How much should a baby weigh to face forward in car seat?
This is very important to parents for majorly two reasons –
- To keep their children safe on transit: This is because death in motor vehicle crash is still the leading cause of death for children ages 4 and older.
- For the joy of transition for their children which signifies growth.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics in their new policy of April 2011, children should be placed in a rear facing seat until they are at least two (2) years or they meet the minimum weight and height needed to use a front facing seat.
In a new policy published in the April 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online March 21), the AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.
Now lets talk about the average weight required for a child to use the front facing seat – “How much should a baby weigh to face forward in car seat“?
There are local laws which guides on this subject matter in some states;
Read Also: When can a Child sit in the front Seat?
Here are some available laws within the United States territory:
Source – Saferide4kids
Car Seat Law (32-5-222)
- Law: Children through age 6 shall properly use an aftermarket or integrated child passenger restraint system which meets FMVSS 213 and use a size-appropriate restraint system which shall include the following:
- Infant only seats and convertible seats used in the rear-facing position for infants until at least one year of age or 20 pounds
- Convertible seats in the forward position or forward-facing seats until the child is at least five years of age or 40 pounds
- Booster seats until the child is 6 years of age
- Seat belts until 15 years of age
Car Seat Law (Section 27360 – 27368 of the Vehicle Code of California)
- Law: Children under the age of 8 must be secured in the back seat of the vehicle in an appropriate child passenger restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
- If the child is less than two years of age the child shall be properly restrained in a rear-facing child restraint system in a rear seat of the vehicle, unless the child is more than 40 pounds or 40 inches. (Effective Jan. 1, 2017)
- Children under the age of 8 who are 4′ 9″ or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.
- Children who are 8 years and over shall be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt.
Car Seat Law (MCA 63-7-301)
- Law: Children under the age of 4 year must be protected by properly using a child passenger restraint device or system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
- Children at least 4 years of age but less than 7 and who measure less than 4’9″ or weigh less than 65 pounds shall use a belt positioning booster seat system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
See all United States car seat laws here – Check for your states.
In conclusion, considering how much a baby should weigh to face forward in car seat, the least weight should be 20 pounds (9.1kg).
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics – The previous policy, from 2002, advised that it is safest for infants and toddlers to ride rear-facing up to the limits of the car seat, but it also cited age 12 months and 20 pounds as a minimum.