Choosing a Toddler Car Seat -- How to Ensure Your Child's Comfort and Safety
Learn about toddler car seats before you buy. It may not be necessary to purchase an expensive car seat to keep your child safe.
Toddler car seats come in three basic varieties: (1) those that can be used only as a toddler car seat, (2) those that can be used both as an infant car seat and a toddler car seat, and (3) those that can be used both as a toddler car seat and a booster car seat. Seats that are designed to be used in two different modes are called 'convertible' car seats.
Convertible infant/toddler car seats can be used for children from infancy (with the car seat in the rear facing position), into their toddler years (with the car seat turned around and used in the forward facing position), until they are ready for a booster car seat. In the rear facing mode, these types of car seats can typically be used with a child up to about 25 lbs, and then used in the forward facing position until the child reaches about 40 lbs. These types of car seats have a larger seat than an infant only car seat, and many come with padded inserts for use when the child is still small.
Convertible toddler/booster car seats are forward facing, and typically use both the car's seat belts and a separate harness during the 'toddler' stage, and just the car's seat belts during the 'booster' stage.
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