Extend the usage of a baby car seat by choosing one of our comfortable, premium convertible car seats. Appropriate from birth or 6 months up to 8 years, around when a child can use a booster seat, a convertible car seat can be a smart alternative.
Everything you need to know when buying a convertible car seat
Keep your precious one safe with a child restraint suited to your baby’s age, weight and height, as well as your own lifestyle and budget. Pick a convertible car seat that easily changes from rear-facing to forward-facing to grow with your baby from the newborn or toddler stage, all the way up to when he or she needs a booster seat.
Difference between all-in-one convertible car seat and convertible car seat
An all-in-one convertible car seat is designed to be the only car seat you will ever need to buy your little one (to use from birth to about 7 years old). A convertible car seat is often purchased for an infant or toddler (although can be used from birth) and used until a child reaches preschool age (with an infant car seat and a booster seat used on either side of a convertible car seat).
Choosing the best baby and child car seat
As there are pros and cons for whichever car seat you choose, you’ll need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages to make the best choice for you and your baby.
● Infant seat: Specifically designed for an infant, this type of seat is rear-facing only and can be part of a travel system which allows it to move from the car to a stroller easily and double as a lightweight carrier.
● Convertible car seat: Used from the newborn or toddler stages, this baby car seat can be converted from rearward facing to forward facing as your child grows.
● All-in-one: Similar to convertible car seats, with the additional bonus of being able to be used as a booster seat.
● Booster seat: Used when your child is too big for a car seat, but too small to travel in a car without a child restraint.
Features to look for in a convertible car seat
● Safety: Does the car seat have a 5-point harness and side impact protection?
● Material: Is the material resistant to stains, easy to clean and breathable to help regulate baby’s temperature?
● Adjustability: Does the seat allow for extended rearward facing or do you need to switch to forward facing? Can you adjust the headrest and crotch buckle as your child grows?
● Installation: Is the car seat Isofix compatible (which uses built-in metal clips to easily secure between car seats) or does it use an older belt system to secure a car seat?
Top tips before buying a convertible car seat
● Make sure the car seat will fit in your car(s) as well as with any other car seats that are already in there.
● Pick up the car seat to test how portable it is as you might need to occasionally move it from car to car or take it when travelling.
● Choose a car seat that is easy to operate and get bub in and out of with minimal fuss.
● Think about how long you ideally want to use the car seat (i.e. if you want an all-in-one so you only have to buy one car seat or if you’re happy to buy two to three for each stage).
● Consider the durability of the materials used, as well as how easy it will be to clean.
Ease of use
Ease of use is even more important when buying a convertible car seat, as you will be using it much longer than if you choose a car seat for each stage of your baby’s life.
Safety features to look out for
The most important child safety feature in a car seat is that it adheres to Australian safety standards. Then, you must ensure the car seat is properly installed and used to be effective.
How does it fasten
Car seats have several straps and buckles that need to be fastened and adjusted so that baby is snug and supported in their car seat.
Longevity of each car seat
Car seats vary in how long your child can use them, based on weight and height, so carefully select a car seat that gives you the longevity you desire.
How long can your child travel rear facing
In Australia babies must, by law, travel rear-facing until they are a minimum of six months old. Once they grow tall enough for their shoulders to reach a certain point marked on the car seat (usually around two years old), they can be moved to a forward facing car seat, however can be rear facing until they are four years of age.
Please remember that age is just a guide, as not all babies are the same size at a particular age. Height is a better indicator of when your child can be moved to forward facing. Even though not mandated by law, it is becoming best practice to only move your child to forward-facing when they have exceeded the upper height markers on their car seat and can no longer sit in it comfortably.
Here are some of the comfort features available in baby car seats:
● Air Cocoon Technology
● Breathable, moisture wicking fabrics
● Multiple recline positions
● Adjustable crotch buckle
● Removable covers for easy cleaning
● Plush inserts for added comfort
● Cup holders
All car seats are not created equal, especially when it comes to their dimensions. Be sure to measure the space available in your car to ensure your preferred car seat will fit.
Height and weight requirements for convertible car seats
Check your chosen convertible car seat’s height and weight requirements to ensure you are buying a product suitable and safe for your baby.
Installing your new car seat
Whatever the method of installation your car seat has (ClickTight, QuickFix, etc), having your car seat properly installed is crucial to its safety effectiveness.
To ensure your baby’s new car seat is properly installed in the car’s back seat, it could be a good idea to have the seat professionally fitted at an authorised Restraint Fitting Station.
If you choose to install it yourself, make sure to follow your product’s instructions carefully and precisely and regularly check and adjust the harnesses and straps.
Cleaning your new car seat
Your ability to keep a car seat clean, especially a convertible seat that you will have for many years, is an important factor when choosing the best one for you. Car seats that are easy to wipe, have removable covers and allow you to vacuum up all the crumbs, fluff, dirt and sand that inevitably make their way into cracks and corners is crucial.
Safest brands to look out for and we trust
Trust quality, reputable brands that adhere to Australian safety standards like Infasecure, Cybex, Britax, Maxi Cosi and Safety 1st.
Buying online with Metro Baby
Metro Baby makes buying baby products from prams and strollers to nappy bags, bottles and wooden toys simple and easy. We offer a variety of ways to buy baby essentials from purchasing gift cards, shopping through a registry or using Afterpay at checkout. No matter your budget or needs, we have something just right for you!
Frequently Asked Questions (faqs) About Convertible Car Seats:
What age do you switch to a convertible car seat?
With the right inserts, you can use a convertible car seat from birth, however frequently parents use an infant seat to start and switch to a convertible car seat as early as about 9 months. Contact one of our helpful and knowledgeable customer service team members if you have any further questions.
Can my 4 month old use a convertible car seat?
Usually convertible car seats are used when a child is around a year old, however there are convertible car seats designed for babies as young as 4 months (even newborns), with the correct inserts. A convertible car seat makes a fantastic baby shower present, so be sure to add one to your gift registry today!
What is the difference between a convertible car seat and an all in one?
A convertible car seat is suitable for a baby from when they are newborns or toddlers, to right before they need to move into a booster seat. An all-in-one, on the other hand, will be the only child restraint you will ever need, taking your child from newborn through to booster seat. To help you decide on the best option for your baby, browse our entire car seats and accessories section.
What comes after a convertible car seat?
After your child has outgrown a convertible car seat, he or she will need a booster seat with a lap-sash seat belt until they reach approx 7 years of age (or are 145 cm tall) and pass the “five-step test” to determine if they are big enough to use an adult seatbelt. Once you need to purchase a booster seat, trust Metro Baby’s “price promise” to match the price if you find a product elsewhere for less money.