When to Move Out of Infant Car Seat?

Updated on April 05, 2011
A.M. asks from Lake Wales, FL
8 answers

Hey Everyone,
What is the rule for when to move your baby out of the infant car seat and into a bigger one? I want to say I remember something about the shoulder straps...but I'm not sure. My older son didn't move out of it until he was almost one (small baby), but I'm thinking it's time to change our 8 month old soon bc he is so much taller than our oldest. Thanks in advance!

And yes, he will be rear facing until two.

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answers from Denver on

Just read the owner's manual (and if you don't have it anymore you can find them all online). They are very specific about the requirements so it should leave you with no doubt

BUT... you can move them into a convertible car seat whenever you want. Most are rated for 5lbs and up.

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answers from Tampa on

First, good for you for keeping him rear facing! Second, he can move into a bigger seat as soon as he meets the minimum size requirements for the seat. With my second baby, I started her out in her Britax Decathlon from day one and she is still in it now at 4 years old. As far as the limit on how long he can stay in his infant seat, refer to your manual for that info. The weight and height limits vary from seat to seat.



answers from San Antonio on

They say infant seat until 1 year and 20 lbs. My daughter was in her infant seat until 17 months - she JUST hit 20 lbs. Thank goodness!!



answers from Miami on

You really need to refer to the manual for your particular seat. It will tell you what the restrictions are for height and weight restrictions.



answers from Sacramento on

Check the weight limit. Our kids both outgrew the infant seat at 2 or 3 months due to their weight (big babies!). Most convertible seats you're able to use really from infancy (although you'd have severely flopped over baby), so if your child is sitting up fine, it should be no problem to transition.



answers from San Francisco on

If your child is big enough to fit comfortably in a rear-facing convertible car seat, go ahead and move him. The main reasons that people use infant seats are the convenience and the fact that many newborns are too small to fit snugly in a convertible car seat. As long as your child is below the weight limit of the infant seat and has at least 1" of hard plastic shell above his head, he still fits the infant seat, but you don't need to wait until he outgrows it to move him to a convertible seat. BTW this link gives a helpful illustration of how to measure the 1" http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=30201 )



answers from Chattanooga on

I would go for it. The convertible seats I looked at had the same minimum weight/height requirements as most infant carriers. I switched my DD when she was 9 months old because she seemed so cramped in her carrier seat. She is in a convertible (still rear facing...) and is soo much happier! I would say that as long as he has good head control, it's fine. (At 8 months, he should! lol) It was also much easier on ME too, because the infant seats are a PAIN to buckle her in and out of, and she was too heavy to haul around in it any more. lol.



answers from Dallas on

I changed when I no longer used the infant seat to carry my daughter in and out of stores. Once I was taking her out of the car seat all the time, I switched car seats, and this was around 7 months. I had a car seat that started rear-facing at 5 lbs, so I wasn't concerned about weight or height, since I knew she would be safe in the next stage. The straps should be at shoulder height or a little lower, not above the shoulders. My infant seat was for 22 lbs and 29 inches. When I moved my daughter she was 18 lbs and 26 in.

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