With all the choices out there, it can be hard to know what car seat will be best. All seats sold in the United States pass the same strict crash tests and are considered safe; the "safest seat" is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle, and that you will be able to install and use correctly every time.
Most parents start with an infant carrier-type seat and move the baby into a rear-facing convertible seat when they outgrow the infant seat, but there's nothing wrong with using a convertible right from the beginning, provided it fits your little one appropriately. Convertible seats get the name from the fact that they can face the rear of the vehicle, and then "convert" to forward-facing when the child outgrows the rear-facing mode.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the NHTSA recommend that children remain rear-facing until at least age 2, and as close to age 4 as possible. Rear-facing is five times safer than forward-facing for young children. Fortunately, all of the seats featured here will allow the average child to rear-face until age 4, and will accommodate virtually any child until at least age 2.
So before you go shopping, take a look at these options. One of them may be exactly what you're looking for.