When Do I Switch Car Seats? Best Guide For You

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
7 min read

Throughout this post, we’ll discuss the various components of a car seat, including when to switch them out and how to do so.

When your child has reached the weight restriction of their car seat or has turned three years old. If your child is between the ages of three and four and is at least 80cm tall, you can switch them to a booster seat (32in).

An adult belt fitting is required at that age. But don’t get ahead of ourselves! Your child has a long way to go before then…

The first day of school, the first day of pre-school, and the first time you try a new hobby are all major milestones in this era of life. When it’s time for them to leave the booster seat, their legs should be able to touch the floor correctly, if they haven’t done so before. Be on the lookout for any indications that they are having difficulty with this sitting arrangement as well.

Only in the backseat of the automobile can your child switch to an adult seat belt. Even if a booster or cushion is used, airbags in the front seats pose a risk to youngsters who are sitting on their parents’ laps.

Child Safety Seat Videos

As long as your child is under the age of twelve, it is still against the law to put them in the front passenger seat of a vehicle.

If your child is over nine years old but under 150cm (59in) tall, the optimum spot for them to ride in a high-backed booster is next to an adult wearing two sets of belts: a lap belt and a diagonal belt.

The excitement of your child joining their peers in gaining more independence comes with the added responsibility that they are now a much greater danger on our roadways if not controlled appropriately. This is an exciting time in your child’s life.

Before embarking on a journey, make sure that your belts are properly fastened. There’s nothing worse than having to slam on the brakes or swerve suddenly! In addition, it can help you avoid arguing about who should sit in the front seat of the car in the future.

How long can a newborn be in a car seat in 2021?

For 111 minutes, a newborn can be strapped into a car seat. There are 222 minutes of driving time for an unbuckled infant.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to follow these guidelines: It’s important to keep an eye on your baby to make sure she doesn’t overheat or freeze while she sleeps, especially on hot summer days or chilly mornings in the dead of winter. However, there isn’t much research on how long babies should sleep outside their cribs before they risk injury at specific temperatures.

Here are a few extra things you can do to ensure that your baby is both comfortable and safe while she is in her crib. Make sure that you don’t use any bumpers or blankets that could restrict your baby’s airflow or cause overheating.

When to change the earliest from an infant carrier to a toddler seat?

For as long as feasible, we at BeSafe recommend that you use an infant carrier, as it gives you, as a parent, flexibility and provides excellent side protection for your baby. Consider switching to a toddler car seat sooner rather than later. Because toddler car seats are more upright and provide less support than infant carriers, we advise against switching to one until your child is old enough to sit up on his or her own.

Make sure that your child meets the minimum age requirements for the toddler seat you are purchasing. When it comes to weight or height, this can be determined by its control.

When Should You Make the Switch?

The weight limit of an infant car seat ranges from 22 to 35 pounds; however, practically every baby is too tall to fit in a seat that has a weight limit of 30 pounds or more. When a child’s chin is 1 inch or more below the rim of the seat, they are considered to be too tall. If you want to be sure your child is travelling in safety, you should get aware with the weight and height restrictions on your child’s car seat.

As soon as your child reaches the minimum weight or height requirements for their infant seat, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends switching 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.

According to Consumer Reports (CR) crash testing, it may be advisable to switch your child from an infant seat to a rear-facing convertible seat early, before the child’s head is within an inch of the seat’s top.

Over half of the time the dummy crashed in an infant seat, but just 4% of the time in a rear-facing convertible, CR’s crash tests indicated that a baby’s head was struck by a rear-facing seat’s back, indicating a far higher risk of brain injury. 1

Rear-facing children’s car seats are easy to slide up. 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 to Switch Car Seats? A Guide - Krostrade

When Should You Upgrade Your Child’s Car Seat?

When your infant has outgrown the confines of a car seat. Many rear-facing baby seats have weight limits of 30 pounds or more, but most do not have height limits of the same weight. This means you shouldn’t be shocked if your child outgrows the infant seat before the weight limit is reached.

It is best to use a convertible car seat, which can face either the front or the back of the vehicle, and keep your youngster facing the back.

Upon reaching the age of a year, 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 bump his head on the back of the front seat when in a rear-facing infant seat compared to a rear-facing convertible seat in those experiments.

It’s time to get rid of your child’s car seat. Children’s car seats have expiration dates that many parents don’t know about. Using the same car seat for multiple children can be very significant.

The date the seat was manufactured and the date it should no longer be utilized should be listed in the owner’s handbook or on the seat label. The average life expectancy is six years.

As safety regulations evolve, expiration dates help to guarantee that important seat components haven’t become corroded or corroded beyond repair.

Crashing your child’s car seat may necessitate a new one. The majority of seats can be repurposed following a minor collision. NHTSA, however, suggests replacing a seat after an accident that resulted in injuries or necessitated towing, in which the airbags were deployed, or in which a broken door near the seat was involved.

There are trade-in events where you may get cash for your old car seat if it has been in an accident and you haven’t changed it yet.

Car Seat Safety Guide - Parenting

What to do if the car seat for your child is damaged? Daily use, repeated heating and cooling, and careless storage can all degrade the structural integrity of a car seat. Cracks, loose pieces, and worn straps or fasteners should be looked for by parents. In the event of a collision, a damaged seat may not provide the necessary level of protection.

Buying a new seat with undamaged components is preferable to trading in an old one, even if the two seats are the identical.

When the next step is all that’s needed: At a trade-in event, you can save money on a new car seat for your child who has outgrown or is about to outgrow his or her existing one.

Even if the savings attract you, don’t rush through the procedure. Children may be put at risk by transitioning from a rear-facing infant seat to a rear-facing convertible seat. As an example, a forward-facing seat is less safe than a rear-facing seat, but a booster seat is less safe than a forward-facing strapped seat.

Can I Reuse or Donate My Car Seat? is CR’s interactive decision tree if you are unclear what to do with a retired car seat.

To assist you in your search for the ideal kid safety seat, the following timeline has been provided.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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