April 11, 2008, Newsletter Issue #112: Baby Car Seats

Tip of the Week

As the baby car seat marketplace expands, larger varieties of infant car seats become available. Most infant car seats are designed as carriers and can only be used rear facing. Depending on the car seat you are currently using, at some point in your child's growth, you will need to switch to a larger baby sized car seat.

The existing laws require a baby to be rear facing until twenty pounds and one year of age. Unless you have purchased a convertible car seat, as soon as your baby weighs about 20 pounds and is close to one year, it is time to invest in another baby car seat to accommodate your growing child. To save money, look into a versatile seat that can change with your baby; there are infant car seats that can be converted from a rear-facing infant seat to a front-facing baby car seat. These car seats are more expensive at first, but they prove to be economical in the long run as you can avoid purchasing additional car seats before your baby eventually graduates into a child car seat.

No matter what type of car seat you purchase, be sure to check all the weight and height restrictions. For example, some baby car seats can only be used rear facing until a child is twenty pounds. Therefore, if you have a big baby who is twenty pounds at six months, you will need a different type of car seat so the baby can remain rear facing until one year of age.

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