From Front Facing to Boosters: When Is It Time To Upgrade Your Child’s Car Seat?

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Children’s car seats are not a one-style-fits-all item. Keep reading to learn about front-facing, and rear-facing car seats, booster seats, as well as when it’s time to transition to the next type of seat.

Infants Require a Rear-Facing Car Seat

A rear-facing car seat for infants will typically have a weight limit of around 30 to 35 pounds.

For instance, the SnugRide SnugFit 35 DLX Infant Car Seat from Graco is a rear-facing car seat meant for babies from four to 35 pounds, and up to 32 in. in height.

The car seat features an Anti-Rebound Bar that offers an additional layer of safety by limiting the seat’s ability to rotate during an accident.

The SnugRide SnugFit also features:

  • SnugLock technology that makes the seat quick and easy to install with a seat belt or LATCH system
  • A 5-position adjustable base with a bubble level that helps you make sure it’s installed correctly 
  • Infant head and body supports for a comfortable fit 
  • A Silent Shade canopy you can adjust quietly without disturbing a sleeping infant
  • A Rapid Remove seat pad for easy cleaning

It’s also Graco ProtectPlus Engineered, which means it was subjected to intense crash tests to prove its safety.

Convertible Car Seat for Growing Toddlers

Children who outgrow the weight and height limit for their rear-facing car seat are ready to transition to a front-facing convertible seat.

Many parents go for convertible seats that you can turn around when the time is right. For example, the Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat by Britax will easily make the switch from rear-facing to front-facing.

This convertible car seat:

  • Features an “energy-absorbing” shell and foam-lined headrest that surrounds your child’s head, neck, and torso
  • Comes with a SafeWash cover for easy cleaning
  • Is quick and easy to install in your vehicle with its ClickTight Installation
  • Offers 14 positions and an adjustable harness and headrest for the comfortable fit

As for any safety concerns, the convertible car seat is made with high-strength steel and its “crumple zone” is designed to absorb energy in the event of a crash. The seat also features a seven-position, quick-adjust recline, along with easy-to-read level indicators. 

Use the Same Car Seat for Years With the All-In-One Car Seat

An all-in-one car seat is a convertible seat that will last you and your child from the infant months all the way through their “big kid” years.

So instead of buying different car seats as your baby grows, you only need to purchase one all-in-one convertible seat. The seat will go from rear-facing to front-facing, and then your child can also it as a booster seat.

One example of an all-in-one car seat is the Symphony Sport All-In-One Convertible Car Seat from Evenflo. This car seat is for children who weigh five pounds up to 110 pounds, and who are between 19 and 57 in. in height.

For many children, this equates to 10 years of use, since you’d be going from a rear-facing car seat to a front-facing one, and then from a high-back booster to a no-back booster seat.

The all-in-one convertible car seat from Evenflo:

  • Allows you to adjust the seat in place without having to uninstall and reinstall it
  • Features a 5-point harness for safety
  • Has FreeFlow fabric for extra comfort

Other Situations When You Have to Replace Your Car Seat

There are other situations, other than your child growing, that require you to replace your car seat. These include:

When the car seat is too old: Most car seats have a life expectancy of about six years. The owner’s manual or label on the seat should tell you the seat’s “expiration date.”

The car seat has been involved in a crash: If any of the following happened, you should replace your car seat:

  • Your vehicle was in a collision where the airbags were deployed
  • The car was towed
  • There was damage to the door nearest the car seat
  • A collision resulted in injuries

The car seat is showing damage: Check regularly for worn straps, loose parts, cracks, and other issues.

Keep Your Precious Passenger Safe With the Proper Car Seat

Car seats are crucial to keeping your little one secure in your vehicle. Knowing what model is correct for your child’s size and age and whether the car seat should be rear facing or front facing will help ensure they’re riding in comfort and ultimate safety. 

And if you want to make sure your baby is safe not just while they’re in the car but when they sleep as well, check out our guide to choosing the best baby monitor for your family