Car seats are a must for traveling safely with children. In this guide, we help you determine which car seat you need based on the age and weight of your child. We also we break down the different styles of car seats.
Infant Car Seats
Infant car seats should always be rear-facing for safety.
Many infant car seats have a detachable base that allows you to carry your baby in and out of the car without installing the car seat each time.
These small, portable models can accommodate a child up to 20-22 pounds or approximately 1 year old.
Convertible Car Seats
Convertible car seats can be used in both rear- and front-facing positions, so they will work as the child grows.
Use a convertible car seat in the rear-facing position for an infant, and as the child grows, switch the car seat to a front-facing position.
This model isn't detachable; therefore, it can't be used as a carrier.
Booster Car Seats
Children who have outgrown car seats, generally kids over 40 pounds, should still sit in booster seats in a car until they're 8 years old or 80 pounds.
Booster car seats can have their own harness or use the car's existing seat belt.
The standard booster seat uses the vehicle's seat belt and offers the child full head support.
A backless booster seat should only be used for children over 40 pounds, and it doesn't feature head support.
Combination booster/convertible car seats are available, these often use a harness attached to the seat.