If you’re concerned about when your baby will outgrow the UPPAbaby MESA infant car seat, you’re not alone. New parents are often inundated with baby gear requirements as soon as they find out that a little one is on the way.
Babies outgrow everything, from clothes to cribs, at a rather alarming rate. So it’s often a good idea to do a little research first into those products you’re eyeing to make sure you’re getting some bang for your buck.
When Does a Baby Outgrow the UPPABaby MESA Car Seat?
According to UPPAbaby, your baby will outgrow the MESA car seat as soon as their weight is above 35 pounds. The MESA user manual also sets a height limit of 32 inches. This means that there are two ways to outgrow your MESA car seat – weighing over 35 pounds or measuring over 32 inches in height, whichever comes first.
These limits are relatively standard height and weight recommendations for rear-facing car seats.
However, even given these specifications, it can still be tough to say exactly when your baby will outgrow their rear-facing infant seat and graduate to a toddler seat.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using growth charts from the World Health Organization for kids two and under. According to the WHO’s growth chart for girls two and under, the average infant girl will weigh 25 pounds by age two. For boys, the average is 27 pounds by age two.
So in terms of fitting your kid into the UPPAbaby MESA, chances are good that they’ll be under the weight threshold for quite a while.
However, this isn’t the whole story. How fast your baby grows will depend on your genetics, your partner’s genetics, and the gestational age of your baby at birth. Those are factors that are hard to predict and account for.
How Long Can You Use the UPPAbaby MESA?
Height is another factor that will help you determine how long you have until your baby will outgrow the UPPAbaby MESA.
The UPPAbaby MESA isn’t one of UPPAbaby’s convertible car seats; it is rear-facing only. Rear-facing seats don’t offer much leg space, but they offer maximum impact protection. Safety vs. comfort can sometimes be a tough call.
So you know your baby will outgrow the car seat at some point, but when?
Height vs. Weight Thresholds
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that parents keep their child rear-facing as long as possible, for 12 months minimum. It also recommends that parents follow manufacturer guidelines when it comes to seating a child safely and comfortably in a rear-facing seat.
Even though the UPPAbaby MESA weight limit is 35 pounds, most children will reach the 32-inch height threshold long before the weight requirement is met.
To return to the CDC growth chart, the average girl will hit 32 inches around 18 months (boys around 16 months). After that point, it’s no longer safe to use the MESA.
So if your baby is consistently at or above the 50th percentile, chances are that they will outgrow their UPPAbaby MESA or any other infant seats that are rear-facing before age two.
Realistically, most parents can expect to be able to use the UPPAbaby MESA for about a year and a half, provided that the car seat is still within its expiration date.
What Are the Child Size Limits of the UPPAbaby MESA?
The UPPAbaby MESA can fit a child 35 pounds and under or a child 32 inches and under. Your child will likely reach the UPPAbaby MESA height threshold before the weight limit.
Putting a child in a car seat that is too small can be dangerous. If you’ve measured and weighed your child but are still unsure about fit, you can try consulting with the NHTSA’s Car Seat Finder tool for help.
The UPPAbaby MESA user manual suggests that parents should discontinue using the MESA once their child’s head is less than one inch from the top of the headrest (after fully extending).
How Long Is the UPPAbaby MESA Good For?
Typically, children will outgrow the UPPAbaby MESA height limit between 16-18 months. It may be sooner if your child is above the 50th percentile in either height or weight.
However, keep in mind that the general recommendation is that all children under 12 months should be in a rear-facing seat, so your UPPAbaby MESA will be an excellent fit for at least the first year.
If you’re planning on continuing to grow your family, you’ll probably end up storing your UPPAbaby MESA and waiting until the next bundle of joy arrives. And if you’re recycling the MESA as a hand-me-down, just be sure to check the expiration date listed on the product. MESA car seats expire seven years from the manufactured date.
What Makes the UPPAbaby MESA Such a Popular Car Seat?
What exactly is it about the UPPAbaby MESA that’s so popular? Here are a few features that go a long way in making this model one of the top choices.
One of the critical features of the UPPAbaby MESA is its self-retracting LATCH connectors. This connector feature allows you to install the car seat with minimal effort on your part but with the reassurance that it’s working correctly.
Another popular feature is the UPPAbaby MESA’s tightness indicator. The indicator window will change color from red to green once the car seat base has been installed correctly. The MESA also features level indicators on either side of the car seat base, helping you to install the base correctly before adding the infant carrier.
Although the car seat base is easy to install, you can use the UPPAbaby MESA with a standard seat belt as well.
Perfect for Preemies
The MESA is also a popular choice for small infants and preemies. Each model comes with an infant insert to help fit your child in the seat using the correct harness position.
The harness also works in tandem with the adjustable headrest, saving parents time and headaches worrying about proper car seat strap placement for their little passengers.
How Practical Is the UPPAbaby MESA?
Gauging how practical a purchase the UPPAbaby MESA is can be complicated. Infant car seats are more about safety than practicality, so you’ll have to do the pros and cons game when it comes to figuring out if the MESA or any other car seat is the right choice for you and your baby.
The Great Debate
Car seats generally come in either two types: infant or convertible. The infant car seats vs. convertible car seats debate rages on because both sides have their advantages and disadvantages. So let’s make a side-by-side comparison to help you weigh the pros and cons.
Infant Car Seats
Infant car seats are exactly what they sound like—car seats that are designed for infants. The UPPAbaby MESA and other seats like kit are made to accommodate infants in the safest way possible. So this means that everything about them, from car seat foam to the incline angle, is geared towards transporting small babies.
Convertible Car Seats
Convertible car seats grow with your child. Convertible seats can generally go from rear-facing to front-facing with a few adjustments and can often accommodate a child well into their preschool years.
The only drawback is that many convertible car seats aren’t suitable for tiny infants less than 14 pounds. So if you’re scouting around for the best car seats for preemies or small bundles, convertible models usually won’t come up.
So is the UPPAbaby MESA a good investment, or will your baby outgrow it too quickly? Deciding on a car seat can be a lot to weigh, and there’s a lot to make a case for the MESA.
However, one thing is for sure—keeping your baby safe and secure is your highest priority, and you can rest assured that UPPAbaby gear will do that for you.
Paulo is a passionate dad who founded Wumblers to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He graduated from Concordia University and worked as a test engineer for over a decade. Paulo loves dad jokes and craft beer.
Learn more about Paulo and Wumblers here.