You know what's the worst? When your kid does that thing where they throw their arms up, arch their back and become very slippery as soon as you place them in their convertible car seat. This stealth move is particularly annoying if your little angel is rear-facing in that car seat, making it almost impossible to reposition them. This is when a rotating car seat is a sanity saver.
If your baby doesn't pull this move yet, don't worry, they will. That's why the best rotating car seat is a must-have on every newborn checklist. Because one day that innocent infant will catch on and decide that they hate car rides and being restrained.
Rotating car seats swivel towards you, which makes getting that wet noodle of a child safely into the car so much easier. When you've buckled them in, simply rotate the seat back position and off you go.
Swiveling car seats are great for rear-facing kids because they take the stretching, climbing and contortions required to strap a toddler into a backward seat out of the equation.
It's important to consider how long you'd like to keep your child rear-facing when shopping for a rotating car seat. The rear-facing maximum weight can vary in swiveling seats—and is often less than the forward-facing maximum weight.
You'll also want to keep in mind the size of your back seat and how many car seats you plan on installing. In short, make sure you'll have lots of room to fit and swivel your new car seat in your car.
"Rotating car seats are bigger and heavier than your usual car seat," explains Juliana Amador, a certified car seat consultant. "Does it fit in the car? Are the parents tall? A rotating car seat in the rear-facing position will take up a lot of space because of the angle that needs to be installed. In this case, parents should consider how much space the car seat will take while rotating."
Amador says a good measure is adding one to two inches to the dimension of the car seat after taking measurements.
Finally, pay attention to the swiveling mechanism and think about how you'll want to use it. Some offer one-handed operation, which means you can hold a squirmy baby in one arm and rotate the seat with the other. (Or you can always just leave the seat rotated when you take your kid out of the car so it's ready for the next trip.)
This swiveling convertible car seat is a favorite because it can be turned using just one hand. It goes from a rear-facing seat for babies as small as four pounds and as big as 40 pounds, to a forward-facing harness for kids between 22 and 65 pounds, and finally, a high-back booster for kids up to 100 pounds. This seat only rotates when it's in a rear-facing position, but you won't need the rotation as much when your child is forward facing.
This seat has been thoroughly crash-tested and protects against all kinds of impacts. It also offers 10 different headrest positions. Verified Amazon shopper, Parmelee, says "I LOVE this car seat. so easy to get my daughter in and out. Definitely saves my back. My daughter loves it. Best money I’ve ever spent."
This car seat isn't just affordable, it also rotates in all three modes, rear-facing, forward-facing and booster seat. It makes getting your kid in and out of the car at any age a breeze. The best part? It also only needs to be installed once. Just install the base, then rotate the seat to the desired position and lock it in place.
This seat has been tested for side impacts and rollovers and its structural integrity holds up to two times the impact of a usual crash. Because you install the base first, then set the seat in it, many shoppers have asked if you can buy a separate base. This isn't an option yet.
This swiveling car seat offers moisture-wicking material to keep your kiddo cool. It also features 10 headrest positions, two forward-facing recline positions and three rear-facing recline positions. Reviewers say that the seat fabric is soft and that their kids seem extra comfortable in this seat.
Another bonus? Kids can stay rear-facing up to 50 pounds in this seat, which might take your kid to five years old. One thing to keep in mind is that while this seat can save your back by rotating from rear-facing, it doesn't rotate in any other position. We love the brand, which also made our list of the best double travel strollers.
Car seat harnesses and headrests and be tricky—especially when there's a squirmy kid sitting in the seat. This one can be adjusted with one hand and doesn't require you to rethread the straps into new positions, which is always a pain. It's also easy to make sure you get a secure install with this nifty model.
The seat cushion is extra cozy for a cuddly ride kids love. It also rotates 360 degrees from all positions, making getting kids of all sizes in and out easy.
This oh-so-stylish rotating car seat also comes with some impressive safety features. This includes a stabilizing leg attached to the base to keep the car seat in just the right position and a buckle sensor that sends updates to your phone about your child's safety.
This includes alerts for changes in temperatures, if the buckle has been unfastened and if you somehow forget your baby in the car. It accommodates children from four to 40 pounds rear-facing and 22 to 65 pounds forward-facing. It rotates 360 degrees from either position.
This 360-degree rotating car seat is made with GOTS-certified organic cotton inserts and harness covers. The fabric is also free of flame-retardant chemicals. And it's aircraft-certified, meaning your kiddo can ride in extra style on airplanes. We love the design and overall look of this sturdy, well-loved swiveling car seat.
Ventilation panels keep kids cool and cup holders are convenient for long car rides. Safety features include energy-absorbing foam, side impact protection and an all-steel frame. Plus, parts of the seat at machine washable.
Rotating car seats, also called swiveling car seats, are typically used from infancy through about 40 pounds. Some models offer extended use up to about 50 pounds. If you're wondering how many years that gets you, preschoolers are typically around 40 pounds—so you should be able to get a solid four to five years out of these brilliant models.
If you're looking for a one-and-done model, rotating car seats are definitely worth the price. They're often less expensive than buying two separate car seats at different stages of growth, and make it easier to put a single seat in the car and move on with life. Trust us, you'll have plenty of other things to shop for along the way.
"Rotating car seats have more advantages than disadvantages, and there is something for everyone," says Amador. "A car seat is an investment that is meant to save a child’s life in the event of a car accident. If it costs $300 or $600, it's still a bargain for the job they do and for the convenience that they delivered when compared to other baby gear."
"Although all convertible, all-in-one car seats, including the rotating ones, start at 4 pounds for newborn babies, it's quite difficult for a tiny infant to fit properly in one. My opinion is to wait a few months or till their reach the weight and height limits in their infant car seat before moving to rotating car seats. It gives time for baby's body to mature and fit better when harnessed. Best practice is to stay in rear-facing mode for as long as possible."
In terms of the time of year, hitting Presidents' Day sales, Memorial Day sales and Black Friday deals usually renders the best deals on swiveling car seats.
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