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FAQ About Convertible Car Seats

For busy parents on the go, a car seat is an imperative automotive accessory for keeping your precious cargo safe. Convertible car seats are the perfect solution for growing infants because they convert from a rear facing seat to a forward facing baby car seat and some models can continue to grow with your child as they transition to a booster seat. This versatile multiple-seats-in-one design saves you money by eliminating the need to buy different seats as the years pass and your little one becomes, well, not-so-little.

Let's answer a few questions you may have so you can find the perfect convertible car seat for you and your child.

What are convertible car seats?

A convertible car seat can be changed to different configurations, allowing you to keep your child safely seated beyond the infant years. These are the different types of convertible car seats:

  • Convertible 2-in-1 car seats can initially function as a rear facing infant car seat and, as your child grows, can be switched to a forward facing toddler seat.
  • Convertible 3-in-1 car seats provide the form factors described above and add a third configuration: high-back booster seat. This is useful for children who have outgrown the toddler car seat but are still too small for the seat belt to sit properly.
  • Convertible 4-in-1 car seats include a rear facing infant seat, front facing toddler seat, high-back booster seat, and backless booster seat for larger kids.

When should you use forward facing and rear facing car seats?

It's best if you keep the seat in the rear facing position as long as possible, which is basically until your child grows too big for it. Check the seat's user guide for the height and weight limits, and when your kid grows out of the rear facing seat you can try looking for another model that fits better. It's fine if your child's legs touch the back of the vehicle's seat.

Once your child has completely outgrown the rear facing orientation, and as long as the kid's height and weight meet your province's/territory's guidelines*, you can switch to the forward-facing orientation.

What should I look for before buying a convertible car seat?

Your first concern should always be the safety of your child. Make sure a prospective convertible car seat puts safety first with features like impact foam technology, adjustable harnesses, and buckle locations. Also consider options like head support (or adjustable headrest), side impact protection, machine washable seat pads, and a LATCH system for attaching car seat directly to your car.

*For specific details please check your province's or territory's laws.