Car Seat 101 - A Guide to Car Seats through Ages and Stages

Posted by Caro Bambino on

Navigating the world of Car Seats and all the information that comes along with it can be incredibly confusing. But have no fear, Caro Bambino is here to offer help and shed some light on this topic!  

To begin, let's talk a bit about the different types of car seats and when you’re ready to move to the next step! 

Rear Facing Only Infant Seats  

Infant seats are extremely popular. They offer portability for your baby within the first year of the baby's life. Most infant seats offer the feature of being able to take the carrier out of an attached base in your vehicle and attach the carrier to a stroller. This is a total lifesaver when it comes to quick errands for a fast in and out. 

When do you transition out of the infant seat and what is the next step? 

Rear facing only seats have lower limits that can accommodate babies for the first year of life and will need to be transitioned to a convertible car seat either shortly before or after their first birthday. Most infant seats are usually outgrown by 32” or 35lbs, whichever they reach first. We strongly recommend reading your infant seats manual to understand the limits of your baby's infant seat. 

Some of our most popular Infant Rear Facing Only seats are: 

Nuna Pipa Series
The Nuna Pipa Series fits newborns to toddlers from 4 - 32lbs and up to 32inches, the Nuna Pipa is one of the most lightweight and versatile car seats compitiable with almost our entire fleet of strollers. The entire series is Greenguard Gold certified for low chemical emissions and features an aerospace aluminum handle. The base features their 5-second True Lock Installation and load leg. Below are the different carriers. You can click each link to learn more!
The Original Nuna Pipa
Sky Drape Included
Carrier Weight 8lbs*
Nuna PIPA Infant Car Seat | Authorized Retailer | Kidsland
Carrier Weight 7.6lbs*
Sky Drape Included
Includes the new Relx base!
Carrier Weight 6.9lbs*
Sky Drape Included 
Non-Rethread Harness
Includes new Relax Base! 
*Weight does not include Canopy and Insert
The Mesa Max and Mesa V2 share these similar characteristics: Carrier weight 9.9 lbs. Infant insert 4-11 lbs. with improved infant body positioning. No-rethread harness with new, larger headrest over prior Mesa models. Carrier-only installation with European belt routing. Both work with the same UPPAbaby strollers – with Vista and Cruz strollers directly, and with the Ridge and Minu strollers with adapters. The carry handle has four positions for increased safety in rear-impact collisions
20% Longer Sunshade than original MESA
Greenguard Certified 
4th position carrier positioning for absorbing rebound forces
Flame Retardant Free Fabrics
43% more coverage than the original MESA 
Base includes load leg + anti rebound panel
Flame Retardant Free Fabrics and Foam 
Extended Side Impact Protection
This car seat is your complete travel system all in one piece. It quickly transforms from an infant car seat to a stroller with just a few adjustments. Ideal for on-the-go parents who are all about practical, easy and smart. The Doona is the first of its kind and is leading the way in innovative car seat/stroller design. Infant weight: 4-35 lbs / Infant height: up to 32” / Product weight: 16.5 lbs
This infant car seat is in a class of its own. It has redefined what it means to have a complete travel system. Its telescopic linear side-impact protection and complete coverage sun protection with UVP 50+ make this at the top of the line in safety, comfort and versatility. The lie-flat design when using with a stroller creates the ultimate comfort for your little one.

Cloud Q 

Convertible Car Seats

Convertible car seats will be one of the larger car seat investments you make. This seat is installed into your vehicle and will stay put and usually does not have the portability that an infant seat offers. Most convertibles can accommodate newborn all the way to about 6-7 years old depending on your child's height and weight. These seats are unique in that it can begin its life in rear facing mode and be flipped forward once your child has reached maturity.

When should we move the convertible car seat to a forward facing position? 

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children should be riding in a rear facing car seat for as long as possible! Each state also offers different minimum guidelines, in California, it is the law that a child must be riding in a rear facing car seat until they are 2 years old. Most seats have an average rear facing limit of 40lbs and 40”, whichever the child reaches first. Best practice is to max the rear facing limits of the seat and Caro Bambino offers many with extended rear facing capabilities. 

Some of our most popular Convertible Car Seats 

50lb/49 in. rear facing limit, 
65lb/49 in. forward facing limit
Rear facing limit: 45lbs/49in. 
Forward facing Limit: 65lbs/49in. 
Rear Facing50lbs/49 in. 
Forward Facing Limit: 65lbs/49 inch
360 Rotating Swivel Seat
Includes load leg stabilizes the seat and can significantly reduce crash forces
High Back and Booster Seats

Instead of using a five point harness restraint, high back and boosters offer belt positioning guides for your vehicle's seat belt to ensure that it is properly positioned along the child's lap and shoulder. This requires maturity from the child as they will not be harnessed any longer. The vehicle seat belt is easy to move and allows the child more freedom, therefore they must understand the importance of sitting upright and not playing with the belt. For these seats, we recommend a child be around the age of 6 and up. Most boosters however do offer limits that can accommodate a younger child. It will be up to parental discretion on when you feel your child is ready to transition as long as they are within the minimum requirements. 

Some of our most popular High Back Booster seats

High Back recommended use 40lbs+ and 38inches +
No Back recommended use 50lbs+ and 38 inches +
Suitable from 33lbs+ and 38 inches+

All in One Car Seats

Now that we have gone through the three major stages of different child safety seats, there are car seats that offer all in one. That’s right, only one seat will take you through all the stages*. You can begin rear facing from newborn all the way through toddlerhood. Then flip the seat forward as they grow. Once they have maxed out the harness, you will then be able to transform the seat into a high back booster with the vehicle belt.

*It is important to note that they do not offer the same portability as the infant seat. 

Some of our most popular All in One Car Seats:

Cybex Eternis S 
50lb Rear Facing Limit
65lb Forward Facing Limit
Booster Mode 40-120lbs
50lb Rear Facing Limit
65lb Forward Facing Limit
Booster Mode 40-120lbs

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