Updated at: 10-08-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Every day, car seats save children’s lives by protecting them in the event of a collision. What’s wrong? More than half of all car seats are placed incorrectly, which can be challenging for first-time parents.

To make sure your child is as safe as possible in a rear-facing newborn car seat, follow these instructions.

How to install a rear-facing infant car seat

  1. Review the user’s guide. You’ll need to know how to properly install your car seat if you want to keep your children safe.
  2. Put the car seat in the back of your vehicle. If you have a young child, always put him or her in the rear seat, away from the passenger-side air bags. Place the car seat on either side of the backseat if your car doesn’t fit it securely (or, if you drive an SUV, in the second row). The front seat of your vehicle is one location a car seat should never be installed. The passenger-side airbag could deploy and hurt your infant if there is an accident (even a small one). Note: All children under 13 years old must ride in the backseat.)
  3. Turn it the other way around. It is recommended by experts such the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to keep children in the rear-facing position as long as feasible, until they have reached the maximum height or weight restriction permitted by their car seats. Keeping your infant in a rear-facing position for as long as feasible is critical. The greatest way to safeguard a baby’s or toddler’s head, neck, and spine is to face them backward. Rear-facing infants and small children reduce their risk of death in a car accident by 71%.
  4. The LATCH anchors can be found. Every car manufactured after 2002 has a LATCH system installed (anchors and tethers designed to attach the car seat to the backseat of the car). In other words, you can use metal anchors in the vehicle’s seat to secure your car seat or base. Check the bottom of your car seat for small metal loops that protrude slightly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that parents utilize either the LATCH system or the seat belt with a car seat, but not both.
  5. Build the foundation (LATCH method). To use the LATCH system, place the seat base in the rear seat of your car, then connect the seat to the bottom anchors on the seat. Make sure the connection is safe by following the directions in the manual.
  6. Build the foundation (seatbelt method). In the opinion of some parents, the LATCH system makes it much easier to install infant car seats. However, if done correctly, wearing a seatbelt is just as safe as not wearing one. If your vehicle lacks LATCH anchors or you choose to utilize the seatbelt, locate the course of the belt on your base and fasten the belt. In most cases, a seatbelt can be locked simply by drawing the belt out and reinserting it. If this procedure does not work for your vehicle, refer to the manual.
  7. Tighten up the connection. Pull out any slack in the LATCH straps or the seatbelt by pressing down firmly on the middle of the base. Additional safety precautions like a load leg should also be checked for proper installation.
  8. Determine whether or not the base is stable. Now, have a look at what you’ve done. Make a fist with your non-dominant hand and shake the base at the belt path. Should not move more than one inch from the side or front to back when shook vigorously. If this occurs, tighten the straps even further by pressing down on the middle.
  9. Make sure you’re looking at it from the right side. Your car seat base should be at a safe angle, as well. Make sure your baby is seated in the correct semi-reclined position by following this step. You can find an angle indicator on the side of your base and then adjust the seat to get the right one.
  10. Put the infant car seat in the car. The next step is to attach the infant carrier to the base once the base is in place. With most car seat models, this is a simple process, and many will “click” when the seat is properly secured. Some car seats don’t require a base to be installed. Make careful to check the seat angle and connection tightness by repeating these steps.
  11. The handle can be tinkered with. Finally, make sure that the car seat handle is in the correct position by checking your owner’s manual. When transporting the seat, the handle is normally held in a more upright posture.

How to install a rear facing car seat - YouTube

How to make sure your car seat is installed properly

Fewer than 10% of new parents appropriately install or utilize car seats, according to a 2014 AAP survey, with most buckling the harness or car seat too loosely. As a result, having someone else proofread your work is always a wise decision.

Best Convertible Car Seats of 2022

What is a Convertible Car Seat?

Car seats that may be used with children of different ages and sizes are known as convertible car seats. For babies and toddlers, a convertible car seat is rear-facing, but as they get older, it may be transformed into a forward-facing seat. If your child is of school age, certain convertibles can also serve as a booster seat.) You can use a convertible car seat from the time your child is born all the way through preschool.

When Do You Need a Convertible Car Seat?

It’s only a matter of time until you’ll require a convertible car seat.

Some parents opt to use a convertible car seat from the beginning of their children’s lives. Some parents prefer to start with an infant car seat and then switch to a convertible car seat when their child reaches the maximum weight or height for the seat, which is normally around the time of their first birthday. Since infant car seats are far more portable and light, this is the case.

The LATCH system or seat belt is used to secure convertible seats to your automobile, as opposed to infant car seats, which are attached to a base for easy installation and removal from your vehicle. LATCH car seat installation requires that the child’s weight be within a range specified by the manufacturer. You’ll need to use your car’s seat belt once you’ve exceeded those restrictions. (For further information, click here.) The majority of convertible seats are large and cumbersome, making them unsuitable for use as an infant seat.

We recommend acquiring a convertible car seat for each vehicle if your child frequently travels in more than one vehicle, as these seats might take some time to install.

What Should You Look for in a Convertible Car Seat?

All car seats must fulfill the same government safety regulations, although some come with added features or can be used for a longer period of time. When shopping for a convertible car seat, keep the following things in mind:

  • Car seats with built-in leveling systems and indicators to indicate proper installation are available.
  • Car seats with LATCH systems, which rely on preinstalled anchors and tethers, can be installed more quickly and easily than those without (available in cars made after 2002). Remember to stay within the weight restrictions of your car seat’s LATCH system and to switch to a seat belt installation as soon as you go over those limitations!
  • In terms of how it will fit in your vehicle, car seats come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Some are larger or less in size than the rest.
  • Research shows that rear-facing car seats are safer for babies and children than forward-facing car seats, and this trend is expected to continue. If you can, always buy a convertible seat with a high weight limit for rear-facing so that you may maximize the amount of time your child spends in this position.
  • Consider the fabric’s durability and how easy it is to clean when messes occur when choosing a fabric.
  • Some car seats have additional padding, stress absorption, and materials that are of a higher quality for added safety.
  • You may not be able to utilize a new car seat if it is broken or does not meet current safety standards. If you decide to go with a used car seat instead of a new one, make sure you get it from someone you can trust. Check the expiration date of the seat and see if the model in question has ever been recalled. Make careful to follow the manufacturer’s stringent cleaning instructions if the seat is soiled. Cleaning a car seat without compromising its integrity or safety requires a precise set of requirements.

Britax One4Life Convertible Car Seat


Buy a Baby $364.99

The Scoop

  • Ten years of use on one seat
  • Correct installation is quick and painless.
  • There are a lot of safety features on this vehicle.

What Our Experts Say

There are several reasons why Britax’s One4Life is a favorite among parents, including its affordability and ease.

This convertible car seat can be used from the time your child is born all the way through elementary school. Rear-facing to five-point harness and then high-back belt-positioning booster are all simply accomplished with this seat. You’ll save money, time, and aggravation by not having to remove and reinstall numerous car seats over the course of 10 years.

This seat is the safest in its category. To ensure a safe and reliable installation, Britax developed the patented ClickTight technology, which makes use of your vehicle’s seat belt and an easy-to-use belt tightening mechanism. As many as half of all car seats are placed incorrectly, therefore this is a useful feature. Crash absorption is further enhanced by the use of steel and other safety elements like as crumple zones and the V-shaped tether. Two layers of side-impact protection are also included in the design.

What’s Worth Considering

The One4Life is on the heavier side, but since the idea with an all-in-one seat is that you won’t be uninstalling and reinstalling it on the regular, we don’t think this is too big of a deal.

Graco 4Ever DLX 4-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

The One4Life is on the heavier side, but because the concept of an all-in-one seat is that you won’t be uninstalling and reinstalling it on the regular, we don’t believe this is too big of a concern.

If you don’t plan on dismantling and reinstalling your all-in-one seat on a frequent basis, we don’t think the One4Life’s weight should be a concern.




The Scoop

  • Babylist’s most popular seat.
  • It’s suitable for children of all ages, from infants to teenagers.
  • Hard to fit in smaller automobiles because of their size.

What Our Experts Say

It’s the most popular seat in the Babylist Shop, with hundreds of positive ratings, and parents enjoy that it’s one-size-fits-all. In the beginning, the Graco 4Ever is a rear-facing seat that may be used by babies as small as four pounds. For rear-facing children, once they reach the maximum weight limit of 65 pounds, the seat moves forward. Once your child reaches 120 pounds and 57 inches in height, it can be used with your car’s seat belt as a backless booster or a highback booster. Six-position reclining, an adjustable 10-point harness and two cup holders are just a few of the additional features.

What’s Worth Considering

There are Child Passenger Safety specialists (AKA car seat experts) who will tell you that the 4Ever is quite difficult to install correctly, so be sure to read your handbook thoroughly and have your seat verified by an expert if feasible. Consider the 4Ever DLX SnugLock model, which has specific technology that makes the installation process easier than with the conventional type.)

If you drive a sedan or similar vehicle, the length of the seat may be an issue. In most SUVs, however, it’s not a problem.

What Babylist Parents Say

My little 6 pound boy has been in this car seat since we brought him home from the hospital!” It’s great that it’ll fit him for as long as he needs a car seat, so it’s a great deal. No-rethread harnesses allow for a quick and easy adjustment of the headrest size.” The writer, Katie R.

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat



The Scoop

  • One of the best deals on a one-seater
  • This all-in-one is far lighter than many of its contemporaries.
  • Fits a wide variety of newborns and children.

What Our Experts Say

It’s not impossible to get a convertible car seat that is both safe and affordable. Rear-facing, forward-facing, and finally belt-positioning are all possible with the Grow and Go. For washing, you can remove the seat pad, which can be removed and washed with the rest of the chair. The harness and headrest can be adjusted in a single step, and the harness holders integrated into the seat keep the straps out of the way while you’re trying to remove your child from the seat. Many parents use this as a second car seat for a caregiver or grandparent’s vehicle as well.

What’s Worth Considering

This car seat’s headrest doesn’t go as high up as some other models, which some parents find annoying. In addition, there are fewer options for reclining than on many other seats. A few videos on how to install the Grow and Go would be helpful as well.

What Babylist Parents Say

It’s nice to get a high-quality car seat at a reasonable price.” “The chair is sturdy and easy to use and clean.” -C.W.

Nuna RAVA Convertible Car Seat




The Scoop

  • Good for long periods of time looking back.
  • Simple, cutting-edge styling
  • With the use of a seatbelt, it is simple to install.

What Our Experts Say

There aren’t many situations in which you can describe a car seat as elegant (especially one smeared in Cheerios). Here we go, though. For maximum security and ease of use, the Nuna RAVA has been thoughtfully developed. With a weight capacity of 50 pounds, this chair has an extensible calf rest that provides an additional two inches of legroom. In addition to the no-rethread harness and breathable knit fabric with ventilation vents, the seat belt method (Nuna’s preferred way) makes installation a breeze.

Baby Car Seat Installation - How to Install a Car Seat Correctly | CarsGuide

What’s Worth Considering

For taller adults who don’t like to be crammed into the front seat of a car, this seat provides more legroom than other options. Newborn car seat fittings can be challenging, according to industry experts.

What Babylist Parents Say

In addition to lasting for several years, it’s also highly safe and simple to set up. -Robin

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat






The Scoop

  • Designed with an extended rearward-facing orientation in mind.
  • A low-cost option that’s simple to set up
  • Seats that are too wide for three-across are not desirable.

What Our Experts Say

The Extend2Fit is a low-cost convertible car seat that’s a fan favorite for three major reasons: its high rear-facing weight limit, ease of installation, and ability to fit in virtually any vehicle type.

This seat’s 50-pound weight limit is a major selling point, since it allows children to remain rear-facing for a longer period of time than many other convertible seats. You’ll be able to comfortably expand your rear-facing position thanks to an adjustable leg rest (as the seat’s name implies). If you’re a taller parent or have a smaller car, you can still find a good fit because the seat can sit practically upright when rear-facing. In addition, it is a great fit for children of all ages, from newborns to school-age children.

What’s Worth Considering

Because the cup holders on this seat must be installed, it’s not the best option if you need more space in the rear seat or want to place three seats crosswise. Due to an odd restriction that needs the seat to be at a specific incline setting, it’s nearly impossible to install this seat correctly if you plan on facing your child front before they weigh 40 pounds.

What Babylist Parents Say

You can use it as they grow, which is great. It’s also quite comfortable.” -Victoria

Evenflo Gold Revolve360 Rotational All-In-One Convertible Car Seat






The Scoop

  • A 360-degree swivel seat makes it easy to get in and out of the vehicle.
  • Once it’s installed, you’re good to go for up to ten years.
  • the ability to operate in three different configurations: booster, rear-facing, and forward-facing

What Our Experts Say

For a long time, the United States lacked rotating car seats, which may be switched from rearward to forward facing with the push of a button. One of the first to hit the US market, the Evenflo Gold Revolve is our choice for this style of seat.

What makes a swiveling seat so desirable? A lot of stuff. It’s the ease with which you can get your child in and out of this seat that we find most appealing. Because it can be swiveled to the side, the awkward reach required by traditional rear-facing seats is no longer an issue.) The easier it is, the longer you are likely to keep your child rear-facing (and hence safer). If you ever need to go from rear to forward-facing, there is no need to remove the seat.

The top tether anchor can be used in both rear- and forward-facing modes, and the installation is flawless. Premium materials are also included.

What’s Worth Considering

This seat has not been authorized for use on an aircraft.

What Babylist Parents Say

In terms of car seats, this is unquestionably a game changer.” Extra safety features are a big plus for me. It has an added layer of comfort. In addition, the design is groundbreaking! There is no problem with the swivel feature. -Sean

Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat


$479.99 Magic Beans

The Scoop
  • a slew of additional security measures
  • Designed with an extended rearward-facing orientation in mind.
  • Modern, clean lines.
  • Expensive

What Our Experts Say

The Clek Foonf convertible car seat is often referred to as “built like a tank” by parents, and that’s precisely what they love about it. There are numerous safety features in the foonf. Everything from the steel and magnesium frame to the side impact protection foam and anti-rebound zone in the base to the aluminum crumple zone in the bottom is there to absorb energy if a crash happens.

The Foonf is designed to be used for extended rear-facing for children weighing up to 50 pounds and has a nine-year lifespan. LATCH or your vehicle’s seat belt can be used to install the seat, and the seat’s fabric is Greenguard certified. Even with all of its amazing features, the seat is still quite thin, allowing three people to sit across from each other in the back seat.

What’s Worth Considering

Because the Foonf is a beast, you won’t be able to take it out of your car very often. As a result, if you’re shorter than average, the seat may obscure your vision from the back windows. Also, it’s a lot of money. Check out the Clek Fllo for a lighter and cheaper solution.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Excellent safety features and the ability to comfortably rear face up to four people! We love this car seat. With it, we fly, our children grow up with it, and it meets all the criteria. An investment worth every dollar spent. There are three of us!” -Val

Graco SlimFit3 LX 3-in-1 Car Seat





The Scoop

  • For three children, Graco’s slimmest seat is the best option.
  • In any configuration, it works three up and three down (rear, forward and booster)
  • Frame made of strengthened steel and foam filled with energy-absorbing properties

What Our Experts Say

If you’re planning on a large family, it’s definitely a good idea to think about three kids in the backseat of your car while you’re shopping for car seats—especially convertible seats, which tend to be rather wide. For those seeking for three-seater convertible seats, the SlimFit is an excellent option from Graco, as it doesn’t take up too much space in the back of your car.

From rear-facing to forward-facing to highback booster, this seat develops with your child. You don’t have to worry while you’re trying to find the optimal setup for your family because Graco tested the seat in every configuration (including kids of different ages in different seat modes). In order to maximize space and make simple modifications, there are intelligent features like the lock-off belt for forward-facing mode and the no-rethread harness that is effortless. If you want to wash the seat’s cover, you don’t have to remove the seat or remove the harness from the seat. To top it all off, there are two cup holders!

What’s Worth Considering

The SlimFit All-in-One from Graco is a more economical slim seat option. Keep in mind that the likelihood of three people fitting across this seat depends on the width of the back seat of your vehicle.

What Babylist Parents Say

My husband and I are the proud parents of a 3-year-old and twins. Finding ways to fit three people into a single car was a major difficulty. Everything about the SlimFit was exceptional. We were able to attach a seat belt on our rear-facing twins’ SlimFit seats and fit them alongside our older child’s forward-facing seat. My husband, who is six feet tall, appreciates being able to recline the passenger seat all the way back when the seats are reversed. -KV

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat






The Scoop

  • Easy-to-clean seat pad with a zipper.
  • Good for long periods of time looking back.
  • It’s difficult to get children in and out with the high sides.

What Our Experts Say

A car seat can be a real hassle to clean if you’ve ever had to deal with a large mess or other catastrophe (infant barf, anyone?). The NextFit Zip tackles this problem with a washable seat pad that can be removed in a matter of seconds. Good news, right? Many other seats can’t say the same about this one because it’s just as easy to reattach as it is to take off.

Rear Facing Car Seat for Your Child: Guidelines & Safety Tips

There are other things to love about this seat as well, including a “Super Cinch” strap, which makes installing using the LATCH system easy (no tug-of-war with straps and seats). For rear-facing and forward-facing modes, bubble levels tell you when you’ve achieved the correct seat angle. And nine recline positions allow this seat to fit in a wider range of cars.

What’s Worth Considering

There are other things to love about this seat as well, including a “Super Cinch” strap, which makes installing using the LATCH system easy (no tug-of-war with straps and seats). For rear-facing and forward-facing modes, bubble levels tell you when you’ve achieved the correct seat angle. And nine recline positions allow this seat to fit in a wider range of cars.

What Babylist Parents Say

In addition to the LATCH system’s “Super Cinch” strap, there are many other features to appreciate about this car seat (no tug-of-war with straps and seats). Bubble levels show you when you’ve got the correct seat angle in both forward and backward facing modes. In addition, the seat’s nine reclining configurations allow it to be installed in a greater variety of automobiles.

Additional Specs

Choosing the Right Convertible Car Seat for You

Convertible car seats should be tested in your vehicle as soon as possible after purchasing them. So, if the first one fails, you can get a new one implanted before your kid is born.

Once you’ve installed the seat in your vehicle, here are some things to think about:

  • The front seats provide a lot of legroom.
  • It is possible to change the harness straps from the back-facing position?
  • Are you sure you installed it correctly? If it’s not, you can get it examined.

Changing car seat models can solve any problems that emerge. If you allow yourself enough time and patience, you can ensure that all of your passengers, no matter how large or small, will have a relaxing journey.

How do I make sure my baby is secure in a car seat?

If the straps are too loose, they won’t fit properly. You can check this by placing your hand on the baby’s shoulder blades between the harness strap and their body and seeing if there is any room beneath your palm. You can also hold the chest clip to see if you can squeeze more than two fingers under it.

There should be no “C” shaped straps coming out of the buckles at the baby’s hips — only “Y” shaped straps. Never leave your child unattended in a car seat while you adjust it unless you have a friend or family member who has done so before.

After each use, wash the buckles gently with soap and water. The straps should also be checked for fraying or tears every few weeks.

– Don’t forget about chest clips! In the event of a collision, this part is critical for providing additional support to babies and preventing them from being ejected from their seats.

Keep in mind the importance of chest clips! With this piece, newborns will have more support and won’t be thrown from their seats in the event of a crash.

Put the infant in the car seat and make sure they are both firmly buckled in. There should be no twisting or buckling of the harness straps.

If there is extra room between the leg openings of the car seat’s “footprint,” consider placing a rolled receiving blanket on either side of the child to provide additional support and stability.

Another strip of Velcro can be used to secure the fabric area underneath so that it does not move about while you are riding and does not pinch you when you unbuckle.

Step over to the baby’s seat on both sides and tighten the lower straps, making sure they’re secure and not merely a safety measure. Before you put it in your automobile, make sure the chest clip is at or above the baby’s armpits, if necessary.

Finally, you’ll want to click down on the top buckles on each side until you hear a definite “click” sound on both sides. You can pat them to make sure they’re secure.

While still holding onto the baby about the waist with one hand or arm, gently shake each side back and forth (never use handlebars alone when carrying).

Re-visit the car seat installation station at your local Fire Department or Police Station if anything feels off or sloppy!

In the event that all goes according to plan, you may now enjoy safe journeys with the baby in tow and ensure that the child is properly restrained at all times.

Using their seats frequently throughout the day/weekend might lead to wear and tear on the buckles and straps, so be sure to clean them after each usage with mild soap and cleaning spray (always test on the underside of fabric before applying anything directly onto it).

To ensure the safety of your child while driving, follow these basic tips on how to care for and use your child’s car seat.

What is a failed car seat test?

A car seat that fails a test does not meet the requirements of the test. Passing a set of tests mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is required before a car seat may be sold.

An example of this would be if your child was unable to sit straight up without slouching in their seat or if they were able to move side-to-side more than an inch, these are both examples of failure during the testing process and could cause serious injury or death should you ever get into an accident while using your product.

An example of this would be if your child was unable to sit straight up without slouching in their seat or if they were able to move side-to-side more than an inch, these are both examples of failure during the testing process and could cause serious injury or death should you ever get into an accident while using your product.

How do you test a car seat?

Even if your child isn’t slouching in their seat, if they are able to move more than an inch in each direction, this is an example of a test failure that could result in significant harm or death if you ever get into an accident while using your product.

Depending on how rapidly your child grows, this may need to be changed every few months or even years!

You may not always have another adult nearby in the event of an emergency where you are forced to install the device on your own.

All safety elements should be checked out, including if it can withstand side-impact collisions or if it has been tested to expiration requirements. Finally (e.g., those set by GB). If a product has been certified in any way, it should bear a label indicating that fact.


Where should rear facing car seats be placed?

Child car seats should be positioned in the back seat, away from active air bags. An air bag that deploys while a child is riding in a rear-facing car seat is at risk of striking that child’s head and inflicting serious or fatal injuries.

Should a car seat go behind the driver or passenger?

Ensure that the child’s car seat is always placed in the backseat. Your infant will be safest here. Car seats should ideally be positioned in the middle of the vehicle, if at all possible. Otherwise, it is alright behind the driver or passenger side.

Can you put a forward-facing car seat in the middle?

The forward-facing car seat can be placed in the centre, right? Yes, a forward-facing car seat can be positioned in the middle of the backseat if it is the only car seat that needs to be installed. To reiterate, putting your car seat in the center seat of the backseat is always a good position to put it.

When can I switch my child to forward-facing?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommends that children sit rear-facing for as long as feasible, preferably until age 2. Until a child reaches the maximum weight or height allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer, NHTSA recommends that they ride in a rear-facing seat.

How To Install Rear Facing Car Seat With Seatbelt - Krostrade

Can you install a forward facing car seat without tether?

In the absence of a tether anchor, the Graco Extend2Fit allows this 4-year-old to remain rear-facing safely. Installing forward-facing car seats in older vehicles may be a challenge for some families.

Can you use a forward facing car seat without tether?

Top tethers are mandatory once you install or convert your rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing configuration with a harness. Top tethers are designed to prevent forward-facing seats from tilting forward in the case of a collision. A seat can be tossed 4 to 6 inches forward without the tether attached.

Do all cars have anchors for car seats?

Tethers or tether connectors are standard on all forward-facing automobile safety seats. LATCH is standard equipment in nearly all passenger cars and car safety seats built after September 1, 2002. There is a limit to the weight of a child that can be tethered with a top-tether.