At What Age Can You Put A Baby In A Car Seat Safely?

New mums are often clueless about when they should start putting their baby in a car seat. And this is normal.

Every parent wants the best for their child, so they are careful to avoid all parenting mistakes.

Car seats offer comfortability both for you and your young one.

Holding your child for hours when traveling can be tiring. So, you would rather invest in a good car seat. Although it might cost you a lot, this spectacular feature is worth the purchase.

So, when can I start putting my baby in a car seat?

Currently, there is a broad spectrum of car seats that offer different functionality. Well, you can put your baby from the time they are newborns.

This is because there are car seats specifically designed for newborn use. They are usually called infant seats or baby carriers.

As the child continues to grow, you might have to switch car seats.

Infant seat/baby carriers

Baby carriers or infant seats are normally designed for children up to the age of two. You can use this car seat when your child is a newborn, and they’ll be comfortable and safe.

These seats are strictly rear-facing, thus suitable for small children only. Infant seats have distinctive properties that provide maximum comfortability for your child.

Most of them come with a recliner option that allows you to adjust the seat.

So, when you notice that your baby is uncomfortable, you can always adjust the seat to prevent them from throwing tantrums.

Nonetheless, when your child is two, an infant seat will no longer be functional. Consequently, you will have to replace the seat.

How do you know your child can no longer use an infant seat?

Children are different. Some generally grow faster than others. At times, your child can outgrow an infant seat when they have not yet reached two years.

You may notice that their head is above the seat when this happens. So, it would be best to monitor your child’s growth.

You’ll know the best time to replace the infant car seat with a convertible seat this way. Also, when your child exceeds 30 pounds, the infant seat may no longer accommodate them.

Keep in mind that the infant seat is relatively lighter than other car seats hence making it delicate.

Convertible seat

Convertible car seats suit children who are from age two. Well, child experts have not yet come up with an age limit for these features because children grow differently.

Popularly referred to as a toddler seat, the convertible seat can tilt to face either forward or backward.

But for the child’s safety, it is important to leave the seat in rear-facing mode. We all know the terrible-two stage of children.

So, it would be best to keep them in one position, especially when traveling.

Additionally, experts discourage replacing the convertible seat when the child has not reached a certain weight or height.

So, at what age should you replace the convertible seat with a booster?

Well, it depends. Age should not be the main determining factor for replacing the convertible booster.

This is because some children are bigger than their age while some are smaller than their age.

Nonetheless, consider replacing the convertible seat if you notice the following:

  • When your child reaches 40 pounds, it is time to start considering replacing your convertible car seat; children who weigh this much are probably five years. Even so, you can always switch to a booster when the height of the child outgrows the convertible seat. Some children aged five still fit comfortably in a convertible seat. At the end of the day, it all depends on the size of your child.

 

  • If the space in the middle of the top car seat and your child’s head is more than an inch, switch to a booster seat. When checking the height of the child, always look at it from this perspective. Some children are still short, but their heads sit more than an inch above the top of the car seat because they have a long torso.

On the other hand, avoid placing children of less than two years in a convertible car seat. The seat might be too big for them, hence offering less safety.

Typically, small children of less than two years may not get secured on the convertible car seat. And they might end up falling and hurting themselves, especially in fast-moving cars.

Booster seat

Unlike other car seat types, boosters depend on the car’s safety belt to secure the child. Children in booster seats are old enough to use adult safety belts.

Booster seats raise the child and enable you to wrap the seat belts on the shoulders and legs rather than the stomach.

Today, there are two types of boosters; high-back boosters and backless boosters.

When should I put my child in a booster seat?

Ensure your child has reached four years before you start using a booster seat. Of course, it would be best to ask your manufacturer about this, since different car models vary.

Putting a 3-year-old child in a booster seat is dangerous. These seats do not accommodate small children.

Before you start using a booster seat, the child should weigh at least forty pounds; typically, booster car seats accommodate children who weigh 40 to 50 pounds.

But different booster seat models vary. So, some can accommodate children with more than 50 pounds.

Your child should know how to sit calmly by themselves before you put them in a booster seat. Restless children who love throwing tantrums can fall from the booster seat.

It would be best to train your child how to sit still in the car seat for the sake of safety.

Conclusion

Car seats provide maximum comfortability for you and your child, especially during long distant travels. Fortunately, there is a broad spectrum of car seats you can purchase.

Even so, it is important to understand the different types of car seats and how they work. Generally, you can put a baby in a car seat from the time they are born.

But you can’t put them in any seat; use infant baby seats until they turn two. When they turn two, please upgrade to a convertible car seat and when they turn four, upgrade to a booster seat.

 

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