A convertible car seat is a great idea. This car seat starts off as a rear facing car seat for your baby then transitions to a front facing car seat once your baby meets size and weight needs.
Convertible car seats grow along with your baby. This is because they have adjustable shoulder straps, buckle positions, recline and tilt positions, a head rest and other nifty features which make them adjust to your growing baby.
Here are a number our recommendations when selecting the most effective convertible car seat for your baby.
- Aim for a convertible car seat that allows for a wide weight range so that it grows along with your kid. Luckily, today’s car seats allow much higher weight ranges, and lots of convertible car seats will accommodate kids up to 40 pounds or more for rear facing car seats and 65 to 70 pounds for forward facing car seats. Ideally, a convertible seat ought to accommodate your kid rear-facing till they’re 4 years old and forward-facing till 9 or 10 years old.
- The convertible seat you get is meant to last for a long time, thus stay away from car seats with shoulder straps that need re-threading to be adjusted.
- In the used car seat vs new car seat discussion, it’s best to always purchase a new car seat, more so from the top brands to guarantee safety.
The convertible car seat vs infant car seat debate
For the infant car seat vs. convertible car seat discussion, we say GET THE INFANT CAR SEAT! Sure it will cost extra money in the end because you’ll be shopping for 2 different seats within a year of each other. However, the convenience of the infant car seat is definitely worth the extra cash. Here’s why:
- Many parents have said that convertible car seats are too massive for their children. This forces them to use head rests, towels, or alternative padding to prop them in place till they grow into the seat.
- A convertible car seat is also less convenient at first: A convertible car seat is bulky, and unlike infant car seats, a convertible car seat has to be installed in the car instead of clicked into a base that’s installed in in the car. As a result, you can’t simply take your child in and out of the car while still keeping them in the car seat, carry your baby in them, or snap them into a stroller. The very last thing you want to do is wake them up as you are taking them in and out of the seat multiple times. If you intend on having more than one child, you’ll be able to use it for them too. Then you’ll be able to get your money’s worth.
What is a 3-in-1 convertible car seat?
A 3-in-1 or an all-in-one convertible car seat is one which will change from a rear facing car seat to forward facing car seat, then into a booster seat.
Note: Some 3-in-1 car seats are solely forward-facing, and instead change from forward facing car seats to high-back booster to backless booster car seats.
Size and Weight
Convertible car seats much heavier and bulkier than infant seats — they look like giant baby thrones!!
Unlike infant car seats which can be carried around and are clicked into a base that’s permanently installed in the car, weight is not such a big deal because convertible car seats are permanently installed in the car so no need to move the convertible car seat in and out of the car.
Rear Facing Car Seats. What’s all the fuss about?
Young children are at a higher risk of head and spinal injuries. This is due to the fact that their bones and ligaments are still developing.
Additionally, their heads are larger than their necks, therefore the structural framework remains a bit wobbly.
Rear facing car seats offer the best support to your child’s head, neck, and spine, and stop your child’s head from being jerked violently away from the body in the event of a car crash or an abrupt stop.
This is mainly because accidents that occur head on are often at higher speeds and are much more common compared to getting your car rear ended.
Rear facing car seats are also designed to distribute the forces of a car crash across the shell of the car seat. Some of the convertible car seats we have recommended below have full metal frames, which despite being heavy, guarantee your child’s safety.
To protect your baby, keep them in a rear facing car seat for as long as it takes, preferably until they’re two years old and ideally longer (till they reach the maximum height or weight of the rear facing convertible car seat.)
For many kids, this is around 2-4 years old and this is often the best way to scale back the danger of injury in case of a car crash.
Remember: It doesn’t matter that the baby’s legs are touching the backseat – your baby isn’t going to break their legs in an accident. If they’re in a front facing car seat, however, he’s far more possible to break their spinal cord, which may kill or seriously premanently injure them. Read our full review of rear facing car seats to find out why
Q. When should you move your child to a Forward Facing car Seat?
When your baby outgrows the rear facing infant car seat, it is time to move on to a forward facing car seat. A convertible car seat enables you to make the switch without shopping for a brand new car seat.
Point to note: There aren’t any guarantees that the convertible car seat you get will match your car. Keep the tags on in case you need to return it if it doesn’t work.
Also, try to get a seat that has detachable , machine-washable covers – it’ll save you a fair amount of trouble, particularly if your child is susceptible to motion sickness.
Convertible car seats cost between around $60 and $400. Pricier models have higher weight limits meaning you get to use them for longer which is more economical in the long run, and are fitted with bells and whistles that make them more convenient to use.