The 6 Best Car Seats for Big Babies | Find the Right Seat for Large Children

A car seat is a staple in every parent’s life. From the day you give birth and return home from the hospital, all the way to when you drop your little ones at school, you’ll need a safe and comfortable car seat for your baby.

Yet, big babies with above average heights or weights might require special car seats. Not all seats will be comfortable and safe for them. Plus, choosing the right seat means your investment will last longer. For this reason, today, we’ll help you choose the best car seat for big babies. 





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Summary- The best car seats for big babies

Looking for the short version? Whether your baby is tall or pudgy, these car seats are our top choices. They will last the longest for your baby, meaning you’ll get your money’s worth while keeping your child safe and comfortable. 


Editor’s Choice: Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 Car Seat. The all-around best car seat for big babies

Click the image to see more details about the Graco SlimFit 3-in-1 on Amazon

Our top spot goes to a slim car seat that accommodates more-than-slim babies. Graco’s SlimFit 3-in-1 car seat (click to view on Amazon) is popular among many parents, and it’s not hard to see why; it’s sturdy, spacious, comfortable, and secure. It will last until your child is 9-10 years old, won’t break the bank, and fits in most cars. Above all, it holds Graco’s reputable name that parents trust.

The SlimFit car seat accommodates children up to 100 lbs. You can use the rear-facing harness for kids from 4 to 50 lbs. The forward-facing one works in the range of 22 to 65 lbs, and the highback booster fits kids from 40 to 100 lbs. Roomy and versatile. Perfect!

But what do all those weight ranges mean? Even if your child is in the 97th percentile for height or weight, they can ride rear-facing until at least age 3. And they can use the booster seat until at least age 9! That’s the longest-lasting seat on our list!

If you want your big baby to ride rear-facing for longer, then check out the Diono Radian 3R below.

But what are the downsides? The Graco SlimFit isn’t particularly slim. The car seat is rather bulky and a bit heavy- it weighs 19 lbs. Yet, it’s still compact compared to previous Graco models. Plus, it uses a cup design. That means the seat can rotate, allowing other passengers to sit comfortably. And it makes getting your child in even easier!

Safe and sturdy, this car seat has a durable steel frame that promises a 10-year lifespan. To ensure your baby’s safety, the car seat has gone through crash tests for rear, front, side, and rollover crashes. It did splendidly on all of them. 

When it comes to your baby’s comfort, Graco’s SlimFit excels by providing four recline options and 10 headrest positions. Your baby seriously has no right to complain! 

Pros 

  • Large babies can ride rear-facing until at least age 3
  • And large kids can use this seat until they’re 9 years old
  • Verified safety through passing multiple crash tests
  • Easy to get your child in and out 
  • Flexible with 10 headrest positions
  • Suitable for small cars

Cons

  • Some parents wish it had more recline positions
  • Installation can be difficult 

Runner Up: Diono Radian 3R 3-in-1 Car Seat. Best for rear-facing

Click the image to see more details about the Diono Radian 3R on Amazon

Once you lay your eyes  on Diono Radian’s car seat (click to view on Amazon), you can tell that this is a car seat for big kids. Not only does it look big, but it also has a maximum weight capacity of 120 lbs.

This car seat sports a clever design that fits in narrow cars. Yet it is still spacious enough to accommodate big babies. The 120 lb capacity is even higher than the Graco SlimFit. The rear-facing position is suitable for kids who weigh up to 45 lbs. The maximum height capacity is 57 inches. 

What does this mean? The Diono Radian 3R is the best car seat for big babies when parents want them to ride rear-facing as long as possible! Even a child in the 95th percentile will be able to rear face until at least age 4!

They won’t outgrow the forward facing seat until at least age 5, and can use the booster seat until at least age 9!

The Diono Radian 3R boasts a life span of 8-10 years that intends to accompany your kid from being a newborn till they outgrow the need for car seats altogether. According to parents’ reviews, it succeeds in doing so.

The Radian 3R doesn’t have a base. Instead, it sits directly car’s backseat, allowing for extended leg room. The car seat core is made of reinforced automobile-grade steel to ensure your child’s safety. The buckles are easy to fasten and give an audible click to assure your child is secured safely.

Pros

  • Large babies can ride rear-facing until at least age 4
  • And large kids can use this seat in booster mode until they’re 9 years old
  • Slim design allows you to fit three car seats in your backseat in any car
  • Straightforward buckle mechanism
  • Reasonable price 

Cons

  • Not the easiest to install
  • The rear-facing position is so reclined that it may not fit well in all cars

=Related post: Help your baby sleep better- check out our top choices for swings for large and tall babies here!=


Best Convertible Car Seat for Big Babies- Britax Boulevard ClickTight Car Seat

Click the image to see more details about the Britax Boulevard on Amazon

We love how easy it is to install the Britax Boulevard ClickTight car seat (click to see more details on Amazon). Easy installation isn’t just for the parents’ comfort, but it also contributes to your child’s safety. You will feel more secure knowing your child’s car seat is properly installed. Plus, if you plan to transfer the car seat between vehicles frequently, you’ll love how simple this is!

Babies and children don’t like to stay still, and they definitely won’t love staying in a car seat for a long commute. That’s why an adjustable car seat with multiple recline positions can help them feel comfortable. The Britax’s Boulevard offers 7 adjustable recline positions for your kid and 14 recline positions for their headrest, surpassing most car seats.

We love the super thick padding on this seat, making it even more comfortable! In rear-facing mode, you can fit babies who weigh 5 lbs up to 40 lbs, and 20 to 65 lbs for the forward-facing position. 

What do those specs mean? Even a in the 97th percentile for height or weight will fot comfortably in the Britax Boulevard rear- facing until at least age 3. And they can use it forward facing until at least age 5! This makes it our top choice for convertible car seats! 

Looking at car seat safety standards, the Boulevard performs exceptionally well. It uses Britax’s proprietary SafeCell technology with components that crumple to absorb the impact of crashes. Coupled with a rugged 5-point harness system, this technology keeps your kid safe.

Pros

  • Super easy installation
  • Features 14 different recline positions for your baby’s comfort
  • Stylish and available in various color combos
  • Reinforced steel frame enhanced with an impact-absorbing base

Cons

  • Pricey compared to its counterparts
  • Big size, not the best for small cars

Most Comfortable Car Seat: Maxi-Cosi Pria Max 3-In-1 Car Seat

Click the image to see more details on Amazon

If you’re willing to go through some trouble installing a heavy, bulky seat that’ll be comfortable for your big baby, then the Maxi-Cosi Pria is the one for you (click to check the price on Amazon). 

This car seat looks and feels comfortable with its fluffy, soft padding. It packs a 3-in-1 seating system with rear-facing from 4 to 40 lbs capacity, forward-facing up to 65 lbs, and booster seat mode with 100 lbs maximum capacity.

For parents with big children, this means their baby can use the Maxi Cosi rear facing until at least age two. And they won’t outgrow the forward facing seat or booster until they are five or six. 

The Maxi Cosi’s convenient features make it a great choice if you are planning on using a car seat for a shorter time. But do be prepared for a higher price tag!

What are these special features? First, the upper part of the seat has special side impact protection technology that’s made of GCells. And this seat has a fancy harness that uses a spring system to keep the straps out of your way when you take your little in and out of the seat. 

The chest buckle’s magnetic clip is super easy to deal with even single-handedly, which will be helpful on a busy day. Man, do we face a lot of these as parents!  

Pros

  • Plush fabric and thick padding keep your child comfortable
  • Machine washable and dryer-friendly fabric
  • Gigantic high seat booster is great for older kids
  • Ample legroom 

Cons

  • Depending on the model of car you have, this seat may be loose in the rear-facing position. Some parents correct this using a towel or pool noodle in the gap.
  • Bulky, so it won’t fit compact cars

Budget Pick: Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Car Seat

Click the image to see more details on Amazon

You don’t have to break your bank paying for your baby’s car seat. Safety 1st manufactures many different products with great quality at reasonable prices, and their Grow and Go 3-in-1 car seat is no exception (click to check the price on Amazon).

It’s important to remember that all car seats have to pass rigorous crash tests. That is to say, even a low cost seat has to meet high standards!

Like many car seats, the Grow and Go accommodates babies of 3 to 40 lbs in the rear-facing position, 22 to 65 lbs in the forward-facing position, and has a belt-positioning booster that supports kids from 40 up to 100 lbs. Quite impressive weight capacity for the price! 

To put it in other terms, in the Safety First car seat, a child in the 97th percentile for weight or height can ride rear-facing until at least age 2. Then they can use the forward facing or booster mode until at least age 6!

For rear-facing installation, you can literally put your baby in it when you’re out of the hospital. Thanks to the lumbar and head support pillows, your baby will feel comfortable and well supported in this cozy seat. 

You can easily clean car seat thanks to its machine-washable fabric. And, you can unsnap the seat pads to wash and dry them in the drier. 

All in all, this is a quality car seat with satisfying comfort and safety features. It gets the job done at a decent price point. 

Pros 

  • Side protection for the head
  • User-friendly QuickFit harness adjusts the headrest and harness
  • Machine washable fabric
  • An attractive price tag for such quality 
  • Lightweight compared to its counterparts

Cons

  • Only three recline positions available
  • Limited headrest adjustment options

Also Great: Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat

Click the image to see more details on Amazon

You didn’t think we’d finish this list without reviewing a car seat from Chicco, did you?

Chicco has been in the juvenile products business for decades, and people there know what they do quite well. As a parent, you can get a Chicco car seat, stroller, or travel system and be 100% that it’s safe, convenient, and comfortable.

This applies to their state-of-the-art NextFit Zip convertible car seat (click to see on Amazon). Its duo guard technology implements two layers of protection via a rigid shell and energy-absorbing foam. To ensure it’s properly attached to your car’s back seat, the “LockSure” belt system slides and locks easily into the seat.

On top of that, Chicco’s very own SuperCinch tightener multiplies the strength of the seat’s tightener with the vehicle’s latch system, contributing to the stability and security of your baby’s car seat. 

Holding your little one’s comfort at a high priority, Chicco’s NextFit Zip offers nine recline positions in both rear and front-facing modes. As for the parent’s comfort, we promise you you’ll enjoy a quick, straightforward installation process of this car seat! 

While we love the NextFit Zip, it won’t last quite as long for the larger than average baby. Parents can expect to use it rear- facing until at least age 2, and forward facing until at least age 5. That’s still a good amount of time, but not as long as other seats on this list. 

Pros

  • One of the safest and most comfortable seats in the rear-facing position
  • Machine washable fabric that’s easy to remove and reinstall 
  • Safe and plush cushioning that appeals to children
  • Impressive impact-absorbing padding

Cons

  • A little bit expensive
  • Compared to other seats on our lost, won’t last as long for taller or heavier babies

=Related Post: Read my in-depth review of the NextFit Zip here!=


Three Tips to Choose the Best Car Seat for Your Big Baby

To choose the best car seat for a big baby, follow these three simple tips.

Examine Your Car Thoroughly 

Take measurements of the backseat with your front seats at their usual positions. When we talk about car seats for big babies, there’s a big possibility that the car seat will be bulky. You need to ensure that it fits well in your back seat. This is especially true when your car is narrow.

Check how your car holds a car seat. There are two options, either using the car’s seat belt or using a LATCH system that is “Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children System.” Most new cars in the US come with the LATCH system. Understand which mechanisms your car has so that you can choose a convenient car seat.


Prioritize Features

You can easily become overwhelmed by the various features that car seats offer. Should you choose a two in one or three in one seat? Is a booster high back essential? Does a car seat for big babies have to be bulky? How much room do you have for a bulky seat? Will you be moving the car seat between cars and want something that’s easy to install? 

We suggest making a checklist. Safety comes first. We’re looking for a five-point harness system, impact-absorbing layering, and stable latching systems. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a rear- facing car seat until your child is at least 2 years old.  And the longer they can stay rear-facing, the safer they are!

Then, look for comfort options, namely reclining positions, cushioning, and extendable leg rests. Finally, you can check convertible options and three in ones to get good value for your money.

Although important, we wouldn’t put portability and lightweight on top of this list since we’re already after seats that accommodate larger children.


Low Maintenance

Your baby’s car seat is a big investment. You and your partner will be using it a lot, possibly with multiple kids. For these reasons, you need something that’s low maintenance. This means that you should look for a car seat that’s easy to install and clean.

Ease of installation contributes to safety.  The car seat should install snugly against your car,  without wiggle room, protecting your child from rollovers. When it comes to cleaning, look for machine washable and dryer friendly fabrics. The car seat will inevitably get dirty and require cleaning. Especially if you opt for a convertible (two-in-one) or three-in-one seat. Your child could be using this seat for ten years!


Are rear-facing car seats uncomfortable for tall children? 

You may wonder if your child is uncomfortable while rear facing. Especially if they are tall and they have to bend their legs. But children don’t mind this and it’s perfectly safe. Blogger Car Seats for the Littles has some great safety information and pictures of bigger children in rear-facing seats.

The short version is, your child is safest riding rear-facing as long as possible. They won’t be injured if they cross their legs or dangle them over the side of the seat. Having the protection of a rear-facing seat is much more important! 

That being said, the Graco Slim Fit Extend2Fit does give your child extra legroom!


References- Car seats for big babies

  • We used the CDC Growth Charts to find out heights and weights for heavy and tall babies and see how long each seat would last.

Wrap Up- Car seats for heavy and tall babies

best car seats for big babies pin

A car seat is a serious investment that you need to be well prepared for. And choosing the best car seat for big babies is an even, well, bigger challenge. We hope we’ve helped you make up your mind through our product recommendations and how-to-choose tips and tricks.

Happy carpooling with your baby!

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