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Ugh, who gets a new seat?!?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So, almost 4 year old is RF in radian in one of the captains chairs in my van.  Baby (just over 1 y.o.) in chicco infant seat yet.  8 year old is out of booster seat (90 pound giant!).    I was thinking of another radian in the other captain chair.  But then 8 year old has to crawl under them rear facing to get into back and it takes him a bit (he's a bit kid).  Or I could have him come in passenger door and walk to back I suppose.   Dripping snow shoes make me feel queasy :)

 

Or I was thinking of FF the almost 4 year old.   He is desperate to turn around and asks daily (he sits FF in my husbands pick up due to space issues).  But then why I am paying more money for extended RF of a radian?!?! 

 

So, do I just get the middle one a new FF and put in him the middle back seat (I could buckle him FF through the sliding door, but not RF in the back row).  Baby could have the radian and 8 year old could sit in the other captain.

 

Oy.  I don't know what to do!  I believe in extended RF with all my heart, but does that mean you HAVE to do it to the spec of the seat?!

 

Is the Nautilus still a good seat? We liked that for my 8 year old once upon a time!

post #2 of 8

Most people would be comfortable forward facing an almost 4 year old.  If you want to continue rear-facing him, the Radian is no longer the "only" extended rear-facing option. 

 

If you want to continue rear-facing the 3 year old, you could consider:

Graco My Size/ Headwise/ Size 4 Me (same shell, different fabric/ headwings/ padding and sold at different stores).  Highest height limit rear-facing, 40 pounds rear-facing.  Even the tallest children will outgrown this seat by weight, not height.  It runs $170-200, but goes on sale down to $145.

 

Radians. R100 is good for most kids (because they hit the 1.5" to shell or 44" height limit by the time they hit the 40 pound weight limit).  If you want the headwings, then the RXT or if you have a heavier child the R120.

 

Chicco NextFit. In between the Radians & Gracos in rear-facing height, 40 pound weight.  This might be a good choice for your little one--- it's very cushy and easy to get a great recline. Runs $300, on sale as low as $225.

 

Clek Foonf--- unless your child is very heavy, this one doesn't make a lot of sense (rear-faces to 50 pounds/ 43").  Most kids will get a little bit more time rear-facing in this seat based on height than the Radian because it has a taller shell (even though it has the lower height limit).

 

If you are going to forward face the 3 year old, then a combination seat makes sense.  If you like the Graco Nautilus, those are still well liked.  There is the Graco Argos as well, which is the Nautilus with a no rethread harness (and costs around $200).  Depending on your 3 year old's stats, you could look at the Britax Frontier, which has top slots that are 1.5-2" higher than the Nautilus (so will last longer as a higher seat) but does not convert to a backless booster.

 

If you shop at WalMart, another option is the Harmony Defender.  It's a "3-in-1" like the Nautilus, but narrower and only $100 with a no rethread harness.

 

What are the stats on your 3 year old?  How close is he to the top of the Radian?

 

You have probably already done so, but here is the 5 point test to make sure your 8 year old is safe out of a booster.  Height is generally more important than weight in being done with a booster, with most pre-pubescent kids still being safer/ having a better belt fit with a booster:

http://www.carseat.org/Boosters/630.htm

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Three year old is 33#, not sure height. 8 year old is 90# and 5'2"....in the rear of my van with a booster it puts his neck at the top if the head rest fully extended, without the strap fits fine. He does booster in my moms car because he fits in there differently.
My middle one isn't a huge kid. Could rf until he is 6+ likely. But it would be inconvenient. I guess I'm feeling hypocritical because I strongly urge extended rf and I'm considering turning my kid before he maxes the seat. Parenting guilt....
post #4 of 8
Can you take out a captains chair and put one rf child on the backseat along with the oldest?
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by the2amigos View Post

Thanks! Three year old is 33#, not sure height. 8 year old is 90# and 5'2"....in the rear of my van with a booster it puts his neck at the top if the head rest fully extended, without the strap fits fine. He does booster in my moms car because he fits in there differently.
My middle one isn't a huge kid. Could rf until he is 6+ likely. But it would be inconvenient. I guess I'm feeling hypocritical because I strongly urge extended rf and I'm considering turning my kid before he maxes the seat. Parenting guilt....

 

It's really your choice.  Is your 3 year old average height?  What shirt size?  I only ask because you could definitely go with a Graco Headwise/ Size 4 Me/ My Size 70) which would get you a LONG time rear-facing for less $ than the Radian.  If he is short-average then there is a good chance that he could go directly from either seat (forward facing at that point) to a booster, depending on when you tend to booster (skipping the combination seat).  The Radian allows shoulders to go over the top slots forward facing, so he'd have to be tall and/or long torsoed to need to a combination seat after that.  Financially, keeping him rear-facing will not cost "much" more.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chel View Post
Can you take out a captains chair and put one rf child on the backseat along with the oldest?

 

Great idea!  Another option is to put the RF child in the Radian in the backseat since that seat can brace against the captain's chair anyway.

 

I completely understand your feelings about ERF and how to decide if enough is enough (especially with a small child).  While parents of large children have it harder finding seats, parents of small children actually have to make a decision at some point if it's time to forward face.  Personally, I aim for a minimum of four, so I'd try to keep him rear-facing, but I know that biologically there is probably not a lot of difference between 3.75 and 4 (that said, the bone ossification of the spine occurs between 3-6, so while the huge leap in safety *probably* occurs between 2-3, it is still safer to rear-face as long as possible).  At some point, though,  you'll need to take his preference into account as well.  It's a hard choice!

post #6 of 8

We decided at age four to front face our DD in her radian.  It just works better for us.  It is up to you, but if it was me, I would front face the radian.  Then when your little one outgrows her seat, RF the radian for her and get whatever is size appropriate for your middle child.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by anj_rn View Post

We decided at age four to front face our DD in her radian.  It just works better for us.  It is up to you, but if it was me, I would front face the radian.  Then when your little one outgrows her seat, RF the radian for her and get whatever is size appropriate for your middle child.

 

The youngest child is already a year, so I was assuming that they were very close to needing to move up a seat anyway.  If not, waiting until the infant seat is outgrown is a great idea.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well, baby is 13 months and just soaked his infant seat with milk (I never give him anything but water, but we were late..... ugh). You guys gave me some options to ponder thanks!!
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