Infant-Only Car Seat Usage Checklist

An infant-only seat is designed specifically for use rear-facing only. This type of seat is lightweight and has a carrying handle. Many offer a separate base which allows the parent to snap the seat easily in and out of the car. Some infant-only car seats also snap into strollers.

Safety Recommendations provided by the National Child Passenger Safety Certification Program (NHTSA):

The infant seat is designed to be used rear facing only.

Many parents/caregivers may be tempted to place the infant seat facing forward to allow them to view their child more easily. This is a serious error and places the child at significant risk of injury/death in the event of a crash.

Some child restraint manufacturers recommend that infants under 5 pounds not be placed in their products. Always check the child restraint label for the weight rating for your particular seat. Some child restraints say birth; others state a specific number of pounds.

Do not use the rear-facing seat above the weight or height limits designated by the manufacturer. Once the child outgrows the seat, move to a rear-facing convertible seat with a higher weight rating.

The top of the child's head should be well contained within the shell (unless the manufacturer's instructions state otherwise) at least 1 inch below the top of the shell

The harness needs to be snug to hold an infant down in the seat so he or she does not slide up in a crash and become ejected from the car seat.