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How To Pick A Forward Facing Car Seat Without Compromising Safety

In this article we will give you all the basic information you need to pick the best possible forward facing car seat for your particular situation. If your child has reached the car seat requirements for your rear facing convertible then you are in the right place. Learn how to pick the best car seat moving forward.

It is always best to keep your child in the forward-facing position for as long as possible. Only after your child has exceeded the weight and height limits of your infant car seat should you consider a forward facing car seat. Even then it might be best to use a convertible which has a higher height and weight limit for the rear facing position and then switch it to the forward-facing position once the child meets that limit.

If you are simply looking for a forward facing car seat and not a convertible than this is the page for you.

Quick Recommendations

Here are some quick product recommendations if you don’t want to bother reading the rest of this article.

Evenflo SafeMax 3-in-1 Harness Booster

This forward facing car seats focuses the most on safety and comfort. The seat has a lot of features that help to dissipate the impact from a crash. If you absolutely must have your kid in a forward facing position then this is a great choice for safety.

The seat also has excellent comfort features with breathable materials with anti-moisture features.

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Britax Boulevard ClickTight ARB

This is a great all-around car seat with good safety features and easy installation features. 95 percent of parents install car seats incorrectly. That means that the car seats that have great safety features and are the easiest to install are the ones that are the safest. This particular car seat is excellent when it comes to build quality and comfort.

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Clek Foonf

This is the easiest forward facing car seat to install. It has a lot of great safety features, but what stood out the most is it’s anti stain fabric that they call Greenguard. It supposedly will keep the car seat from getting stained which gets rid of a big headache for many parents. Stains that you can’t get out retire a car seat faster than almost anything else.

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Why You Might Want To Buy A Forward Facing Car Seat

Forward facing car seats (and convertibles turn to the forward-facing position) take up a lot less space than the rear facing car seats. So that is one benefit of switching over to a forward facing car seat.

Another reason why you might want to buy a forward facing seat is because you have another kid on the way and want to pass down your convertible. It makes sense if your child is already in the forward facing position with the convertible and your new baby can use it in the rear facing position if it can accommodate a newborn.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some typical questions often asked by parents looking to buy a forward facing car seat.

What Is A Forward Facing Car Seat?
What Are The Different Types Of Forward Facing Car Seats?
How Safe Are Forward Facing Car Seats?
Where Should I Place The Forward Facing Car Seat?
At What Age Should I Switch To A Forward Facing Car Seat?
What Are The Forward Facing Seat Height And Weight Requirements?
What Are The Forward Facing Seat Limits?
What Are The Different Types Of Harnesses For Forward Facing Car Seats?
Can Forward Facing Car Seats Go In The Front Seat?

What Is A Forward Facing Car Seat?

A Forward facing car seat is any car seat that is designed to be placed in the forward-facing position. This doesn’t include car seats that are rear facing only or booster seats. These car seats are typically designed for toddlers up to preschoolers who are too big for rear facing car seats and still too small for the booster seat. Back To The Top

What Are The Different Types Of Forward Facing Car Seats?

A convertible car seat can be used as a forward facing car seat. There are also forward facing car seats that can be converted into a booster seat. These are often called combination seats. There are some car seats that are called all-in-one (or 3-in-1) car seats that can be placed in the rear-facing, forward-facing position and will even change into a booster seat for later on.

And then there are the car seats that are only forward facing. Back To The Top

How Safe Are Forward Facing Car Seats?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children stay in a rear-facing convertible until they reach the seats height or weight limit. Only then do they recommend putting them in the forward facing position. Crash tests have proven that the forward facing position is far less safe for your child than the rear facing position.

In a head-on collision a child’s head will whip forward instead of moving backwards into the cushion of a seat when they are in the rear facing position.

That being said once the child has exceeds the height or weight limits of the rear facing seat then the forward facing car seat is the best option. Car seats are designed to be safe and they have to meet specific safety requirements before being allowed to be put on the market. So you don’t have to be concerned with the safety of a forward-facing seat if your child is too big for a rear-facing seat.

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Where Should I Place The Forward Facing Car Seat?

It is safest to place the car seat in the center of the back seat. Many parents make the mistake of putting it behind the passenger seat, but crash tests have shown the center to be 43% safer than behind either seat. Keep in mind that you still have to take into account the chance of a side impact collision. The baby will be much safer in the case of a side impact collision.

The only exception to this rule is if you can’t get the car seat installed correctly in the middle for some reason. I’ve seen some parents say that they can’t get it installed quite properly in the center for one reason or another.

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At What Age Should I Switch To A Forward Facing Car Seat?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that kids sit forward facing at least until they are 2 years old. If you want your kid to be as safe as possible while in your car you will keep them in a rear facing convertible for as long as he or she doesn’t exceed the height or weight requirements.

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What Are The Forward Facing Seat Height And Weight Requirements?

It’s best to only consider a forward facing car seat after your child has reached the height and weight limits of your rear facing car seat. Some rear facing car seats have a weight limit of around 22 pounds. This is probably the earliest you should should consider using a forward facing seat. The NHTSA recommends you wait until the child is at least 2 years old and the average 2 year old is around 26 pounds or so. There are some rear facing convertible car seats that have weight limits as high as 45 pounds. Buy those of you who want your child to be as safe as possible. Back To The Top

What Are The Forward Facing Seat Limits?

The weight limit of forward facing car seats vary wildly. Depending on your car seats the weight limit can go from 40-90 pounds before you need to move them to a booster seat that uses the seat belt. Back To The Top

What Are The Different Types Of Harnesses For Forward Facing Car Seats?

There are the 3 point harnesses and the 5 point harnesses. The 5 point harnesses are much safer for the child than the three point harnesses. In fact, car manufacturers have stopped producing 3 point harnesses all together. You can only find them on car seats that are a few years old. Back To The Top

Can Forward Facing Car Seats Go In The Front Seat?

Yes, they can. Although it is not recommended, you can put a forward facing car seat in the front seat. Just make sure that the seat is back as far as it can be to try and avoid the child being hurt by the airbag in case you are in a crash.

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