How long would you keep your child rf if size wasn't an issue? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-14-2010, 02:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd is tiny, she is almost 2 and just hit 22lbs (the minimum for turning ff). I have no intention of turning her anytime soon, but being that she is very small (she is short as well) I don't think that she is going to outgrow rf limits on carseats until she is much much older. Dd's cousin was around her size and is currently 40lbs at almsot 7 (yes TINY!) so she would fit in a radian xt rf.

So at what age would you switch if there were car seats avalible to let you rf until they are much older (like 6 or 7)? Is there an age where developmentally they are ready for ff?

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Old 10-14-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I'd keep my daughter rear facing as long as possible, by weight. However, from what I've read, the spinal cord fully forms by age 4. So a 4 year old should be as safe forward facing as a 10 year old would be.

I've had this same question. My niece has brittle bone disease and will likely remain very tiny for the rest of her life. She's 4 years old right now and is about the size of a normal 2 year old (her almost 2 year old sister is in the same size clothing and shoes as her right now). Because of her condition, if she were mine, she'd remain rear-facing pretty much indefinitely. Now, if I could just convince her mom of that.

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Old 10-14-2010, 02:41 PM
 
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For a typically-developing child, I'd RF until 4 and then take her wishes into account.

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Old 10-14-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Honestly, if kiddo is still small enough to be rf, I'll probably turn her ff when she starts school, or about 5 unless she is truly okay with still being rf and it doesn't interfere with seating in the car the way it does now (the passenger seat is left with just barely enough space currently but I hope to have a new car within the next 5 years so we'll see)
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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We were in the same boat with DD2. She hit 20 pounds after she turned 2, and now at 3.5 is 27 pounds. She RF'd until her 3rd birthday, and then I turned her FF. I would have RF'd her longer but she hated it and was constantly pulling her arms out of her seat. After a couple months FF, she went back RF and is RF'ing with no complaints. She will probably RF through this winter and we'll re-evaluate on her 4th birthday in March.

My DS is 15 months and just hit 17 pounds so he has a long way to go before he'll be FF as well. I'll aim for 4 with him as well.

BTW, my 5 yo is 43" and 37 pounds and she is in kindergarten this year, and rides RF. She loves RF and was RF'ing even when her little sister was FF.

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Old 10-14-2010, 03:42 PM
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I would consider turning them after 4 if they really hated RFing. I have big kids, though, and will be overjoyed to make it to 4 (my second had to turn FFing at 2.5 due to the limits of the seats that were out then; only 2 years ago!)
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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After 4 I'd definitely be willing to turn the child if they wanted it. Maybe after 3 if the child was really seriously complaining about it long-term. If they didn't care and it wasn't causing any other problems (fit in the car, needing a seat for a sibling, etc) I'd keep them RF until they outgrew the seat, even if that was much older. Currently my 2.5yo doesn't know the difference and hasn't complained. She's ridden in the car with a number of younger FF kids and hasn't said anything yet. I'm hoping for 4 or 40lbs.

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Old 10-14-2010, 04:28 PM
 
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At 6, I will turn him if he complains. I've heard the spine is fully developed between 4-6yrs old. Ds has growth issues and a very big head, so thats why I say 6, not 4 for him.

He was 20lbs on his 2nd bday and 24lbs on his 3rd bday. He is 3yrs, 3months now and 25lbs. And 35" with a short torso. So I'm guessing he will make it to 6 in his Radian. The 5yr old I babysit for once in a while fit and she is average height and 40lbs.
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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I would do it until he was ready for boostering. So, 5-ish.

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:26 PM
 
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I'd keep them rf until 6 if they were cool with it.

Until 4 unless there was something HUGE that made them miserable about it.

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Old 10-14-2010, 09:36 PM
 
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i wsih i could still have my ds1 rearfacing he turns 4 very soon but he outgrew his seat. he was rear facing with no issues at 3. i wuld keep them for as long as possible. But granted once they are 4-5 ish they definatley need to be listened to and if they have a vaild reason i would change them after some discussion

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Old 10-14-2010, 10:00 PM
 
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As long as possible. Was hoping to keep ds2 rfing until 4, but he was sooooo upset at 3 and begging to be turned and for peace in the family we decided to turn him. He was within a few pounds of outgrowing his seat rfing anyways. We'll see how long dd lasts, but 2 is my absolute bare minimum (that's when I let them ride ffing in other people's cars or on vacation when we don't want to lug the huge seats) and 3 is the minimum in the main vehicle, hopefully longer!

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Old 10-14-2010, 11:04 PM
 
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My 5.5 year old still wants to rearface, but is 46lbs, so cannot. If we had higher rf limits I would have them rf until about 6 or somewhere around there. However I do NOT have petite kids and so about 4 is when they would seem to outgrow radians rf.

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Old 10-14-2010, 11:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama2soren View Post
I would do it until he was ready for boostering. So, 5-ish.
Thats my plan - I want to RF ds and then go right to a booster.
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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I'd hoped to keep ds1 rfing till at least 4... but he broke his leg and simply won't fit comfortably rfing anymore (cast from his foot up to mid-thigh...), so he got flipped ff (hes 3.5, ~30#s and ~37-38"...). I'm OK with that, though not thrilled... and as much as I might like to rf him again after he gets his cast off, I doubt it'll happen.
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Old 10-15-2010, 04:44 AM
 
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I too hope to RF - straight-to-booster, so I'm shooting for 6.

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Old 10-15-2010, 10:20 AM
 
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I RF ds full time until he was 2.5. The last few months I have sometimes turned him FF if I have to reinstall his car seat after a stay at Grandmas or something and we are in a rush. at the moment his carseat is ff because that's how I put it a couple days ago when we cleaned out the car and then had to go somewhere quickly. I will turn it back today though. We are committed to RF'ing at least through his third birthday (in December) and then we will probably reevaluate.

Ds is decently tall (about 3ft 1 or 2 inches) but he is super skinny, so were I keep him rf to the weight limits of the seat he would probably still be rf in first grade! And I personally don't see a real need to rf past 3.5 or 4, so I will definitely turn him permanently by next september, I think.

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Old 10-15-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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We turned our tiny DD2 (28 lbs) at 4. I would have kept her RF longer, but it was a compromise w/DH.

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Old 10-15-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
For a typically-developing child, I'd RF until 4 and then take her wishes into account.
This. My 4.1yo wants to be rfing again but he is too big for his seat to be rfing (weight wise, he rfed till 3.6yo)

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Old 10-15-2010, 02:01 PM
 
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My DD is 4.3 and was totally fine RFing- shes about 35 pounds, but we have raidans. However, with the new addition coming and therefore a different carseat configuration, as well as the fact that radians son't install well in my sienna, I turned her. I feel pretty ok about it. It would have been nice to have her RF for that last 10 pounds, but I am just happy we made it this far. She LOVES FFing, lol.

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Old 10-19-2010, 05:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bobandjess99 View Post
I too hope to RF - straight-to-booster, so I'm shooting for 6.
Those of you who are planning to go RF-to-booster -- do you plan to use a harness booster? I guess I'd want them in the harness as long as possible, yk?

OP -- my dd was a little over 3, I think, when I turned her ff. She had reached the height and weight limits to rf in her seat and we couldn't buy another seat then. She just outgrew that seat ff and I got her a harness booster.

Ds is quite a bit bigger than dd was at his age, so I'm guessing he'll outgrow the same seat before 3, so I'm in the process of deciding what seat to buy him to keep him rf until at least 3yo.

I knew it was better to keep them rf as long as possible, but I didn't know about the higher limit seats when we bought dd's seats...or maybe they weren't even around yet? Now that I know better, I'll try to keep ds rf longer. I almost want to splurge for a new seat now and put dd back rf -- she's 3y8m and although she's big for her age she still has a pretty big head.
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Sunny - there is no data to indicate that and older child who is mature enough for a booster is safer in a harness. Most people who want to go rfing to booster believe that ffing harnessing is not idea (the Swedes for example believe that ffing harnessing is not as safe due to increased neck loads). I personally prefer my kids to be harnessed ffing as minimally as possible, and will move them to a booster as soon as they are mature enough (already did with ds1, ds2 is a year or two away yet).

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Old 10-19-2010, 06:17 PM
 
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Sunny - there is no data to indicate that and older child who is mature enough for a booster is safer in a harness. Most people who want to go rfing to booster believe that ffing harnessing is not idea (the Swedes for example believe that ffing harnessing is not as safe due to increased neck loads). I personally prefer my kids to be harnessed ffing as minimally as possible, and will move them to a booster as soon as they are mature enough (already did with ds1, ds2 is a year or two away yet).
Okay. Thanks for the info. Maybe I should look at getting dd rf again.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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My understanding is that when trains crash the rear facing passengers fair better than the forward facing passengers... no matter the age. I think I would rear face as long as we feasibly could.

I've heard that they had tried rear facing kids on school buses somewhere, but there were safety issues with the driver not being able to see what the kids were doing and problems with kids getting carsick. It was felt that the day to day issues with rear facing outweighed the benefits.

We turned our girls shortly before they turned three. I'm committed to safety, but not to the point of buying a new car when the only thing wrong with the one we had was that it couldn't hold three rear facing carseats.

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Old 10-23-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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I'm really glad you asked, I have been wondering about this with my 27 month old, she is 21 pounds, at this point it seems like she could be rearfacing "forever". I am committed to keeping her RFing as long as possible although she is starting to show GREAT interest in FF. So I too was starting to wonder at what point I can feel okay about turning her if she starts to throw fits about being RF. Seems like most people feel 4 is pretty appropriate?

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Old 10-23-2010, 06:52 PM
 
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If they made cars with all but the driver RF i would buy one. As it is i have a seat to RF until age 4 and i will FF then.
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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I'm really glad you asked, I have been wondering about this with my 27 month old, she is 21 pounds, at this point it seems like she could be rearfacing "forever". I am committed to keeping her RFing as long as possible although she is starting to show GREAT interest in FF. So I too was starting to wonder at what point I can feel okay about turning her if she starts to throw fits about being RF. Seems like most people feel 4 is pretty appropriate?
I think 4 is ideal. I let ds2 go ffing at 3 because he was really fighting me on rearfacing and it was a way to keep the peace and not get frustrated and go crazy and annoyed as a mom every time we got in the car. That being said, he would have had to have been flipped in 3 lbs anyways.

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Old 10-24-2010, 04:48 AM
 
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Well, DS is 5.5 (25lbs and 35" tall) and still RF'ing. We suspect he has a growth disorder. He hasn't even asked to FF (even though he was FF from 15m-2.5) and because of his suspected growth issues, I worry that his bone development isn't that of a 5.5 year old's. He's having a bone age scan (among other tests) in December though, so we will get to find out. If his bone age is delayed, then I will most certainly keep him RF until he outgrows the seat, or until he's big enough and mature enough to ride in a booster (he only has 3 more inches and 15 more pounds to gain LOL). On the other hand, if his bone age is in line with his chronological age, then I'd be okay letting him FF when/if he asked. I don't see that happening any time soon though because he didn't even comment the few times he had to ride FF last year after our sedan broke down and we were stuck with a tiny 2-door Eagle Talon until we bought our van.

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Old 10-24-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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dd doesn't mind rf at all, so i guess as long as we can. she's currently 3 1/2 and about five pounds shy of the rf limit on her seat.

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Old 10-24-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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My kids are big so Id be happy to make it to 3 1/2-4 rear facing just because of that. My not yet 4 year old DD is over 40 pounds (and 41 inches, like I said, shes big) so no seat would let her be rear facing even if I could convince DH to turn her back around.. which wouldn't happen since she throws up if she is sitting backwards and theres motion. My youngest is not yet 2 and is 33ish pounds (have to weigh her to find out exactly, shes big though)

If size wasn't a concern then I would like to make it to around 5ish then have them in a five point harness until 6ish then a booster. My girls are a bit of a set of trouble makers so I think they would need the transition time between the two so that they know how to act. As it is Im having to have a conversation with my oldest every time we drive that I dont' care if we are pulling into the parking lot she can't be undoing her buckle.

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