Baby Talk

Rear-Facing, Forward-Facing, and Everything in Between

The 411 on Convertible Car Seats

Rear-Facing and Forward-Facing

At this point in your parenting journey, you’re probably familiar with infant car seats, such as the number one rated KeyFit® 30 or the versatile Fit2®. Your precious bundle may have spent a decent amount of time in one of these rear-facing car seats, traveling undisturbed and oh-so-conveniently in and out of various vehicles and your Chicco stroller.

Well, it happened so fast, but your “baby” has grown and is ready to experience everything you do! Remember those quick errands you used to run? They may be a thing of the past with a toddler (sorry!), but Chicco is here to make this stage just as easy and convenient with the NextFit® convertible car seat.

What are Convertible Car Seats?

You’ve heard of convertible cars, but how exactly do convertible car seats work? While perhaps not as glamorous as the car version, a convertible car seat provides extended use and safety as it uniquely converts from a rear-facing car seat to a forward-facing car seat. The timing of this transition is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make in your child’s car seat journey, possibly even your entire parenting career. Why is this distinction so important? To sum it up in one key word: safety.

When to Transition Child From Rear-Facing to Forward-Facing Car Seat?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants and toddlers ride rear-facing in their car seat for as long as possible because it’s the safest option for growing children whose skeletal systems are still developing. What does “as long as possible” look like for your growing little one? It varies from child to child, as you should keep them rear-facing until the maximum height OR weight limits for their specific car seat have been reached – whichever comes first.

NextFit® Convertible Car Seats

If you’re looking for a convertible car seat that is just as easy to install and use as your KeyFit® or Fit2®, look no further than the NextFit® convertible car seat from Chicco. Whether you choose the NextFit® Sport or the NextFit Zip® Max, each convertible car seat in the series includes many of the easy-to-use functions you loved about your Chicco infant car seat, like a ReclineSure® leveling system, RideRight® bubble level indicators, and a force-multiplying SuperCinch® LATCH tightener. These features and more make the NextFit® easy to install simply, accurately, and securely every time.

What else differentiates the NextFit® from other convertible car seats? It features 9 levels of recline to fit a wider range of vehicles in both rear-facing and forward-facing modes. An easy-to-adjust, 9-position headrest provides room to grow while a steel-reinforced frame and dual-layer side-impact protection surround your toddler in safety. Upgrade to the NextFit Zip® Max and your little one benefits from 25% more legroom* in rear-facing mode and extended calf support in forward-facing mode.

The NextFit® is available in a variety of styles so you can pick and choose the comfort and convenience add-ons that suit your preferences and lifestyle. Take a look!

*than other NextFit® car seats.


When to Transition Chicco NextFit® From Rear-Facing to Forward-Facing?

Consider the NextFit® convertible car seat from Chicco as an example. Most of the models in the series have a rear-facing maximum weight of 40 pounds, while the minimum weight for forward-facing is 22 pounds. You’ll notice that there is a significant overlap there: 18 pounds to be exact. (Upgrade to the NextFit Zip® Max and the maximum weight limit is increased to 50 pounds with an overlap of 28 pounds.) While you are technically able to turn your child forward-facing when they reach the 22-pound minimum, the AAP suggests that you maximize the rear-facing limit of 40 (or 50) pounds. It’s a good idea to make a mental note of your child’s height and weight at their next well-visit so you know when it’s safest to turn them around.