Knowing Your Car Seat Types: A Glossary

ThinkstockPhotos-90958314Before you shop for a car seat (and especially before you go to install one), we recommend familiarizing yourself with the different kinds of seats out there.

Rear-Facing Car Seat: The safest type of seat for young children. In these seats, your baby’s feet will be pointing in the opposite direction of the seat in front. Each seat has a harness and protects your child’s head, neck, and spinal cord in the event of a crash.

Infant Car Seat: These seats are only available in rear-facing. This seat is designed specifically for newborns and small babies. It is usually outgrown at 8-9 months.

Forward-Facing Car Seat: These seats have a harness and tether controlling your child’s forward movement. Age 2 is the earliest age you should use one of these seats, but many experts recommend waiting until your child has completely outgrown their rear-facing seat.

Convertible Car Seat: Like the name suggests, this seat can convert from a rear-facing seat to a forward-facing seat. It has a harness and tether for when your child is ready for a forward-facing seat.

Booster Seat: Used from roughly ages 4-8, or until your child has outgrown their forward-facing seat. These seats position your child so that the seat belt fits over the stronger parts of your child’s body. Both the lap belt and shoulder belt need to be used when a child is in a booster.

Combination Seat: This seat transitions from a forward-facing seat with a harness and tether to a booster.

All-in-One Seat: Save yourself from buying a new car seat each time your child outgrows the current one by purchasing at All-in-One. It can convert from a rear-facing seat to forward-facing seat (with a harness and tether) and then, later on, to a booster seat.

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