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Infant-only seats fit newborns and smaller infants best. You'll need to buy another seat when your baby outgrows it.

Infant-only seats are designed to protect babies from birth until they reach up to 35 pounds about 16 kilograms , depending on the model. Infant car seats should always be installed to face the rear of the car. A small child is much less likely to die or be seriously injured when in a rear-facing seat. That's because the back of the safety seat will cradle the baby's head, neck, and torso in a crash.

Infant Safety Tips

At this age, a child's neck usually isn't strong enough to support the head in a crash. The American Academy of Pediatrics AAP recommends that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the highest weight and height limits recommended by the seat's manufacturer. Safety experts say to do this based on a child's size, not age. Small children can stay rear-facing until age 3 or 4.

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Infant-only safety seats are convenient because they're designed to double as carriers, chairs, or rockers when not used in the car. Many models detach right from the base, letting you leave the base installed in the car. Some can be clicked into strollers to be wheeled around. If your baby is in the infant safety seat outside of the car, never put the seat on a high surface like a kitchen counter, a dresser, or changing.

Infant-seats are easy to use, but don't let your baby spend too much time in one at home or at daycare. Too much time in a car seat can limit a baby's movement and opportunities for stimulation, which are important for developing sensory and motor skills.

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Convertible seats are placed in different positions depending on a child's age and size:. Some car seats are known as "all-in-one" or "3-in-one" because they convert from rear-facing to front-facing to booster with the harness removed. Forward-facing car seats are designed to protect children from 20 to 80 pounds about 10 to 36 kilograms or more, depending on the model. All kids who have outgrown the rear-facing height or weight limit for their car seat should use a forward-facing car seat with a full harness for as long as possible.

They should only switch to a booster seat that relies on the car's adult seat belts when they pass the height and weight limit for their forward-facing car seat. Don't be concerned if your child's legs bend at the knees or touch the back seat of the car when rear-facing; this will not harm her feet or knees. Always put your infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in the back of your car.

A baby riding in the front seat can be fatally injured by a passenger side air bag. Child safety seats have several pairs of harness slots so you can adjust the harness as your baby grows. Make sure you use the harness correctly by following these tips: The harness must be snug so you cannot pinch a fold in the harness material after buckling in your baby. The straps should lie flat in a straight line without sagging or twisting. The top of the chest clip should be positioned at armpit level.

Babies and safety

Never put a blanket between your child and the harness straps, or underneath or behind her. For car travel, don't dress your infant in bulky outerwear; it can interfere with the tightness of the harness. Instead, place a warm blanket over your child and harness. Your baby is getting too big for his rear-facing child safety seat when his head nears the top of the seat. There are three types of child safety seats for babies: Infant-only Child Safety Seats Rear-facing Convertible Child Safety Seats Car Beds please visit Premature Babies and Babies With Medical Conditions for information about car beds Infant-only child safety seats Infant-only safety seats are unique in that they are usually: Rear-facing and come with a three- or a five-point harness.

The most common type of harness is a five-point, with two straps that secure the shoulders and two more that secure the hips. The straps all connect to a buckle between the legs. A less common type is a three-point harness, which functions the same way but lacks the points at the hips. Portable with a carrying handle; they can be easily removed and used as infant carriers. For most infant seats, the carrying handle should be down when your child is in the vehicle.


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Attached to detachable bases that can be installed and then left in your vehicle. You can buy more bases to use in other vehicles. Most infant-only seats can also be installed with just the vehicle's seat belt, without their base.

Used for infants up to 22 to 35 pounds or more; check the instruction manual or the seat label for weight limits. Babies who have outgrown their infant-only safety seat will need a larger seat that can be used rear-racing, such as a convertible safety seat, until they are 2 years of age. The convertible safety seat can then be turned to face forward.

Rear-facing convertible child safety seats A convertible child safety seat can be used in both the rear-facing and forward-facing positions. Car beds Some convertible child safety seats may not provide the best fit for smaller newborns, especially low-birthweight babies or preterm babies those born too early.

CPR for Infants (Newborn to 1 Year)