car seats in two positions

Toddlers And Car Seat Safety

We are starting to travel in the womb. Our need to move from one place to another brings together our need for security and comfort. When we have a baby, these little beings are the people we feel most concerned about their safety. We start to think about how to move them safely and evaluate our options from the hospital after delivery. Of course, the protection needs of baby & toddlers who are extremely sensitive in all aspects are much higher than adults and require some extra precautions. 

Although what you hear from your environment, the advice of your own parents, your parenting instincts are the primary elements that help you in this regard, products -especially car seats- that carry the concepts of “Best” or “Safest” always change with the ever-evolving and updated science and technology. 

At this point, in order to meet your need for the most up-to-date information, we compared, analyzed and reviewed the most popular baby & toddler car seats of this year. And we hope that these reviews will be a reliable source in your choices.

1-2 YEARS OLD TODDLERS

During these ages, you will mostly prefer rear-facing position for your baby. In this case, it is best for you to choose one of the convertible, 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 options. Of course, by considering your budget…

We already stated before that your baby must be at least 15 months old to move to the forward-facing position. However it’s been recommended to extend this period for safety reasons. You need to know seat size when making this change. Not just the product size, but also you need to consider weight and height of your child in terms of adaptation to the seat.

Generally max. The rear-facing weight limit is 40 lbs. On the other hand, height limit varies depend on the model of the product. This limit is fairly low with only convertible models, however it can be increased considerably for 3 in 1 or 4 in 1 options. The maximum carrying weights also vary according to the model. The heighest limits are available in 4 in 1 options(up to 120 lbs.) In this context, convertible models have much lower limits.

Why should it be long to move from rear-facing to forward-facing? For detailed explanation of AAP(American Academy of Pediatrics ), we recommend that you read this article

Naturally, there are installation differences between 2 types positions. These differences vary according to the characteristics of vehicles and products. At this point, We strongly recommend that you do not take any action before reading the instruction section manual of the product before installation.

Especially rear-facing position needs to be done with care. You can also visually get an idea of how to install a convertible car seat in rear-facing by watching the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) video below.

Full Reviews And Compare Features

BABY & TODDLER CAR SEATS 

FOR 1-2 YEARS OLD

ONLY CONVERTIBLE

Maxi-Cosi Pria 85 Convertible Car Seat

This only convertible model of the Maxi-Cosi, especially stands out with the convenience of rear-facing. Users have stated that they especially liked the extended rear-facing feature.  The removable and washable pouch is also an appreciation.

Plush softness and comfort of the seat are also highlights in the user comments. Most users say that their babies sleep very comfortably in the couch for a long time.

There are those who use this 23 pounds product at different places, other than cars.  For example when traveling on airplanes. And users say they don’t have any problems on the plane. But they also add that they can only use it in rear-facing mode.

We already know that it is a model that allows forward-facing position after your child reaches the required weight and age. But Maxi-Cosi has a higher claim than other convertible models.

The point is that there is a weight limit of up to 85 pounds in the forward-facing position.This figure is quite high and ambitious  However, users say that their children, who have reached this weight, do not fit in the seats.

Especially in terms of length, some users even returned the product because the shoulder belts are below the shoulders of their children.

Especially in terms of length, some users even returned the product because the shoulder belts are below the shoulders of their children.

In addition to this, there is a great praise for the harness strap system, and users who say it is very difficult to use.In general, our opinion is that the harness system feels very safe. Also the fact that there is a cup holder makes a good impression on the users.

Of course, the most important feature of these products is safety.

There is a photo of a very serious accident sent by a user.And tells that their babies came out unharmed from the car. The fact that the user has re-ordered from the same seat, reminds us that among other features, the security feature should be the most essential feature …

3 IN 1 CONVERTIBLE

Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

The name “SlimFit” makes sense. And this is especially thanks to the swivel cup holders that save space in the rear seat. It’s really important to save on the rear seat. Particularly for families with more than 1 child, it is a real advantage to fit one or two extra seats in the back seat.

Features such as reassuring standard harness and LATCH are available by default on the product. Furthermore, the fact that it has exceeded the US standard FMVSS 213 in the tests is a security plus.

In addition to normal crash tests, side impact crash tests were also diagnosed. As an extra test, Graco has also subjected the product to extreme car interior temperatures.

With its 3-in-1 feature, it can be used as a rear-facing, forward-facing and highback booster seat. It is a product that you can easily use in the transition of children.

Users cannot go without mentioning the easy installation feature. Although it does not mention an exaggerated comfort feature, babies generally traveled comfortably in this seat. Although they have highlighted the Slim fit feature, some users think the seat is not “Slim” enough. We also hear from a few users that it is difficult to tighten the straps.

4 IN 1 CONVERTIBLE

Evenflo Symphony Elite All-In-One Convertible Car Seat

Carrying up to 110 pounds in weight, this 4 in 1 car seat is a seat that contains all the features you might want. In rear-facing mode, it can carry infants up to 5-40 pounds. In forward-facing mode, it can carry toddlers and pre-school children from 22 to 65 pounds, and finally in booster mode, they can carry school age children from 40 to 110 pounds.

They gave the LATCH system an extra name and called it SureLATCH. This system is a system that has been worked on to minimize the movement and sliding of the seat as wiggle-free.

Evenflo places its seats in crash tests over 2 times the federal crash test limits. This test is a must for car seats. And a 3 times is an assertive figure.

One of the users says that it has safely protected his child along with a photo of the car that had suffered an accident. So much so that the car first hit another car, then a tree and a pole and received a lot of side impact. Nevertheless, the little baby survived the accident without any injuries. Only harm was him simply dropping his toy on the floor.

Users have generally complained that the product causes a baby’s head slumps forward too much. In some cases, the inclination of the car seats may be too high. And because the rear-facing position cannot be recline sufficiently, the seat angle may shift forward. But in such cases, Evenflo, in his instructions manual, advised you to increase this angle by placing a towel or something under the end of the seat.  The same user has found that he can achieve the same effect through “Pool Noodle” thanks to his research, and has really succeeded. One of the beautiful and hidden details is that they have designed strap holders for larger containers.

Other than that, the fabric they use is quite breathable, flexible and comfortable. Straps can be easily pulled and released. Which is appreciated by the users. In addition to all these, there is another unique feature that makes it very comfortable to use: Buckle storage.​

2 - 3 YEARS OLD TODDLERS

Mother installs the child seat in her car

These ages are when your toddler exceeds the rear-facing limit. Therefore, inevitably you will encounter converting between rear-facing to forward facing. In convertible models, the rear-facing child weight limit generally varies in the range 35 – 45 lbs. Therefore, this transformation must have taken place after child’s second age.

In this stage,you can prefer forward-facing type seats which are  for only one purpose. Or, if you haven’t already purchased one of the 4 in 1 or all in 1 models before, you can opt for convertible models which can be transformed from forward-facing to booster seats. The booster seats are generally final stage. These models are used when the toddler reaches a certain age-weight-height combination. As a standard, it is time to switch to a booster model if the current seat’s shoulder straps are below your child’s shoulder level. Longer in length, better support the head of these models are divided into types as a uniform and combination.

3 types of seat that can be used in this period when toddlers will move from the pre-school to school aged phase:

  • Forward-Facing 5-Point Harness Seats : It is the type of seat that should be used in during the transition period from pre-school to school age. 5 point harness term is used because it consists of 5 straps. These 5 straps are attached to frame of the vehicle. 2 of these straps are used to connect to each other through shoulder region and 2 of them through hip regions and 1 through groin region.

  • High-back Belt- Positioning Booster Seats : These booster models are designed to support the waist, back and head. Some models come with increased resistance to side impact. Again, in some models can be turned into a backless by removing the back part. Naturally, it is safer than backless booster. Most models are equipped with the “LATCH” system as an extra safety measure as standard.
  • Backless Booster Seats : As the name implies, it is the type of seat with no part to support the waist, back and head area. It’s not widely preffered because it does not provide enough safety against side and rear impacts. In addition, as in the Highback models, the seat belt does not support the shoulders, buttocks and groin in a nice and snug manner. But it’s thought to be better than no seat. It can be found at more favorable prices than others. And especially, It is particularly advantageous in terms of convenience during carrying.

** ISOFIX(LATCH) SYSTEM **

It is a must as a standard term that can be used with both two names. It is commonly used as LATCH (“Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children”). The system allows the car seat to remain more robust and stable against impacts.This safety is ensured by means of the connection points which are included in the vehicle as a production standard. In a given standard range (28 cm.), The car seat is secured to the three anchor points, with two anchor points at the base of the seats and one anchor at the top. Thus, this ensures a stable safety as an alternative to the seat belts
car-seat-expiration
Full Reviews And Compare Features

BABY & TODDLER CAR SEATS 

FOR 2-3 YEARS OLD

In this stage, 5 point harnessed forward-facing seats and high back booster seats are recommended. These car seats have a weight limits of between 30-120 lbs.

5 POINT HARNESS, FORWARD-FACING BOOSTER

Britax Frontier ClickTight Harness-2-Booster Car Seat

Britax is one of the most well-known manufacturers on the market and can be used as both forward-facing and booster. In forward-facing harness mode, the weight limit is between 25-90. In the booster mode it can carry a weight between 40 and 120 lb.

According to an interesting statistics, 3 out of every 4 seats are set up incorrectly. Britax uses a technology called clicktight to overcome this problem. They claim that seat installation is as easy as wearing a seat belt.

Click Tight has an 8-step adjustment to achieve the perfect fit. The frame of the seat is made of steel. They provide extra impact security by placing energy-absorbing crumple-like parts on the base. The system, which they call the V-shaped tether, is a unique system that has been developed and protects the seat against extra rotations.

Apart from these, they have a harness system called 9-position. This system allows easy adjustment of the width and length of the belts when switching to the booster position.

The seat has 2 cup holders, which have almost become a standard. You can easily remove the case and wash. Color-coded belth paths are also designed to facilitate installation.

Apart from all these, users have sent real car accident images. They said their children were safe from the accidents. When you look at the accident photos, you can see that there are really serious accidents that can hurt someone.

Despite all this, some users have complaints. For example, the difficulty of tightening the belts due to the harness coming into contact with the car seat from the rear.

Other user complaints are the weight of the seat itself. They weighed 24.9 lbs, making it difficult to carry.

 

HIGH-BACK BOOSTER

Chicco KidFit 2-in-1 Belt Positioning Booster Car Seat

Chicco KidFit comes with a structure that can be extended in 10 positions to reach the height of growing children. It can be used as a highback booster or backless booster. The weight limit is 30 – 110 lbs.

One of the most distinctive features is that the extension is performed from the waist region and not from the neck region. Thus, the side impact-resistant section of the head protects the head and shoulder at every stage.

Another remarkable feature is the LATCH tightener system. In this system, the rear latch system is connected from the front of the seat and you can tighten it by pulling a belt. On the other hand, two cup holders of the seat can be folded! Yeah, you didn’t hear it wrong, it can be folded. And this feature is really unique in terms of space saving.

However, some users have mentioned some difficulties in the use of the seat. For example, difficulty of recline due to the seat slipping back when using the latch tightener. Or they said that the seat fabric is not comfortable to use because of the thick structure of the seat belt. Therefore, before starting to use any product, it is worth trying.

* We do not recommend backless boosters for toddlers since those are for older ages of children

3 IN 1 CONVERTIBLE

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

This one is another 3 in 1 model that we can recommend. Safety 1st Grow Go is a product that you can easily use in 3 stages of your child’s development (rear-facing from forward-facing and forward-facing to highback booster). And is a model with an advanced side protection system with weight limits from 5 pounds to 100 pounds. It is also one of the most recommended models.

You will notice that there is a structure that looks quite comfortable in appearance. In fact, some users have such feedback that their children do not even wake up during an accident. Maybe it’s two comfortable pillows that they call grow-with-baby pillows.

In terms of safety, its 5 point harness system can protect the child up to 65 pounds. The fact that you can remove and install this system with a single step provides a separate convenience for you and your baby. 

The products have successfully passed crash tests that meet federal standards (FMVSS 213). Therefore, it can be used easily in US states.

When your child reaches the appropriate age and weight-length, you can remove this harness system and return to the seat belt system. Extra 7 inch leg room creation capacity, the pads that can be removed easily and washed without even touching the harness system are great comfort for parents. However, in this context, we do not recommend the use, especially without reading the installation manual carefully or asking for help from an expert.

Of course, as with any product, this product has users who have had a bad experience. Generally speaking, the difficulties in installation are at the forefront. Secondly, they talk about inadequate customer service.

This type of car seats is very advantageous, if you have never bought a car seat before and your baby is very small. Logically, if your baby is in the transition phase from the forward-facing position to the booster model, you will not use the rear-facing mode. So what kind of advantage can you get in this kind of 3 in 1? We’ll tell you, “security”. In this context, before buying a toddler car seat, we strongly recommend that you keep safety at the forefront.

A Final Word...

Raising a child is a process and this process progresses step by step. Making the best and safest choices for our infants, babies and toddlers, who experience their most sensitive periods from birth to school period, is the primary priority for us parents. 

We say “we” because we are parents like you who prepared this article. That’s why we share all your concerns and conduct our investigations and research with that precision. And we know that for your baby’s safety, with a little research, your choice is actually the best.