Growing Up in the Car with Britax
Whether you are headed on a routine trip to the grocery store or an “are we there yet?” road trip, it is important to ensure that your child always has a safe spot in the car. With so many styles and seats to choose from we know the task may be daunting so today we are breaking down all the stages of growing up in the car with Britax.
So, how do you ensure the safety of your most precious cargo?
Infant Car Seat | Newborn-35 lbs.*
Endeavours + B-Safe 35 UltraBaby’s first smile. Baby’s first tooth. Baby’s first car seat.
Leading up to your delivery, your friends and family will remind you not to stress and will say something along the lines of “the only thing you REALLY need before baby comes is a car seat!” which is probably why you are currently researching and reading this article.
When car seat shopping, you'll need to consider safety, comfort, convenience, and fit. As far as convenience goes, you will love that Britax infant seats come with an easy to install base and are travel-system ready when paired with any Britax single stroller due to the included Click & Go system.
Your little will stay in their Britax infant car seat until they reach one of these milestones:
- They reach the maximum weight limit [35 lbs.],
- They have outgrown the seat height-wise [32”],
- Or, Baby's head is within 1" of the top of the car seat--whichever comes first.
Most babies outgrow their bucket seat by meeting the height capacity before the weight limit BUT there are exceptions. It's okay for baby's legs to hang over the edge of the bucket seat because their head is what determines when they've outgrown their car seat by the "fit" requirement.
Generally, the transition to a second stage seat takes place around baby's first birthday—give or take a month or two*. Once babe has outgrown their bucket seat it will be time to transition into a convertible car seat, also known as a second stage car seat.
You can learn more about transitioning your child out of their infant seat HERE.
When it comes to Britax infant car seats these are your options:
- Endeavours Infant Seat [Circa, Spark, Safewash, Cool & Dry]
- B-Safe 35 Ultra [Cowmooflage, Noir, Gris, Nanotex, Raven, Dove]
*NOTE: a Britax rear-facing convertible seat can be used from 5 lbs., but most parents prefer the convenience of an infant seat.
Rear-Facing | 5- 40 lbs.
Advocate, Allegiance, Boulevard, Emblem, and MarathonIt’s time for your little one to graduate to their second stage car seat!
Your little adventurer will love the ability to see more of the world around them in their new “big kid” seat. Once you’ve set them up rear-facing expect to hear a lot of “bus”, “truck”, and “dog” from the backseat as baby begins to point out things they can now see along the way.
Britax has a variety of Convertible Car Seats to choose from.
We carry the Advocate, Allegiance, Boulevard, Emblem, and Marathon.
The Advocate, Boulevard, and Marathon feature the ClickTight installation system which makes them very easy to install. Simply put, the ClickTight system is a series of components that are engineered to secure your child restraint to your vehicle seat using your vehicle seat belt as opposed to the UAS [Universal Anchorage System].
Wondering which convertible car seat might be best for you?
We break down the features and benefits of each seat in our Convertible Car Seat Comparison article. Give it a read to determine which seat is best for you!
Your smallest passenger can safely ride rear-facing until they reach 40 lbs. or outgrow the seat in height or fit—always refer to your user manual. At that point, you will simply re-install your convertible seat in forward-facing mode--which brings us to the next stage for your little one.
- Advocate ClickTight [Safewash, Venti, Mosaic]
- Allegiance [Azul, Static, Confetti]
- Boulevard ClickTight [Spark, Circa, Trek, Poole, Vector, Cool & Dry]
- Emblem [Fusion]
- Marathon ClickTight [Cowmooflage, Verve, Vue, Ollie, Oasis]
Forward-Facing | up to 65 lbs. in harness mode
Convertible car seat forward-facing: up to 65 lbs. or 49 inches We love that all Britax convertible car seats allow you to keep your child in a 5-point harness through their toddler years. However, there is another forward-facing option from Britax to consider –enter the Harness to Booster seat—we carry the Pioneer, Frontier, and Pinnacle. In order to safely ride in one of these Harness-to-Booster seats, your child needs to be 22 pounds and at least 2 years old. Now, just because your little one meets the weight and age requirements of a Harness-to-Booster doesn't necessarily mean it is time to transition.
Harness-to-Booster: up to 65 lbs. in harness mode but up to 100 lbs. as a belt-positioning booster
^^go back and read that again.
We can't stress enough that keeping your child rear-facing in the car for as long as possible is the safest way to ride.
One of the many things we love about Britax convertible seats is their ability to rear face to 40 lbs. [the average weight of a 4-year-old]
So why a Harness-to-Booster vs. a convertible car seat?
If you have a second child, it might make sense to transition #1 out of their convertible seat for their younger sibling to ride safely, but it really is a numbers [weight and height] game.
Your child can continue using the 5-point harness on both seats until they reach 65 pounds or the harness straps no longer come from above their shoulders —so what is the difference?
WHAT HAPPENS AT 65 LBS.?
Convertible vs. Harness-to-BoosterTime to transition? You need to look for these three things
- Shoulder harness straps come from at or above your child’s shoulders when in their highest harness height.
- The Tips of your child’s ears are below the top of the shell or headrest of the car seat [unless otherwise indicated by your car seat manual]
- Your child does not exceed the height or weight limits as specified in your car seat manual—in this case, 65 lbs.
ConvertibleIf you have a convertible seat and your child has reached 65 lbs., then it is time to retire using the seat.
Done. Finito. It served you well.
The Harness-to-Booster at its highest harness height is well over an inch higher than Britax convertible seats. This means you can keep your TALLER child in a 5-point harness longer.
Once your child reaches 65 lbs. In the Harness-to-Booster you would simply convert the seat into a belt-positioning booster. In booster mode, your child can continue using this seat until they reach 100 lbs.!
Speaking of booster seats...
Skyline, Frontier, Pinnacle, Highpoint, Pioneer
What is a Booster Seat and why do you need one? Great question, so glad you asked! Your little one may not seem like a baby anymore but there is still a LOT of maturing to do –specifically in their little bones and bodies.
Your child will probably spend the longest amount of time in their Booster Seat so choose wisely! Here are some of the available Britax Booster seats on the market.
- Skyline [ Dusk] *removable back
- Frontier [Spark, Nanotex, Cool & Dry, Cowmooflage, Vibe, Trek, Vector]
- Pinnacle [Safewash, Venti, Mosaic]
- Highpoint [Asher] *removable back
- Pioneer [Static, Oasis, Confetti]
We suggest staying in a booster seat up to 12 years old. The Highpoint and Skyline both have removable backs so that you can use them longer. Along with a lap belt positioner [shown in the video above] the Highpoint is great for children who love to squirm and need a reminder to keep their bum in the back of their seats or aren't getting a proper lap belt position with the Skyline.
Still have questions? Not quite sure when to transition to that next stage? Check out our Booster Seats Tell All for some KEY signs to confidently know when the time comes.
Decided on a seat, but still figuring out which fabric is right for you? We break all of the Britax Performance Fabrics down HERE.
Whether you are a homebody or a lover of travel –one thing is for sure, parenting is an adventure!