When do they switch to a forward facing carseat? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 160 Old 05-02-2008, 10:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by DahliaRW View Post
In those cars the manual says not to do that. And I believe that most carseat manuals say to only install on forward facing seats. I think it's because they are not crash tested rearfacing installed forward facing (or however you would describe it), so if you were to do it you would be using your children as test subjects.
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She's in Canada.
I have a Canadian Marathon, and page 9 of my manual specifically says that it can only be installed in forward facing seats.

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#122 of 160 Old 05-02-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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They should all say that, even in canada.
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#123 of 160 Old 05-03-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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I just triple checked and it does say only install on a forward facing seat. I was reading it wrong as forward facing crs, not forward facing car seat.

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#124 of 160 Old 10-06-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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Just to make this thread longer... DS is 16 months now and is just outgrowing the rf weight limit on his current seat (35 lbs). So his growth really slowed from 7 months on. I thought I'd update for any other parents of big babies who might be worried.

When exactly do you turn your kids ff? Do you wait until they absolutely hit the weight limit, or do you turn a little earlier? (I tried searching for guidelines on this question, and all I can find is a lot of answers of "Don't do it!!!" )

DS is still 95th percentile for height (33.5"), so I suspect he doesn't have long in this seat even ff before outgrowing the height limit, assuming he doesn't hit the weight limit first.

Now to choose our next seat! I'm torn between the Regent, Frontier, & Radian 80. I've liked each at different points and haven't decided. He's tall and has a long torso, and is obviously a chunk. Any thoughts? 1997 Ford Escort at the moment. There is a store near us that will let us test seats in our car to make sure they fit, so we'll do that. I think I heard the Radian was too skinny for big kids and the Frontier's harness slots too short (also says it's for 2 years old+). Is the Regent a good choice? I'm a little worried about its enormity for air travel, but we're trying to avoid flying, anyway.

I never did get a Swedish seat, obviously. It stopped seeming urgent once we realized how slowly DS was gaining weight. I'm still nervous about turning him ff even now, especially with his big ol' head, but we did get our tether anchor installed, so I guess it's time. Does anyone think it's worth going through the expense/hassle of getting a Swedish seat at this point, or would you just turn him since he's 16 months?

Cheers, and thanks for all your help!

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#125 of 160 Old 10-06-2008, 08:44 PM
 
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I would turn him FF as soon as he is 34.5 lbs at the end of the day, with a full tummy, fully dressed, with shoes.

As far as a new seat, I'd go for a Regent so you can get the maximum use out of it.

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#126 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 01:14 AM
 
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Look at the safeguard. I LOVE it.

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#127 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 09:09 AM
 
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There's only so much you can do, if he's outgrown US seats rfing, he needs to be ffing, that's all she can do w/out getting you to send her a seat. The important things are making sure it's installed right and it's top tethered, those will make a huge diference in how they perform in a crash.

When do I go ffing? AJ was 32# I think so we switched to 35# seat which he promptly outgrew the next month (height wise and hit 34#). I told Evan he could probably go ffing on his 4th birthday (in December). He's about 31# in a 35# seat. He gets to get a new seat when the baby comes anyways and gets to sit ffing then no matter what, that's early Feb at the latest. Ilana is a shrimp like Evan so still has another 18 mos or so I'm guessing before having to ff, she'll be 2 in less than a month. I hope you get it figured out, but at 16 mos I would try and wait as long as possible. We have a Graco Nautilus for our 5.5yo and are very happy w/ it.

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#128 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 09:13 AM
 
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Now to choose our next seat! I'm torn between the Regent, Frontier, & Radian 80. I've liked each at different points and haven't decided.
Caveat emptor, I don't have experience with the Regent or the Frontier to compare. We have a Radian (Radian 65) and really have loved it. It is narrower than most car seats, but I think even hefty kids would fit for a long time. There's still plenty of empty space around DD. You'll get a better idea when you try it out -- love stores that let you test seats!!

We've found it relatively easy to install (not a walk in the park but easier than most seats) since it's very well thought-out in terms of ease-of-use. The folding feature, we don't use it much but when we moved across the country and checked the seat on the plane, it was very handy! It's VERY heavy, because of the steel skeleton. Since most seats are really just plastic (with shock-absorbing foam providing the safety), this was the deal-maker for us. It just seems stronger and safer, and it does have very high safety ratings.

DD is 22mo and 24lbs and we do have her FF (eek)... the seat is sooooo tall that we can't get a safe RF installation in one of our cars. We can in the other car, but during the move we had to use the FF-only car, and lost the attachment needed for the RF installation! We only recently found it again (buried in a box of course). So I'm contemplating switching cars again and putting her back to RF. I know it's safer, but she's just been so happy being able to sit up and play and it's nice being able to see her without needing the extra back seat mirror, etc. Plus the FF installation is a lot easier, and is VERY secure with the tether in place.

I know, I know. I'm pretty sure I'll do it. Hmm... I'd better check the RF height limit, she's already 33"... but it's probably good on the Radian for awhile yet?

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#129 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 10:33 AM
 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2DVfqFhseo

This video has several videos of crash test dummies in rear facing and forward facing seats as they go through a wreck. The difference between the two is astounding.

Casey
Mama to DS 2/22/06 and DS 3/27/09 :
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#130 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by tankgirl73 View Post
I know, I know. I'm pretty sure I'll do it. Hmm... I'd better check the RF height limit, she's already 33"... but it's probably good on the Radian for awhile yet?
As long as there is at least 1" of hard shell above her head she is safe height wise rearfacing. My ds wouldn't have outgrown the radian rfing by height until he was nearly 38". He was already too heavy, however.

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#131 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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This video has several videos of crash test dummies in rear facing and forward facing seats as they go through a wreck. The difference between the two is astounding.
No, I know, I know! Eep. That's why I've hesitated in turning him.

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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Look at the safeguard. I LOVE it.
It looks great! Also $$$, but what are you going to do? And thanks to the others for the other recommendations.

Is there a likelihood he'll outgrow these seats before he's old enough for a booster? And then what? Why is the US so slow to adopt higher-weight/height harnessed and/or rf seats?

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Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
I must strongly disagree with your statement about it being "hassle/expensive" getting a Swedish seat. It's more expensive than a regular ff seat but safety is on a totally different level. I still think car seats here are a bargain. I have two kids, the cost for keeping one of them safe in the car for the first 10 years is peanuts in the big picture.

First, infant seat (0-6 months). Graco Snugride or something similar for about $100. Second, Swedish Britax Hi-Way seat for about $400 (6 months-5 years). That's retail price here, your price would be slightly more. Third, Britax Monarch BPB for about $100 (5 years-10 years). Total cost for great car seat safety during 10 years comes to about $600. I think that's very cheap considering all other costs associated with kids.
[...]

Buying a Swedish seat is not a hassle (I'm located in Stockholm, Sweden). Send one email and make one Paypal payment and your seat will be at your door in 5-7 days. I will go to the store and buy your seat, bubble wrap it, and take it to the post office. You will receive all receipts, manuals, etc, I don't make a dime on the seat. It's actually a $20 loss for me due to Paypal fees. But you would be rear facing your son which is important to me. I sent seats to New Zealand and US the other week, to people like you who also were concerend about car seat safety.
The hassle I was referring to was certainly not dealing with you! I appreciate your efforts in promoting safety and helping concerned parents out. I meant with the NHTSA or whatever it's called, which says it's illegal to use imported car seats. I understand I'll need a doctor's prescription to get the seat through customs, and then I'm supposed to petition for permission to use it, but some people suggest just skipping that in case permission's denied. Better to ask forgiveness than permission? Did the people in New Zealand and the US you sent seats to mention customs duties or problems with inspectors?

The expense is real, at least for me. I'm not trying to be difficult -- I have $579 in my bank account and a bill for $800 due in two days. I'm working fast to try to cover it. We're not destitute or anything, but we don't have extra money. I'm assuming the Swedish economy is better than the US one at the moment? So far, despite copious hints, our parents have not volunteered to help us out with buying a new seat. I guess I'll have to flat out ask them for a loan. And I don't want you to lose money on the transaction, so please let me know what the total cost would be with the fees added on. (PayPal fees annoy me, too...) If we're going to have to spend $$ on a new seat soon anyway, I guess spending $$$$$$ is about the same difference. Ha ha -- that's what got the US economy in trouble in the first place, isn't it?

You know, let me go measure my car's back seat again first -- I forget what I came up with last time -- and compare it to the measurements on this thread. I want to make sure a big ol' honkin' seat will fit. We have the shallowest back seating area imaginable, seriously no leg room unless our front seats are far forward, which is then uncomfortable and unsafe for the front passenger/driver.

Random question, too, for anyone -- we had the tether anchor installed, and they installed it a little off center. We estimated no more than 15 degrees. I can still install a seat in the center, then, right? Isn't 20 degrees the maximum angle, or is that just for certain seats? I couldn't find the info in my manual.

I'll be back once I've ventured outdoors. It's not raining for once!

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#132 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 08:17 PM
 
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Its okay if the tether is a bit off center, as long as you are using the designated TA for the seating position you are using.

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#133 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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Its okay if the tether is a bit off center, as long as you are using the designated TA for the seating position you are using.
Hmmm...how would I know that? It's in between the center and one side, not centered behind either seat. Do I need to call the Ford people who installed it? I was just thinking it would be safer to keep him in the middle if possible. (Nothing was pre-installed, since it's a 1997 car, so there's only the one anchor now.)

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#134 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 08:30 PM
 
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Hmmm...how would I know that? It's in between the center and one side, not centered behind either seat. Do I need to call the Ford people who installed it? I was just thinking it would be safer to keep him in the middle if possible. (Nothing was pre-installed, since it's a 1997 car, so there's only the one anchor now.)
When you had it installed did they specify? I know that my DH installed the TA in my mom's 98 Taurus and it is for the drivers side outboard position but is more towards the center. The TA kit specified to only use it for the drivers side seating position.

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#135 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 09:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KnitLady View Post
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Originally Posted by Adventuredad View Post
It's about 5 times safer to keep your child RF at 16 months compared to FF.
Is that comparing RF to tethered or untethered FF? In the videos from you and KnitLady, it looked untethered, but I wasn't sure because of what I think was the lap belt that I was seeing. I heard tethering reduces forward excursion by something like 6 inches?

Oh, and do you know what height DS would end up using the seat till? He's tall and has a long torso. He's 33.5"/85 cm now at 16 m, and his seat-to-shoulder height is about 12"/30.5 cm.

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When you had it installed did they specify? I know that my DH installed the TA in my mom's 98 Taurus and it is for the drivers side outboard position but is more towards the center. The TA kit specified to only use it for the drivers side seating position.
Yeah, I'm thinking it's for the side, then. Bummer.

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#136 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 09:27 PM
 
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Is that comparing RF to tethered or untethered FF? In the videos from you and KnitLady, it looked untethered, but I wasn't sure because of what I think was the lap belt that I was seeing. I heard tethering reduces forward excursion by something like 6 inches?
Tethering does reduce head excursion. In this case, I outboard tethered is safer than center untethered.

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#137 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 09:32 PM
 
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Tethering does reduce head excursion. In this case, I outboard tethered is safer than center untethered.
Do you know what the relative safety is of tethered FF vs. RF? I can look it up if you don't know off the top of your head! I'm just lazy.

I realized, too, that having to use the outboard position will mean less space for the seat. Part of DS's seat now is in between our front seats. But I guess the Swedish seats are really upright, huh? Are they comfortable to sleep in?

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#138 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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Do you know what the relative safety is of tethered FF vs. RF? I can look it up if you don't know off the top of your head! I'm just lazy.

I realized, too, that having to use the outboard position will mean less space for the seat. Part of DS's seat now is in between our front seats. But I guess the Swedish seats are really upright, huh? Are they comfortable to sleep in?
RF is always safer. The statistics read that a child is five times more likely to be injured in a crash while forward facing than while rear facing. A forward facing seat is very safe. A tethered forward facing seat is even safeR. A rear facing seat is the safEST.

ETA: I don't think the Swedish seats are any more upright than our (US) convertibles. After a child has good head control, the seat can be installed more upright. The range is 30-45* from vertical, and as far as I know that's pretty universal.

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#139 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 10:45 PM
 
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All right, measurements of our backseat:

19.5 inches/49.5 cm seat depth
26 inches/66 cm between back of backseat and back of front seat -- that's the space the carseat would need to fit in (just found out airlines have 31 inch seat pitch -- I knew our backseat was uncomfortable!)
29 inches/73.7 cm height from back seat to front seat head rest -- just mentioning that in case these carseats are enormously tall

Do you think a Swedish seat would fit?

You use the seat till ~5 years old? But most American kids can use their American seats RF till 3 or so, whereas my guy is outgrowing his at 16 months. So is he likely to outgrow even a bigger seat by 2 or 3 then?

Do the Swedish RF seats need to have a tether to the floor? I don't have any floor tether anchors, and we looked all over and couldn't find a suitable alternative anchor point (seat supports, etc.). If anyone knows of one, let me know. They all felt smooth and of one piece -- not like a table leg but more like a horizontal metal L-shaped slat. There was nowhere to hook or loop the tether, not even a convenient hole in the metal piece.

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#140 of 160 Old 10-07-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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The Swedish seats have a 55 lb RF limit, so you'll be good for awhile

Also, the seats do tether RF but do not require designated RF tether points. What car do you have? Is it a Taurus? Try flipping the front seat forward and sliding it out of the way. You should be able to find something on the seat track to tether to.

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#141 of 160 Old 10-08-2008, 03:43 AM
 
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The Swedish seats have a 55 lb RF limit, so you'll be good for awhile
Oh, I wasn't worried about the weight limit. I was thinking more of height and harness slots. I heard 17" (per this thread) vs. 20" for the Regent. That's a significant difference. But, then, in another thread AdventureDad said his 4-year-old at 110 cm/43.3" had just outgrown his RF seat and gone into a booster. If my guy stayed in the same percentile for height, he'd be about the same at 4 years. So, 4 years old sounds good to me. But is that really true, with 17" highest harness slot? AdventureDad, do you maybe have some measurements around for the harness slots to confirm that?

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Also, the seats do tether RF but do not require designated RF tether points. What car do you have? Is it a Taurus? Try flipping the front seat forward and sliding it out of the way. You should be able to find something on the seat track to tether to.
It's an Escort, which is smaller than a Taurus. I'll try flipping the seat forward, though, and have another look -- thanks.

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#142 of 160 Old 10-08-2008, 03:50 AM
 
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Well the harness slots don't matter since they will be below the shoulder for RF anyway. You do have to consider the shell height, but I believe they are tall enough to see most kids to ~4 RFing. I'm sure AD can shed some more light on the subject.

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#143 of 160 Old 10-08-2008, 04:40 AM
 
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Well the harness slots don't matter since they will be below the shoulder for RF anyway. You do have to consider the shell height, but I believe they are tall enough to see most kids to ~4 RFing.
That's true -- I forgot it would be different harness rules. I'm trying to keep too many numbers straight! I've heard 24" height total.

I think I've found a lower tether anchor option. Thanks for the tip.

Now, at 4 years old, say, when DS outgrows the Swedish seat, he wouldn't be ready for a booster, would he?

Just to play devil's advocate, if I got, eg, a Regent he could theoretically use it up to ~53"/135 cm, which might be 8 years old if I'm forecasting based on percentiles correctly. I realize that ideally I'd buy both seats and switch him from the Swedish seat to the Regent at 4. But if I could buy only one, is it better to go with a Regent or similar and keep him harnessed longer, or is it better to have him RF till 4 and then switch to a booster?

Sigh...speculating on your child's safety kinda stinks.

One other idea, and this is what I can tell DH to justify the tremendous expense (ha ha), is that our next kid could use the RF seat when DS outgrows it and then we can buy the Regent or similar for him, then use it for the second kid if everything's not expired by then. We were thinking about 4 years apart (if we have another), so it might work. No, wait, they only last 6 years, don't they? Shoot. So the next kid would get the RF one for only 3 years and then the Regent for 3. Well, whatever.

All right, more thinking to do.

Anyone know about air travel with a Swedish seat?? Our families live across the country. If I'm buying a RF Swedish seat + a travel seat + a Regent/similar + a booster ... see, that's a lot of money for me. And that's assuming I don't get found out by the NHTSA and fined for using an illegal seat!

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#144 of 160 Old 10-18-2008, 09:04 PM
 
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One other idea, and this is what I can tell DH to justify the tremendous expense (ha ha), is that our next kid could use the RF seat when DS outgrows it and then we can buy the Regent or similar for him, then use it for the second kid if everything's not expired by then.
All right, I crunched some numbers. Someone check my math & reasoning.

Here are the scenarios, based on the highly theoretical idea of having a second child when #1 is 4 years old. That's our "plan," but we know from our work in getting the first one that plans don't always work. That said, I had to pick some sort of numbers to work with, so I went with 4 years apart.

Further, I had to guess on sizes and ages for how long each seat would last each child, and obviously I might not have guessed correctly, and I don't know all the averages (as in, what age a seat is outgrown typically) for the seats involved. I was doing this while we were driving somewhere, in the dark, just to try to get something on paper. (And, it fell under the car in the rain while I was getting DS out of his seat -- but I rescued it!)

Thirdly, I have no idea how big the theoretical second child will be. I'm supposing not a giant like DS, because that was presumably an anomaly, but I would assume above average height and weight because DH & I are (say, 90-95th percentile for both).

Finally, I'm approximating costs, just to have numbers to use. I'm guessing $600 for the Swedish seat with shipping (might be more or less) and $100 for a booster, because I have no idea how much boosters cost. The booster cost doesn't matter for my purposes, though.

OK, caveats taken care of, here are the two scenarios:

Getting a Swedish seat

DS#1:
Swedish seat from 1 year old - 4 yrs -- $600
Regent or similar high-limit FF seat from 4 yrs - 7 yrs -- $300
Booster from 7 yrs+ -- $100

DC#2:
Same Swedish seat from 0 - 3 yrs (till it expires at 6 years)
Same Regent or similar from 3 - 6 yrs (till it expires)
Same or second booster from 6 yrs+ -- $100 possibly

TOTAL = $1,000 (1 booster) or $1,100 (2 boosters)

(Again, what the boosters actually cost is irrelevant, since I'll use the same figure in both scenarios.)


NOT getting a Swedish seat

DS#1:
Current seat FF till ~2 years old (till ht or wt limit reached)
Regent or similar from 2 yrs - 8 yrs -- $300
Possible booster from 8 yrs+ -- $100

DC#2:
RF in convertible with 35-lb RF limit & higher FF limit from 0 - 2 yrs (or whenever 35 lbs/ht limit is met) -- $300
FF in same seat from 2 yrs - 6 yrs (or whenever limit met or seat expires)
If too young for booster, Regent or similar till 8 yrs old -- possible $300
If old enough, booster from 6 yrs+ -- $100

TOTAL = $700 (1 booster for DC#2 only & no extra Regent) or $800 (no extra Regent & two boosters) or $1,000 (two Regents & one booster) or $1,100 (two Regents & two boosters)


Things I've determined from this exercise: It's not much more expensive to buy a Swedish seat, and possibly the same price. A lot depends on the timing and size of the kids involved. If we didn't have a second kid, obviously there's no seat sharing. If we have the second kid earlier or later, it really messes up the figures. And if we have another giant later than 4 years apart, we might need a second Swedish seat!

Another point is that the Swedish seat model puts the cost upfront, and the other way spreads it out over more years. We're poor now, but I've no idea if we might be just as poor in the future, particularly if we have a second kid.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alki Mama View Post
Anyone know about air travel with a Swedish seat??
I'm going to assume US air travel with a Swedish seat is out, but if anyone knows differently, let me know. That said, depending on what seat we bought that wasn't a Swedish one (Regent, e.g.), we might have to buy a separate travel seat anyway. I guess that's a research for another day.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Alki Mama View Post
And that's assuming I don't get found out by the NHTSA and fined for using an illegal seat!
Does anyone have a thought as to the morality of using an illegal seat? Does no one have a problem with it?

And what do you think my risks are for being caught? I was thinking I could drape a light blanket over the bar part that makes the seat look the most different from a US seat. But do you think we'd get stopped at some point just for having a giant kid facing backwards? Even if just as a safety check to tell us no seats in the US allow a child to sit that way at that age?

mdcblog5.gif Hobo Mama • living on the beach with DP (Jun 98) and DS1 (Jun 07) and DS2 (May 11) familybed2.gif

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#145 of 160 Old 10-18-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alki Mama View Post
Does anyone have a thought as to the morality of using an illegal seat? Does no one have a problem with it?

And what do you think my risks are for being caught? I was thinking I could drape a light blanket over the bar part that makes the seat look the most different from a US seat. But do you think we'd get stopped at some point just for having a giant kid facing backwards? Even if just as a safety check to tell us no seats in the US allow a child to sit that way at that age?
I wouldn't have a problem with using an "illegal" seat. You can always have a doctor and a CPST write letters explaining WHY you have the seat, and carry those. Honestly, though, the chances of you being pulled over and ticketed for using the seats are very very slim.

CPST & mom

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#146 of 160 Old 10-18-2008, 10:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by an_aurora View Post
You can always have a doctor and a CPST write letters explaining WHY you have the seat, and carry those.
The doctor I've got, but I'd be afraid to ask a local CPST in case s/he disagreed with my decision and reported me. Would someone online here be willing to give me a letter like that to print out?

mdcblog5.gif Hobo Mama • living on the beach with DP (Jun 98) and DS1 (Jun 07) and DS2 (May 11) familybed2.gif

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#147 of 160 Old 10-19-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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DS1 was RF in the Britax Wizard until he was a little over 3 and he hit the RF limit (34#IIRC). We turned him FF. A couple months later his brother hit the limit for the baby bucket so we got DS1 the Regent and put DS2 RF in the Wizard.

DS1 (5) has tons of space left in the Regent when many of his friends and cousins are in booster seats. DS2 (2 & 28#) is still RF in the Wizard.

Not only are we keeping our kids RF as long as possible, we will keep them in a 5-pt harness as long as possible. Don't forget to keep track of the weight limits on your car's LATCH components.

Alaskan Mom to 2 boys
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#148 of 160 Old 10-20-2008, 01:49 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alki Mama View Post
And what do you think my risks are for being caught? I was thinking I could drape a light blanket over the bar part that makes the seat look the most different from a US seat. But do you think we'd get stopped at some point just for having a giant kid facing backwards? Even if just as a safety check to tell us no seats in the US allow a child to sit that way at that age?
I think the risk of being caught isn't so much the concern, as that an insurance company might not pay for medical care in the event of a crash w/ it because it's illegal.... if it were on rx from your dr I'd think they'd have to (I'm certainly no expert, just speculating) ; hard to weigh pros vs cons in this situation, certainly better to have the kid as safe as possible - which is rf for all passengers - but at the same time, if there is an accident and the insurance decides not to cover (which we all know they're great at finding ways NOT to pay around here) you possibly have an injured kid w/ no medical care.......

Mom to A 11/06: Researching : to grow our family
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#149 of 160 Old 10-20-2008, 12:23 PM
 
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Hi, I've removed a number of posts that were in violation of the User Agreement by promoting a service, business or website or referenced or quoted posts that did. Please do not post in this manner again. Please PM me or AdinaL with any questions. Thanks!
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#150 of 160 Old 10-20-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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I'm pretty sure insurance not paying would not be an issue. If car insurance didn't cover the results of negligent or illegal behavior, it would be pretty worthless.
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