An infant should be forward-facing after 1 year and weigh at least 20 pounds to reduce the risk of cervical spine injury in the event of a crash. Many infant-only seats and convertible seats are tested up to 20 or 22 pounds rear-facing, which is a problem when an infant reaches 20 to 22 pounds before their first birthday. Fortunately, there are seats for weights higher than 22 pounds in the rear-facing position.
Important: Check labels on car seats to confirm the weight limits! Read both the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner's manual for the correct use and installation of your car seat.