There are only two options when the time comes for you to buy car seats for the young ones; a convertible car seat or an infant car seat. While the latter can be used for children weighing between 35 to 40 pounds and are rear-facing only, the former can be used to carry children weighing up to 80 pounds and as tall as 57 inches. Initially, they are rear facing but can be switched to face the front as the children get older. There are also all-in-one convertible car seats which can be switched from rear facing to front facing and eventually become a booster seat for children weighing up to 120 pounds. Caution should be taken when purchasing the all-in-one car seat as some are forward facing only and therefore are not suitable for babies.
Ease of use and installation
Be sure to check all the car seat ratings before you buy one. Besides the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s Rating system sites such as Best Toddler Car Seats | Top Reviews 2017 offer unbiased reviews on the various car seat. They explain its ease of use by taking into account its installation process. Ensure that your convertible car seat has the 5-point harness, which is five straps; one that goes between the baby’s legs, one for each hip and one for each shoulder. These are for your child’s safety, and they should be easy to adjust as your child grows. The best convertible can easily be adjusted from the front, and a few are installed with quick-release buckles for single-handed strap adjustments.
Look out for comfort
You need your kid comfortable, so you should be on the lookout for a convertible car seat which is well padded and providing a comfortable head support. Some have features such as unique energy-absorbing foam to offer better protection in the event of a side-impact accident. You might need to acquire a convertible car seat with a detachable cover so as to make its cleaning easier.
Most of the models in the market today meet the government standards, but their durability and features vary. Consider buying a new convertible car seat to minimize risks. Should you end up buying a second-hand convertible car seat, get it from a trustworthy person so that they can inform you of any previous damages. Perform some due diligence on any recalls and be sure to check the expiration date that is usually printed either in the manual or the seat. Keep in mind that convertible car seats are bulkier and heavier than the infant car seats and consequently, they cannot be transferred from one car to another as easily as the infant car seats. This notwithstanding, most can be used even on newborns, as it is cheaper to buy a convertible car seat than buying an infant car seat then transition to a convertible one. Although a convertible car seat can face the front or rear, it is advisable for the child to face the rear until they are two years.