When and Why Baby Needs a Convertible Car Seat

Putting the Nuna Rava convertible car seat in the car.

When and Why Baby Needs a Convertible Car Seat

Choosing a car seat for your baby is one of the most important baby purchasing decisions you will have to make for your little one. After all, the hospital won’t let you leave until you have baby’s car seat installed in your car. But with so many options to choose from, how do you go about choosing the right car seat for your baby?

Types of Car Seats

There are several types of car seats available: infant car seats, convertible car seats, all-in-one car seats and boosters. Many parents assume that they need to buy an infant car seat when preparing for their newborn, however this is not their only option. Other good choices are a convertible car seat or an all-in-one car seat since they can be used rear-facing or forward-facing and have many years of use.

But what is a convertible car seat and an all-in-one car seat?

A convertible car seat is a seat that is designed to grow with your child beyond their first year. Convertible car seats can be used rear-facing for infants and toddlers (on average starting from 4 – 5 lbs up to 50 lbs) and can be turned forward-facing and lasts up to 65 lbs or more. All-in-one car seats are similar to the convertible but they can also be converted to booster seats as the child grows out of the harness.

Families can start with a convertible car seat or an all-in-one car seat or they can make the switch to either of these after their child has outgrown their infant car seat, depending on preference. Convertible car seats and all-in-ones are larger and they cannot be taken in and out of the car as easily as an infant seat because they do not have stay-in-car bases.

All car seat types are great options, but they are very different from one another. Like any choice there are pros and cons to each, but I do want to point out that all parents will need a convertible seat or all-in-one seat at some point for their child. We’ve decided to go with the RAVA convertible car seat from Nuna for our little guy. I get that it can be confusing to know when is the right time to get a convertible car seat for your baby, and why you will need one (and want one). I am here to break it all down for you and share why I have chosen the RAVA convertible car seat from Nuna for my toddler.

The Nuna Rava Convertible Car Seat

When to Choose a Convertible Car Seat

The great thing about a convertible car seat is that you can use it from birth through toddlerhood, so that means years. Some people choose a convertible car seat from day one for their newborns since it accommodates babies as small as 4 – 5 lbs. Other families wait to make this purchase until baby has outgrown their infant car seat, which usually happens around 9 – 12 months old. So when is the right time to get a convertible car seat? Honestly, either of these times work! You can get it as our first car seat and have it grow with your baby or purchase one after your child has outgrown their infant car seat. It really just depends on your lifestyle, your preferences, and your budget.

Maybe my answer isn’t what you wanted or hoped for. If you wanted me to give you a firm answer on when you should get a convertible car seat the following reasons about why your baby needs a convertible car seat might make things more clear for you and your family.

Why Baby Needs a Convertible Car Seat

No matter what, your baby at some point will need to have a convertible car seat. Whether you get it as your baby’s first car seat or the second car seat, it’s an investment that will eventually have to make. Here are some reasons why I give thumbs up to investing in a convertible car seat now:

1. Lasts Longer = Saves You Money

I will say that if you are not planning to use a travel system, I recommend choosing a convertible car seat like the Nuna RAVA as your baby’s first car seat. Not having to invest in another car seat after only a year of using the infant car seat (or possibly less depending on your child’s growth) is a blessing. Buying a convertible car seat saves you money since it can be used for a longer period of time (rear-facing and forward facing), and they’re completely safe to use for your child since they have met all safety standards. So, if you’re wanting something that is high quality, that will last and keep your child safe, get a convertible car seat like the Nuna RAVA with higher size limits. You’ll be able to use it longer and get your money’s worth.

Nuna Rava Convertible Car Seat

2. Lets Your Baby Sit Rear-Facing Longer

According to the AAP, it is recommended that babies be kept rear-facing as long as possible, up to the maximum height and weight limits of their car safety seat. Keeping children rear-facing longer and not making the switch from rear-facing to forward-facing when the child turns two is much safer than switching them to forward-facing, so the longer a child can sit rear-facing, the better. Even if your child has less leg room and must bend their knees, it is still safest to be rear-facing if your child is within the height and weight requirements of the car seat.

A convertible car seat like the Nuna RAVA allows your child to be rear-facing from 5-50 lbs and up to 49 inches tall, which is one of the longest lasting rear-facing car seats on the market. You’ll feel great knowing that your baby is in the safest position possible.

3. They Are Safe

Convertible car seats have to meet the same federal safety requirements as any other car seat on the market. As long as your child is within the weight and height limits provided by the manufacturer, and you’re using it properly, a convertible seat is just as safe for baby as an infant car seat. Be sure to keep track of your child’s height and weight. You need to know when it will be time to turn the seat and when it’s time for an upgrade.

Why I Chose the RAVA from Nuna

First, some quick stats on the RAVA Convertible Car Seat:

  • Rear-facing weight range: 5-50 pounds
  • Rear-facing height range: 49 inches tall or less (manual suggests rear-facing to at least 2 years old)
  • Forward-facing weight range: 25-65 pounds
  • Forward-facing height range: 49 inches tall or less
  • Lowest harness position: 7 inches with insert
  • Highest harness position: 17 inches
  • Lower anchor weight limit: 35 pounds rear-facing, 40 pounds forward-facing
    • The RAVA has been designed to be used with vehicles’ seat belts for ease of use and to eliminate these lower anchor weight limitations.

I was really impressed by these stats, especially the rear-facing height range. I want my son to sit rear-facing in the car as long as possible because I know that is the safest position for him to be in inside my vehicle. Many children reach the height limit before they reach the weight limit of their car seat–like my son did with his infant car seat–and the RAVA car seat really impressed me that from birth to 50 lbs or 49 inches tall, whichever comes first, he can sit rear-facing in this seat.

Here are a few other reasons why I’m impressed by the RAVA from Nuna:

1. Easy installation. First unsnap the seat pad and pull it forward, and then open the True Tension door.

Installing the Nuna Rava convertible car seat in a car.

Next, route the seat belt through the shell that’s located under the cup holder openings. Pull the seat belt through the True Tension Door locking compartment and through the other shell opening. Then buckle the seat belt and make sure the lap belt part of the seat belt is tight and secure. Once secure, close the True Tension Door compartment.

Installing the Nuna Rava Car seat in the car.

Finally, lock the vehicle belt by pulling it all the way out and retracting it back. This locks the safety belt in place. The installation takes minutes, and feels very secure. Seat belt is best!

Installing the Nuna Rava Car Seat in the car.

2. A total of 10 recline settings. I love how simple it is to recline the seat and how it takes very little effort. All you have to do is push the button on the base, and glide the seat to your preferred angle. There are five rear-facing settings and five forward facing settings. (Choose your preference before installing.) I love that the RAVA can be reclined enough for a newborn, and completely upright for older rear-facing children.

Adjusting the recline setting on the Nuna Rava Car Seat.

3. Two cup holders! I don’t know any parent that doesn’t love cup holders. These cup holders easily pop out of the sides of the seat, are flexible, and flip inside out for easy cleaning.

The Nuna Rava Car Seat Cupholders.

4. Buckle pockets. No parent wants to dig for their child’s car seat buckles after they’ve placed their baby in their car seat. These buckle pockets hold the buckle tongues out to the sides and keep them away when putting baby in her seat.

The Nuna Rava Buckle holder

5. Sliding harness adjuster. I’m not a big fan of any baby gear items that need rethreading. This is why I was thrilled to discover that the harness adjuster on the RAVA requires no rethreading. The adjuster is at the top of the headrest on the car seat and I can easily pull the tab and slide it up or down to adjust the harness to the setting my son needs.

Using the one handed harness adjuster on the Nuna Rava convertible car seat.

6. Laid back legroom calf expansion. I love how there is an extension panel that gives up to 2 inches of extra support for rear-facing riders. It can also be used for forward facing children as well for leg support.

7. It has a 10-year expiration.

8. Completely flame retardant free. I love that Nuna strives to continuously improve their material make up and manufacturing processes to be as mindful as possible, so they can design better gear for us and our families while at the same time bettering the world that our littles will grow up in. Now, Nuna PIPA™ infant seats and RAVA™ convertible car seats are completely flame retardant free! While both seats have always included fabrics that were flame retardant additive free where the child sits, Nuna has now gone one step further to ensure that everything from the fabric to the foam and beyond are both flame resistant and contain no added fire retardant chemicals.

9. High quality. In addition to creating the safest products possible, Nuna also looks to create quality, well-designed products. Their car seats are beautiful, well made and use top of the line materials. As the new RAVA hits the market, it will also be available in two new colors: Rose and Lake! With all of these features, the sleek styling, and the ease of use, the Nuna RAVA is an amazing option.

Looking at the Nuna Rava convertible car seat

If you’re looking for a car seat that you can use for years that grows with your child, a convertible seat is a great option for you. Just be sure to do your research, and determine what your priorities are in a car seat. The RAVA checked everything off our list and I highly recommend it to parents who are looking for a long lasting, high quality car seat for their baby. To see more information about it, check out our Facebook Live review of the RAVA here.

About the Author /

Nina is The Baby Chick® & CEO of Baby Chick®. She is a baby planner, birth doula, postpartum doula, childbirth educator, newborn care specialist, and a mother. With over eight years of experience, she has supported hundreds of families during their pregnancies, births, and postpartum journeys.

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One of the most common questions in an expecting mother's mind is what her unborn baby will look like. 💭 From the moment we realize we're pregnant 🤰 until the day our baby is in our arms, 🤱 most mothers will spend countless hours daydreaming about who their little one will resemble. Most babies will look more like mom, more like dad, or a curiously even combination of the two. On the other hand, some babies come out looking like no one expected!⁠ 😃⁠⠀
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There are a great number of factors that go into what your unborn baby will look like. Here are some of the most common things that can influence how your baby will look when they finally make their grand debut.⁠ ❤️ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!⁠}⁠⠀
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In our culture, it is common for women to feel nervous and even fearful of childbirth. We've all heard scary horror stories from other people about their babies' births. But something that people aren't as willing to share is how much of a turd toddlerhood can be. 💩 Don't get me wrong. I LOVE and ADORE my crazy toddler. But he is the true definition of a sour patch kid. Sour one moment and then sweet the next. He keeps me on my toes almost every minute of every day. 🤪 When I think about the day I gave birth to him, I think, "Psssshhh, that's child's play compared to what this kid puts me through on the regular." Why aren't more people acknowledging that, yes, childbirth can be tough, but wrangling a toddler isn't much easier? This is just my personal experience, but some mothers might agree. Here is why I believe childbirth is easier than parenting a toddler. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
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I often tell my pregnant clients that birth has mo I often tell my pregnant clients that birth has more to do with what happens between your ears (your brain 🧠) than between your legs.⁠ 😳⁠
The fear, tension, pain cycle in childbirth is REAL. The more fear you have, the more tension you will hold, which means the more pain you will feel. The more pain you feel means that you will more likely clench and fight against the natural surges your body needs to produce to open your cervix and bring your baby earthside. That's why the more that you can practice, prepare and educate yourself about calm breathing and positive birth experiences before your baby's birth, the better you'll be able to control what's happening in your mind and allow the labor and birth process to unfold and bloom.⁠ ❤️ The mind is a powerful and beautiful thing. Your birth experience can be too.⁠ ✨
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As soon as a woman welcomes a baby into the world, oftentimes, her family and others around her become focused on the baby. The mother can sometimes somewhat be forgotten. If you are wanting to congratulate HER and show her that she is not forgotten, we are sharing the best gifts for a new mom. 💗 Any of these gifts will show her that you thought of her too and that she is cared for. And we promise you, all of these items will be used and loved. {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
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When I think back to when I gave birth to my son, When I think back to when I gave birth to my son, I do remember the surges of the contractions, the release of being in the water in the tub, and the pushing. So much pushing. 😓⁠
But I also remember the relief I felt when I first saw Mary Alice, one of my midwives, walk into my master bathroom while I was laboring in the tub. I remember my doula holding my hand in between pushes giving me encouragement, and my husband gently stroking my hair as I came down from the height of contractions.⁠
After giving birth, I remember how my midwives made my bed with fresh linens and with me in it feeling comfortable as I nestled with my newborn son. I remember how a meal was brought to me in bed and how everything was cleaned up and looked as if nothing happened -- not like I had just given birth to a baby. (I had a home birth, by the way.) And I remember how they were all with me by my side every step of the way.⁠
I felt the love, the patience, and the respect that I needed. Those are the memories that I hold with me when I think about the day my son was born. It's how I was cared for and how my birth team made me feel that stays with me.⁠
For expecting women out there, be intentional with the people that you invite into your birthing room. That includes your doctor, your midwife, and your support people. I know that things look very different right now with hospitals only allowing one support person, but you can still receive good support. Take an online birthing class with your partner and practice how they can help you in labor. Speak up to your nurse and ask for what you need and what you want for your experience. Be your own advocate! And if you feel like you can't speak up, hire a doula and receive virtual support during your pregnancy, birth, and immediate postpartum. Feeling supported, respected, and truly cared for is just as important as having a successful birth with a healthy mom and baby. 💗
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One day a pregnant client of mine started having a One day a pregnant client of mine started having abdominal pain. She called her OBGYN's office and they had her come in to check on the baby to make sure everything was okay. Everything looked fine and well with the baby so they sent her home saying that it was probably something that she ate and that it must be gas or indigestion pain.
Days went by and the pain not only continued but it got WORSE. I encouraged her to continue reaching out to her doctor, which she did. She would call the office and the nurse and doctor would tell her that everything was fine. They told her what meds she could take that could help, and that if she wanted to come in again the next day, she could.
The next day she went in and they looked at the baby and the baby was still perfect. They told her to go home and said to her, "You must have a very low pain tolerance because everything is appearing normal." Little did they know that she had labored for days and delivered her first baby withOUT any pain medication. (She had a different OBGYN with her first baby.) This client of mine is a strong woman and definitely does NOT have a low pain tolerance. I would know because I was her doula for both of her babies.
The pain she experienced only got worse the next day. She was in agony. She did her own research and thought it might be appendicitis. She decided to drive herself to the hospital this time without calling and told the nurse that she was in severe pain and that she thinks she has appendicitis. The nurse said, "there is no way that you could have appendicitis. You wouldn't be able to stand or drive yourself here or even talk if you had appendicitis." My client demanded that she see a doctor to get evaluated. Once a doctor was available to see her and examine her safely (since she was 34 weeks pregnant) they realized that, in fact, she DID have appendicitis & that it was so bad she needed immediate emergency surgery since it could be life-threatening. The surgery then caused her body to go into labor. Just hours after her surgery she pushed & delivered her second child.
I tell this story because I have seen & been told countless stories like this. (Continue reading in the comments.)
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The Ultimate List of Grandpa Names⁠ 👴⁠ .⁠ The Ultimate List of Grandpa Names⁠ 👴⁠
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We recently posted our ultimate list of Grandma names, but you might be looking for the perfect match for a Grandpa name. 💙 Many fathers that turn into Grandpas usually go with what their dads were called as grandparents or something traditional, but we encourage you to take a look at all of the options! There just might be a better fit that suits you. 😊 Here is our ultimate list of over 100 Grandpa names to choose from!⁠
{Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
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As soon as a woman becomes pregnant she will hear As soon as a woman becomes pregnant she will hear ALL kinds of unsolicited advice from everyone around her. 🤰 Friends, family members, even strangers will tell her what they went through and what they think she should do with her body and her baby. 😑 And this unsolicited advice continues long into parenthood. ⁠
Something that I think ALL mothers should know and learn is that you do NOT have to own or accept any information or stories someone tells you if it does not serve you. If it's unhelpful and not inline with your choices, hopes, and desires as a mother, then as soon as it was received immediately discard it. Don't harbor any information that does a disservice to you. The mind is a powerful thing. When we are told war stories and how terrible, awful, or painful things were for them (pregnancy, childbirth, or parenthood), that can live and stay with you. You do not have to own someone else's story. It may have been told with good intentions, but if you do not find value in it let it go. Release it and surround yourself with positive talk, uplifting stories, and happy, respectful, and supportive people.⁠ Be bold enough to go against the grain if you must and do what is right for you and your family.⁠
Ultimately, listen to your intuition. And if you're unsure of what your intuition is telling you, seek counsel from people who you admire and trust.⁠
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When a first baby is born, so is a new mother. 💗 The transition to motherhood can be a very difficult one that is impossible to be fully prepared for. As you become a mother you take on a completely new identity. It is a new phase of life that comes with new challenges, emotions, and growth.⁠ 🌱⁠
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As a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit occupational therapist, I find that I take care of the mothers just as much as I take care of the babies. ❤️ Many, if not most mothers, are prepared with the tangibles: a place for the new baby to sleep, clothes for the new baby to wear, bottles, and diapers. But it is impossible to fully prepare for the emotional transition that takes place. New moms are met with not only a little baby who is completely dependent but also a barrage of new and different emotions that you may not fully understand.⁠ {Click 🔗 in bio to continue reading!}⁠
Author by: Aimee Ketchum⁠ @aimeeketchum⁠
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Let me just stop you right there! *pew pew* 🔫🤱
Surprising Body Changes During Pregnancy – Podca Surprising Body Changes During Pregnancy – Podcast Ep 33⁠ 😮⁠
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Pregnancy is such a beautiful time in a woman's life. 💕 But don't get me wrong, not every day of pregnancy is glamorous. 😬 We've all heard of the luxurious hair, the glowing skin, the stretchmarks with the growing belly, but there are also things that happen to a woman's body during pregnancy that aren't really discussed. That's why we are covering all of the surprising body changes a woman can experience during pregnancy on today's podcast episode. So if you're currently expecting and are noticing some odd changes happening to your body, you can feel relieved knowing that you are not alone. 🤰 {Click 🔗 in bio to listen to the episode!}⁠
Now that "homeschool" is over, we can now enjoy ou Now that "homeschool" is over, we can now enjoy our summer! 😎 Oh, wait . . . #looksalotlikerightnow 🤔⁠
📷: @hallmark
When you become a mother you realize how much your When you become a mother you realize how much your mother did (or didn't do) for you. 💗 Sending love to all of the mothers, step-mothers, mother figures out there.
Happy Monday, mamas!⁠ 👋⁠ ⁠ Lately, with e Happy Monday, mamas!⁠ 👋⁠
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Lately, with everything going on, I've been thinking a lot about mothers with newborns. 🤱 As a postpartum doula, I get the pleasure of supporting new families in their homes and helping them navigate the winding roads and highs and lows of early parenthood. But right now I know that families are bringing home their precious babies and are feeling alone more than ever. They have less physical support, which can feel like they have less emotional and informational support as well. This breaks my heart. 💔 I wish this wasn't happening to families or to our world and I wish that I could be there for these moms.⁠
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That's why today, I am hopping on our stories and answering YOUR questions. Since I can't be there PHYSICALLY to help you with your pregnancy and newborns, I want you to know that I am here virtually for you. How can I help?⁠
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{I've left a question box in our stories. Have a question about your postpartum recovery? About your newborn? About breastfeeding? Bottle-feeding? You name it! I've been helping mothers as a birth doula and postpartum doula for 10 years and I am here for you.💕}⁠
📷: @creativeclicksphotography
Okay, grandma. 🙄⁠ 📷: unknown Okay, grandma. 🙄⁠
📷: unknown
To the mamas, papas, dreamers, visionaries, SAHMs, To the mamas, papas, dreamers, visionaries, SAHMs, etc. out there, kudos to you! For going so hard, for not quitting even on the worst days, even on the tired days, even on the days you don't know how you're going to do it, or don't feel like you can. You know it's okay to have some patience, grace, and forgiveness with yourself, right?⁠
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Our children are the future. I had to learn to give myself some grace. Sometimes when I evaluate where I am in life and see that I'm not exactly where I want to be or could've been frustrates me, or gets me down. I'm so hard on myself. But then I realized if the ONLY good thing I've done or successfully done is raise great children, I am in fact doing well!! *Parents, it's so important how we raise our children, and many of you KNOW that is not an easy task.⁠
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There are so many different aspects on this one topic. First, their confidence, self-love, etc. is so important. They need to know who they are, so when they encounter times and people that aren't so kind they are not completely crushed.⁠
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Secondly, think about who you're putting into the world. Do you remember your heartbreak(s), or some of the sh*%$y people you've come across and thought who raised them? Or even when you encountered a child that needed a hug or just some TLC. It's important!⁠
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Thirdly, but not least, for the dreamer or the visionary . . . Yes, we are working so hard for our dreams and goals. And one day we may achieve them, but our building and growing may also be in the building for our children. As we are building a future for them. Show yourself a little love. ❤️"⁠
Words & 📷: @tanishasnell_
"On my headstone, I hope they write, 'Here lies a "On my headstone, I hope they write, 'Here lies a devoted mother who suffocated under her enormous laundry pile.' #kiddingnotkidding⁠
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I'm trying to be more mindful about laundry and use it as a meditation practice (my main squeeze Thich Nhat Hanh talks about washing your dishes like you're bathing baby Buddha. 😊) Sometimes I can do it and feel grateful and grounded (I find cloth diapers particularly soothing for some reason. 🤷‍♀️) And sometimes I consider just turning our living room into one huge laundry pile and letting everyone forage for their clothes each morning. #wildstyle⁠
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So tell me, wise women of the world--how do you do laundry? Are you a load-a-day type or do you wait until it piles up and tackle it all at once?"⁠
Words & 📷: @spiritysol
It's called balance. And motherhood. And it's the It's called balance. And motherhood. And it's the weekend. 💁‍♀️🤪 Cheers!
Want to jazz up breakfast or lunch for the kids (o Want to jazz up breakfast or lunch for the kids (or yourself 😉) in an easy way? Animal Face Toast! 😍⁠
Pop an emoji for your favorite animal!🐱🦉🦊🐻🐷🐵⁠
📷: @weelicious