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With my little one recently moving from an infant seat to a convertible seat, it leaves the question of what our next move will be. Right now she is rear-facing, but when do I move that to forward-facing? Or even yet, when does she transition to a booster seat? Well rest assured, today I’m going to answer your car seat questions from infant to child with help from my friends at this Georgia Dodge dealership.
You’ve probably seen the infant seats that pop into a car seat base. They typically have a handle and sit in a rear-facing position in the back of your vehicle. These are nice because you don’t have to wake a sleeping infant, and since they often times can’t sit in a shopping cart or anything, it’s a great option for having a place for them to sit while you grocery shop. These car seats typically run from 5 pounds up to 30 pounds.
Once your child hits 30 pounds or their head is under one inch from the top of the seat, it’s time to transition into a convertible car seat. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises you to start this convertible seat in a rear-facing position until the child is two years old, or most importantly until they exceed the height and weight requirements of that car seat. At that time, they can be turned around into forward facing. However, it’s important to remember that rear-facing is up to five times safer (Parenting.com) for a child, so the longer they remain rear-facing, the better.
Once the child is forward facing, you’ll likely wonder when it’s time to switch from the convertible seat to a booster (or if you’re lucky, your convertible is also a booster). It’s recommended that you wait until your child is at least four years old, and have reached 40 pounds or more until you move them to a booster seat. It’s nice to keep your child in a 5-point harness for as long as possible.
When does your child graduate from the booster seat? You have to check with your state laws, however I know here in Minnesota the law is that a child must be over 8 years old and over 4’9″ tall to sit in a seat without a booster seat.
It’s crucial to follow these guidelines to not only obey the laws (where they exist) but to also keep your child safe. And don’t we as parents, just want to keep them safe?