we have a Britax Roundabout 50. When we strap it in rf-ing, it wiggles too much and it feels unsafe. As a result we have had our kiddo forward facing for a few months (she is about 28 lbs.) since it sits very tightly flush with the back. Also we switch the seat out into gparents cars often (one has a captain's seat in a van, the other an suv) and we have found it still doesn't feel tight enough.
When I took it to the PD the officer that checked it said after 20lbs and a year to put her forward facing.
What's the best???
You got horrible, dated, untrue and dangerous advice.
There is absolutely no 'debate' or 'wiggle room' here. A child who is 1 year and 20 lbs should be rear facing and ONLY rear facing in an appropriately installed and sized restraint. A competent Child Passenger Safety Technician would know that. Are you sure you saw a CPST and not just Officer Friendly?
How old is your child now? Can you describe the 'wiggle'?
Edited to Add: just realized you stated you are using a Roundabout 50. How are you checking for wiggle? At the belt path? Or somewhere else? (Top/back of the seat). How is the restraint installed? (LATCH, seatbelt, etc). Are you using the rear facing tether?
Forward facing or rear facing, the seat should move less than 1" AT THE BELT PATH. A rearfacing seat will have 'wiggle' at the top of the seat, its supposed to. Maybe you didn't have it installed tightly enough rearfacing, or maybe you were checking for tightness at the wrong spot. Rearfacing is always safer, even for adults! My son is 4.5 and still rearfacing with lots of growing room left.
It is unfortunate there is mixed info out there since on our states website it says what the officer told me (@ quick glance)
Yikes, guess we better figure this out.
So, if you push on the back of the car seat, you can move it towards the seat back of your car? That's ok. The only place you need to check for movement is at the belt path. If there is less than 1" of wiggle room where the belt goes through, you're ok. With a Britax, though, you can tether it RF. That might help it feel more secure to you. Did you try that?
OB RN, partner to and mama to (2008, 31 weeker) and (2011)
That's what the seat does. All rear facing seats will move like that.
The ONLY place you check for tightness is at the belt path. Hold the seat down where it buckles in, move it side to side and then front to back. ONLY down by the seatbelt or latch strap. If it moves less than an inch, it's fine.
If you grab the top and wiggle it, that's what it's supposed to do. it's safe, it's normal, it's how the seat installs. (Incidentally, if it bothers you, you have a seat that can be tethered in the rear facing position. there are instructions in your manual.)
You need to turn the seat around. It is not safe for a one year old to be forward facing. There is no "mixed info". There is only one legitimate source of information for this. Anyone saying anything differently is simply quoting data about 10 years out of date.
Many states have laws stating a child must remain rear-facing until at least one year and 20 pounds. That's the law in my state, and I'm guessing it's the same in CA. That doesn't mean that parents have to or should turn them then. It's a bare minimum and is not best practice.
The AAP now recommends children stay rear-facing until at least two or until they reach the rear-facing height or weight limit of their seat.
I think the OP said that the officer told her she could switch AT one year and 20lbs, which is consistent with the lit. No, not the best practice, but it is the law.
OP, the wiggle you feel at the top of the seat that feels like it could just rotate all the way around the belt and smack into the seat behind it (bugged me, too) is to cradle the child's head in a crash. You know how when you have a full cup of something in the car and you go over a bump, if you move your hand to "ride" the bump your drink doesn't spill? Your hand kind of acts like a shock absorber for the drink. It's sort of the same idea with the child seat. It rocks and wiggles and "rides" the crash with your child, instead of leaving their head to bounce around unprotected. If it were rigid, it would just be one more hard thing for the child's head to whack in the event of a crash.
"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."
Awesome, thank you for this explanation. Really makes me feel better. Hooked her into seat with tether, & I am confident it is in right. Now that the wiggle is explained, I think I have figured it out.
No, she said "When I took it to the PD the officer that checked it said after 20lbs and a year to put her forward facing" and then asked "what's the best?" hence my response.
OP, glad you got it all figured out.