When to Move out of Infant Car Seat? Everything You Need To Know

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
8 min read

When should a child be removed from the car seat? Long-term use of infant car seats is not recommended.

In the first few months of life, when the baby is unable to sit up straight on his own, let alone lift his head high enough to view out the window or glance around at all that’s going outside, they provide additional support and safety.

As a general rule, most children will be able to ride in an infant car seat until they turn one, but this varies greatly from child to child, thus there is no legal requirement for this.

Even if your child has just turned one, you can keep using your infant car seat for as long as you choose. Keeping in mind that your baby will need a new car seat as he gets older and more mobile is essential.

When can you turn car seats around California?

When your child reaches the age of one, you can have him/her sit in the back seat facing California. It’s also recommended by some experts to keep babies rear-facing through their second birthday.

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Keeping children in a forward-facing position until they are two years old was recommended by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) over concerns about safeguarding the head and neck while yet providing enough legroom for safety belts during crashes.

Install your seat in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions on how to do so before turning it over (to minimize the risk of injury).

A second carseat is recommended if you plan to travel with young passengers frequently or for extended periods of time rather than simply switching back and forth.

When can a child sit in a backless booster?

Backless booster seats are suitable for children weighing at least 40 pounds and between the ages of four and eight. If they are under 40 pounds and have adequate torso support, such as from a secured car seat, they may also be able to use it.

Shoulder straps of a forward-facing car safety belt must fit snugly across the collarbone and on top of the shoulders before this is necessary.

Even though these boosters can be helpful, parents should avoid overusing them and instead ensure that their children are properly restrained using a five-point harness or another approved device until they are old enough to use an adult-sized safety belt that includes both lap belts and shoulder straps.

You should consult your child’s pediatrician if you have any questions about which car seat is best for them.

How much should a child weigh to sit in the front seat?

Children under the age of 12 are not permitted. In order to sit in the front seat, children under the age of twelve must meet all other conditions.

An adult must be present at all times if a child is riding in a booster seat under the age of 12 or taller.

As a result, until they weigh 40 pounds, most children under the age of twelve will require a car safety seat.

Consult with your local police or fire department if you’re unsure of how much weight your youngster should be before switching out!

As an example, consider the following table, which shows an approximate range of weights for various ages:

When riding in a vehicle, children’s backs should be able to rest flat against the seat back.

Children’s safety seats are developed to ensure that they are comfortable for the child. Even if your child isn’t perfectly suited to a rear-facing baby or convertible model, they should be able to fit in it without too much difficulty.

It’s possible that you’ll need to try a few various types before you discover the perfect fit, as not every seat will be ideal for everyone. As long as you keep an eye out for your tiny ones, any car is better than none at all.

How do you know when it’s time to switch?

Even if your child hasn’t hit the maximum weight, you should consider a change. You’ll need to upgrade your baby’s car seat when the top of their head reaches the seat back for maximum safety. You can see if your baby’s head touches your hand by putting your hand on the top of the backseat and seeing if it touches your hand. It’s time for a change in car seats!

You should resist the temptation to move to a forward-facing car seat before your child is old enough for it. As long as feasible, or at least for the first 15 months of your kid’s life, we at Maxi-Cosi recommend that your child ride rearward-facing in a car seat.

Car Seat Guide | Argos

When can your child start to use this car seat?

It’s important to note that not all rear-facing convertible car seats are appropriate for tiny (or large) children. See which car seats we recommend.


  • There must be enough room in the shoulder straps for baby’s shoulders to fit comfortably. An infant insert may be included with the seat to help raise the child.
  • The weight of the baby is within the acceptable range (anything from 5 to 14 pounds, depending on the kind of car seat).
  • In order for some convertible car seats to work, babies must be able to sit up on their own.

When is your child too big for this car seat?

Convertible rear-facing car seats have a maximum weight/height limit for children. Because every seat is unique, it’s important to double-check yours. However, the following is typical:

  • Weight: 40 to 50 pounds is the maximum rearward-facing weight limit.
  • Total height: maximum total height is 40 to 45 inches
  • 40 to 45 inches in overall height is the maximum.

It’s time to switch to a forward-facing seat for your youngster if they’ve reached one of the following limits:

  1. change to a more spacious back-facing car seat.
  2. In the same seat, turn around so that you’re facing front.
  3. A booster seat should be used for this purpose (at around 5 or 6 years old)

Waiting until one of these criteria is met before moving your child forward-facing is strongly recommended, as sitting backwards is a safer position.

The maximum weight and height for your child’s car seat should always be checked in the instruction booklet, on the seat, or by contacting your child’s car seat manufacturer.

When should you face your baby’s car seat forward?

Recommendations issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on car seat safety were updated in 2018. Children should no longer ride rear-facing in car seats after the age of 2 as a result of these new recommendations.

Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children continue rear-facing until they reach the weight/height restrictions of their rear-facing car seat, which is likely to be longer than the prior age recommendation for most children. Study after study has shown that rear-facing provides better support for the head, neck, and spine than forward-facing positions in a car seat.

Do you have any thoughts on what this means for you? It’s best to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until they’ve reached the weight and height limits of the seat AND the requirements of any state laws. Rear-facing seats can be switched to forward-facing ones if your kid reaches the weight or height requirements for them, which is usually around the age of 3.

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Are there laws about rear facing?

The rules governing child safety seats vary from one country, state, province, or territory to the next. Make sure you’re in line with the rules in your area by doing some research.

What about their legs?

A common complaint from parents is that their child’s legs have to be folded before they reach the maximum height or weight for their rear-facing seat.

Rear-facing car seats allow children to sit with their legs crossed, extended, or dangling over the sides without compromising their safety or comfort. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, leg injuries for rear-facing children are “extremely rare.”

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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