When Do Babies Outgrow Infant Car Seat? Helpful Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
10 min read

At what age does a baby outgrow a car seat for babies? Around the age of 12 months, they often reach the maximum weight or height restrictions of an infant car seat.

The size and growth rate of your baby will play a role in whether or not this is necessary. Other considerations, like as safety, may necessitate a change before the child reaches the age of one year.

If your child’s current restraint no longer fits, consult with your pediatrician about an alternative.

What Is An Infant Seat?

What is a car seat for a baby? When you bring your newborn home from the hospital, you often put him or her in a rear-facing car seat like this one. For the first year or two of the baby’s life, most parents prefer to utilize these seats in a bucket-style design that can last up to the second year of the child’s life.

Car Seat Safety Guide - Parenting

For increased convenience and comfort while out and about, many baby car seats may be linked directly to a stroller. This style of car seat can also be mounted to a car base, making it easy to get the seat in and out of your vehicle without disrupting your baby’s much-needed slumber time.

If the baby’s shoulders don’t reach the straps without the insert, you should use it. These seats also have a five-point harness that can be used from birth to between 11 and 15 pounds (see your handbook for exact instructions).

What about recliners? There are a slew of options for baby seats. To ensure that your infant is as comfortable and secure as possible, it is recommended that you place the seat in the most reclined position possible. Changing your child’s seat from a steep to a more reclined posture may help calm their whining.

When Do Babies Outgrow Infant Car Seat?

When it comes to your child’s car seat, there are a number of telltale signals that they may have already outgrown it.

Getting to the weight and height limit

  • When your kid reaches or exceeds the maximum height and weight restriction for the infant car seat, you should always keep an eye out for it. Before making the switch, it’s important to take into account how much your child has grown since the last time they were in diapers. For your convenience, we’ve listed the weight and height restrictions for four popular baby seats below:
    • Its weight range is 1.8 kg to 13.6 kg, and its height is 76.2 cm.
    • B-Safe: 1.8kg to 15.8 kg, 81.2cm tall – Britax
    • Maxi Cosi Prezi: 1.8 kg to 13.6 kg, up to 73.6 cm in height / weight
    • Up to 76.2-cm height, 1.8kg to 13.6kg, Chicco Keyfit 30

2. While your baby’s head is already higher than the upper section of the car seat when it is securely strapped

  • Once your child’s head touches the top of the car seat, it’s time to move to a rear-facing car seat for your little one’s safety and comfort. Even though you may have already reached the height restriction, you should now be looking at a booster seat or the next level of convertible car seats.

Eventually, the weight of the seat becomes too much to bear.

  • Your job as a parent is to carry your child everywhere you go, whether it’s for a stroll around the neighborhood or an action-packed family vacation across the world. As a result, you’ll notice if your baby’s car seat starts to reflect weight that isn’t consistent with what you’re used to seeing. As a result, don’t worry! It’s a sure indicator that your baby is growing, which means it’s time to upgrade to a bigger and better car seat for your forthcoming outings together.

Can I wear my baby through airport security?

Many parents have wondered if they may take their infant through airport security while they are still in their stroller. The answer is no, however you can take a stroller with you on vacation!

How do you travel with an infant on a plane?

Any youngster under the age of two is considered an infant. When flying with a baby, it might be challenging to find out the best way to keep them comfortable on the plane.

There are a few things you can try:

Your infant will be more content if they are able to nap during the travel.

* Remove clothing layers if they are too hot; instead of wearing many layers at once, take more sweaters for layering.

In the event of an emergency, carry one favorite blanket or toy as a precautionary measure. Otherwise, your belongings will wind up strewn around the cabin floor.

Can you fly with a stroller and carseat?

If you’re flying with children, you’ll need a stroller and a car seat. The weight and dimensions of these things determine whether or not they must be gate checked by most airlines.

When to switch to a convertible car seat – The Car Seat Nerd

Initially, this may seem like a nuisance, especially if you’re flying to a place where it’s chilly. However, there are other considerations that must be taken into account while bringing both pieces of equipment on a trip!

For each item, here’s what you need to know about air travel:

The term “stroller” refers to a type of stroller

To take your stroller on the airline, you’ll need to make sure it’s tiny enough. If it’s too big, the gate check will still work. Because heavy-duty umbrella-style strollers are deemed a safety danger in the event of an evacuation, airlines do not allow them on board at all (they could block doorways or hallways).

Additionally, many planes now use jet bridge boarding, which eliminates the need for carryon bag inspections because everyone boards the plane simultaneously once the airport terminal building has been entered.

I’d pack an extra set of zip ties in case one breaks while traveling, and try to avoid bringing a diaper bag on the plane.

– Safety Seats

If you’re flying with a certain airline, you may be able to carry your car seat along. Even more so if it’s small enough to fit under a stroller (like this Peg Perego one). Many of them, however, need to be checked at some point throughout the journey because they are deemed too large for gate-checking alone.

This implies that if you decide to check your infant carrier before boarding or use it in flight, you may have to pay an additional fee (and keep in mind that airline fees and taxes often double every five years!).

Our favorite ZOE XLR also comes with its own wheeled bag, making airport travel even more convenient! Make sure all of the straps are properly fastened before attempting to bring the bag onboard a plane.

When Should You Make the Switch?

Weight restrictions on infant car seats range from 22 to 35 pounds, although most babies are too tall to fit in any of them, especially those with weight restrictions of more than thirty pounds. One inch lower than the seat’s top is considered too high for a child. Your child’s safety depends on you being familiar with the height and weight restrictions of your child’s car seat.

As soon as your baby reaches the required height or weight for their infant seat, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you switch to a rear-facing convertible seat. Even if a youngster is within the height and weight restrictions, it is not recommended that they utilize the seat (and vice versa also is not safe). When your child reaches a certain size, they’re too huge.

Most infant seats have a maximum height limit of 1 inch below the seat’s peak, but crash tests by Consumer Reports (CR) show that switching to a rear-facing convertible seat before that point may be preferable.

ChildRestraint.org’s crash testing with 12-month-old dummies showed the risk of brain damage in infant seats is considerably larger than that in convertible seats, as the dummy banged its head on back of front seat more than half times when using infant seats, compared to 4% when using convertible seats. 1

The car seat of a child who rides in the backseat will be able to be raised. More of the seat shell is visible above the head of a kid in a convertible seat. This means that their head will be less likely to hit something hard like the front seat back if they fall out of their seat.

When Should You Upgrade Your Child’s Car Seat?

When your youngster has outgrown their baby seat. Some 30 pounds or more is common for rear-facing baby seats, although most do not have corresponding height constraints. As a result, don’t be shocked if your child outgrows the baby seat before the weight limit has been reached.

Your child will be safer facing the rear if you upgrade to a convertible seat that can face either the front or the back of the car.

When your child reaches the age of one, you should: If your child has reached the age of one and is still able to sit in a rear-facing infant seat, we recommend switching to a rear-facing convertible seat.

Our most recent testing approach includes faking a crash. A 1-year-old child was considerably more likely to bang his head on the back of the front seat when in a rear-facing infant seat compared to a rear-facing convertible seat, according to those tests.”

As soon as the expiration date on your child’s car seat passes, It’s a common misunderstanding among parents that child car seats have an expiration date. If you have multiple children in the same car seat, this is very critical.

You should be able to find this information in the owner’s manual or on the seat label. Six years is the average lifespan.

Safety standards are constantly being updated, and expiration dates ensure that the seat’s key components haven’t worn out to the point where they’re no longer safe.

Crashing your child’s car seat may necessitate a new one. After a minor fender bender, most seats can be reused. NHTSA, however, suggests replacing a seat after an accident that resulted in injuries or needed towing, in which the airbags were deployed, or in which a broken door near the seat was involved. These are all reasons for replacing a seat.

It’s a good idea to get a new seat if your current one has been in a car accident and you haven’t yet done so.

Daily use, heating and cooling cycles, and careless storage can all degrade the construction of a kid safety seat. Cracks and loose parts should be examined by parents, as well as worn strap and fastener components. In the event of a collision, a damaged seat may not provide the necessary level of protection.

11 best car seats for babies 2022 tried and tested by parents

New, undamaged components will give better protection even if you’re exchanging an old seat for a new one.

Next time you’re ready to take the next step: Car seat trade-in events may be the greatest time to buy a new one for your child, if they’ve outgrown their present one.

Even if the savings are attractive, don’t rush the procedure. A child’s safety may be compromised by transitions other than from a rear-facing baby seat to a rear-facing convertible seat. A booster seat is less safe than a forward-facing strapped seat since it is forward-facing rather than rear-facing.

The interactive decision tree in “Might I Reuse or Donate My Car Seat?” can help you figure out what to do with your old car seat.

Find a car seat for your child using the timeline below.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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