When do they switch to a forward facing carseat? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS is 11 months and about 21 pounds and still sits in a rear facing seat. His feet touch the back of the seat, but he's not crammed in there or anything. When am I supposed to go to the next carseat?

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#2 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 08:20 PM
 
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He's waaaaaaay far from being able to forward face. Most mainstream sources will say 12 months, but he is significantly safer staying rearfacing to the upper weight limit of a convertable carseat (some rearface to 35lbs). Check out the Family Safety forum for more information.

FTR, my 25 month old is still rearfacing and will be for the forseeable future. Even if a baby/toddlers legs look cramped, they should not be turned.
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#3 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 08:21 PM
 
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the aap recommends that infants stay rear-facing to the upper rear-facing limits of their carseat. most go to 30 lbs now. our britax rear faces to 35 lbs.

rearfacing is safest as long as possible...but the US is just now reviewing the research.

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#4 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 08:22 PM
 
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BTW, if your son is still in an infant seat (the kind you can carry from the car), it might be time to switch to a convertable seat, depending upon the height and weight limits listed in your seat's user guide. Some seats are only good up to 20 lbs, and my older two kids outgrew them in height loooong before weight.
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#5 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 09:15 PM
 
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ours is staying rear facing as long as her carseat says they can stay that way, for ours its 35 pounds.

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#6 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 10:30 PM
 
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Til the limit of the seat -- and if your babe is still in an infant bucket, get a convertible. Most will RF to 35lbs.

I turned my older dd FF when she was 12 mos and then I turned her back to RF because it's wayyyyyyyyy safer.

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#7 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 10:41 PM
 
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When he outgrows the seat.

DD is 16mos, 31+ in, 19.5 lbs, and will be rearfacing for a LOOOONG time (she'll probably outgrow height before weight)

It is MUCH MUCH MUCH safer to be rearfacing in almost all situation. Google "internal decapitation"
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#8 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 10:47 PM
 
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Agreeing with PP's - when you purchase your next car seat (convertible car seat, meaning it can RF and FF), check out the RF limits of the seat. Current US seats RF to 30, 33 or 35 lbs, and you should keep your little one RF to the limits of the seat. It's much safer.

To get your most money's worth out of the next seat, you should be looking for a seat that harnesses to a total weight past 40 lbs. More and more seats are available on the market today with harnesses designed to hold 50-65 lbs, and even a couple seats that can hold 80 lbs, although one of them is a FF-only seat. Just ask if you need specifics.

Mamasthree - just had to say that your Britax RF's to 33 lbs, not 35. There are no Britax seats that RF past 35 lbs currently, although that is soon to change when they release their new line.

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#9 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 10:54 PM
 
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I will RF until my DS is 33 lbs, which is the limit for our Britax.
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#10 of 160 Old 11-04-2007, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by YumaDoula View Post
Til the limit of the seat -- and if your babe is still in an infant bucket, get a convertible. Most will RF to 35lbs.

I turned my older dd FF when she was 12 mos and then I turned her back to RF because it's wayyyyyyyyy safer.
This is what I needed to hear. DS still is in the infant carrier seat - of course we never carry him in it anymore. He does seem big for it, which is why I was wondering. Guess it's time to go get a covertible!

Thanks everyone for your input.

Doing my best every day with DH , DD (11) , and DS (4)

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#11 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 12:12 AM
 
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My DD is 6 months and 28"+ already, she is also already 19lbs.... what do you do if they reach the limits of the RF convertibles available before they are a year old? I expect that she'll continue to grow lengthwise but will slow down weight-wise when she starts crawling and walking, but she's going to be so cramped in the legs. Even at 28" her feet touch the seat back.

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#12 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 12:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kdtmom2be View Post
My DD is 6 months and 28"+ already, she is also already 19lbs.... what do you do if they reach the limits of the RF convertibles available before they are a year old? I expect that she'll continue to grow lengthwise but will slow down weight-wise when she starts crawling and walking, but she's going to be so cramped in the legs. Even at 28" her feet touch the seat back.
their legs being cramped really isnt a problem, well not compared to being in an accident when their bodies are still not ready to take one head on. My daughter is light but very well (she was 29 and a hald inches at months) and we her feet touch and we are not moving her anytime soon. She is 11 months BTW.

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#13 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 12:33 AM
 
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For those wondering, a RFing car seat is outgrown when the child's head is one inch from the top of shell or if they reach the weight limit. DD2 outgrew her bucket seat months ago (she just turned one), and is RFing in a convertible and will be for quite some time.

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#14 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 12:35 AM
 
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Ds will be rear-facing until he hits the weight limit. There are video's on you-tube that show 3-4 year-olds rear facing, they just cross their legs. We turned dd just before she turned 2, she was 31 lbs. Not quite at the limit, but I hadn't done the research that I have now and I am so thankful that we haven't been in an accident. She is 2.75 years now, and 36 lbs. If she wasn't past the weight limit I would turn her back around.
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#15 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kdtmom2be View Post
My DD is 6 months and 28"+ already, she is also already 19lbs.... what do you do if they reach the limits of the RF convertibles available before they are a year old? I expect that she'll continue to grow lengthwise but will slow down weight-wise when she starts crawling and walking, but she's going to be so cramped in the legs. Even at 28" her feet touch the seat back.
It would be really rare for a baby to outgrow a convertable seat before they turned one - really rare. My daughter was ginormous and she didn't out grow her seat until she was 18 months old - she was 30 lbs and I don't know how tall, but she still fit for height even being really tall and long torsoed. Her seat only rear faced to 30 lbs, so we turned her then. The legs are not part of the equation when it comes to outgrowing a rearfacing seat. The baby/toddler will just prop their feet up, put them off to the side, or cross their legs.
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#16 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 01:45 AM
 
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FWIW, while we're planning on keeping DD RF as long as possible, we are still looking forward to her turning one year old so that it will at least be "legal" to turn her FF occasionally.

We have her seat in our "family car" and we're unable to take "family trips", because in order to fit her seat (Radian -- narrow but verrrry tall) in RF, the front passenger sit is moved all the way forward.

With both DH and I being Very Tall People, it means it is EXCRUCIATINGLY uncomfortable for either of us to sit there. Thus, we can't go on long car trips with all of us (ie, someone needing to be in the front passenger seat).

I'm sure it's not all that safe for me to be squished up against the front airbag like that either, so it's not ONLY a comfort issue.

So our plan is that once she's a year old, we will turn her seat to FF if/when we go on any family junkets, then turn it back RF otherwise (most of the time it's just me shuttling the kids around). It doesn't have to be all-or-nothing one-or-the-other. The seat is easy enough to install/uninstall/reinstall.

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#17 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kdtmom2be View Post
My DD is 6 months and 28"+ already, she is also already 19lbs.... what do you do if they reach the limits of the RF convertibles available before they are a year old? I expect that she'll continue to grow lengthwise but will slow down weight-wise when she starts crawling and walking, but she's going to be so cramped in the legs. Even at 28" her feet touch the seat back.
Rachel was big too, but she fit in her convertible rearfacing til a year. I got her a forward facing carseat just before she was a year, and I wans't planning on using it for awhile, but her convertibel woudln't install properly in the new van. I kept her rearfacing in other vehicles for a bit, but she was too tall (her head was right at the top the last time she ride rf. I shoudln't have let her ride that way even one time , actually) by 14 months. It was a Cosco Touriva ( ithink that's cosco anyhow).
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#18 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 02:25 AM
 
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For those wondering, a RFing car seat is outgrown when the child's head is one inch from the top of shell or if they reach the weight limit. DD2 outgrew her bucket seat months ago (she just turned one), and is RFing in a convertible and will be for quite some time.
Britax seats are still technically "entirely within shell" Doesn't have to be 1in.

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#19 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 02:27 AM
 
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I would never turn a child at a year. Not for a single trip. FAR too dangerous.

Dd is 3yrs old and still RF. Though will be turning ff soon Close to outgrowing her boulevard rf by weight AND height.

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Originally Posted by granolalight View Post
This is what I needed to hear. DS still is in the infant carrier seat - of course we never carry him in it anymore. He does seem big for it, which is why I was wondering. Guess it's time to go get a covertible!

Thanks everyone for your input.
Sounds like he might be over the height limit of the infant car seat. You'd have to check for your car seat, though. Our Graco infant seat weight limit went up to 20 lbs, but but only up to 26" in height. My DS outgrew it height-wise at 6 months -- he was well under the weight limit.
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#21 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 03:51 AM
 
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It would be really rare for a baby to outgrow a convertable seat before they turned one - really rare. My daughter was ginormous and she didn't out grow her seat until she was 18 months old - she was 30 lbs and I don't know how tall, but she still fit for height even being really tall and long torsoed. Her seat only rear faced to 30 lbs, so we turned her then. The legs are not part of the equation when it comes to outgrowing a rearfacing seat. The baby/toddler will just prop their feet up, put them off to the side, or cross their legs.
Thank you, that's the info I was looking for.

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#22 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 09:08 AM
 
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It would be really rare for a baby to outgrow a convertable seat before they turned one - really rare. My daughter was ginormous and she didn't out grow her seat until she was 18 months old - she was 30 lbs and I don't know how tall, but she still fit for height even being really tall and long torsoed. Her seat only rear faced to 30 lbs, so we turned her then. The legs are not part of the equation when it comes to outgrowing a rearfacing seat. The baby/toddler will just prop their feet up, put them off to the side, or cross their legs.

But what do you do when it does? I have a friend with a 30lb 7month old. (He's tall too) Suggestions?

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#23 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 11:53 AM
 
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But what do you do when it does? I have a friend with a 30lb 7month old. (He's tall too) Suggestions?

Well, the height would probably not be a problem because there are seats that rearface that have high shells. The weight is another issue, though. I've heard Britax is about to come out with a seat that rear faces until 35 lbs, but I don't know much about it. That's something that you should probably ask about on the Family safety board - we have a lot of car seat techs that hang out there.
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But what do you do when it does? I have a friend with a 30lb 7month old. (He's tall too) Suggestions?
The scenera is a cheap seat that RF to 35lbs.

The radian rf to 35.

Then new recaro seats rf to 35.

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#26 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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I can tell you what the recommendations in Germany are.

If the legs start sticking out is not a problem. But make sure the head still has full support. If the head starts sticking out at the top we are no longer allowed to use our infant carrier car seats and have to get the next bigger size (the forward facing one).

My twins outgrew theirs when they where 10 months old. They are very tall and didn't have the full head support any more.

This is coming from a country with VERY strict safety regulations by the way.
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#27 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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The weight is another issue, though. I've heard Britax is about to come out with a seat that rear faces until 35 lbs, but I don't know much about it.
The Britax Diplomat (fancy version of Roundabout) and Advocate (should be out next month, fancy version of Boulevard) both RF to 35 pounds . They are pretty spendy, though. Thirty pounds at 7 months is alot, but honestly I highly doubt the child will gain that last 5 pounds before 12 months. Children generally slow down their weight gain when they start crawling & walking, and I have heard of many children who were 30 pounds before a year, and at 3 or 4 are still under 35 pounds. Hopefully he will be one of those kids!

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#28 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 01:21 PM
 
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I can tell you what the recommendations in Germany are.

If the legs start sticking out is not a problem. But make sure the head still has full support. If the head starts sticking out at the top we are no longer allowed to use our infant carrier car seats and have to get the next bigger size (the forward facing one).

My twins outgrew theirs when they where 10 months old. They are very tall and didn't have the full head support any more.

This is coming from a country with VERY strict safety regulations by the way.
Are there no convertible seats in Germany?

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#29 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 01:22 PM
 
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In Sweden, children rear-face to 4/5 and 50 lbs.

In the US, children have to (by law, in most cases) rear-face until they are 1 yo and 20 lbs, and for optimal safety, SHOULD, per the AAP, Safe Kids, NHTSA and just about every other major organization who researches the issue of carseat safety, rear-face to the limits of their convertible seat, generally between 33-35 lbs.
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#30 of 160 Old 11-05-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Are there no convertible seats in Germany?
In Europe, there are very few convertible seats, but as far as I've seen, they do exist, just not to the level that they do here.
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