A car seat is often the first big purchase you will make for your baby. There are several types of seats available for use at different stages of your child’s development. Before purchasing an infant car seat online, it’s important to determine the right safety seat for your child, and one with all the features you need.
These are the five main categories of child car seats and approximate age ranges, which will vary depending on the child’s height and weight:
An infant car seat is a small, portable seat that can only be used rear-facing. Infant car seats come with an adjustable carry handle and a detachable car seat base. The base is installed in the back seat of a car using either the LATCH system, which stands for Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children, or the car’s seat belt. For added convenience, most infant car seats can also be attached to a baby stroller using an adapter. But it’s important to check stroller compatibility before purchasing an infant car seat online. Most strollers are only compatible with specific car seat models.
A convertible seat can change from rear-facing to forward-facing, but does not have a detachable base and cannot be used with a stroller. A booster seat does not have its own integrated harness system. Rather, a booster seat is designed to position the child so the car’s seat belt will fit them properly. Booster seats come in two styles – either with a high back, to provide neck and head support, or backless with no added support. Automotive safety experts recommend that children ride in a booster seat until they reach a minimum height of 57 inches (4’ 9”). An all-in-one seat can change from rear-facing to forward-facing, and later becomes a high-back booster.
Regulations with regards to car seats vary from one state to another, so it’s important to check the rules in your home state.