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Is it illegal for a FF carseat to go in the front seat? - Page 3

post #41 of 89
Oh yeah, now that you mention it, I remember my sister had my niece in the front seat back then.

To the OP, I would do it with my child. In a normal situation, I do not put my kids in the front. But you know your child. I have driven long distances with my daughter in the back, but she was one who slept for hours in her carseat. Now if I were driving all that way with my son, I can tell you there would be incredible crying that would never, never, never stop if he had to spend a long time back there and could not see me. I would go insane and eventually drive us off a cliff. Now that is unsafe.
post #42 of 89
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Yeah, we definitely do. And, thanks to Dallas C., we got a Britax Marathon because I honestly don't think booster seats look too particularly safe and I'm paranoid. We have a Prizm, so anyone who sits in back is kind've jammed in there, but hey -- if there's a "safest place" in a car, wherever that would happen to be, however much she or I or anyone might personally dislike it, that's where she'll go. To heck with my convenience.
I feel like we've only got a 3 seater now, ever since Dd was born. She sits in the middle, but I don't think it's safe for anyone to sit back there with her. If we were in an accident and an adult was sitting next to the carseat, just jammed in there, then they (and possibly Dd) would sustain great injuries from the carseat (or knocking into Dd).

I was in a terrible accident about 15 years ago and know what it is to have a great impact, have things fly through the car, to break your face and your knees (while wearing saftey belt)... I just feel like no adult can sit back there with Dd, so I was wondering if in those cases it would be safer to have Dd on the side and an adult on the other side. I'd like to do this rather than taking two cars sometimes.
post #43 of 89
I am just glancing through this post--but I noticed that one person mentioned something along the lines of traveling with a little one and something about if they are only going 20 minutes of less driving distance then they aren't as concerned in comparison to long trips. I am over simplifying and paraphrasing like mad here--but there seems to be a point that is missing there and that is that most accidents happen within a one mile radius of the home, and most of those that are fatal are within a ten mile radius of the home. Don't be lulled into thinking that just because you are only jotting off to the market around the corner that somehow you are safer than long distance trips.
To the OP--please consider renting a car (unless this is a one way permanent move across the country) and/or renting/buying a car luggage rack.
There is nothing more important than your child's safety, even if it is inconvenient for your travel.
If you are planning to travel over the holidays, remember that the DUI rate goes up and that the number of people on the road is practically doubled or even more.
Be safe.
post #44 of 89
i dont have an air bag in my car. i have traveled before alone with ds and i put him in the front with me. if i didnt i would have had to stop every 10 miles to pick up a dropped toy, cup, book or snack.

i would be more afraid to be reaching in the back seat and have an accident than to have my ds at arms reach next to me.

i dont believe it is against the law where i live, or anywhere else, but it might be a good idea to check the laws through the states you plan on driving through.
post #45 of 89
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GranoLLLy-girl
To the OP--please consider renting a car (unless this is a one way permanent move across the country) and/or renting/buying a car luggage rack.
There is nothing more important than your child's safety, even if it is inconvenient for your travel.
Why would I rent a car, rather than drive my own? Sorry, I'm just not sure whats wrong with using my own car? : Also, I'm too young... most places want you to be 25. ALSO, yes, its a one-way permanent move across the country.

And it really isn't just about being inconvenient. I just honestly don't know how I can drive 8+ hours a day (which is already going to take me much longer than 8 hours, with stopping for dd), with an unhappy baby. I feel like I'll have a panic attack when I think of being stuck in the middle of Iowa with a screaming baby, feeling absolutely exhausted, and not yet having reached wherever I am going to sleep for the night. That is terrifying. If putting her in the front is going to make it a bit easier and safer, for us to get through this trip.... I'm going to consider doing it. She often throws her toys where I can't reach them, and I wind up in crazy positions, frantically trying to find a toy while I try to stay on the road. If I pulled over every time a toy went flying, I would never get anywhere. @.@

I just think that while I am on the road, it will be very important that I am able to get to where I'll be sleeping each night. As it is, I'll be trying to find people that might give me a place to sleep on the way (because I cannot afford a motel every night.... if it comes to it, I'll end up sleeping in my car, and THAT makes me feel like panicking too!!).

I'm just really trying to figure out how we can manage this trip with the least amount of stress as possible. I am very intimidated at the thought of driving across the country with a BABY!! She is great in the car, honestly.... but she can only take so much. Its going to be really hard.

Anyway, I am not positive yet if I will be making the trip.... but if I do, it will be soonish, and so I need to get this figured out.

Thank you very very much for all the information. I really appreciate it.... and seriously, thank you to everyone for being kind, regardless of what you think!!
post #46 of 89
How old is your Jetta?? Personally I totally know what you are saying--I am a firm believer that if I am stressed and worried that my chances of being in an accident are increased... and this entire argument is based on the chances of you being in an accident, lets face it, you could get there with her unbuckled completely--if you don't have an accident, the baby is none the worse for wear. Also, while I think the argument of "carseats used to be the norm in the front seat" can be combatted with "when we know better we do better" Fact is, some car accidents result in a completely demolished front seat and some result in a completely demolished back seat. Frankly, I think that if my dd was seriously injured in a car accident in the back seat that I'd spend the same amount of time wondering if I'd have been more attentive to the road had I been in close contact with my dd. Also, much of the injuries incurred by persons riding in the front seat during car accidents are to the legs and pelvis--neither of which is an issue if your dd is rear facing in the front seat.
There are certain risks I'm prepared to take in the interest of a happy child--no carseat or in a sling attached to a passenger or the driver--I'm not willing to take. Happy baby in the front during a long drive verses miserable baby (which tends to translate to miserable and distracted mama) in the back seat is a risk I'm prepared to take (although I hope not to have to make that choice)
The one thing I'd ensure though is that your airbag is disabled by the dealership--then I'd have it checked after--we took our truck into a different mechanic and didn't tell him the airbag had been dismantled--he asked us about it--that way I knew it had in fact been turned off--KWIM?

Lastly, I gotta say, you are one strong mama--at your age, moving cross country with a young babe would have been too much to even consider. I'd just like to say that I've read your other posts here and I think Janae has one strong mama for a role model.
post #47 of 89
and if you want to come through Canada, I'd be happy to put you up for the night
post #48 of 89
To the OP, I wasn't implying that there was something wrong with your car--I was only thinking of your original post regarding space issues.
We always rented a larger car when we traveled on long trips because our three large dogs would not fit in our cars.
That's all.
post #49 of 89
I'm guilty of doing this...

I was going on a 5 hours trip with dd (at the time 6 mos) alone and I put her in the front seat rearfacing with the seat as far back as possible and the airbag turned off.

It was worth the risk...well nothing is worth the risk when it comes to my child...but if she was RF in the back seat, I would have had to pull over more often on the side of the highway. Also I would have had to lean over and reach in the back to get her pacifier back in and/or put a toy back in her lap....she hates the car. I would rather her be in the front seat rear facing (somehow I felt safer since we have a big suburban) than me reaching in the back swerving all over the highway. Everything has a risk. I never did check out traffic laws in the various states I traveled through.

If I was driving cross country with my dd, (this is to the OP), I wouldn't think twice about having her in the front seat with me...but that's just me. Pray to her angels to watch over her.
post #50 of 89
This si just a thought, with no warranty as to accuracy or even making sense since i don't *really* the science here.

But, I was thinking about this yesterday and thought that since you will probably be driving on large, high-speed, divided freeway almost the entire way, might this mitigate to a degree teh need to have the carseat in the back?

I've read, mostly in connection with airbags, that head-on collisions are what make the front seats more dangerous. *If* this is true, then the type of driving you are doing is far, far less likely to lead to a head-on collision than urban or suburban or rural driving on two or three lane roads.

Seems even collisions with animals (deer) are rarely head-on since one often has time to swerve and the animal--that has better control than a car-- is often trying to get away, however ineffectually.

Just a thought.
post #51 of 89
I'm sorry -- in all good conscience I have to speak up about this. It's up to you to care or not, listen or not, take it into consideration or not.

I see lots of posts trying very hard to justify or rationalize what the posters themselves know to be an unsafe (or at least unsafER) option.

DallasChildren has already come on to speak about the difficulty of disabling airbags.

Someone else spoke of how a woman thought she had disabled the airbags and now her child is dead.

I'm not an expert in disabling my airbags and I'd frankly be afraid to try -- what if I couldn't disable them? What if I couldn't disable one of them without disabling both of them, leaving myself vulnerable? How do I un-disable them when I get to where I'm going? How do I know I've done it correctly?

I don't know -- do you know?

The fact of the matter is that even if your child is going to scream the whole way, they still need to be in the safest seat in the car. The only ethically reasonable exception I can see is if the child's medical condition is so very frail that they basically need constant monitoring, and the situation you have described is not in that category.

Hey, I'm AP all the way. We breastfed for years; we cosleep, we sling. I not only have sympathy for a crying baby and hate the notion of CIO, but I also have sympathy for the general rattle-your-cage teeth-on-edge delight of driving to the soundtrack symphony of sobbing.

That said, I have two words: Ear plugs.

If that won't work, here is what worked for us: Get someone else to drive and you stay in the back seat with the baby. Breastfeeding in a moving vehicle while you are belted and the baby is in her seat is definitely possible. Dr. Sears' book describes how to do it.

If it's a choice between tuning out your child's crying and putting them in a less-than-safest seat, I'm all for the first choice. I'm not meaning to sound callous, but to me, the risk involved is absolutely not worth it under the circumstances you have described. Their life is more important.

Thanks for listening, and no matter what you choose, good luck to you both.
post #52 of 89
I drove cross country with a car load and ds a few times when he was young.

Now granted, he didn't hate the car like ds2 (we have a 30 mile radius limit with him ), but he wasn't thrilled about the long trips.

But...I got him special things for the trip--like a leappad and special snacks and toys and things.

And I kept a HUGE arsenal of sipps and snacks and toys up front with me.
If something dropped, I didn't try to reach it (I'm short!!! No way I could reach back there AND reach the gas pedal!! )
I would just replace it with something new

NONE of this would be worth trying with ds2....but his being in the front seat wouldn't make a difference either--he just hates being restrained and can only take the carseat for 30-35 minutes at a time.

But...would some of these be options to try with your dd?
animal crackers and juicy juice (we never had either at home on a regular basis) got us through a lot of rough spots.

Well, that and stopping at every rest area to play. It got old after a while, but we always made it to where we were going.

I'm not one who could do ear plugs or anything like that...if I got too stressed to drive, we took the nearest exit and took a break.

Do you HAVE to have pre-set stop areas at night, or can you play it by ear?
I always called a few places for quotes, but never made reservations--too much added stress that way.

I wonder if anyone ever did a chain on MDC overnights on a cross country trip...
I think it would be cool! (as long as I also knew where a nearby motel was so if it didn't work out I wasn't trapped!)

post #53 of 89
Originally Posted by shannon0218
You can go RF in the front seat provided you turn the airbags off. My dd was rear facing in the front seat if there was only one adult in the car until her reflux was better under control. We almost lost her because she vomitted in the back seat and had a mouth full of puke and couldn't get it out. I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn't had the dog with me that morning-I would not have pulled over if the dog hadn't bit my arm after I told her to quit barking. We got a note from our pediatrician but were never asked for it--I did get some pretty nasty looks from people who of course didn't know our situation though.
My son used to get car sick but I had a mirror over his head and could see him the whole time. When he got sick every time we got in the car, I turned him around.

I would take the train. Not for safety reasons ( I don't feel particularly safe on trains, either) but because I can't imagine strapping a one year onld in a car for several eight hour days. Just the 2 hours to LA just about does me in. On the train we can read, eat, play, sleep, etc.
post #54 of 89
Thread Starter 
Shannon -- Thanks for your reply! And if I was driving through canada, I would love to stay with you... thanks for the offer. My jetta is a 1998.

granollly -- oh okay, just had me confused! my car needs to get to ny with me, so i have to drive it.

cb -- not really going to argue... so just a couple things. im not going to just disable the air bag myself, or something. i am told that some cars are made so that the airbag can be turned on or off. i still need to look into it.... but i would make absolutely sure that the airbag was turned off, and put the seat back as far as it goes.

also, i cannot do ear plugs. if for no other reason then -- they wont work, im sure i could still hear her. even if i couldnt hear... i would know that she was screaming. in fact.... just earlier today, she screamed on the way home from the store. we were almost home, so i tried to make it... yeah, bad idea. she sounded absolutely traumatized. it was horrible. toward the end of it, she started to lose her voice... but that didnt stop her. she is the never give up type of baby. ... and, by the end of a nearly week-long trip... of CIO in the backseat? she'll probably ACTUALLY be traumatized. that is just too much. i would honestly be afraid that she would not be the same baby when we arrive in ny.

unreal -- yes, i will need pre-set areas to stop at because we cannot afford motels. i will be staying with friends... and yes, when it comes to it, i will be asking on mdc for places to sleep along the way. i dont yet have a trip planned out, and i don't know where i'll be driving/stopping yet. i have a couple people i can stay with so far, but i'll be asking here for the rest.

anyway, i need pre-set stops, because i'll have to make all the plans before i leave.

i will be stopping a LOT on the trip... as much as she needs. im just afraid of the times when she's happy while we're stopped, but screaming as soon as we start driving. at least if shes in the front, i can reach her in order to play with her, give her toys, talk to her... SEE her... etc.

flor -- cant take the train, my car [and my stuff] needs to get to ny too.
post #55 of 89
i haven't read all the posts...so I apologize if someone said this before.

For one adult...it would be cheaper for you to fly, since your baby can fly free. We used to drive from TN/KY to RI and figured we spent about $100 on gas each way. It is about 1000 miles/18-20 hours of driving, so you would be going much further Plus, we ended up spending a lot on meals since we ended up eating out more. Even with packing food and finding grocery stores, we still ended eating in resteraunts. You also mentioned that you will be staying with friends and such...but for a week-long car trip...it might be hard to find friends located strategically all along the way...so you may have to factor in 1 or 2 motel nights especially if the extra 2 hours to reach your destination just seems too much and your are exhausted. Plus, with your car full of stuff, you may not want to take up valuable space with a cooler and lots of food.

I don't know how good your car is.. but driving that long distance would add a lot of miles/wear and tear. You could sell your car in Portland and than buy a new one in NY. I realize that isn't an easy option and is a lot of stress. But, a LOONG car trip on a 7-year old car is a lot of stress too. I would be worried about breaking down by youself..or something like that You could even sell a lot of your clothes and stuff and buy new things. Basically anything which you can replace easily and cheaply through thrift stores etc...I would sell/get rid of. The rest you can ship or try to carry on the plane.

We moved from TN to RI and we got rid of tons of stuff. We did drive our cars up (but we had 2 adults and my dd1 was too old to fly free...so by the time you pay for 3 people to fly it was too expensive..plus that was 2 years ago when gas was cheaper)...but we got rid of a house-full of stuff. You would be suprised how much stuff you have you really don't need. Look at it as a chance to declutter/simplify.

I also wouldn't count on her being that much happier or it being less distracting in the front. She will still need to be strapped in. It's not as though you could breastfeed or read stories or actively play with her. The most you could do is maybe talk/sing (which you could do with her in the back) and give her snacks/toys. And, if she does cry anyway..it would be much less distracting in the back than the front. It wouldn't be safe to always be reaching over to her while driving anyway. How much soothing could you really do while you were driving anyway??
post #56 of 89
I like the idea of having someone drive with you that would be willing to buy their ticket home once you reached NYC. Anyone in your group of friends or in your family that would be willing to help you make this trip.

I'm sickened to hear about the 1 year old dying from a deployed airbag that was not supposed to deploy. Darn, now that I've read that, I won't be using the front seat again. Ignorance worked the first time but now...
post #57 of 89
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
If it's a choice between tuning out your child's crying and putting them in a less-than-safest seat, I'm all for the first choice. I'm not meaning to sound callous, but to me, the risk involved is absolutely not worth it under the circumstances you have described.
Again, the safEST choice is to never go anywhere. I assume you don't make the safEST choice every day of your life. No one knows the real numbers, but the OP may be looking at trading an accident-death risk of .00001 for one of .00002, and in exchange not traumatizing her child for a week straight.
post #58 of 89
well...I don't know where in NY you are going...but if you pass us (we're in NY) you're welcome to crash here--as long as you don't mind dogs and cats
And we've got a big yard to run around in for a few hours to stretch legs

Maybe you'll win the lottery before you have to leave so you can get someone to drive your car for you while you and dd fly...and then your friend could fly back home (airlines used to allow you to transfer a ticket to another person for a fee. I don't know if they still do or not) That sounds like the ideal way to get everything and yourself to NY...
but those darn winning lottery tickets are so elusive

Have you tried driving anywhere with DD in the front? Do you know if it will make a difference?
I'm just so sure it wouldn't help at all with ds2. He just hates the car and once he is done, he is DONE.
Maybe once you find out about the airbag, you can do a test trip someplace to see if you need to get some more ideas and stuff, kwim?

We did drive from NY to Chicago with him when he was 3 months old. We had to stop every hour for about 15-30 minutes and I had to sit in the back with him (NIBS? Nursing in Backseat? ) By the time we were halfway home, he just screamed if we so much as sat him in his seat....poor kiddo
I think we are all scarred from that experience...but we did survive it
post #59 of 89
If you could afford it, flying there and shipping your car would probably be the easiest option. When I moved from Boston to FL last year I flew ($69 for DS and I) and shipped my car (packed FULL of stuff) for $400. It was worth the extra $ to do so. I sold a lot of my things at a yard sale before moving and used that $$ to afford shipping my car.

My DS is almost 3 and I would not feel safe having him in the front seat. Too many what-if's. I would just stop frequently and do my best to keep him happy during the ride. We've taken many long car rides together from age 3 months on up. Babies R Us sells those plastic interlocking rings, and I connected those to a few toys and clipped them to the car seat. That way if he dropped a toy it would still be attached to his car seat. To keep him entertained I use lullaby CDs, children's music CDs (Laurie Berkner band), I tell him stories, sing to him, pull over and let him run around in a rest area, etc. If you don't mind driving at night then try leaving shortly before bed time, then hopefully DC will sleep for a large portion of the trip.

There is no real "easy" answer to this question. It's a judgement call YOU have to make for yourself. I hope you have a safe and easy trip mama!
post #60 of 89
Originally Posted by srain
Again, the safEST choice is to never go anywhere. I assume you don't make the safEST choice every day of your life. No one knows the real numbers, but the OP may be looking at trading an accident-death risk of .00001 for one of .00002, and in exchange not traumatizing her child for a week straight.
Actually, the numbers are known - at least pretty closely. The link I provided before says that riding in the rear seat increases safety in a collision by up to 25%. That's a far cry from .00001 or .00002.

And yes, it's true that going anywhere is a risk. It's also not practical for the majority of the population. The point is that you should minimize risk where you can. The OP can't be sure that her daughter is going to be traumatized by riding in the back seat. She can be sure that her daughter will be statistically less safe in the front seat (even moreso if she's front-facing).
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