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Types of Kids Car Seats Explained for Parents

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Kids Car Seats Explained

If you are expecting a new addition to the family soon and you have begun to look for a car seat, you will no doubt have realized that are a lot of different types of kids car seats. Along with babyproofing products for the home, a car seat is an essential piece of safety equipment for children, though, so you must get the right kind of kids’ car seat.

Laws regarding car seats and booster seats vary by state. So the first thing you must do is check the child car seat laws in your region. Then, you will need to choose a car seat that meets the legal requirements in your area and one that can be fitted to your vehicle.

All car seats sold in the USA must meet federal standards. Even so, if a car seat is not fitted correctly, it will not protect the child in the way that it should. So, as well as buying the best car seat for your child, you must read the instructions and fit the device in your car according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

To help you choose the best car seat for your child, here is a guide to the various types of kid’s car seats and booster seats.

Header image: Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat.

1. Infant Car Seat

An infant car seat is the first seat that parents will usually buy for their newborn children. Infant car seats typically consist of a base and a removable chair, and they are rear-facing seats.

The age range and weight of the child that this type of rear-facing car seat will be suitable for will vary by model. But infant car seats are usually designed for newborns and young babies weighing between 4 and 40 pounds.

When you are buying any type of car seat, it is crucial to remember that the weight and age guidelines are for guidance only. In the case of an infant child seat, for example, if a child’s head sits less than 1 inch from the tops of the chair, then they have grown too tall for that model, regardless of the baby’s weight.

Example infant car seat:
Britax B-Safe Endeavours Infant Car Seat - Rear Facing | 4 to 35 Pounds - Reclinable Base, 3 Layer Impact Protection, Circa
1,042 Reviews
Britax B-Safe Endeavours Infant Car Seat - Rear Facing | 4 to 35 Pounds - Reclinable Base, 3 Layer Impact Protection, Circa
  • Surrounded in safety: 2 layers of side impact protection, quick adjust head protection, steel frame, and impact absorbing base
  • Anti Rebound Bar: Minimize forces by stabilizing the car seat when installed rear facing
  • Ride share ready: European Belt Guide allows for installation without the base as needed. Child Seated Shoulder Height - 6.5 - 11 inches
  • Easy installation: Safe Center Latch or built in seat belt lock offs will secure the infant car seat base

Last update on 2020-07-03 Source: Amazon Product Advertising API

2. All in One Kids Car Seats

All in one kids car seats are designed to last the child right up until they no longer need a booster seat at all. This type of chair can be configured differently as the child gets older.

All in one car seats usually have four possible configurations. The product can be used as a rear-facing car set of infants weighing around 4-40 lbs. It can then be converted to a forward-facing car seat for kids weighing around 22-65 lbs. Then, depending on the development of the child and the child’s height, you could convert the device into a high-back car seat for children weighing 20-100 lbs. And, finally, the product can be converted to a simple booster seat for older children weighing 40-120 lbs.

So, with an all in one child seat for cars, you get a single product that can be used from infancy all the way up to around ten years old.

All in one child car seats are convenient, and they will save you money in the long run. However, multi-purpose car seats of this type do tend to be very heavy.

Example All-in-one Car Seat:
Sale
Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat | Infant to Toddler Car Seat, with 10 Years of Use, Kendrick
2,582 Reviews
Graco 4Ever DLX 4 in 1 Car Seat | Infant to Toddler Car Seat, with 10 Years of Use, Kendrick
  • 4 in 1 car seat gives you 10 years of use: seamlessly transforms from rear facing harness car seat (4 40 pound ), to forward facing harness car seat (22 65 pound ), to highback belt positioning booster (40 100 pound ), to backless belt positioning booster (40 120 pound )
  • Graco ProtectPlus Engineered helps to protect your little one in frontal, side, rear and rollover crashes
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of your harness and headrest to 10 positions in one motion to ensure that your child is always properly secured
  • 6 position recline helps keep your growing child comfy on your many journeys together. Steel-reinforced frame provides strength and durability

Last update on 2020-07-03 Source: Amazon Product Advertising API

3. Convertible Car Seats

Like all in one car seats, convertible children’s car seats also have different configurations. Convertible seats might vary in the age and weight of children they will accommodate, though. In the example that we have picked below, for example, the chair is suitable for children weighing 4-50 lbs.

Convertible car seats usually offer a rear-facing position for infants and a front-facing position of toddlers. Convertible car seats can be bulky, though, and they may not provide the best and most comfortable fit for newborns and infants.

Example convertible car seat:
Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat - 2 Layer Impact Protection - Rear and Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Circa
2,839 Reviews
Britax Boulevard ClickTight Convertible Car Seat - 2 Layer Impact Protection - Rear and Forward Facing - 5 to 65 Pounds, Circa
  • Easy installation: patented click tight makes car seat installation as simple as buckling a seat belt
  • No rethreading, ever: quick adjust 14 position harness with click and safe snug indicator gives a click sound when the harness is tight
  • Adjust accurately: harness indicator gives an audible click when you’ve pulled to the proper tightness
  • Surrounded in safety: 2 layers of side impact protection, steel frame and impact absorbing base

Last update on 2020-07-03 Source: Amazon Product Advertising API

4. Car Seat and Stroller Combos

Car seat and stroller combos combine an infant car seat, a baby carrier, and a stroller in one product. This type of product will usually be suitable for children weighing up to around 35 lbs in the car seat, and up to 50 lbs in the stroller.

Combo strollers and car seats are convenient to use. They are great for when the child has fallen asleep in the car, for example, because you can transfer the baby straight into the stroller. You might find, though, that the baby carrier and the stroller will be much heavier than separate purpose-made products.

Example car seat and stroller combo:
Sale
Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System with OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat, Monument 2
1,894 Reviews
Safety 1st Smooth Ride Travel System with OnBoard 35 LT Infant Car Seat, Monument 2
  • This Safety 1st all in 1 travel system allows for a seamless transition from car to stroller; QuickClick technology secures the LATCH equipped car seat to the stroller without disturbing your baby
  • With exceptional side impACt protection, the included 35 lt rear fACing infant car seat includes added bACk and neck support for newborns
  • An oversized canopy with flip out visor and peek a boo window provides shade and airflow on sunny days and a convenient basket under the seat provides storage for baby items
  • Designed for travel, the stroller is lightweight, has a fast, 1 hand fold, and stands on its own when folded

Last update on 2020-07-03 Source: Amazon Product Advertising API

5. High-back Booster Seats

High-back booster seats are forward-facing car seats for toddlers and older kids. This type of child car seat is usually designed for kids aged 4-10 years old weighing between 40-100 lbs. Check the specs of each car seat, though, because they do vary.

Most high-back car seats can be converted into a backless booster seat. Smaller children should use the high-back configuration, which is safer, and they should use the chair’s harness. Older kids may use the bottom section only of the seat along with the car’s seat belt.

Example high-back booster seat:
Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1 Harness Booster Seat, Kyte
3,603 Reviews
Graco Tranzitions 3 in 1 Harness Booster Seat, Kyte
  • 3 in 1 harness booster helps protect Your child, from toddler to youth; harness booster (22 65 pounds), high back booster (30 100 pounds), backless booster (40 100 pounds); Features the Simply Safe Adjust Harness System, which adjusts Your harness and headrest to 8 height positions, with no rethreading
  • Simply Safe Adjust Harness System adjusts the height of Your harness and headrest in one motion; one hand, 5 position adjustable headrest easily adapts for Your growing child; Car Seat Depth 17.4 inches, Car Seat Width Outside 19 inches, Car Seat Height: 26.5 inches
  • Engineered & rigorously crash tested to meet or exceed US Standard FMVSS 213; the Nautilus 65 has been side impact tested for occupant retention solely with the built in 5 Point harness system
  • Open loop belt guides properly position vehicle seat belt across child; seat pad, body Support and harness covers are comfortable and Machine washable; metal and plastic parts may be cleaned with mild soap and Cool Water

Last update on 2020-07-03 Source: Amazon Product Advertising API

6. Backless Booster Seats

Backless booster seats provide extra height for kids, and they are used with the car’s seat belts. This type of child car seat is usually designed for children that are aged 4-10 years old, weighing around 40-100 lbs.

Backless booster seats are great for older kids who want to see out of the car window, and they do make the seat belts more secure as well. However, a backless booster will not provide any support for the child. So, it would be best if you considered the height of your child as well as the weight.

Example backless booster seat:
Cosco Topside Backless Booster Car Seat (Leo)
2,376 Reviews
Cosco Topside Backless Booster Car Seat (Leo)
  • This Cosco backless booster securely fits in your car and gives your child the extra height they need to keep seatbelts properly positioned
  • Made for growing kids, the seat holds kids weighing between 40 to 100 pounds and 43 to 57 inches in height
  • Lightweight, compact design makes the seat easy to move whenever you need to change vehicles
  • Extra plush padding in this backless booster seat makes long rides more comfortable; The fabric car seat cover is hand wash only

Last update on 2020-07-03 Source: Amazon Product Advertising API

Conclusion

Using the wrong type of kids car seats can be dangerous. So, when you are choosing a car seat for your child, the first thing you will need to check is the manufacturer’s recommended age and weight limits. And it would be best if you also considered your child’s height. The child’s age is important because children’s bones develop over time. So, young children will need more protection than older kids.

Child seats and booster seats must also be appropriately fitted if they are going to provide adequate protection. When you secure a car seat in a vehicle, you should not be able to move the chair more than one inch backward or forwards or side to side. And, on car seats with straps, the straps should be tight enough so that there is no play in them at all.

We hope that you have found our guide to the different types of child car seats helpful. We hope that it helps you choose the best kids’ car seat for your child. If you do find the is page useful, please do share it with your friends on social media. Thanks!

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Many thanks for visiting Best Panic Alarm. Have a beautiful day, and keep you and yours safe!

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