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BRITAX: When to Move to a Convertible Car Seat & How to Choose the Right One

Convertible car seats are often used after a child is done using a rear-facing only car seat, because they can be used both rear-facing position and forward-facing position as your child grows. Having one seat for both stages can make the transition from rear-facing to forward-facing riders a smooth and safe one… and you’ll get years of use from just one car seat!

       

Making the move from a rear-facing only seat to a convertible car seat is a big milestone for your family. But how will you know it’s time to make the switch? It is as easy as this – they have to move when they have outgrown their rear-facing seat.

Start by check the user guide of your rear-facing only car seat to know what the height and weight limitations are on your seat, but most will reach the limit at 35 lbs (15.9 kgs) and 32 inches (81.2 cm).

Most babies seem to outgrow their rear-facing only seats by height before weight. One very important indication is if baby’s head is within an inch of the top of the car seat shell. As soon as that happens, your baby needs a bigger seat, and a convertible car seat is a great next step.

You may be thinking, “Their head is safely below one inch from the top of the seat, but their feet are sticking out from the bottom of the seat! Don’t they need to move?” but don’t worry. Just because their little toes are kicking beyond the bottom of the seat, they are still riding safely. Only when their head reaches the top of the shell do you need to change to a bigger seat.

Also, many parents will just find that carrying baby in the rear-facing only seat becomes too heavy, and decide to make the switch. In these cases, a parent may choose to use the convertible car seat in the rear-facing position before their baby even outgrows the rear-facing only seat. It is all a matter of what works best for your lifestyle!

Once you determine you are ready to purchase a convertible car seat, keep these suggestions in mind:

Safety Features: All car seats need to pass certain safety regulations, but you want to find seats that offer protection beyond those standards. For example, the Boulevard ClickTight™ ARB Nanotex features two layers of side impact protection, including a foam-lined shell and quick-adjust head protection. It also has SafeCell Impact Protection™, a system of patented safety features that work together to protect your child.

Easy Installation: A car seat can only be safe when it is installed correctly. Be sure you are able to install the car seat securely before making your final decision. Choose a safe and simple installation system like ClickTight™, which is as easy as buckling a seat belt.

Also, look for features like an automatic level indicator, which shows when the seat is installed at the proper angle for your child. The proper angle is important because it changes as your child grows, and especially when transitioning from rear-facing to forward-facing.

Comfort & Convenience: You want your baby to fit safely and comfortably while you’re on-the-go. The Boulevard ClickTight™ ARB Nanotex features luxe fabric that resists stains and is soft to the touch. So, baby stays comfortable and the seat is easy to keep mess-free.

One very important reminder, and a Britax recommendation, is that children should remain in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, until at least 2 years of age or until reaching the maximum height, weight, or seated shoulder height capacity of the seat. A convertible car seat is a great choice to help kids stay seated safely and comfortably in the rear-facing position for as long as possible.

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