Car seats for infants and young children are mandatory in all 50 states and must conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Infants weighing under 20 pounds must be belted into the seat, facing the rear of the car, and in a reclining position. Older children may sit upright facing forward. Except for infant seats, most car seats convert from a reclining position to upright and can be used by children weighing up to 40 pounds. Children between the ages of 4 and 8 and weighing more than 40 pounds should be in a booster seat.
Make sure the seat you choose is comfortable for your baby, fits your car, and has a label indicating that it meets all federal requirements.
Make sure the seat is not difficult to use or confusing to operate, particularly if you will need to use the seat in more than one car. Incorrect use of car seats is dangerous as well as illegal.