Which car seat should my child be using?

booster seat, car seat, car seat safety, car seat selection, convertible, harness to booster, infant seat, safety, seat belt -

Which car seat should my child be using?

One of the questions we hear the most is, "What type of car seat should by child be using?"  There are factors of age, height, weight, and parental preference which can sometimes make this a complicated answer...


Phase 1: Infant Seat

Most newborn seats have a weight limit of 30-35 pounds and 32 inches tall. If your child fits comfortably in their infant seat, is still within the seat's weight and height limit, and you want to keep them in this seat --- go for it! If you are tired of carrying them around or your child seems uncomfortable at any point, you are able to move them up to a convertible seat, because most convertible seats are made to accommodate newborn sizes anyway! 

Age

0 - 2+ years

Height

32 inches

Weight

30 - 35 lbs

Phase 2: Convertible Car Seat

The next step up is the convertible seat You guessed it, it's called a convertible seat because it converts from rear facing to forward facing. Most of these seats actually accommodate newborn sizes, as mentioned above, as long as you keep them rear facing according to your state laws. At this point, most states say you can turn your child around at age one, however, I advise keeping your child rear facing until at least two years, but would highly advise keeping them rear facing until they outgrow the maximum weight of their specific seat (usually 40lbs). A lot of states are currently working on laws to bump that age up to two, for good reason! They are much safer rear facing than forward facing when they are so little.  


When your child reaches 40 pounds, you can forward face in the convertible seat until up to around 65 pounds. Again, be sure to check the weight and height specifications for your specific seat, but these convertible car seats, on average, will hold your child from 5-65 pounds and include a 5-point harness and tether. I recommend keeping your child in a convertible vs. a five-point booster as long as they fit, because convertibles typically offer more head protection. 

**This is the seat your child will probably be in the longest, it is worth doing your homework to find the seat that best fits your vehicle, lifestyle, and budget!

Age

0 - 7+ years

Height

up to 49 inches

Weight

5 - 65 lbs

Phase 3: Five-Point Harness Booster 

Once your child outgrows their convertible seat, the next seat I would recommend is a high back five-point harness booster. The five-point harness offers much more protection than just a seat belt on young children, as long as your child does not tamper with the harness! And if they are buckled in properly, they should not have the dexterity to unclip themselves. Some five-point harness boosters can convert into a belt-positioning booster, so that is a money saving option as they grow.

Boosters typically go up to 90 pounds (but again, check your specific seat).

Age

4 - 12+ years

Height

up to 58 inches

Weight

up to 90 lbs

Phase 4: Booster and Seat Belt

After they outgrow their high-back booster, they can move to a backless booster and seat belt.

It is important to make sure their legs bend at a 90 degree angle over the edge of the booster or seat and that they can touch the ground before graduating out of any booster seat!

Age

8 - 12+ years

Height

up to 62 inches

Weight

up to 120 lbs

You can always check with a Certified CPS Tech to make sure all your children are in the proper seats and they are all installed correctly! At Baby Logic, we have a trained Tech on staff to help with all your car seat needs!!

Just remember...

  • Select a car seat based on your child’s age and size, and choose a seat that fits in your vehicle and use it every time.
  • Always refer to your specific car seat manufacturer’s instructions (check height and weight limits) and read the vehicle owner’s manual on how to install the car seat using the seat belt or lower anchors and a tether, if available.
  • To maximize safety, keep your child in the car seat for as long as possible, as long as the child fits within the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.
  • Keep your child in the back seat at least through age 12.

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