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.
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