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The Ultimate Car Seat Buying Guide -

Forward Facing Car Seat for Toddlers

1

What is a Toddler Forward-Facing car seat?

A toddler car seat is for children who have outgrown their infant car seats. These seats are Forward-Facing, and allow the child, room to sit in an upright position and look outside the window, while still firmly securing them through various protective features.

Why should I choose a Toddler Forward-Facing car seat?

As a child enters into toddler hood, your child’s head, neck and spine have firmed up nicely. He is now ready to face the world and take in newer sights and sounds. A toddler car seat enables your child to do just that, while still providing the protection needed, using harnesses and impact shields.
2

Which one will fit my infant?

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Benifits & Limitations

Here is a comparative analysis for forward facing and convertible child car seats. This will give you a bird’s eye view of all the pros and cons and help you with your buying decision.
Benefits Forward Facing Group 1 Forward Facing Group 2 Convertible
Handling Convenience
Portability via detachable base
Adjustable Multi-recline positions
Enhanced Security
Higher weight and age limits
Convenient for multiple cars
Convertible to infant carrier
Pocket Friendly
Limitations Forward Facing Group 1 Forward Facing Group 2 Convertible
Not portable
Cannot remove the back
Heavy and Bulky
Low Security Levels
Cannot be used at different stages of your child’s life
yes
no
positive
negative
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How to Buy

Now that you know what to look for in a group 1 and 2 Forward-Facing car seat and a convertible car seat let’s find out how to go about determining whether these features are really suitable for your child –
Check if your child fits well in the seat, and if the seat fits well in your car.
Operate the safety harness and check for ease of operation in the least possible time. Check the car seat for all safety features.
Look for ease of conversion to Forward-Facing from rear-facing and vice-versa. Conversion should not require un-installation of the car seat.
Recline in all positions mentioned, to check for child comfort in all positions.
Check if the car seat has a strong comfortable base.   
Look for a low shoulder harness if buying a convertible car seat starting from the infant stage.
Use pillows to check the maximum width the seat can accommodate.  
Change the headrest positions and check for comfort.
If you are going to be switching cars often, try transferring the car seat to a different car to check for easy portability.
Check to see that the chassis and tether provide maximum safety.
Read the recommended feature labels, safety instructions and user manual.
Buying car seats online from a trusted website will save you the trouble of testing all these details yourselves, as the website will provide the images of all the necessary features and certify the product before putting it up for sale. You can also access reviews, opinions of other users, ratings etc. from the comfort of your home. Just ensure that you choose a product with a reasonable return policy, so that in the event you require a replacement, the process is easy.
5

The Truth about those Common Myths of a Toddler Forward-Facing Car seat

All Forward-Facing child safety seats are the same, so it doesn’t matter which one I buy.
Car seats differ in features, comfort and convenience to a large extent. Each car seat has its own benefits and limitations. Therefore, it is important to choose judiciously.
A child car seat is required only till 2 years of age.
A child, who is above 2 years, does not have the disposition or the frame to fit into a regular car seat belt. Without a toddler car seat, your child is exposed to injuries and trauma in the event of an unexpected car accident or impact.
I had purchased a car seat at the time of my child’s birth. It is from a trusted brand and I need not purchase another toddler car seat.
You should continue with the same car seat only if it meets all the requirements for your child’s weight and height. If your child has outgrown the standards of the infant car seat, then you must get a replacement and look for a toddler car seat.
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FAQs

Q

I found many cheap Forward-Facing car seats in the market. They meet all requirements of a child car seat. However, they have a 3-point harness instead of 5–point harness. Can I go for any of them?

A 5-point harness secures the child through five straps. A 3-point one secures the child through only three straps. The 5-point harness is more secure and effective than a 3-point one. Even seats with an overhead shield are not considered as safe as seats with 5-point harnesses. Many manufacturers have stopped manufacturing car seats which have a 3-point harness. However, there are several economical options available in Forward-Facing seats with 5-point harness, which you could choose from as well.
Q

My baby is low on weight. Can I use a convertible car seat?

No, you must not use a convertible car seat if your baby is low on weight. Babies with low weight require extra care. Infant Group 0 will be the best fit for your baby.
Q

How soon I can move my toddler to Forward-Facing car seat?

Your child should ideally be in rear-facing position for as long as possible. Do not hurry to move your child to a Forward-Facing car seat. Keep your child in the rear–facing position, till your child outgrows the safety standards of a rear–facing car seat.
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