How strict is the "20 pound rule"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD2 is 14 months old and she has been turned to forward facing for a little over a month now. We turned her around at 20 pounds 6 ounces. Anyway, she's started getting really active and running and jumping and is not wanting to slow down to nurse, so combining these two things she has lost weight. She is just under 20 pounds by like 2 ounces. She is so used to facing forward I am worried she will flip out if we turn her back around. Plus, we are going on a 14 hours road trip tomorrow and I just don't know that I can take that much screaming.

So, what do you ladies think? Turn her back around? Leave her? See if she looses any more and then decide?

She's in a Britax Marathon, if that makes any differance.

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#2 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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Can I ask why you turned her to begin with? I believe 20lbs is the absolute minimum for forward facing, but that number is thrown out for cases of older children who weigh less. Kids who are 2 years old or older and at the low end of the weight charts might still be ready developmentally (muscle tone is more developed) to face forward (or they've surpassed the height requirements for RF), where a 1 year old who weighs 20lbs is NOT ready. We used a Britax Roundabout for DD and the instructions say not to forward face until 22 lbs and that you can rear face until 33lbs. Also take note of the height requirements for both RF and FF.

Have you tried to turn her back around? I think sometimes parents are the ones who make the assumption that the kids like it so much better facing forward when the kids themselves could care less. IMHO a screaming child is much better than an injured child. If your DD is unhappy during car rides, there are other things you can do to try and make the ride more pleasant. But you have control over her safety on that car ride and children are ALWAYS safest rear facing to the max height and weight limits on the car seat. Please turn her back to RF.

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#3 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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She is FAR too little and young to be ff. The newest recommendations are a minimum of TWO years old to ff, better to rf to the limits of the seat. Carseat experts are now suggesting that children stay rf until 4years old.

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#4 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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Please turn her back around. Please keep her rear-facing until the 33 or 35 pound limit of the Marathon or until she has less than 1" of shell above her head.

My daughter rear-faced until 4 in our Britax Marathon, when she hit the 35 pounds. My 2.5 year old son hit the weight limit for his Marathon, so I bought new seats with 40+ rear-facing limits to keep him rear-facing closer to 4. This site has all sorts of links so you can read about why rear-facing beyond 1 is so important.
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#5 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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honesty i would keep her rf to the 35 lb rf lmit on the seat. ds2 is 5 and still rf as his seat goes to 40 lbs
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#6 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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I turned Ds around FF at 2 yrs because I thought I had done good. He rode like that for a month before I learned more about extended rear facing, and decided to rf him again. He never threw a fit at all and stayed rfing until he was 3 1/2 and maxed out the weight limit of the seat.

I agree with the pp that your child is too young to be ff. Google the benefits of extended rfing and watch videos on you tube. I think you will flip her back around.

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#7 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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Yes, please turn her back rf'ing until she reaches the limits of her seat. She should be 35 lbs., (or too tall), not 20 lbs. 14 mos. is way too young.

Eta: I can't imagine her putting up a fight at this point to go back to rear-facing. And honestly, even if she did, she'll get used to it and it's worth it for the safety benefit.

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#8 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post
Can I ask why you turned her to begin with? I believe 20lbs is the absolute minimum for forward facing, but that number is thrown out for cases of older children who weigh less.
Honestly, because she SCREAMS and SCREAMS rear facing. Ever since that first time in the car on the way home from the hospital.... SCREAMS... EVERY SINGLE RIDE...ALL ride long.... SCREAMS. I was just tired of the headaches and earaches I endured everytime we had to run an errand or go see a friend. I'm dreading 14 hours of the screams. She just does it when she can't see me (at home too). So when she was big enough and old enough, I turned her around for my sanity and because I felt bad for her thinking she was abandonded or something. And it worked... no more shrill, loud, horror movie screams.

However, saftey before sanity I guess...

-T, Wife and Best Friend to R 3/2005; Mommie to E 8/2007; and G 3/2009

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#9 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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Yes, please turn her back rear-facing. It is much, much safer. In answer to your question, there really is no "20 pound rule" since the "one and 20" line comes from the early 90's, when the first car seat laws came into effect, and since 20 pounds was the upper rear-facing weight limits on the (limited) seats available, that became the law. In essence, the law was "rear face to the limits of the seat" and later, when manufacturers began upping the weight limits to 30, 33, 35, 40, and now even 45 pounds, it's still recommended to rear-face to the limits of the seat.

Here is some information on why RF is safest:

This is the basics, but the link goes into much, much more detail:
Quote:
When the child is rear-facing, the head, neck, and thorax are restrained together by the back of the CR in a frontal crash. There is little or no relative motion between the head and torso that could load the neck. If the same child were facing forward, the harness would restrain the torso, but the head and neck would pull and rotate forward, leading to the potential for serious upper spinal injury
(from the Child Passenger Safety Technical Encyclopedia)

Quote:
Rear-facing car seats spread frontal crash forces over the whole area of a child's back, head and neck; they also prevent the head from snapping relative to the body in a frontal crash.
(from www.car-seat.org)

ETA: I was posting when you posted your most recent post. Screams or no screams, of course, she's safer rear-facing. I understand it's horrible to listen to, but there are lots of things you can try. What seat is she in? I assume she is in a convertible? Most babies hate being reclined to the 45* angle their infant seats require, and are much happier more upright. A convertible seat can be installed between 30 and 45 degrees from Horizontal, with older babies and toddlers preferably in the 30-35 degree range.

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#10 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cdmommie View Post
Honestly, because she SCREAMS and SCREAMS rear facing. Ever since that first time in the car on the way home from the hospital.... SCREAMS... EVERY SINGLE RIDE...ALL ride long.... SCREAMS. I was just tired of the headaches and earaches I endured everytime we had to run an errand or go see a friend. I'm dreading 14 hours of the screams. She just does it when she can't see me (at home too). So when she was big enough and old enough, I turned her around for my sanity and because I felt bad for her thinking she was abandonded or something. And it worked... no more shrill, loud, horror movie screams.

However, saftey before sanity I guess...
I'm sorry she's having a hard time in the car. But yes, I agree, safety first. But maybe there are some things you can try to get her to be more calm in the car.

- Pre-recorded child friendly music. Does she have any songs she likes?

- Safe toys she can bring along.

- A mirror she can look at herself in (and you can position it so that you can see her).

- Is it possible she's getting car sick? You can try ginger cookies before or during the ride and make sure she has water with her in the car.

- Is she in the middle or on the side? It would be safer to keep her RF and move her to the passenger side. That way she might be able to look over and see you.

- Anyway you can plan car trips around nap time?

Maybe others will have some more suggestions for you.

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#11 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 05:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cdmommie View Post
Honestly, because she SCREAMS and SCREAMS rear facing. Ever since that first time in the car on the way home from the hospital.... SCREAMS... EVERY SINGLE RIDE...ALL ride long.... SCREAMS. I was just tired of the headaches and earaches I endured everytime we had to run an errand or go see a friend. I'm dreading 14 hours of the screams. She just does it when she can't see me (at home too). So when she was big enough and old enough, I turned her around for my sanity and because I felt bad for her thinking she was abandonded or something. And it worked... no more shrill, loud, horror movie screams.

However, saftey before sanity I guess...
Try giving her something that will thoroughly distract her while in the car, and then save it as a treat for only the car.
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#12 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 06:24 PM
 
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See? We need cars to come with turn-off switches for the airbags.

But since that's not happening anytime soon, : that the toy ideas work.

When dd was in a "fuss unless new toy" stage I kept a box of toys on the passenger seat and passed them back to her one at a time. I think it also helped her realize I was still there even though she couldn't see me.
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#13 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 07:17 PM
 
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Have you tried installing her car seat more upright than 45 degrees rfing. It can be as upright as 50. You also could try a different seat and see if that helps.

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#14 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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Also on long car trips my DH and I would take turns riding in the back with DS while he was awake. It stops the screaming. My DS grew out of it and now at 21 months he's fine RF.

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#15 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 08:52 PM
 
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Have you tried installing her car seat more upright than 45 degrees rfing. It can be as upright as 50. You also could try a different seat and see if that helps.
uh, she measn 30. A marathon can be anywhere from 30-45 degrees rearfacing.


And have you tried a portable DVD player? Saved my life.

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#16 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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I second the DVD player. LIFESAVER.

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#17 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cdmommie View Post
Honestly, because she SCREAMS and SCREAMS rear facing. Ever since that first time in the car on the way home from the hospital.... SCREAMS... EVERY SINGLE RIDE...ALL ride long.... SCREAMS. I was just tired of the headaches and earaches I endured everytime we had to run an errand or go see a friend. I'm dreading 14 hours of the screams. She just does it when she can't see me (at home too). So when she was big enough and old enough, I turned her around for my sanity and because I felt bad for her thinking she was abandonded or something. And it worked... no more shrill, loud, horror movie screams.

However, saftey before sanity I guess...
This is why I turned my oldest on his first birthday. And, while I didn't know what i know now about the increased safety, I can't promise I'd have done anything differently had I known. His screaming actually caused me to get into a car accident . No matter what I did, it never got better until we turned him around.
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This is why I turned my oldest on his first birthday. And, while I didn't know what i know now about the increased safety, I can't promise I'd have done anything differently had I known. His screaming actually caused me to get into a car accident . No matter what I did, it never got better until we turned him around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmommie View Post
Honestly, because she SCREAMS and SCREAMS rear facing. Ever since that first time in the car on the way home from the hospital.... SCREAMS... EVERY SINGLE RIDE...ALL ride long.... SCREAMS. I was just tired of the headaches and earaches I endured everytime we had to run an errand or go see a friend. I'm dreading 14 hours of the screams. She just does it when she can't see me (at home too). So when she was big enough and old enough, I turned her around for my sanity and because I felt bad for her thinking she was abandonded or something. And it worked... no more shrill, loud, horror movie screams.

However, saftey before sanity I guess...
My kid screamed every single time she was in her seat rear facing from the day we brought her home from the hospital at 1 day old until the day we turned her ff at 12 mo and 20 lbs. I lurk in this forum and I know perfectly well that rf is safer physically for the child but it got to the point where I couldn't leave the house and actually developed mild ptsd from all the screaming and being stuck in traffic and not being able to reach my hysterical kid.

Sometimes you have to settle for less than ideal to preserve your sanity. People will judge you, and you have to be prepared for that. I know that I personally did the best I could just hanging in there until she was 366 days old.

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#19 of 34 Old 06-03-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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... I'm another that turnd my ds1 early (~15 months), because we just coudln't take the screaming anymore. I turned him around a year later, and he's happy as a clam that way now still a year later . Whether he'd have been happy a month later, IDK... but its always worth trying....
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uh, she measn 30. A marathon can be anywhere from 30-45 degrees rearfacing.


And have you tried a portable DVD player? Saved my life.
oops, sorry, typo!

Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
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#21 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 07:50 AM
 
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If the problem is she can't see you, how about a mirror? I know my DD sees everything in hers, she regularly comments on the color of the car in front of us and has a fit if I don't share what I'm eating.

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#22 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 08:55 AM
 
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I had no idea that they had to be rear facing still. Ds is 10 months and FF. Please don't judge me. I just moved ds from his baby seat to his britax roundabout. Now I got to figure how to turn the thing around.

I thought that when their feet were all scrunched up, it was time to face forward.
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#23 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 09:07 AM
 
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Please turn it back around today...before you get in the car again. Legs scrunched up aren't a big deal (and how scrunched can they be at 10 months)? Get out the manual. Rear facing install is very easy for a roundabout.
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#24 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1 View Post
I had no idea that they had to be rear facing still. Ds is 10 months and FF. Please don't judge me. I just moved ds from his baby seat to his britax roundabout. Now I got to figure how to turn the thing around.

I thought that when their feet were all scrunched up, it was time to face forward.
Yes, he definitely needs to be rear-facing. Google "extended rear facing" and you'll get a gazillion good reasons

The Roundabout is pretty easy to install rear-facing, and the manual should answer any questions you have (and if it doesn't, ask here and you'll get a gazillion quick answers from mamas dying to help you out ).

Don't worry for one second about the legs being 'scrunched'. There is a much higher instance of leg injuries in forward-facing children than in rear-facing ones

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#25 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bluebirdmama1 View Post
I had no idea that they had to be rear facing still. Ds is 10 months and FF. Please don't judge me. I just moved ds from his baby seat to his britax roundabout. Now I got to figure how to turn the thing around.

I thought that when their feet were all scrunched up, it was time to face forward.
^^Definitely not judging you! Glad you found out though-in my state if you have a kid improperly car-seated and get pulled over or get in an accident, you can get charged with child endangerment! I would hate to see that happen to a well-meaning mama!

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#26 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Don't worry about legs being scrunched up. My 3yo is still rfing and never complains. In fact, I just commented to dh yesterday that she looks so much more comfy in her carseat rfing, than our 5yo looks ffing with her legs dangling.

Beth wife to Tom and mommy to Therese 11/4/04 Anna Mary 6/15/07 and Veronica 10/20/09
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#27 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 03:15 PM
 
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When discussing the degree of recline -- 45 degrees is easy. But more upright would be 30-35 from the VERTICAL, right? or 55-60 from the HORIZONTAL (ground). Right? Someone earlier said 30-35 from the horizontal and that would be nearly lying flat.
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#28 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 09:06 PM
 
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2 is the New 1

Please turn those little ones back RF. Legs are SO much easier to fix than necks!

ETA: I know what it is like to have a carseat screamer. DS1 screamed every time he was in his seat until he matured enough to realize it was only temporary...around 18months of age.
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#29 of 34 Old 06-04-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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I meant from vertical, thank you for correcting me

CPST & mom

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#30 of 34 Old 06-05-2010, 03:53 AM
 
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Yes, please turn those little ones back around! Like someone said, it might help if you install the seat more upright so they can see.

I don't know if anyone posted this, but this is a very good video that shows what can happen to a small child FF'ing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8gU9zzCGA8

FWIW, my 5yo son and almost-3yo nephew are both still RF'ing. Neither has complained one bit and in fact, they sleep in the car a lot better RF'ing too.

Carly [29] + DH [27] + DS [9]

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