5 month old outgrowing her infant car seat?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When we first started registering for stuff for baby we didn't really think much on the aspect of car seats. We just figured we would put down a travel stroller that came with the infant car seat. Looking back, I would have passed on the stroller all together and gotten a converter seat. Oh well. Next time, I guess.

But here is my dilemma. DD is only five and half months old. She is rather thin (gaining weight at a steady pace though) but very long (which I assume makes up for skinniness) (as of the 3rd she was 16lbs and 26.5 in). In fact, she is so long that her feet just about hang out the bottom of her car seat. And we had to move to the higher straps in the car seat when she was only about two months old. Everything says to keep baby in an infant seat, facing backwards, until 20lbs and 12 months. But what do I do if she outgrows it? At the rate she's been growing - about 2 lbs and 2 inches a month) she won't fit in this car seat by the end of April.

She sits up on her own perfectly, grabs for things when you hold them up for her and then holds on to them (especially her dolly), tries and usually succeeds at holding her own bottle (long story, but it is breast milk in there at least), has been standing while holding on to someone's finger since she was two months old, hasn't needed neck support since she was 10 days old (when she was laying on her tummy, on my tummy, she would lift her head up and keep it up. she has always had strong neck muscles); she even has at least six teeth! One has fully cut and two are cutting now and the other three that we can see (she may have more, who knows with her) are still buds. She really is superbaby.
When can I - or really, when should I - put her in another car seat? I really would like to find a toddler like car seat that faces backwards but I don't think the converters work that way. I'm really at a loss. What do I do?

TIA

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#2 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 01:03 AM
 
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We moved my extremely large dd to a rear facing convertible car seat at around 3 months. She was around 27 inches, but her head was super close to the top of the seat. She has done well in the RF recarro since then. I was just too nervous to keep her in the infant one since her head was so close to the top.....

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#3 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 01:10 AM
 
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She needs to go in to a convertable seat that rear faces until either 33 or 35lbs. Some examples (so you can do a search to see what I'm saying) are the Britax Marathon, Britax Boulevard and the First Year True Fit (my favorite of the bunch.)

You need to move her when she either reaches the weight limit of your car seat (probably 22lbs) or when she has only one inch above her head.

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#4 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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It's not at all unusual for a baby to outgrow the infant bucket at this age. What she needs next is a convertible seat that will rearface until she has outgrown the rearfacing limits! Forget everything you have heard about "1 year and 20 pounds", and keep her rearfacing until she has outgrown the limits.

Her next seat will stay RF until she outgrows it in one of two ways: she hits the 30-35 pound RF limit (depends on the seat), or her head has less than one inch of hard shell above it. Then the convertible seat can turn around to be forward-facing to at least 40 pounds, and up to 80 pounds, depending on the seat.

Watch this video to learn more about why she should remain RF: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2DVfqFhseo

For the best value for your money, choose a seat with high harness limits. One that harnesses RF to 35 pounds and FF to 65 pounds is about as good as you can get. There are some that FF to higher limits, but 35 lbs RF is as high as the seats in the US go. That should get her to at least 2.5 years, maybe longer.

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#5 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 01:24 AM
 
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Also, a reminder that her legs hanging over the end of the seat are okay.

Jessica, mama to Emma, 7, Mattie, 5.5 and Lilly, 3 and someone new this Halloween-ish.

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#6 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 09:10 AM
 
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My DD outgrew her infant seat at 4-5 months. We switched her to a TrueFit (rearfacing). If she remains on her growth curve, she will be Rearfacing in her Truefit until she is about 3 years old. Then she will fit forward facing until she is about 7 years old or the seat expires. By that age she may well be ready for a booster seat. So I will get my $160 worth out of this seat, unlike that infant bucket!!

Your DD is too tall for her infant seat if her head is within 1" of the top of the shell. Leg length is not important.

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#7 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caro113 View Post
When we first started registering for stuff for baby we didn't really think much on the aspect of car seats. We just figured we would put down a travel stroller that came with the infant car seat. Looking back, I would have passed on the stroller all together and gotten a converter seat. Oh well. Next time, I guess.

But here is my dilemma. DD is only five and half months old. She is rather thin (gaining weight at a steady pace though) but very long (which I assume makes up for skinniness) (as of the 3rd she was 16lbs and 26.5 in). In fact, she is so long that her feet just about hang out the bottom of her car seat. And we had to move to the higher straps in the car seat when she was only about two months old. Everything says to keep baby in an infant seat, facing backwards, until 20lbs and 12 months. But what do I do if she outgrows it? At the rate she's been growing - about 2 lbs and 2 inches a month) she won't fit in this car seat by the end of April.

She sits up on her own perfectly, grabs for things when you hold them up for her and then holds on to them (especially her dolly), tries and usually succeeds at holding her own bottle (long story, but it is breast milk in there at least), has been standing while holding on to someone's finger since she was two months old, hasn't needed neck support since she was 10 days old (when she was laying on her tummy, on my tummy, she would lift her head up and keep it up. she has always had strong neck muscles); she even has at least six teeth! One has fully cut and two are cutting now and the other three that we can see (she may have more, who knows with her) are still buds. She really is superbaby.
When can I - or really, when should I - put her in another car seat? I really would like to find a toddler like car seat that faces backwards but I don't think the converters work that way. I'm really at a loss. What do I do?

TIA
the convertible car seats DO work that way (rear facing) as long as you see the 3-in-1 convertible. DS was a very big kid. At 5 months he was about 25 pounds and very tall where his head came to the top of the back of the car seat. I spoke to CHP and they gave me the general disclosure that a child needs to be 30 pounds and a year old... the key word is AND not or. at 6 months it was becoming impossible to fit him in the seat safely and I changed to a rear facing convertible carseat. it worked out perfectly and much safer because if he were ever in an accident his head would have been exposed to trama in his old car seat.


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#8 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 11:07 AM
 
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I had mine in a rear-facing convertible from the very beginning. There's a lot of research showing the baby buckets popping off the bases in accidents, especially in side impact collisions. They are a lot less safe then you think. I'd get rid of it as soon as possible.
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#9 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 12:02 PM
 
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Yep, the next step is a convertible seat (rearfacing for as long as possible). Check the limits on her current seat to see exactly when she will outgrow it.

My DS was around 5 months when he became too long for his, and we moved to a convertible at that point. He's 2 now and still rear-facing in a TrueFit.

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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#10 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank so you much! We're have errands to run today so I will stop by BRU and Target to price check some of their models. I have heard so much about the True Fit, so I may go with that, but I think I'll just get prices on all the converters and then do some more researching and price matching on Amazon when I get back. Thanks again!

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
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#11 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by organicpapayamama View Post
the convertible car seats DO work that way (rear facing) as long as you see the 3-in-1 convertible.
Actually, most 3 in 1s are poor choices.

-Angela
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#12 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 04:48 PM
 
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You're going to end up needing to buy a booster anyway at 5 or 6 years old when the 3-in-1 expires, so get a convertible that rearfaces to 35lbs (highest weight limit currently on the market). Then, when she out grows that forward facing about the same time it expires, you can get a seat that harnesses forward facing and then becomes a booster seat, and that'll last until she can pass the test for being able to use a seatbelt and you're good.
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#13 of 21 Old 03-16-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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My first outgrew the bucket by 4 months. Wit my second, we skipped the bucket entirely and used a convertible, and will do the same for the third.

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#14 of 21 Old 03-17-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Actually, most 3 in 1s are poor choices.

-Angela
Any good ones? I'm faced with the same dilemma.
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#15 of 21 Old 03-17-2009, 02:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lilith1 View Post
Any good ones? I'm faced with the same dilemma.
No, there really arent any. Your best bet to minimize the number of seats you buy is to get a long-lasting convertible (Truefit, Radian) from birth, followed by a booster. Some tall kids may need a combination seat (Nautilus, etc). That way you can get away with only 2 seats. If you want an infant (bucket) seat, you'll need at least 3 total.

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#16 of 21 Old 03-17-2009, 03:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Actually, most 3 in 1s are poor choices.

-Angela
funny, the one I got was highly recommended by the chp officer who did my installation. he mentioned to me that he had the same one and it literally saved his sons life when his wife got in an accident where the car flipped over.


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#17 of 21 Old 03-17-2009, 03:23 PM
 
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My two outgrew their buckets by 3 or 4 months, too. They both have Britax Marathon that we are very pleased with.

My older son was able to rear-face until he was almost 2 years old in his Marathon.
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#18 of 21 Old 03-17-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by organicpapayamama View Post
funny, the one I got was highly recommended by the chp officer who did my installation. he mentioned to me that he had the same one and it literally saved his sons life when his wife got in an accident where the car flipped over.
They are absolutely very safe, as safe as any other seat, certainly, when used correctly. The problems with them come with ease-of-incorrect use (difficult to install well rear-facing, low usable top slot but with an additional slot which appears to be usable if you don't look closely, but is not, and a style of belt-positioning booster which is a poor fit for almost all children and which has a tendency to catch the shoulder belt so that if it's pulled out a bit it doesn't retract, leaving it loose over the child), along with having a 40lb weight limit for the harness (though the seat is generally outgrown by height well before 40lbs).

There IS a new version of the Dorel brand 3-in-1 seats which is much better- 50lb weight limit, all head-rest positions usable for the harness (so decently high top slot), but it still makes, in general, a poor belt-positioning booster- so for the price, there may be other convertible seats which would make a lot more sense, since dedicated (and good) belt-positioning boosters are not terribly expensive ($50 for a nice high-back Graco Turbobooster).

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#19 of 21 Old 03-17-2009, 04:43 PM
 
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Your DD is too tall for her infant seat if her head is within 1" of the top of the shell. Leg length is not important.
My DD is still rear facing in a Britax Decathlon, and she is 3 1/2! She is only about 26ish lb and 35ish" tall and lots of shell above her head, so she fits fine. She just sticks her legs up the back of the seat or folds them "criss cross applesauce". Also, once the baby has good head control you can install the seat more upright up to a 30 degree angle rather than just the 45 degree angle required for newborns. DD likes it rear facing so her soft baby doll can ride facing her with the doll's back against the seat and it does not fall out.

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#20 of 21 Old 03-17-2009, 05:05 PM
 
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good, long lasting convertible choices include:

true fit, marathon, boulevard, radian

-Angela
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#21 of 21 Old 03-17-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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funny, the one I got was highly recommended by the chp officer who did my installation. he mentioned to me that he had the same one and it literally saved his sons life when his wife got in an accident where the car flipped over.
Yep yep... they're fine, if they fit your child properly. The problem is that, because they're poorly designed, they are usually outgrown for harnessing before they're grown into for booster mode... and the booster mode doesn't usually put the belt where it needs to be for most kids. So you end up having to buy a harnessed forward-facing seat *anyway*, and want a different booster too. Might as well get a good convertible (no booster mode) and then a good combination (FF only, harness and booster) seat or a dedicated booster after, depending on the child's age when they outgrow the convertible for forward-facing.
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