While many parents choose to use an infant car seat for the first few months of their babies’ lives, convertible car seats are designed to be used for newborns through toddlers — and for some models, into the preschool and “big kid” years as well.
Convertible car seats are designed to be used rear-facing and then converted for forward-facing (and sometimes booster) use. This means that, in theory, you could buy a single seat to last through all of your child’s car seat years.
We selected our list of the best convertible car seats through a combination of product testing, real-parent input, and combing through ratings, reviews, and best-seller lists.
Here are our faves!
if you have an unlimited budget to spend on a car seat, the Nuna EXEC is a splurge-worthy seat with all the bells and whistles. This seat can be used with babies beginning at 5 pounds, and all the way up through rear-facing to 50 pounds. It’s also 18.5 inches across in width, so you can fit three seats across in most vehicles.
At well under $100, the Cosco Scenera Next is an affordable and versatile option for families that travel a lot — or if you just need a lightweight, easy-to-clean car seat.
While you can use this seat as a regular rear-facing car seat for children 5 to 40 pounds (you can use it forward facing for kids 22 to 40 pounds and 29 to 42 inches tall) it’s also aircraft certified and lightweight, making it our best choice for travel.
his seat is definitely pricey, but when you consider you can get 10 years of use out of it, it starts to sound like a pretty good bargain. You can easily spend more than $300 buying an infant carrier, a convertible car seat, and then an extended car seat to continue rear-facing for larger children. And don’t forget you may want a high-back or backless booster, but this seat does the work of all four.
As the name implies, it’s a 4-in-1 seat that can accommodate children from as little as 4 pounds, all the way up to 120 pounds. It’s designed for extended rear facing, for children up to 50 pounds. To keep them comfortable, it has a 4-position extension panel (basically, a fancy name for a foot rest) that provides an additional 5 inches of legroom for the rear-facing position.
The Chicco Nextfit Zip is very highly rated, easy to install, and features innovative zip-off machine-washable padding that makes cleaning your baby’s car seat so much easier than dealing with straps. If you’ve ever faced a full-on vomiting incident in a car seat, you’ll know how life-changing zip-off car seat padding is.
And while the focus might be on the outside and its easy-to-clean convenience, don’t let that zip-off padding fool you — this car seat has a full-steel frame, so it’s built to last.
It also has a cinching tightener with simple-to-understand straps (they’re numbered to tell you which to pull) and a belt-tightening system that makes it easy to position, tighten, and lock the belt into place.
Taking long car trips with a newborn can be a challenge. Denise Stern, founder of Let Mommy Sleep, the country’s leading Baby Nurse and Postpartum Care service, is revealing a few fool-proof tips as you prepare your baby for travel
Practice at home! Many times babies are not used to sleeping in a travel bed or pack-n-play.Put baby in travel bed or pack-n-play for naptime at home in weeks leading up to the trip.
Keep sleep routine as close to home as possible to help baby feel safe and secure. If weather permits, dress baby in pajamas/sleepsack/swaddle blanket that he/she is accustomed to. If renting a full-sized travel crib from a hotel, bring bedsheets and breathable bumper from baby’s crib at home to recreate familiar sleep environment. Sing the same bedtime songs you sing at home and read favorite books.
Try to stay on baby’s time. If possible, try to keep naptimes and bedtimes as close to the same schedule as at home. When traveling across time zones, gradually adjust baby’s bedtime. Some parents like to travel at night so baby can sleep and wake up in destination refreshed. This can lead to an exhausting first day of the trip. If you can “tag-team” with your partner by alternating napping and caring for baby during the first day, then traveling at night could be a possibility.
While it is tempting to let a sleeping baby spend the night in a Once at the destination, do not rely on carseats for safe sleep. carseat or stroller, carseats can sometimes cause breathing problems in babies. Follow the recommendations of the American Association of Pediatrics and the “Back to Sleep” campaign by creating a safe sleep environment and putting baby on back for sleeping.
Slow it down – You’re on Baby’s Time! Don’t expect to have a jam-packed site seeing schedule. All the new sights, sounds, and experiences are very stimulating and exciting for baby. Baby could get fussy if overstimulated and too exhausted. Remember that sleep begets sleep. Keeping baby awake longer than his/her bodies need may work for one night or one nap, but fighting against baby’s natural rhythms leads to meltdown. While it is nice to have alone time with your partner, caring for a baby can be even more exhausting than usual when traveling. We like to remind parents to not stay up too late too!
Volvo has revealed a concept for a swivel baby car seat installed in place of a passenger seat.
The idea is to allow parents to sit in the back seat facing the child so she can maintain eye contact with, soothe or calm baby.
Alternatively, the seat can also swivel toward the door for ease of putting the baby in and taking him out the seat.
Volvo showed the design for the XC90 crossover in Shanghai, China this week.
“We started by asking ourselves if we could make life easier for parents and safer for their children when it comes to the child seat experience,” Chief designer of interiors at Volvo Cars Concept and Monitoring Center Tisha Johnson said.
This innovation and this version of this vehicle wouldn’t be allowed in the United States. It requires all infant and child car seats be secured in the back for maximum security from harm in the event of a sudden stop, accident or crash.
It looks neat nonetheless but maybe they could do that for the backseat for US cars.