The parents must be aware of the types of car seats by age. The reason will be various. However, the most important one is their child’s safety.
It has been reported that, instead of the sufficient car seat guide by age from the manufacturers, the rate of traffic accidents in which children suffered the most is still the same!
Here, you need to know the basic car seat types and ages, to ensure that you and your child would not suffer while riding in the vehicle.
A very general recommendation by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for all the parents is that:
“Children should ride in a specific car seat until they reach the maximum height or weight limit of that car seat”
For further satisfaction and detail, we have elaborated below the car seats by age.
4 Types of Car Seats by Age
There are four types of car seats by age that are suitable for children from the age of one month to 12 years.
After 12 years of age, the kids are allowed to use an adult seat belt if it fits perfectly.
Note: considering only the age factor would not be enough. Car seat selection should be made on the age, weight, and height of your baby as every child is different in their learning and growing capabilities.
Infant Car Seat – 0-2 Years:
The infants are unable to hold their heads on their own and thus need support for that. Among types of car seats by age, infant car seat is the first among
- The infant car seats are designed with reclining seats to support the baby’s head and with a safe and secure harness system to not let them tip over. Read our article “Newborn car seat straps correct position” to know more about car seat harness system
- These car seats are installed rear-facing as directed by the manufacturers from a safety point of view.
- Although infants at the age of 6 months begin to hold their head up independently, however, to not compromise their safety, they are still recommended to be kept in an infant car seat until they are 2+ years old.
Toddlers and Preschooler’s Car seat – 3-7 Years:
In types of car seats by age, toddler’s seats are positioned second, from the age of 3 years until 7 years.
- Toddler or forward-facing car seats are for the kids who have outgrown the rear-facing car seat limit i.e. 2+ years.
- A toddler car seat should be used with a harness up to the highest age, i.e. 7 years, or as their car safety seat manufacturer allows.
Booster Car seat – 8-12 Years:
Booster car seats are allowed for the children who have outgrown the age limit of preschoolers’ car seats i.e. 8 years.
A booster car seat is of two types i.e. with back and wings (safer than backless) and backless (user use vehicle seat belt). The former one is good for 10+ years of age of children while the latter one for 12 and above 12 years of age.
Adult Seat Belt – 12+ Years:
It is the last in the types of car seat by age. Children of 12+ years of age can use a vehicle seat belt on the back seat. If the vehicle seat belt is not fit for your child, you can have a backless car seat base to adjust their height to fit the seat belt.
Car Seat Age Limit
|Type of car seat||Age limit||General Instructions|
|Rear-facing Only or Rear-facing Convertible||Newborn-2 years||All the newborns and toddlers should ride rear-facing until they crossed the age and weight limit for rear-facing i.e. 2+ years|
|Forward-Facing Convertible or with Harness||2-7 years old||Forward-facing means that the child is now allowed to view the front while riding in the car. This transition from rear-facing is recommended when your child is 2+ years old.|
|Booster Car Seat||4-12||Use a booster car seat with a 5-point harness until your child crosses the age, weight, and height limit for this seat.|
|Adult Seat Belt||12+||Children should use lap and seat belts properly and should ride in the back seat. The shoulder belt should lie
Snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face.
Car Seat Age Guide for Your Child’s Safety
Most of the parents don’t know that they are using the wrong car seat or they bought it once and never wanted to change it until their child moves to an adult seat belt.
This is a wrong and very unhealthy practice. The parents must know about the right age and relevant car seat as their child grows older.
How to get to know whether you are using the right car seat or not? We will guide you:
Types of Car Seats by Age:
Generally, newborns are allowed to ride in infant car seats rear-facing until they have outgrown the maximum infant car seat limit.
A car seat weight chart helps you to decide the right type and group of car seats you should use.
Never neglect the car seat expiry:
Knowing the expiration limits of your car seat, you will be aware of the time you need to change it.
For most of the top infant car seat brands like Britax car seat expiry lies between 6-10 years.
The right time to replace car seat:
There are 4 car seats by age and stages of the child until they grow to 12+ years old. Replace the car seat of your child to eliminate the risk of any mishap during car journeys.
Related: What to Do With Old Car Seats
Car Seat Age Requirements – Common Mistakes that You Should Not Make
Different types of car seats by age have different features installed in them. When you are new to parenting, it is expected that you’ll make minor mistakes that will make you learn better and more.
However, our guide will minimize those mistakes. There are some basic things that any user must know while using car seats.
- Do not put a toddler in an infant car seat after they’ve crossed the age and weight limit for that car seat.
- Dress your child in thinner layers when you have to ride long distances and never strap them in bulky clothes.
- Do not use an old or used car seat until certified by the car seat manufacturer as safe for the child.
- Always replace a car seat after an accident even if it seems damage free.
- Baby’s head position is very important while they are in car seat. A minor negligence may be dangerous.
Note: you should make sure that you baby’s head is in accordance to the steps described below:
To make sure that your baby is safe while in the car, we have explained the types of car seats by age one by one. You can buy anyone of them that best suits your child’s age.
Not all kids weight by age is the same. Therefore, to have the most suitable car seat, you should mutually consider the age, weight, and height of your child.
What is the right weight and height for forward facing car seat?
The children of weight between 28-30 lbs. and height of 76-105 cm are allowed to ride in car seats forward-facing.
What are the right age and weight limit for booster seat?
The children of age 8-10 years and weight 57+ lbs. are allowed to ride in booster car seats.
At what position should an infant’s head be in the car seat?
For the infant’s safety, the car seat back should be in a semi-reclined position. It will keep the baby’s head, back, and chin off the chest which will otherwise dangerously block off the airway.
What is the height and weight for forward facing?
The children with a height of almost 4 ft. 9ʺ and a weight of 60-100 lbs. are allowed to ride forward-facing.
What are the best car seat age and weight for infants?
For infants, rear-facing only or rear-facing convertible car seats are considered best until they crossed the recommended age and weight limit i.e. 2+ years and 35 lbs. respectively.
What is the maximum car seat weight limit?
There are four types of car seats, rear-facing, forward-facing, booster seats, and adult car seat base, all having different weight limits. However, the maximum car seat weight limit is 100-125 lbs.
What are the booster seat height requirements?
Height requirements for booster car seats range between 4 ft. and 9ʺ to 5 ft.