When Should You Switch From an Infant to a Convertible Car Seat?

Car seats are an important purchase for new parents who want to improve their kids’ safety while on the road. While your baby might be safe in a Diono baby carrier while walking, you should have a corresponding safe spot for your baby in the car. According to the CDC, car seats lower the risk of injury after a car crash by 82% for kids.

Before buying a car, ensure that you choose a comfortable car that is compatible with infant car seats. Besides choosing the best infant car seat, most new parents don’t know the right time to switch from infant to convertible car seats. Read on to learn more.

infant to a convertible car seat
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Infant Car Seats

Infant car seats are rear-facing seats that can easily be installed into vehicle seats. Infant car seats also have a handle that makes it easy to carry your baby without removing the baby from the seat. Most infant car seats are sold as part of the travel package, including a car seat and a compatible stroller.

Most babies easily fall asleep once seated in their car seats. However, parents should remove the sleeping baby from the seat once they arrive at their destination. Whether awake or sleeping, the baby shouldn’t leave the car seat while in the car.

Convertible Car Seats

Unlike infant seats, convertible seats can be used both rear and forward-facing. According to AAP recommendations, kids should use rear-facing convertible seats until they attain the maximum weight and height limit. Parents should then switch to a forward-facing seat until they attain the maximum height and weight for forward-facing car seat options.

Rear-facing car seat limits are lower than forward-facing limits. Convertible seats are larger than infant seats and can be installed in vehicles without the base. This means that babies using a convertible seat should be carried, either in a baby carrier or normally, into and out of the vehicle.

When Should You Switch?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, you should switch from infant to convertible seats once your baby attains the maximum weight and height requirements. Weight limits of most infant seats range between 22 and 35 pounds. The maximum height for infant seats is if the child’s head is one inch away from the top of the seat. You should also switch if the child attains one of these limits.

Unfortunately, some parents turn to forward-facing seats before their kids outgrow these requirements, mostly because they want to interact and hand them snacks. Others think that switching to a convertible seat makes their children less likely to become car sick. However, before doing this, make sure that your child is two years or older and has attained at least the minimum weight requirements.

Like infant seats, convertible seats also use a five-point harness to keep kids constrained. It is safe to keep your child in the five-point harness until they outgrow the weight and height limits.


Switching from infant to convertible car seats is an important transition that shouldn’t be handled lightly. For new parents, ensuring the safety of their newborn also includes buying the right vehicle. Additionally, install the car seat correctly, understand your state laws, and ensure that you harness your child correctly.

Jasper has been an enthusiast of the automotive and IT industries since the age of 16. He independently writes on the auto industry's recent happenings.