How to Choose a Baby Car Seat
Related Videos
Most Recent
Most Viewed


Rear-facing? Convertible? Booster? You know your baby will spend the first seven or eight years of his or her passenger time in a car seat of some kind, but which one when? When do kids make the transition from one car seat to another? The irreverent DadLabs crew lets you know. Distributed by Tubemogul.


Brad Powell: Today's episode goes out to all those due dads out there, first time an expecting fathers. Clay Nichols: A number of these dads have asked us, "hey! what's the right car seat for me at" So we decide that we would do a little baby seat for a one-one. This whole episode reminds me of the riddle that Sphinx asked Oedipus. She said, "what creature walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening?" Brad Powell: That's tough. Clay Nichols: Exactly, it is like that with car seats they are growing, they all have been changed depending on the age and size of the child. Brad Powell: Do you can't say Oedipus on there? You said that Oedipus, you say that. Clay Nichols: Welcome to DadLabs. Brad Powell: This is the classic rear facing infant seat. This particular model is made by Kiko. Rear facing baby seats are good from birth all the way up to around age 1. This particular seat goes up to 30 pounds, it is made up of two pieces, kind of, cool. This is the base that fixes directly to the seat of the car, and then this is the baby carrier which the baby goes in, pops right into the base. Cool thing about this is the baby to goes to sleep while you are traveling and you just pop it out very easily and keep the baby asleep in going for a restaurant, eat a little dinner. This one also transitions to a stroller. So go from car to a stroller to wherever and never wake the child up. Oh! that's heaven. Clay Nichols: This is what's known as a convertible car seat. Convertible because it goes from being a rear facing infant seat to being a forward facing toddler seat. This particular unit is from Biotech and it's good that it's rear facing position from the time the baby is new born, all the way up to about 33pounds. Then this puppy spins around and is good forward facing all the way until the kid is 49 inches tall and 65 pounds. Now if you have got one car seat that works from the time the baby comes home from the hospital, all the way across he is 4 feet tall, why would you want one of those two piece rear facing infant seats? Well, the answer has to do with convenience that this baby fastens firmly down into that car seat and it's not going anywhere. It's got side impact protection but it's definitely sticking around. It doesn't have a detachable baby carrier. So stop to get that sleeping baby out of here, unless you are really an expert. Now one thing that's true of both these rear facing convertibles and the two piece infant seats, parents are really tempted to turn those children around as soon as possible, but you really don't want to do that till absolute minimum 1 year and 20 pounds; but really, the baby is much safer in that rear facing configuration. So you want to leave the baby in that way until the maximum weight allowed by the car seat on this one, 33 pounds, become rear facing. Now some parents, they are uncomfortable they want to be able to see the baby, so they use some of those reflective gizmos or mirrors. We really don't recommend anything to use, unless it comes packaged with the manufacturer seat. Brad Powell: When the kid outgrows, the forward facing car seat, it's time for a booster. This is a big day, a booster raises the child up, so that the car seat belt fits them properly. This unit, the Nautilus by Graco, actually converts into three different types of seats. First, a classic forward facing 5-point harness car seat. Then as the kid grows, that turns into a backed booster, you can use the seat belt and put them in. Clay Nichols: Finally, when the child is about 4 foot 9 inches tall, then they are ready to sit in the back seat fastened with the seat belt, no car seat at all. Now the AAP recommends that they don't start riding short gun until by 13, but some parents will keep their kids in the back seat until they start driving themselves. Good luck with that. Brad Powell: All 50 states have laws regarding child safety seats, but these should be seen as bare minimums, you can do better Clay Nichols: To review. Brad Powell: Rear facing infant seat like this one from Kiko or convertible from birth up to the maximum allow the weight limit but kids absolutely must be 1 year old and 20 pounds at a minimum to move out of these. Clay Nichols: Then things turn around with a forward facing convertible or forward facing toddler seat. This one from Biotech is good up to 65 pounds which will equal a 5-point strength system. That's going to get you to about 6 to 8 years of age. and Brad Powell: Then they graduate to the booster, like this one from Graco. Put them in the back seat, then use the seat belt. Finally, when they get 4 feet 9 inches tall at least, let it go, just use the regular seat belts and the regular seat. They are done. Well, that's all for us here in the lab this week. If you would like to continue the car seat discussion, go to and join our community.