Weight Requirements for Car Seat

Updated on December 06, 2007
M.W. asks from Plainfield, IL
8 answers

Hi, my oldest daughter is 4 years old and my youngest will be 1 on 11/28. I cannot for the life of me remember when it's okay to turn the car seat to face forward or if it is time to move her from the carrier to the high back booster type car seat. I really still love using the carrier, even though her little legs are starting to hang. But it's cold outside and when we arrive at our destinations, it's just easier to cover her up, grab the carrier and go...never exposing her little face to the cold air.

Can anyone out there help me? Thanks!

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answers from Chicago on

I agree with one of the previous posters that car-seats.org is a VERY helpful and informative website for any questions about car seats.


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answers from Chicago on

Infant carriers can only be used rearfacing. Most older infant seats the weight limit is around 22-25 lbs...don't know how old your's is or what model so can't say exactly, but some of the newer ones go up to 33 lbs. If her legs are hanging out she is probably past the length requirement. I looked up the Graco Snugride and it's height maximum is 29 inches. I know my son outgrew his before he was 5 months old.

I would say it is probably time for a convertible seat. It is technically OK to turn them at 1 year and 20 lbs, it is safest to keep them rear facing until the rear facing limit of whatever convertible seat you might buy.

There is a really good website for car seat safety info http://www.car-safety.org/ Lots of very knowledgeable people there.

If you are worried about her getting cold, I would suggest one of the polar fleece buntings from Land's End or LL Bean (there are some other brands that make them too). They are very warm and thin enough to keep there from being extra space between the child and the straps. They are also very easy to put on. I wish they still made them for my almost 4 year old. http://www.landsend.com/pp/SolidFleeceBunting~133172_-1.h...

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answers from Chicago on

your carrier has a max weight and height
my dd outgrew hers at 4 or 5 months she was 27 inches long
once they hit one of the maxes which should be on the side of the carrier on a sticker get them out of the seat
as far as rear facing they must stay until a min of 1 year and 20 pounds you can keep them rear facing a little longer in a convertable car seat
the 4 year old
i just bought my dd who is turning 4 in decemeber the apex 65 at albee.com for 85.00 it has a 5 pt harness up to 65 pounds

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answers from Chicago on

Most infant car seats are 20 lbs/26 inches for weight height limit. It should say somewhere on the seat. Otherwise you could call the company. Infants should stay rear facing until they are 20 lbs AND one year old(in other words if they hit 20 lbs at 9 months wait until 1 year.If they are one year but under 20 lbs wait until they are). Current recommendations are really to leave them rear facing as long as possible. It sounds like if her legs are hanging over she is over the height limit.

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answers from Chicago on

The websites mentioned are good. It's typically 1 years old AND at least 20lbs but it can vary on weight per the car seat. If you check the boxes, it will tell you.



answers from Chicago on

It should say right on the infant seat what the weight limit is. Check the warnings on the side, or the manufacturer's website. Usually it's around 25 lbs and 29" tall. You must legally have a rear-facing seat until your child turns one, and I think you can have it rear-facing for longer if you WANT as long as your child fits the size requirements. You really don't want to have a too-big baby in the seat, though, because in an accident it can come off the base - scary!



answers from Chicago on

They don't have to be in the infant carrier very long. mY Daughter outgrew that by 6 months old but I left her rear facing until 18 months. It was much safer from all the articles I read on carseat safety. She loves being forward facing now but didn't know the difference before so it was never a struggle. Read your manual on your infant seat, mine was 22 lbs I think and it was a peg but there was no way she would fit in it until 22 lbs. I moved her to a convertible seat at about 18lbs. I think carsafety.org was one of the websites I found helpful information and your local fire department can be really helpful and knowledgeable.



answers from Chicago on

PP listed albee.com, but I think she meant albeebaby.com
I got a convertible Eddie bauer/cosco seat from there, and it is great, and had good reviews. I also got a nice stroller from there, so I would def. recommend them too.

Our dd & ds were out of the infant carrier after the 6 month checkup. They were already too tall for it. Our convertible seat can go from 5 to 100lbs, and the back moves up and down to adjust the belt position, and it reclines.

I usually keep a nice fleece blanket, or two, in the car to for covering up in the winter time. A small quilt is nice to lay into a shopping cart as well. I hear a lot of moms like the poncho? style coat in the winter for their girls.

If anyone has suggestions on how to keep socks and shoes on a determined one year old, without the use of duct tape, I'm all ears. =)

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