ParentingBaby Car Seats: Types & Weight Limits

Baby Car Seats: Types & Weight Limits

There are so many child safety seats out there, built to meet the needs and requirements of a changing world. Parents increasingly need the safest boosters that they can move from car to Uber to Lyft and back again, seats that go into airplanes, and seats that have technology built into them. With so many different models and styles available, it can be difficult to find the ones that will keep your child safest.

The best thing you can do is research which seats will be best for your family, learn how to install it, and always run your own checks to see if they are still performing properly.

There are a few different types of child car seats that have been designed to be used: rear-facing only, convertible, or all-in-one seats.

baby car seatsImage Source: Wikimedia

  • Convertible Car Seats

Convertible car seats tend to have very different weight limits. That is why it is so important that you look in the user manual for the weight limits for each section. Sometimes, those weight limits will overlap, and you can pick which mode is best for your child based on other factors, such as your car type or the height of your child.

Find the top convertible car seats that will keep your baby safe – just make sure to do your research.

  • Rear Facing Seats

Rear-facing seats help to support your child’s body better, especially when they aren’t yet sure how to control it on their own. It is also one of the safest ways to transport your child because the backward position distributes you child’s body and helps to break up the force of an accident. You can get rear facing seats that are part of a convertible system, or you can purchase one on its own. Each one will have a different weight limit, so it is important to pay attention.

For rear facing only seats, most children will stay in them until they are between 30 to 35 pounds. If you are going to put your child in a convertible rear facing seat, they can typically handle weights up to about 50 pounds. If you have a bigger child or toddler, you might want to consider a convertible seat or an all-in-one model, which can typically handle bigger children as well.

Note that it is recommended that children stay rear facing until they are at least 2 years old.

The rear facing only seats for infants that scored the highest have top safety features AND features that will keep your child occupied in the car.

  • Forward Facing Seats

Forward facing seats are what a child will move into after they are over the weight and height limits for a rear facing seats. These seats typically have harnesses, which means that they can go even higher in terms of weight limits – sometimes up to 80 pounds. This means that children will likely outgrow the forward-facing seat height wise before they do it weight wise.

Your forward facing seats tend to go up so much higher, so you might not even be able to keep your child in that seat for as long as the manual says. If your child is too tall, you may have to move on to a booster seat.

  • Booster Seats

Eventually, your child will go to a booster seat, which is the final step in the car seat pathway. These tend to be for children up to ten years of age, so they will go up to 100 pounds – but some will go even further! Since booster seats have more to do with the height of your child, you should not use the weight to make a determination about whether or not your child has outgrown the seat.

High back booster seats tend to be a great option because they continue to offer head and neck support, but they tend to go up to a lower weight limit than those that do not have a back. Most often, high back car seats are part of that convertible or all-in-one car seat type. Backless seats often tend to go up to those higher weight limits, you do have to make sure about making an impression on your car seats, however.

Overall, if you want your child to be safe when he or she is in the car, you want to get the best type of car seat you can, and make sure that you absolutely pay attention to the weight limits. Not only do you have to pay attention to the upper weight limits, but you also want to pay attention to the lower weight limits so that you do not move your child on too quickly. Each seat will be different, so you do want to read the user manual and do some research on your own.

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