What kind of car seat should I get for my baby?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,620
    Assistant Professor of Pediatrics Dr. Ann Kellams provides suggestions on selecting the right car seat for your infant.

    Dr. Ann Kellams: Hi, I am Dr. Ann Kellams with the University of Virginia Health System. I am a Pediatrician and we are going to talk about how to keep your baby safe.

    Host: What kind of car seat should I get for my baby?

    Dr. Ann Kellams: There are many, many car seats on the market. The general recommendations are that it be a relatively new car seat, so purchased within the past three years because the different models change. They keep up with being current. You don't want to have a used car seat that's ever been in an accident, because there is a concern that things could have shifted such that it could somehow be not safe for the baby. Infants and newborns should be rear facing and we generally recommend putting the car seat in the middle of the backseat. They should never be in the front seat if there is an air bag and that vehicle. So generally, backseat in the middle is best and rear facing for that entire first year of life and until, they are 20 pounds. So, both of those criteria have to be matched. So if you have a baby that's one year of age and still weighs 16 pounds, they are still facing backwards in that infant car seat. If you have a baby that's 20 pounds when they are six months old then it's time to switch to one of the convertible car seats that can hold a 20 pounder facing backwards in the car until that first birthday.