When To Get A Bigger Car Seat? 7 Tips for Buying a Newborn Car Seat

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
13 min read

In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of upgrading to a larger car seat. When your child outgrows their infant car seat, they aren’t ready for an adult-sized one.

As a result, they are referred to as “booster seats” because the vehicle’s lap belt sits on their thighs rather than their stomachs or necks.

Until they are at least four feet nine inches tall and around the age of eight, the majority of children will require the use of a booster seat. As soon as you see that your child has outgrown his or her newborn car seat, you should switch to a booster seat.

A high back booster (also known as rear-facing or forward-facing), which can hold the weight from 30 to 100 pounds in a five-point harness, is the next step.

How do you secure a car booster seat?

-As far back in the vehicle as you can get the driver’s seat. Put a car cushion behind it to prevent it from reclining if that isn’t an option.

Buying a Car Seat for a Baby |Choosing the best car seat| Emma's Diary

Make sure your child can sit more upright in his booster seat by loosening or removing any head restraints (the goal is less than one inch of space between his chest and top of frame).

-If your vehicle is equipped with lower LATCH anchors, utilize them to attach highback boosters at all times. Keep in mind that if your vehicle has only one top latch anchor for each seat, make sure its center guide bar is facing up/away from where the child will be seated.

-If your child is under the age of five, first secure the lap belt or lower LATCH strap, then secure both straps of the harness (or over 40 pounds).

You should be able to fit two fingers between his collarbone and the seatbelt when he is correctly restrained in a highback booster seat if he has a chest clip on his seatbelt. In the event of an accident, an incorrectly placed car seat might be dangerous!

It’s best to stick with accessories designed by the manufacturer of your child’s car seat/booster because they’ve been tested together to ensure there are no interference issues like loose buckles or twisted belts in the event of an accident.

Why are there no anchors on booster seats?

When it comes to booster seats, things might get a little murky. The lack of anchors on the booster seat has many parents baffled as to how it can remain in position without being secured to their vehicle.

What you need to do is glance under your child for a minute after he or she has been strapped into the booster seat.

There are specific straps built right into most, if not all of them. A frequent term for this type of belt is “retractable belts,” as the mechanism within allows the belt to be retracted when your child is not using it, but then expand outwards so that you can secure the booster seat once your child has climbed into it.

Find where the hooks on the rear of your car seats are by looking under your vehicle. Most, if not all, child restraint systems feature a hook on each side.

There is no need to use belts to secure them to their anchors anymore because these go right into those small holes that were stated earlier.

7 Tips for Buying a Newborn Car Seat

1. Scope out your car before you shop

First and foremost: Preparation is key when it comes to purchasing a car seat. The LATCH system or the seat belt can be used to secure a child seat in a car (which stands for the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children system, and which all new vehicles have). Before you buy a car seat, you can pick which method of installation you like and then hunt for a seat that meets your needs.

When using LATCH, make sure you know where the LATCH attachments are in your car – they may not be in the middle, rear-seat position, which is the safest for a child.

Another pointer? A car seat can fit in the back seat if it has enough room. If you have a small car, you may have to choose a car seat with a narrower base if yours has a large base. Take into account the passengers in the back seat as well. In how many families are you a part of? How many of your children are buckled up in the backseat? Do some research beforehand and bring a tape measure to get an accurate reading on how much space there is between your back seats when buying.

2. Pick a convertible car seat that’ll grow with your child

Take our word for it: You won’t have to buy another car seat throughout the first two years of your child’s life. A rear-facing baby seat or a convertible seat can be used for newborns (which faces the rear of the car at first, and later is turned toward the front). Investing in a convertible car seat saves money over the course of a child’s toddler years while also ensuring the child’s safety.

There’s only one thing that could be improved upon. Unlike infant seats, convertible car seats cannot be taken out of the vehicle.

7 Tips for Buying a Newborn Car Seat | Parents

3. Consider a car seat stroller if you’re trying to save

However, even if your child is only able to fit in an infant car seat for a year, some parents believe that having the opportunity to transport a sleeping baby in an infant car seat is priceless. Consider purchasing a travel system if you need to save money on an infant car seat but don’t want to compromise on quality. In the stroller aisle, not the car seat aisle, you may come across these.

4. Spring for a new seat to be safe

It’s understandable that you want to know which car seat is the safest for your child. There are no untested or unapproved car seats on the market (look for the JPMA stamp on the box, which shows it has been approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association).

The most crucial thing you can do is get a new car seat and not accept a hand-me-down because of the rapid advancements in safety technology.

5. Focus on the most important features

A 5-point harness, side-impact protection (foam or air pads on the side of baby’s head), and compatibility with the LATCH system are all features you should look for in a lower-priced infant car seat or a convertible car seat at this lower price range ($80 to $200). (a way to fasten the base tightly without using seatbelts).

Additional features, such as anti-rebound bars at the foot of the car seat, can be expected if you can afford to get a luxury seat that costs more than $200. A softer fabric, extras like a “boot” for the baby’s feet, and a larger canopy all add to the cost.

You should also make sure that the straps on the car seat you plan to purchase are easy to adjust in the event that your child grows. Straps that don’t require rethreading are the ideal. To avoid rethreading, many manufacturers now incorporate adjustment handles in their seats or a pull cord between baby’s legs.

6. Choose something easy to clean

It is easier to clean a chair made of a smooth fabric like polyester than it is to clean a chair with a textured fabric like corduroy. Cleaning and safety are not mutually exclusive in this case, but easy-to-clean convenience is an added bonus. Just put your faith in us.

7. Opt for one with installation diagrams as well as text

Shopping doesn’t end at the checkout. It’s advisable to follow all the directions you can get your hands on, including those in the instruction manual and the schematics on the seat itself, to ensure that the seat is installed properly.

The installation method is getting easier and easier, but it’s always a good idea to have your work examined by a professional once you’ve installed the car seat. If you’re looking for an inspector in your area, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration makes it simple to do so: To begin your search, simply enter your current location in the box provided at NHTSA.

What’s the quickest and most effective technique to assure a proper installation? Do it yourself or hire a child passenger safety technician in your area. CPS technicians can be found in a variety of settings, including police and fire departments, hospitals, and even your local AAA.

What car seat should my child be in?

Car seats for infants and toddlers

Car seats with five-point harnesses are the best way to keep your baby safe as soon as you leave the hospital. When your child is strapped into a five-point harness, two straps go over their shoulders and clasp together around their waist. The five points of contact are the shoulders, hips, and between the legs. Install infant car seats facing the rear window in the backseat of your vehicle.

Dr. Mudd advises parents to get their child’s car seat tested by a nearby fire station or children’s hospital prior to their first automobile ride home from the hospital. In addition, it is a good idea to check out a YouTube video on how to properly install the car seat you intend to use. The worry that comes with the first time a parent has to drive their child home can be reduced if the car seat is properly installed and ready to go ahead of time.

Back-only car seats with a five-point harness or back-facing convertible car seats with a five-point harness are the two options.

A forward-facing car seat should be used only when it is safe to do so. It’s not your age that matters here; it’s how much you weigh and how tall you are. Make sure your child’s car seat’s weight and height restrictions aren’t going to be an issue. 26 to 36 inches in length and 22 to 35 pounds are normal for rear-facing-only seats.

The weight and height restrictions on convertible car seats are generally greater. This is due to the fact that they can be turned around to face forward when your child is ready, allowing them to grow alongside your child.

Around the age of 2, most children have reached the recommended weight and height restrictions for rear-facing. For as long as possible, keep children in their car seats rear-facing. ‘Try to get as big as the manufacturer allows,’ advises Dr. Mudd. No matter how close your child’s legs get to resting on your child’s back in the rear seat of the automobile, it’s not necessarily time to go on.” Legs sway in a bending motion.”

Remember that rear-facing is the safest position for your infant if you’re tempted to switch early. “Front-end accidents are the most common type of car accident. In an accident, children who are facing the back are less likely to have their heads, necks, and spines crushed because they are pushing into the seat rather than away from it.

7 Tips for Buying a Newborn Car Seat | Parents

Car seats for toddlers and preschoolers

When your child reaches the height and weight limits of their rear-facing car seat, they can finally begin driving in the opposite direction. However, this does not imply that they are ready for a simple car buckle booster. Rear-facing seats can often be set to face forward. Alternatively, you can buy a forward-facing car seat with a 5-point harness.

Seats with a five-point harness that may be used either in a convertible or a forward-facing position should be considered.

As your child matures, you may be tempted to forego a booster seat altogether in favor of the more secure option of a child safety seat. Dr. Mudd advises parents to keep children in car seats for as long as possible. If your child weighs 65 pounds or more, you may want to hold off on making the switch until that time.

Car seats for school-aged children

Using the vehicle’s seat belt with the car seat when your child is too big for the forward-facing car seat’s five-point harness is an option. This extends the life of the car seat for a short period of time.

Booster seat time has here at long last! When your child has outgrown the height and weight constraints of their forward-facing car seat, this rite of passage should be completed.

“More often than not, you’ll be too early or too late. According to Dr. Mudd, not all children are ready for a booster seat, even if they appear physically capable. Keep the forward-facing seat if your youngster can’t sit quietly or is an escape artist.”

Booster seats, front-facing convertible car seats, and front-facing-only car seats all have five-point harnesses for your little one’s safety and comfort.

Transitioning out of booster seats is all about the fit of your child’s seat belt in your car. Seat belts should protect the occupant’s most vulnerable areas.

“Seat belts are sized to protect adults, not children, by carmakers.” According to Dr. Mudd, this means that your child should be at least 4’9″ (1.2 m) tall and 8 to 12 years old before making the switch. “Until the age of 13, children should ride in the backseat.”

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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