How Long Do Babies Use Infant Car Seats?

How Long Do Babies Use Infant Car Seats?

How Long Do Babies Use Infant Car Seats?

How Long Do Babies Use Infant Car Seats? 

Wouldn’t it be great if babies came home from the hospital with an instruction manual? 

You could look up what this means and what that means. Every cry would be explained by the instruction manual and you wouldn’t ever have to second guess yourself as a parent. 

Tantrums would be a breeze and your little love would never have to stand there with quivering lips thinking that they’re being misunderstood. 

The reality is we have to find out this stuff on our own. We have to get to know what each cry means through trial and error. That’s how we figure out if our baby prefers peas or carrots or pears! 

When it comes to car seat safety there is no trial and error. We have to get it right the first time or it could be dangerous. 

These are all things you might wonder about: Did I install this seat correctly? Are the straps tight enough to keep my child safe while I’m driving? Has my child outgrown their car seat? Is it time to change to a bigger size car seat?

Don’t worry if you’re overwhelmed! All of us parents get overwhelmed when it comes to this stuff. 

This article was done in order to share some knowledge - That way you don’t need to leave it up to trial and error. 

We’ll give you some car seat safety guidance and then we’ll introduce you to a coat that was made to make your child’s car seat experience more enjoyable and comfortable. It’s called the Buckle Me Baby Coat and it was made as a safer alternative to puffy winter jackets - which were never meant to be worn in a car seat. 

Infant Seat

infant car seat

This is the seat you’ll put your new bundle of joy in when you take the ride home from the hospital. These seats can be attached directly onto your stroller and can be taken from their base and used to carry your baby everywhere from the mall to running errands to enjoying an afternoon at the park. There’s nothing better than an afternoon in the park when you have a good book and your baby is sleeping in their car seat. That’s relaxing at its finest! 

The base is what gets latched into your car, and stays there even when the car seat is taken somewhere else. As a parent you’ll grow to love the fact that you can put your child to sleep during a car ride and they can stay asleep once you get home - because you can remove the seat from the base and not wake the sleeping baby. Just take your baby inside still in their car seat. 

These seats should ALWAYS be rear facing. For the most part, when a child becomes two years old the law considers them old enough to transition to forward but the truth is your child should remain in rear facing for as long as possible because that’s the safest.  

The bottom line is: babies and toddlers should stay in infant car seats until their height and weight makes it so that they can get up to the next level of car seat safety. 

Convertible Seat

Once your baby outgrows their infant car seat, it's time to move on to a convertible seat. These seats are made for bigger babies and toddlers. But, the thing about these seats is they aren’t as convenient as infant car seats. Convertible car seats can’t go with you wherever you go - they have to stay in the car. 

Another less convenient thing is that these seats are heavier and bulkier than infant car seats. 

But there is a silver lining! The best part of these seats is their versatility. These seats grow with your child and can be used as rear-facing in the beginning and then as forward-facing when they get old enough. They got the name convertible car seat for a reason. They can be converted from one part of your child’s car seat journey to the next. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should stay in rear-facing seats for as long as possible, until at least two years old. Here is an article outlining their recommendations. 

The bottom line is: toddlers and preschoolers should stay in convertible car seats until their height and weight is enough to get to the next level of car seat safety. 

Booster Seats

For some parents, going to a booster seat might be like taking a breath of fresh air because these seats are easy when compared to the infant seat or the convertible seat. The truth is, you lose safety with every graduation so keep your kids in a five point harness as long as possible. 

When your child is ready for the booster seat, these seats help them be able to see the world around them. Booster seats raise your child up so they can look out the window. It also makes it so that the restraints are at the right level. 

What makes booster seats easier than other seats is that you don’t have to LATCH and they’re less bulky than the other seats. 

Rear-facing convertible seats are the safest and they have to stay in their convertible seat until they outgrow the height and weight requirements on the seat. Any seat that has to be latched in with a 5-point harness is going to be the safest option until your child is ready for the next step. So, for parents, the decision to transition to a booster seat is done once the child is big enough, tall enough, and mature enough to sit properly in their seat without slumping, slouching or trying to get out of the seat restraints. 

The bottom line is: school age children should remain in booster seats until their height and weight dictates a transition into traditional seat belt wearing. 

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