Convertible Car Seat got their name because it can convert from rear-facing to forward-facing. Convertible Car Seat is a car seat usually suitable for Newborn up to 4 years old or more 0-18kg usage). Some convertible car seats can be used from newborn up to 12 years old - 0-36kg.
Some Convertible Car Seat are very recline and some are not subject to the safety standard and design of the car seat. Convertible Car Seat can be installed both rearward and forward-facing. Rearwards are from newborn up to 13/18kg subject to car seat and forward-facing normally from 9.0kg onwards.
Since convertible cars are rear-facing and forward-facing, meaning that this car seat is in Group 0/0+ & Group 1 category onwards. And some convertible car seats can be up to 25kg/36kg, these will be Group 0+, 1 & 2 or Group 0+, 1,2 & 3 respectively.
Convertible car seats are the most popular car seat range that Malaysia parents bought due to the usage. Car seat prices in Malaysia for reputable brands range from RM400 and above. Most parents like this car seat because it lasts longer compared to an infant carrier / infant car seat.
Since convertible car seats can be installed rear-facing or forward-facing. It is recommended to take note of the location for the installation in Malaysia for the safety of your child and follow the Malaysia guidelines.
For rear-facing: Recommended location for rear-facing is behind the driver or behind the front passenger if the airbags CANNOT be disable. If airbags can be disable for your vehicle, you can install a convertible car seat facing rear and MST switch-off the airbag for safety.
For forward facing: You can install it at any location (Except the driver seat) if the seat has the installation attachments needed by the convertible car seat.
Center Seat: It is hard to get a good and tight installation at the center position of most vehicles in Malaysia due to the design of the seat. If you can get a good and tight installation and it comes with the 3-point seat belt. You can install it at this location.
1. Longer Usage - from newborn up to 4 YO minimum.
2. Cost Efficient.
3. Most have 5 points harnessed that provide more safety.
1. Most cannot be carried from one place to another.
2. Some are not very recline positions.
3. Some could be too wide for a newborn.
Best practice is to start with an infant carrier / infant car seat for your newborn. This is because the infant carrier is designed more suitable and more snug for the newborn baby.
However, this is very subjective from family to family. Some parents would consider starting to use a convertible for their baby. Some will consider getting an infant carrier / infant car seat for their newborn baby.