
types of car seats
The car seat you buy will depend on your child’s height, weight, and age. Your baby will go through different stages that will require different types of car seats. Don’t move to the next stage too quickly. It is important to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat as long as she can.
When you’re just starting out, you have the option of putting your newborn in a convertible car seat or a special infant seat. Although convertible types can be forward-facing and rear-facing and will hold your baby until he is two tears old, the infant car seat is a much safer and more comfortable option.
child car seat
The best and safest type of car seat for newborns is a rear-facing infant car seat. They’re convenient with an easy-to-use carrier that’s detachable and mounts to a base that stays in the car. When it’s time to get out of the car, just click and take the seat with baby in it. You can also purchase additional bases if needed.
All infants should use a rear-facing seat until they are two years old or have reached the height and weight limit of the seat you are using. Weight ranges for infant car seats can start at 4 pounds and go all the way up to 35 pounds. Baby seats are equipped with five-point harnesses that offer good security for your baby and can only be used in a rear-facing position, which is much safer in a crash. The seat should also be adjusted to recline at an angle of 35 to 45 degrees.
You can install some seats without the base, but the installation is not as secure and often lowers the weight limit of the seat. buy a stroller travel system which includes the car seat, the stroller and the base is also an option.
This is a good way to save money if you plan to buy a stroller and car seat.
convertible car seat
Similar to the children’s model, this type has a five-point harness system and is rear-facing, but also has the option of being forward-facing, hence the name convertible.
Some convertible models can accommodate a baby from birth to 45 pounds. There are a few companies that offer convertible models for toddlers weighing up to 80 pounds and a height range from a minimum of 19″ to a maximum of 53″.
A convertible car seat will allow you to change from a rear-facing position to a forward-facing position once your child grows into the toddler range. While this may save you money, this type of seat does not offer the same comfort or fit as an infant car seat. They are also not stroller compatible, which is inconvenient if you take your baby in and out of the car frequently.
all in one car seat
An all-in-one seat has all the same features as a convertible seat. It can be forward or rear facing and has a five point harness system. However, this type can be used, after removing the harness, as a belted booster seat. As the name implies, this seat is designed to meet all of your car seat needs from birth to the time you transfer your child into a booster seat. The advantages of an all-in-one seat are higher rear-facing weight limits (up to 40 lbs.) and longer seat length. The increased length makes it easier to keep your baby in a rear-facing position for longer without worrying about weight limitation.
The forward-facing weight limit for this type of seat is 50 to 65 pounds while using the five-point harness. This allows young children to take advantage of the 5-point harness system, which is a much safer and preferred method than your vehicle’s 3-point seat belt system. An all-in-one will definitely save you money because it could be your child’s only car seat. The larger size allows your child to stay secure and rear-facing longer, but may not work as well for a newborn as an infant car seat.
Combination car seat for toddlers
This model is designed to be used as a forward-facing seat only. These seats can be forward-facing or rear-facing and have five-point harness systems and will easily convert to a toddler booster seat once your child outgrows the harness.
When your child has reached the upper height and weight limits of the 5-point harness, it is a simple task to remove the harness. You now have a booster seat that will raise your child to the proper height to use your vehicle’s seat belt.
There are a few things to keep in mind when opting for a combination booster car seat for toddlers. Some manufacturers will certify that the weight range for a particular model is between 20 and 65 pounds. It is not recommended, nor is it a good idea, to put any child or infant weighing as little as 20 lbs. in a forward-facing car seat. Often, some children under the age of three will weigh enough to meet the minimum weight requirements for a belted booster seat. Research has shown that this is not as safe as a 5-point harness when facing forward.
It’s easy to confuse a combination toddler booster with a high-back booster seat and vice versa. The simple difference is that a high-back booster seat does not have a harness and is designed to be used with your vehicle’s 3-point seat belt.
A belt-mounted booster or “booster seat” does not have a built-in harness. It is designed only for use with your vehicle’s seat belts. A booster seat does not require any installation. Some of the more recently introduced models come with LATCH (“Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children”). LATCH will keep the lift safe and prevent it from flying off in the event of a crash. When using a booster seat, it is the vehicle’s seat belt that keeps your child safe, not the booster seat. Some high-back booster seats have slots or guides to help you better position the belt on your child, but a backless booster seat is just a cushion that raises your child high enough to allow the use of a seat belt. security.
A quality booster seat will position the shoulder section of the safety belt over the strong bony part of your child’s clavicle and chest and allow the lower belt strap to pass across the hips and thighs, not the stomach or hips. abdomen. When properly adjusted, your child’s back should rest comfortably against the back of the vehicle seat (or the back of the booster seat, if using one). Your child’s knees should bend comfortably at the edge of the seat. The seat belt should also stay on when your child moves around in the seat.