Car seat is necessary for you to carry your child in your car, and the child is not yet tall enough to use the seat belt of the car. It will provide protection to the child in case of collision.
I bought a convertible car seat for my son and has been using it since he was more than 1 month old until now (2 years+). I think it can still be used until he reaches 3 years old. The convertible car seat can be rear-facing as well as front-facing.
Here are some common senses about car seat that I would like to share with you:
- If your car has air-bag for front passenger, the car seat should be installed at the back seat and never be installed next to the driver. This is because the air bag might hurt or suffocate the child. It is even more dangerous if the car seat is in rear-facing position, imagine what will happen when the air bag blown out.
- The child should be rear-facing at least until he/she is 1 year old and also his/her weight has already exceeded 20 pounds (9.1 kg). This is because the neck bone of infant is still very soft and easy to break. With the child lying down securely, the rear-facing car seat will provide support and protection to the head and neck of the child in case of collision.
- Switch to front-facing when the legs are too long for rear-facing position.
- Consider a convertible car seat which can be rear-facing as well as front-facing, so that it can be used for a longer period (until 3-4 years old).
- You should change the car seat to booster seat for older toddler, until he/she can use the car seat belt without the booster seat, which is when the shoulder belt can rest against his/her chest and not the neck or higher position.