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Car Seat New Parent Resource Center

New Parent Help - Where to start:

First let's go over a couple of quick safety guidelines. The American Academy of Pediatrics and many other Child Passenger Safety organizations recommend that infants use a rear-facing car seat at least until they reach both the age of 1 and 20 pounds. With that said, it is safest to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible so finding a rear-facing car seat that accommodates a child heavier than 20 pounds is a great idea. Now that you know you're in the market for a rear-facing car seat, you have two options; either choose an Infant Car Seat/Infant Carrier or a Convertible Car Seat. We'll break down both options for you below.

Infant Car Seats/Infant Carriers:

See Large Selection Of Infant Car Seats

  • Can be used rear-facing only
  • Maximum weight limits usually around 20 - 35 pounds
  • Removable base for easy movement of baby without waking him or her
  • Extra bases available for purchase to make it possible to use the same car seat or carrier in multiple vehicles. Keep a base in each car and use just the one carry for transfer between cars
  • Smaller seat cradles newborns better; some experts consider it a safer option than a Convertible seat for infants
  • Compatible with strollers to create a convenient baby travel system
  • Will only be able to be used for about a year, even less in most cases depending on how fast your child grows


Convertible Car Seats:

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  • Can be used rear-facing or forward facing
  • Rear facing weight limit usually around 20 - 30 pounds, forward facing weight limit usually around 40 pounds, but can go as high as 80 pounds on select models.
  • Semi-permanent install, no removable base, once installed properly and securely it should be uninstalled rarely for changing rear-facing to forward facing position or shoulder harness strap adjustment as baby grows
  • Larger seat and harness, so make sure that there is good padding in the Convertible seat for a snug fit with newborns
  • Not compatible with strollers
  • Depending on the weight limits of the seat, your child may be able to use this seat for up to at least the age of 4. Many children can go straight from a Convertible seat to a Booster seat.


Booster Seats:

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  • Also called 'Belt Positioning Booster' seats.
  • Can be used forward-facing, only.
  • Minimum weight requirement of 30 - 40 lbs.*
  • No true installation is necessary, unlike other types of car seats you may be used to. The Booster Seat is not held in the vehicle seat with LATCH or vehicle Lap/Shoulder belts. The child is secured in front using the car's shoulder and lap belts, taking the place of a 5-point harness. Some Booster Seats may require or suggest the use of a Tether for safety.
  • Not compatible with strollers.
  • No 5-point harness. Child sits in the Booster Seat and uses the vehicles lap and shoulder belt** to secure them.

*All children are safest in a 5-point harness, which Booster seats lack. Younger children should stay in a harnessed seat even if they hit the 30 or 40 lb. mark. We recommend that Booster seats be used for children ages 4 and up.

**Booster seats MUST be used with a car's lap AND shoulder belt - you cannot use a Booster seat in a vehicle's seat that only has a lap belt. Some alternatives (such as Vests) can be used with just a lap belt in conjunction with a Tether Strap.

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