When To Change Car Seats?

When To Change Car Seats
Infant seat – Photo: Michael Hession An infant seat is the rear-facing, bucket-style car seat that most parents opt to use through the first year of their baby’s life, and sometimes up to age 2. (No matter where you live in the US, an appropriate car seat is required when you’re driving with an infant.) All dedicated infant seats are rear-facing-only, and the most common type snaps in and out of a base that typically stays installed in the car.

  • So if you’re a two-car family, it’s likely that you can get just one seat and two bases.
  • Some parents may decide to forego the infant-specific seat and rely on a convertible car seat rated for newborn use; they usually come with an added infant insert cushion for extra support.) All infant seats have a five-point harness, and they include a newborn insert to use from birth until a child is between 11 and 15 pounds.

(Check the manual for exact guidelines, but generally if the baby’s shoulders don’t reach the straps without the insert, you should use the insert.) Most infant seats have more than one recline option. For newborns, you want the seat in the most reclined angle possible.

How do you know when your baby needs a new car seat?

Your child has reached either the height OR weight limit on their car seat – “Upgrading” a car seat usually means moving up to a style meant to accommodate a bigger, older child. Once your child has hit the maximum height or weight for her seat (whichever comes first), it’s time for a new one.

Keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible. Many parents opt to start their newborn in a rear-facing infant car seat because these models are relatively lightweight and convenient, then switch to a convertible car seat once their little one has outgrown it. (Though convertible car seats can be used in the rear-facing position from day one, too.) But children should stay rear-facing even after they’ve graduated to a convertible car seat, until they’ve reached the maximum height or weight in the rear-facing position of the convertible model (that’s at least until age 2, though many children will not be ready to face forward until age 3 or 4). Graduate to the forward-facing position only once your child is big enough. Once your child reaches the maximum height or weight for the rear-facing position on her convertible seat, she can switch to the seat’s forward-facing position. Eventually, she can move on to a booster seat. And after she outgrows the maximum height or weight on her forward-facing convertible seat, your child can graduate to a forward-facing seat with a harness or a booster seat, depending on her height and weight. She’ll stay in the booster until sometime between the ages of 8 and 12 — again, depending on her height and weight — before finally sitting in the back seat with a seat belt, recommends the AAP.

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What is next after infant car seat?

The next step after outgrowing an infant seat, is a convertible seat, which should be purchased no later than your child’s first birthday. It can be installed rear- or forward-facing. The harness system, similar to an infant car seat’s, has a higher rear-facing weight limit.

How long is an infant car seat good for?

When you started shopping for gear for your baby, you probably placed the big-ticket items at the top of your list: the stroller, the crib or bassinet, and of course — the all-important car seat. You check the latest car seat guidelines and recommendations, make sure your desired seat will properly fit your car and your needs, and make the purchase — sometimes spending upwards of $200 or $300.

Ouch! (But well worth it to keep your precious cargo safe.) So it makes sense to wonder: When baby #2 comes along, can you reuse your old car seat? Or if your friend offers you a seat their child has outgrown, can you use that? The short answer is maybe, maybe not — because car seats have expiration dates.

In general, car seats expire between 6 and 10 years from the date of manufacture. They expire for a number of reasons, including wear and tear, changing regulations, recalls, and the limits of manufacturer testing. Let’s take a closer look.

When should I get rid of my 5 point harness?

Is a Harnessed Car Seat Safer than a Booster? – When To Change Car Seats Graco TrioGrow booster mode Once a child has outgrown their harnessed car seat, there isn’t any scientific information that gives us reason to believe that a harness is safer than a properly used booster seat. The key is the booster being properly used: where the child is of appropriate age and the belt is positioned properly.

How long should my child be in a harness seat?

Toddlers & preschoolers—forward-facing seats – Always read the vehicle owner’s manual and the car safety seat manual before installing the seat. Any child who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for her convertible seat should use a forward- facing seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by her car safety seat manufacturer.

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What kind of car seat should a 7 month old be in?

There are two types of rear-facing car seats: – Infant-Only Car Seat: This small, portable seat is designed for newborns or small babies and can only be used rear-facing. Babies usually outgrow their infant car seats by the time they’re 8 or 9 months old.

Is it OK to use an expired car seat?

Are Expired Car Seats Safe? – Injuries from car accidents are a leading cause of death among children, and expired car seats may not protect your child in the event of a crash. Because of this, expired car seats are not considered safe and should not be used.

Can you reuse infant car seats?

Can you reuse an old car seat? – You can save a car seat for a younger sibling or pass it on to another family if it isn’t expired, damaged, recalled or missing any of its original parts. Before reusing the seat or giving it away, always be sure to:

Check the expiration date. Just like food and medicines, car seats have expiration dates, The plastic used to make seats can degrade over time and become brittle, potentially making the seat less effective. To find the expiration date, check the seat’s label or the manufacturer instructions (or if you can’t find the date, give the manufacturer a call). When in doubt, use six years from the manufacture date, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says. Make sure it hasn’t been recalled, Recalled seats have defects that have been determined to be unsafe, so if your seat is affected by a recall, stop using it right away and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for repairing or replacing the seat (and don’t pass it down to another family). You can find the latest recalls at NHTSA.gov/recalls, or sign up for recall alerts on your phone. Confirm, too, that the seat still has a label with the date of manufacture and model number, which allows the next user to check for future recalls. Inspect it. Hand-me-down car seats should be in excellent condition. We’re not talking about stubborn juice or yogurt stains, of course. But if you notice any cracking in the plastic or other signs of wear and tear, get rid of it ASAP. Both indicate that the seat might not provide adequate protection in the event of a crash. Inspect the seat for visible cracks or missing parts, too. If the seat has either, it’s no longer usable. Confirm that it hasn’t been in a crash. If it has, it should be discarded. Moderate and severe crashes can damage the structure and integrity of a car seat, meaning it may not provide enough protection in the event of another crash. According to the AAP, seats that have been in a minor crash — the car could be driven away, no one was injured, the airbags didn’t go off, the door closest to the car seat wasn’t damaged and there was no visible damage to the car seat — may still be usable, but ask a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) if you’re unsure. Pass along the manual. Finally, make sure to share a copy of the seat’s instruction manual so the next user can install it correctly. If you don’t have the original manual, see if you can download a copy on the manufacturer’s website.

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Getting rid of a used car seat can take a little bit of planning. But if the extra effort keeps other pint-sized passengers protected, it’s well worth it. From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting,

What age is stage 2 3 car seat?

Video transcript – Group 2/3 seats are used from around three and a half to 12 years of age, or up to 1.35 metres or four foot five inches in height. Children must be at least 15kg, but ideally closer to 18kg before using a group 2/3 seat. There are two different types, the booster cushion and the high-back booster seat.

What age is stage 3 car seat for?

What is a Group 3 Car Seat? – According to EU car seat safety legislation, a Group 3 car seat is suitable for children weighing 22-36kg. That’s around 6 to 12 years old. A Group 3 Car Seat can take many forms. For example, they can face rear or forward, be a booster cushion, or a high backed booster with or without a safety shield. When To Change Car Seats Graco Booster Basic Car Seat – Opal Sky is lightweight and portable – ideal when your child takes journeys in other peoples’ cars. It’s recommended for children aged 6-12 years.