When Do You Stop Using Infant Car Seat? 9 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
22 min read

When do you no longer need to use an infant car seat for your child? The age limit for the usage of an infant seat is two years old. Infants should ride in backward-facing car seats until they are two years old or weigh 20 pounds, whichever comes first, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

After then, the youngster should use a forward-facing convertible with a harness system up to 40 pounds, and then a booster seat at least until they are at least 5 feet tall. The moment has come to buy a new baby car seat if your child has reached these weight milestones and is still under the height criteria (usually around 37 inches).

But while they are seated erect, their feet only touch the ground once. When you want your infant to be as safe as possible, it can be difficult to decide what is ideal.


How do you change a safety first car seat to forward-facing?

Determine the sort of car seat you have by checking the owner’s manual. Convertible and infant-only car seats are the two main types of car seats. If your child falls into either of these two categories, you’ll want to start adjusting it for them as soon as they start facing forward. If that’s the case, then this isn’t relevant to them at all!

Car Seat Mistakes You May Be Making - Parenting

Even while there are some general standards for when children should be moved out of rear-facing seats, it’s important to know what works best for your family when making this decision.

If your child weighs 25 pounds or less, you may want to switch to a front-facing position; however, some families prefer to keep their children rear-facing until they are 35 pounds or heavier.

How do you convert a 3 in 1 car seat to booster safety first? Is it dangerous to use a car seat for more than one child?

When it comes to converting the Safety First Car Seat, there are a variety of reasons why parents do so. It’s the most typical reason why kids are smitten with specific personalities.

Your daughter’s affection for Minnie Mouse may prevent you from purchasing a new car seat merely because she has outgrown her present one. Adding a second base to your Convertible Car Seat allows you to use it as a Booster at the same time.

Always utilize your booster when the vehicle does not already have a backseat, except for specific models or recommendations from doctors or safety experts.

Is it dangerous to use a car seat for more than one child?

No, it isn’t deemed harmful at this point. The manufacturer’s instructions for your current Car Seat or Booster should always be followed, even if you’re utilizing an additional base in addition to the one you already have installed.

Before continuing, check with your doctor or the technician who installed your car seat to see if anything has changed.

One possible exception to this rule is if another huge object is being utilized nearby, in which case the weight requirements may change.

This could have an impact on the safety of your child on long journeys on uneven roads when there isn’t much room between the seats.

How to convert safety 1st car seat to a booster

Is it possible for you to convert your Safety First Car Seat into a booster? Set the seat in the high-back mode and then click it into place to convert. Then, press down on both sides of each buckle to remove the straps from around your infant.

In order to prevent choking hazards, make sure to tuck any residual straps under or under the insert pad. If left exposed, they could be swallowed. Finally, secure any additional pieces together with twist ties or other fastening mechanisms before storing them in packaging or containers for future use.

You no longer have to worry about your children being uncomfortable, restricted, or otherwise at risk when you take them along with you.

How do you remove Britax Marathon straps?

You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the straps. Before the straps can be removed from the car seat, two screws must be removed from each one.

If you want to remove the strap to clean it, be sure to loosen it completely on both sides first so that it can be removed without breaking.

It’s a good idea for you and any other concerned adult to keep an eye on your child’s strapped car seat in the event that he or she becomes trapped by the straps and can’t get out in an emergency.

Once these are loose enough (which should only involve one side of the strap), you can then grab onto both ends on each side of the straps and gently lift them upwards. It should be simple to remove them, allowing for the installation of a new set!

Baby Hates the Car Seat? 8 Car Safety Tips to Help Your Tot Travel Happy

1. Make Traveling by Car with Your Baby Fun

Turn your child’s car fright into delight by creating an adventure ritual—sing a silly song with your baby, buy a special toy that they can have only in the car, have a good long snuggle before strapping them in, or play some special tunes on your mobile device that you know they love. The idea is to create a positive association with car rides. Car rides = special times!

2. Keep Calm and Drive On

You can help your child overcome their fear of the car by creating an adventure ritual—singing a silly song with them, buying a special toy that they can only have in the car, having a good long snuggle before strapping them in, or playing some special tunes on your mobile device that you know they like. Car rides are meant to be viewed in a good light. Rides in cars are always memorable!

3. Check to See if Something Is Causing Them Discomfort

What’s the matter with them? Use a sunshade that you can stick on. No, they don’t hate it because they can’t see you. Check out a rear-facing car seat mirror made of safe plastic. Do I fit in the car seat comfortably? The size and weight limits on your current car seat may need to be revised.

4. Dress for (Car) Success

It’s critical that your infant doesn’t get too hot or too cold, as young babies have a difficult time controlling their temperature. a good starting point? Don’t put your child in a heavy jacket or coat when they’re in their car seat. Car seat belts and harnesses may not be properly tightened if you are dressed in bulky apparel. You can cover them with a coat or blanket if you’re worried about them being cold in the car after they’ve been buckled in.

5. Turn on Their Favorite Song

Relaxing, soothing music can help children feel more at ease, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. There’s no need to restrict oneself to “child” music to encourage a sense of calm, even if that means Metallica is off the table for your next road trip in the car. (After all, you’re paying for it, so you should get to enjoy it!)

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6. Have Someone Ride Alongside Them (When Possible)

It’s best to put your child’s favorite toy or book in the lap of an adult or older child who will be driving with you. Your child will identify and hear your voice even if they are in the backseat of a car and can’t see you.

7. Use a Calming Essential Oil in a Car Diffuser

Anxiety and stress can be lessened and calmness promoted by utilizing essential oils such as lavender, clary sage, neroli, and chamomile, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. With a vehicle diffuser, you may utilize aromatherapy to help alleviate car-seat concerns and create calmer, more peaceful moments. As long as you’re using natural essential oils rather than chemical-based perfumes, some people may have an adverse reaction. Your child might benefit from the aromas, but you might benefit from them as well. Which reminds me…

8. Grin and Bear It—Their Safety Comes First

There are times when the only option is a noisy, miserable vehicle ride. It doesn’t matter how loudly they protest, rear-facing seats are a must for the safety and health of kids.

Car Seat Safety Check: 9 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

The car seat is too loose in your car

To make sure your seat is secure, grab the base of the seat firmly with both hands. Pulling the belt path should not let you to move the safety seat more than one inch in any direction. The fit isn’t tight enough if you can. According to car-seat inspectors, this is the most common error parents make.

A youngster in an unfastened seat is at risk of crashing into the back of the front seat and suffering serious facial or head injuries in the event of an accident.

The quickest cure is to read the car seat’s instruction booklet and the section of your vehicle’s owner manual that deals with car seat installation. The LATCH system or a locking seat belt must be used to secure each car seat in place. You can use your arm to secure an infant car seat if you don’t want to use a seat belt. If you do, position your knee in the seat and buckle the seat belt all the way. Then secure the child’s seat belt, which many parents fail to do.

The harness is too loose on your child

“If you can still pinch the fabric of the harness straps between your fingers after you have fastened your child into his car seat, the harness is too loose,” explains Stephanie Tombrello, executive director of SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A. in Torrance, California: “the harness is too loose.”

There is a risk of a child being ejected from a vehicle in a crash if their harness is too loose, says Tombrello. It’s possible that if the infant hits the interior of the vehicle or another passenger, he’ll suffer serious injuries. Child ejection from the vehicle is the worst-case scenario.

Tightening the harness is a simple solution. Ensure that the straps are tight and there is no slack in them.

Your infant is facing forward too soon

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children remain rear-facing until they reach the maximum height or weight capacity of the car seat. The AAP had previously stated that children should remain rear-facing until at least the age of 2, but the new recommendation does away with that exact age milestone.

The danger: A baby’s spinal cord is still growing when the bones that protect it break. A child’s back, which is the strongest section of his body, is better able to withstand the enormous forces of a crash when he is rear-facing. This can lead to paralysis or death because an infant’s weighty head can cause his undeveloped spine to expose the spinal cord.

The quickest solution is to abide by the regulations. Until your child reaches the seat’s maximum weight or height, keep him rear-facing in a car seat.

Your rear-facing car seat is not at the right angle

Try it out: Keep your child’s head from falling forward by making sure the seat is at a proper angle. Make sure you read the directions to find out how to modify your seat’s angle if necessary. According to HealthChildren.org, all rear-facing chairs should feature adjustable or built-in angle indications.

An infant’s airway is about the diameter of a soda straw, making it extremely vulnerable to asphyxiation. Your baby’s excessively hefty head may tumble forward and block her airway if the rear-facing seat leans too far forward.

The quick fix is to put the safety seat on a flat surface instead of the typical sloped back seat for adult passengers. However, many safety seats have a pedestal that can be adjusted to overcome this. Do what technicians do during car-seat checkups if yours doesn’t:

An instructor in child-passenger safety in San Diego explains, “We put parts of cut-up swimming pool noodles under the area where the baby’s feet rest,” according to Mark McCullough, a police officer. As well, “tightly rolled-up towels” are effective.

The harness chest clip is in the wrong spot

The chest clip on your child’s harness should be in the center of his or her chest, at the same level as the child’s armpits. The clip ensures that the harness straps are properly positioned.

This can put a youngster at risk of expelled from a car seat in a crash if the harness chest clip is placed in an incorrect location.

Check the clip’s location every time you buckle up to ensure it hasn’t been shifted by your child’s parents.

The harness straps are in the wrong slots

Try it out: Three sets of harness slots are standard in most convertible car seats. Two sets are for the rear-facing position and one set is for the forward-facing position.. Only the highest slots on most seats have the extra strength needed to keep the harness in place in the event of a collision while the seat is facing forward. The straps aren’t always properly adjusted when parents rotate the car seat.

When the youngster is facing forward, a harness in the bottom slots of the seat can be broken through after a collision.

Fast fix: Position the straps so that they are at or above your child’s shoulders, or position them closest to (above or below, depending on whether your child is rear- or forward-facing). Make sure you’re putting the shoulder straps in the correct position by reading the instructions that came with the seat. Adjusting the recline angle of the seat may be necessary in order for it to fit more comfortably in your car. Make certain by referring to the directions.

You’re not using a booster seat

If your child is over 65 pounds, they should utilize a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s lap and shoulder seat belts fit properly. When they are between the ages of 8 and 12 years old, they are typically at the height of 4 feet 9 inches.

When an adult seat belt is put on a youngster, it crosses the child’s body in the inappropriate places: on her belly or over the shoulder—and even on the neck at times. In order to alleviate discomfort, children frequently shift the shoulder belt behind them. A youngster who is too tiny to wear a seat belt in the event of a collision can suffer catastrophic internal-organ damage or perhaps be ejected from the vehicle.

Quick fix: Purchase a booster seat for your youngster immediately! In addition, children under the age of 13 should only sit in the back seat and never in the front seat.

Your car seat has been recalled

Millions of child safety seats have been recalled in the last ten years, yet only a fraction of them have been repaired or replaced. You can verify this by comparing your seat to the NHTSA’s list of recalled models (NHTSA). The model name, model number, and date of manufacture of your child safety seat are all located on the seat.

Vehicle seat recalls can be caused by a number of factors including faulty latches or flammable seat fabric. The danger: Many of the recalled chairs represent a serious risk of death, while some don’t. Inadequately fastened buckles can be disastrous.

Contact the manufacturer immediately if you find out about the recall and need further advice on how to fix your car seat. It is best to avoid second-hand carseats, as they may have been recalled or involved in an accident.

Your child sleeps in the car seat outside of the car

In a study published in Pediatrics in May of this year, 62.9 percent of newborn deaths occurred in car seats. More than half of these car seat deaths occurred while the child was in the care of an adult, and the car seat was correctly utilized in less than 10% of cases.

There is a risk of the car seat falling or flipping when a youngster naps in it outside the vehicle. A fatal strangling could be the result of the straps’ use.

Simple solution: Only use a car seat while driving. When you return home, if your child has fallen asleep in his car seat on the way, place him on his back, facing up, on a flat surface.


What age do babies outgrow infant car seat?

If the seat is considered safe for the child’s height and weight, parents who use an infant seat can upgrade to a larger, convertible seat between 9 months and 2 years, depending on the child’s size (bigger kids will usually move on faster).

When can a baby be in a car seat longer than 2 hours?

WHAT IS THE TWO HOUR RULE ABOUT? Car seat manufacturers recommend that a baby not be in a car seat for more than two hours in a 24-hour period. This is due to the fact that extended exposure to a semi-upright position can lead to:

How long can a 5 month old baby be in a car seat?

Many automobile manufacturers and healthcare specialists say that babies should not be left in their car seats for more than two hours at a time. Driving for lengthy periods of time necessitates frequent rest stops.

When can a baby sit longer than 30 minutes?

When feasible, adults should ride in the backseat of the car with the newborn in the first four to six weeks after delivery to monitor the baby’s position and well-being,’ advises a doctor.

HOW LONG CAN 6 month old stay in carseat?

There is no published evidence to indicate how long a baby should remain in a car seat while on a road trip. Many automobile manufacturers and healthcare specialists say that babies should not be left in their car seats for more than two hours at a time.

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Can you drive 5 hours with a newborn?

5 hours in a car with a one-week-old baby. If the baby isn’t hungry, feed and change his or her diaper. Otherwise, the infant should go to sleep on his or her own accord. When nursing, the infant is relying on your own immune system to fight off any illness. The infant should be fine if your immune system is functioning properly.

How often should you stop on a road trip with a baby?

Restlessness can be avoided by getting out of the car and stretching every few hours. Try to stop every two to three hours during the day for diaper changes and every four to six hours at night for feedings or diaper changes. Breastfeeding is never a good idea in a car.

Do you put car seat behind driver or passenger?

Always place the car seat in the back seat. That’s the best place for your infant. Make sure the car seat is in the middle of the row if you can. The driver’s or passenger’s side is OK if it is not.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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