4 Car Seat Stages and Ages | When to Use

(Last Updated On: February 13, 2023)

Your baby’s safety is of great importance. There are different types and models of booster car seats. These are used for various purposes.

But their core purpose is to protect your baby in case of any adverse condition like an accident. Unluckily, most think these car seats are just for style and type.

They do not know that these car seats depend on the baby’s age and height and provide protection. In this article, our topic of discussion is car seat stages. You must read this article to know a detailed description of car seat stages.

1. Rear-Facing Car Seat: Stage 1

Car Seat Stages and Ages


The typical age for the rear-facing car is about 0-2 years old.

A rear-facing car seat is for toddlers and babies aged up to two years. These car seats provide high-quality safety. The main feature of this car seat is that it contains a base that joins the car seat. It will allow you to carry the piece that protects your baby in and out.

Some parents with rear-facing cars can place a mirror in front of their baby’s seat. It is to notice the baby’s face in the rearview mirror.

It is vital to install the car seat correctly. You must install your baby’s car seat correctly because so many accidents occur due to improper installation. The accident also occurs when your baby’s car seat becomes loose when driving on the road.

Weight Capacity of Rear-Facing Car

The typical weight capacity of the rear-facing car is about 22 pounds. To protect your baby, you must place them in one of these car seats if he is less the age of two years.

If you see your baby’s legs seem squished when sitting in the rear-facing car, you do need to worry. This is too normal for your baby. It will not cause any problems or uncomfortable conditions for your baby. 

Remember, you should not put your baby in the next car seat until his weight increase from 22 pounds and his age reach more than two years.

Installing The Rear- Facing Car Seat

As you that, it is too vital to install a car seat correctly. It is difficult to establish a Rear- Facing Car Seat correctly. Keep in mind your baby’s safety highly depends on it.

You must put your baby’s car seat on the back side and read the car seat manual correctly to install the car seat.

As mentioned earlier, there are different types and models of car seats. So, it is necessary to follow the main steps. 

Instructions before installing a Rear- Facing Car Seat:

The baby’s seat should be at a minimum 45-degree angle.

It should be firmly attached to the car’s seat. 

You must lock your baby’s seat belts and pull them tightly.

There should not be more than one inch of movement.

Recommended Rear-Facing Car Seats

Don’t worry if you don’t know about the age of putting your baby in the car seat. Don’t panic; we will guide you about the age of the baby and when you should search for a car seat for your baby.

Here we will discuss some recommended rear-facing car seats for your baby.

a) Nunapipa RX Infant Car Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • This is unique and one of the lightest seats on the market.
  • You can easily lift your baby in and out of the car if your baby’s weight is about 5.3 pounds.
  • The only negative point for parents is that it requires the base to install a car seat in the car.
  • If you are fond of car changing, it may cause difficulties.

b) Evenflo Lite Max Dlx Infant Car Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • This is the best car seat to protect your baby in an affordable range to protect your baby.
  • It is well known in the world for its safety feature. 
  • It contains a changeable headrest to keep your baby comfortable and secure.
  • You can easily fit your baby in the car seat if his weight is 4 to 35 pounds.

c) Uppababy Mesa Infant Car Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • This baby car seat is ideal, and you can easily install it. It is a gift for those parents who always think about this problem. 
  • It contains LATCH, which is to ensure the security of the baby in the car seat.
  • Your baby can easily sit in the car seat if his height is about 32 inches.

Related: Can You Put a CarSeat In A Single Cab Truck?

2. Forward-Facing Car Seat: Stage 2

Car Seat Stages and Ages


The typical age for Forward-Facing Car seats is about 2.5-5 years. 

You must shift your baby from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing car seat when your baby grows. There is a rope and harness system to keep your baby safe in the car seat.

Most babies use the forward-facing car seat when they reach the age of five years. You must beware of buying a rear-facing car seat. You have limited time to use this type of car seat.

Don’t worry; the market has convertible car seats to meet this problem. You might be happy to know that a convertible car seat can be converted from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing car seat. It means you can use this car seat for more than five years.

Weight Capacity Of Forward-Facing Car Seat

Usually, a baby the age of up to or more than five years is qualified for using a forward-facing car seat. You know that the typical weight capacity for a forward-facing car seat is about 40 pounds. 

If your baby is not reached the age of five years but has exceeded his weight limit from the average range, you must use a forward-facing car seat. Your baby can remain in the car seat if he weighs about 85 pounds. 

It depends on the type of baby car seat you purchase for your little one. Read the manufacturer’s instructions or stroller manual to get core information about your car seat.

Installation Of A Forward-Facing Car Seat

You must read the manufacturer’s instructional manual before car seat installation. You must install the Forward-facing car seat in the rear seat of your car.

Some baby car seats contain a LATCH system. It is helpful to secure your little one in the car seat. You must ensure that your baby’s car seat uses this LATCH system.

You should lock your seat belt before installation and ensure that the seat belt is too loose or too tight. There should not be more than one inch of movement.

Suggested Forward-Facing Car Seats

I know there are many car seats, and these create a horrible situation. You have yet to learn about shopping for a car seat as a beginner.

It is because there are different types of convertible car seats in the market, and you need to know which car seat is best for your baby. Don’t worry; here is a team of look-after babies who recommend the best convertible car seats. Here are some recommended baby car seats.

a. Britax Marathon Clicktight Convertible Car Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • In the market, it is easier to install convertible car seats than any other car seat. You must get out the top, threading the seat and writhing it from one place to another.
  • You might be happy to know there is a portion beneath, which is for the seat belt loop. You also buy an anti-rebound bar. It provides your toddler extra protection. 

b. Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • It is the most cost-friendly option in the market if you want to buy a convertible car seat. Its properties are ideal. It is too good looking and provides extra protection to your baby, which is your baby’s primary need.
  • The weight limit of this stroller is about 65 pounds. This car seat property is different from other car seats. It has a small frame and is best for moms with many babies and cars.

c. Cybex Sirona S Convertible Car Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • The unique feature of this car seat is the presence of the highest tech and dynamics to come in the car seat market. Moving your baby in and out of the car with 360-degree rotation wasn’t easy. There are about 12 adjustable positions which make your baby easy to fit in the car seat and keep him protected and comfortable.
  • There is a Sensor safe clip on a harness, which will alarm when an unstable condition happens with your baby. This thing will divert your attention toward your little one.

Read More: How to Loosen Straps on Graco Car Seat?

3. Booster Seat: Stage3

Car Seat Stages and Ages


The typical age for a booster seat is about 11-12 years. It would be best if you remembered it depends on the height of your little one.

This is the third stage of the car seat journey. You will be surprised to see when your baby shifts to the booster seat from the rear-facing car seat and forward-facing car seat. It represents the growth rate of your baby.

There are two options in the booster seat one is the back support option, and the other one is the backless option. The unique feature of this seat is that as your baby grows in height, you can remove the back seat and easily use it for a long time.

Remember, a booster cannot attach the car seat in the first and second stages. It is held in a regular place by the baby’s weight.

The main aim of this car seat is to properly fit your baby in a seat belt, mainly for adults. Note that the seat belt must not come over the stomach but should arrive around the lap and chest if an adult uses it.

Related: How To Keep Toddler From Unbuckling Car Seat

Weight Capacity Of A Booster Seat

The typical recommended age for a Booster seat is between and 12 years. You can also use this car seat if your baby’s height is less than and 9 inches tall.

You must read the car seat manual to learn about your particular car seat’s weight capacity and recommended height concerning your specific car seat. Each model of a booster car is different from the other one and can bear weight than expected weight. 

Note that your baby’s seat belt must fit easily around your baby. Ensure that your baby’s seat belt is not crossing any sensitive body parts like the neck or belly. 

Installation Of A Booster Seat

The Booster car seat installation is too easy compared to the rear-facing and forward-facing car seats. You might be happy to know that a LATCH system aids in installing a Booster seat.

The core feature of a Booster car seat is that it keeps your baby’s weight in the correct place all the time. But it needs to be correctly attached to the car seat like the previously discussed car seat. To secure your baby in the car seat, you must fit the seat belt perfectly.

Recommended Booster Seats For Baby

As you know that when your baby grows in height and weight, a forward-facing car seat or convertible car seat is not enough. You must have to buy a Booster car seat for your loved one.

How can I buy the correct booster seat for my baby because there are so many car seats in the market to solve this issue? Here are different models of booster cars, and you must buy one to keep your baby secure.

         i. Grace Turbobooster High Back Booster Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • The unique feature of this car seat is that it has a removable back. Thus, your baby is too comfortable in this seat. When using this car seat, it does not matter what your baby’s height is. It is an adjustable booster seat, which can increase your baby’s comfort level.
  • This booster seat can bear a weight of up to 100 pounds. It means you can get more edge by using this car seat compared to other typical booster seats.

       ii. Clek Oobr Booster Car Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • This booster car seat also comes with a removable back. It is highly designed for easiness and safety for your baby.
  • It can bear weight up to 110 pounds and 57 inches. Another feature of this car seat is the presence of a reclining position. Your baby will not feel uneasy during sleeping in the car on a long journey. You can also adjust the seat position.

      iii. Chicco Kidfit 2-In-1 Belt-Positioning Booster Car Seat

Car Seat Stages and Ages
  • This unique car seat comes in a variety of colors. There is a LATCH system for seat attachment. 10 height adjustments keep your baby comfortable and safe in the car seat.
  • It has removable arms and seats, and you can easily wash them in the washing machine to keep your baby free from germs. The back is also removable, which helps you when your baby grows. But there is a need for the booster seat. It can bear weight up to 110 pounds.

4. Adult Seatbelts: Stage 4

Car Seat Stages and Ages


The typical age for this car seat is about 13-14 years.

When your baby reaches the age of a booster seat, there is a need for a heart that is helpful for your baby and can easily fit in. The recommended car seat for such a thing is the adult seatbelt.

You must know that your baby’s seat belt should work properly and must pass over the chest and lap. It is to protect your baby from any accident or any abnormal condition which can cause damage to the baby’s life.

Make sure your baby stays in the back car seat until he hits the age of 13 years. You can also guess this rule by your State’s Driving laws. You must check the State car seat laws before you allow your baby to sit in the front side of the car seat. 

Related: How To Remove Graco Baby Seat From Base | 7 Easy Steps

Things To Remember Before Buying A Car Seat

Remembering these things before buying a car seat would be best.

Research Work:

You must complete your research on baby car seats before buying one for your child, toddler, baby, and little one.

Car Seat Features:

You must know about the car seat features because most car seats have the same features.

Read Out Which Seat You Need

When you want to buy a baby car seat, you must know the type of car seat your baby needs for protection. You can easily select the particular car seat for your baby when you read the above article from our expert team of looking after babies.

You may get an idea for buying a car seat for your baby. 

Baby Car Seat Dependency

It depends on the baby:

  • Age 
  • Weight
  • Height 

Study Features

You know that almost all car seats have the same purpose, but easiness varies according to different car seats. Some car seats contain recline in the car seat, and some have some security alarms.

As you know, some car seats can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing car seats.

You can check car seats according to your specific feature and price. Your baby car seat can range from $65 to $500. It depends on your 

  • Brand
  • Feature 
  • Model 

Know About Your Car

You use your car daily and should select the car seat to put your little one in.

Before buying any car seat, you must ask the following question

Is your backseat big enough for a specific car seat or not?

Is this car seat more accessible to put in and out of than another?

You know, the reviews of a parent who uses specific car seats for their baby. This will allow you to get the best car seat for your baby.

Where To Shop

You can easily shop for car seats from any baby store. Check the baby store to purchase any car seat from going to other stores. You can also buy the car seat from online stores.

Online stores have a wide range of car seats, and you can easily buy any car seat. The main plus point of online stores is that you can also read the reviews of customers.

How Can You Select The Right Stage Of The Car Seat?

Your baby will conquer the different stages of car seats from the time of birth to the age of maturation. To select the right center, you must check again and again the specific height and weight requirements for your baby. 

“For all types of seats, weight and height limits will vary by model and manufacturer — always follow the guidance provided on the car seat labels and in the instructions for the seat your child will be using,” says Sarah Haverstick.

Sarah Haverstick is the safety advocate and child passenger safety technician. “Every car seat fit in every vehicle differently, so it is a good idea to ask the store if you can test for fit with your vehicle and child before you make a purchase.”

It is confusing to judge which car seat stage is best for your baby. You must note that you should hurry to shift your baby from one car seat stage to another.

Your baby should stay in his particular car seat until the baby hits the maximum height and weight limit of the seat. You can quickly get this information about your baby’s car seat from the car seat manual or even in the car seat.

What Do You Know About A Convertible Car Seat?

You can use a convertible car seat in both rear-facing and forward-facing positions. The main feature of convertible car seats is that it allows your little one to fit correctly in the car seat. Moreover, you can use this car seat instead of a baby car seat.

The convertible car seats have high weight limits and height capacity in rear-facing car seats as compared to the baby car seat. Thus, your baby can stay for a long time in rear-facing car seats. 

The ability to convert from a rear-facing to a forward-facing car seat will save you money and time in buying a car seat. As a parent, you should not convert the seat from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing as your baby reaches the maximum height and weight limit. 

 “When considering your child’s turnaround time to forward-facing, just make sure your child is ready. Many families turn their child around too early, and this puts your child at additional risk of injury or death,” says Bob Wall, car seat expert and global advocate for Nuna Baby Essentials.

What Do You Know About A Combination Car Seat?

A combination car seat is a forward-facing car seat that you can use in a belt position booster mood or with a harness.

You can also use these car seats as harness boosters. There are three modes of combination seats which are given below:

  • High back booster. 
  • Non-back booster modes.
  • Harness.

What Is An All-In-1 Car Seat?

As the name suggests, this car seat can be used in rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster modes. As you know, this car seat provides a proper fit for little ones and gives you the best alternative to an infant car seat.

This car seat has a considerably higher weight limit and height in all modes of car seat stages.

How to keep your baby safe in the car seat?

As parents, your baby’s protection is of core importance. You should adequately shift your baby in the car seat according to your baby’s height and weight. 

You should shift your baby according to car seat stages, like from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing car seat, then a booster car seat, and at last adult car seat.

Remember to read state laws and manufacturer’s instructions before placing the baby in the car seat. This is an essential step toward your baby’s safety.

You must put your baby in the back of the car. You must only drive the vehicle once you correctly fit your baby in the car seat.

Car Seat Stages- Conclusion

There are four car seat stages rear-facing, forward-facing, booster seats, and adult seat belts. These seats are better than an infant car seat. The weight and height limit vary from stage to stage. You can protect your baby by following proper instructions. 

Car Seat Stages- Faqs

What do you know about the 4 steps of car seats?

  • Rear-Facing Car Seat. 
  • Forward-Facing Car Seat. 
  • Booster Seat. 4 – 7 Years.
  • Adult car seat or adult seatbelt.

What is meant by the progression of the car seat?

According to instructions from the Pediatrics Division of Community Health and Research, there exist 4 stages of the car seat, and every child should go through it. There are four stages of car seats.

  • Rear-Facing Car Seat. 
  • Forward-Facing Car Seat. 
  • Booster Seat. 4 – 7 Years.
  • Adult car seat or adult seatbelt.

For what duration is the 4-in-1 car seat best?

The typical duration is about 4 to 10 years. You can use this car seat for an average time of 7 to 10 years.