car seat question?

Kasey - posted on 06/04/2010 ( 59 moms have responded )

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my son turned a year old May 21, 2010, he is only 17lbs and his car seat holds up to 25lbs does he need to stay in his infant car seat till he meets 25lbs or is it ok to take the next step up?

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Nikki - posted on 06/04/2010

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you can move them into a convertible seat but still keep him rear facing as long as you possibly can !!!!! Please dont rush them into forward facing!!!

Sherry - posted on 06/05/2010

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I would get a convertible car seat and keep him rear facing. My girls were 17 pounds by 8 months and we got them a roomier convertible seat.

And for what it's worth, Madelyn is still rear facing at 14 months weighing 24 pounds and 30 inches. She still has plenty of room to stay rear facing until she outgrows the 35 pound rear facing limit on her seat.

Have fun on your trip!

Kristin - posted on 06/04/2010

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What do you mean by the next step up? Bigger seat or turn to forward facing? You can move him to a larger convertible seat anytime you like, just keep rear facing. He needs to be 1 year AND 20 Lbs minimum. His neck and back muscles are not strong enough to take the abuse a collision will dish out, even with a carseat. A lot of safety proponents are recommending rear-facing until 2 or as close to 2 as they and you will tolerate.

Your hsopital, pediatrician, fire department, or police station can tell you what the minimum legal requirements are. They may even be able to check that it's installed properly.

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Jennifer - posted on 06/21/2010

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My daughter is 23 months and only weighs 17 lbs 4 oz. She will be 2 in July, but is still in a rear-facing convertible car seat. My pediatrician said she cannot turn around until she is 20 pounds. She said that PA law is age and weight (20lbs and 1 year) before they can be turned forward facing. She was still in an infant seat until she was about 14 months old. When she finally became too long for the infant seat, we got a convertible so that we could keep her rear-facing and then turn her forward when she meets all the requirements. It's much safer and she doesn't seem to mind being backwards. I have a large mirror on the headrest of the seat that she is facing and she can see me in it so she's okay. If you still aren't sure what the laws are or aren't comfortable, I would just ask your pediatrician to make sure. But I think your best bet would be to get a convertible seat so that he will be more comfortable for now. Hope this helps!

Medic - posted on 06/17/2010

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To turn your child around just because they dont have leg room is rediculous in my opinion. The likely hood of your child being internally decapitated is way higher then they likelyhood of them breaking their legs. Anyways if its a broken leg cast it if its a broken neck casket....but hey its yalls kids not mine.

Bonnie - posted on 06/17/2010

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They can be turned forward facing at 20lbs AND 30 inches AND 1 year. They have to me all three of the above before doing so.
This was the way it was when my now 11 year old was born. Things have changed. The laws on rear facing probably have to help keep the kids safer. My 15 month old just went into a convertible car seat about 2 months ago, he grew out of his infant one in height, not weight. He is still under 22 punds, but over 29 inches. We were told it is best to keep him rear facing for up to 30 or 35 pounds... some convertible seats go up to 40 punds rear facing. Definitely make sure you know what your state requires.

Bonnie - posted on 06/17/2010

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All states have differnt guidelines and laws. We were told by our pediatrician that just because our soen was 1 did not mean we should turn him forward facing. We kept him in his infant seat until he reached the height limit. He is still under the weight limit, so we have a rear facing seat that later we can turn and use as he grows into a booster seat. Below is more ifno I found. Good luck to you.
Some information I recently looked up as I had the same questions: from http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/babie...
Infant vs. convertible car seats

A rear-facing infant seat is the first stage. A built-in harness secures the infant, reclined at an angle typically between 30 and 45 degrees, to provide optimum protection in a crash without interfering with breathing. Infant seats can accommodate most children from birth up to about 22 lbs. or more. (See our infant seat Ratings.)

With its removable carrier and swing-up handle, an infant seat lets you move your baby in and out of the car without disturbing him. Though it might be a better value to jump into a convertible seat first, infant seats, by their design, tend to be more compact and secure infants better when compared to larger convertible models, which is why we recommend them as the first step.

Though convertible seats can be used for a newborn, they will likely fit better in an infant seat. Convertible seats are best for when a baby's weight reaches the infant seat's limit, which may be as early as 6 to 9 months old. Orienting the convertible seat in a rear-facing position until your baby is at least 1 year old and over 20 lbs. is a must. But new research shows that babies up to 23 months are better protected rear-facing (see Rear-facing longer is better). Eventually, you can "convert" the seat to face forward, and use it that way until your toddler reaches the seat's forward-facing height and weight limits. Overall, height requirements or limits for the convertible seats we tested ranged from 19 inches to 53 inches, and weight limits from 5 pounds to 80 pounds, so they can be used for several years.

Manda - posted on 06/16/2010

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It really depends on the size of your babys head if its still fiting ok an that sounds funny but if your babies head is fiting ok then they will be fine to stay in infints seat

Deb - posted on 06/16/2010

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Echoing lots of moms here, keep her rear facing but you can change the car seat. In fact, my 20-month old is 25 lbs and we still have her rear-facing. Recent things I've read suggest that it's safest to keep them rear-facing till 2 years, when their muscles are much stronger. It may cramp their legs a bit but in the case of an accident, a broken leg is preferable to more serious injuries.

Karren - posted on 06/16/2010

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I moved my daughter around when she was 8 months old she was already 10kgs as she was too long to sit rear facing. She is now 15 months old and still in the same seat forward facing. In Australia we have to keep our kids in car seats with the full 5 point harness until they are 7.

Jennifer - posted on 06/15/2010

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A child does not ever HAVE to use an infant seat, so he does not have to stay in it till 20#. A convertible seat is just as safe since it both faces rear and forward. I would also caution against seeing fire personell and police unless you know they are certified in child passenger safety, many are not and give our dangerous information. www.seatcheck.org is a good place to start when looking for a tech in your area. I would also caution against a lot of Dr's advice too as many just don't know. My friend once said 'asking a Dr about carseat advice is like asking a butcher about pickles!'. You want to find someone like myself who is trained in carseats to help you.

Julie - posted on 06/15/2010

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The age doesn't matter. Your son needs to stay rear facing in his infant car seat until he reaches 20 lbs. unless his head is above the top of the car seat. Then you can move him up to a convertible car seat, but he must remain rear facing until he reaches 20 lbs. That is not only for his safety, but is the law in most states. Check with your pediatrician if you want verification of the laws in your state. My children are extremely tiny. None of them were 20 lbs. at a year old. In fact my last daughter was born 4 weeks early and she just recently reached 20 lbs. after her 2nd birthday in February so she was in a rear facing infant car seat until then. We were so excited when she reached 20 lbs. and we could move her up. She has room for her legs and loves looking out the window and telling us everything she sees from her "big girl" car seat.

Catherine - posted on 06/15/2010

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I was told that you CAN switch them to forward facing when they hit a year(and meet certain requirements I think) but if you want to keep him rear facing it's the best for a small child. I wouldn't keep him longer than 15-18 months(personally) but like someone else suggested just talk to the fire department because they'll have the best and safest advice.

Kelly - posted on 06/15/2010

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My daughter is 19 months and 22 lbs, and we just recently upgraded to forward-facing seats. The rear-facing seats are safer, and there is no need to rush for a forward-facing seat.

FYI, we're in love with the Graco Nautilus, it goes from 20 to 100 lbs and is very sturdy and comfortable!

Melissa - posted on 06/15/2010

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in canada all children hace to be in a car seat until they are 9 yrs old 80lbs or 4ft 9 in and 80 lbs and younger children should be rear facing until 2 yrs of age

Jennifer - posted on 06/14/2010

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The Radian 80SL and XTSL both go to 45# rfing and have the highest height There are a few others that go to 40# rfing, including the Radian 65SL, Cosco Complete Air, and Graco My Ride 65. The 3 in 1s are a lot better than they used to be since they go to 50# now and a higher weight (these are the Dorel/Cosco ones, Evenflo has some now as well). None of them make very good boosters and they will expire before you're done w/ a booster anyways so you're better off buying a dedicated convertible seat and then buying a seperate booster later.

Carrie - posted on 06/14/2010

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Jennifer,
Do you know what carseats rear face the longest (according to weight/height)? My infant seat rear faces to 35 lbs, as does my convertible carseat. Can you also let me know your opinion on 3-in-1 carseats and if you know of any that can rear face (for later)?

Jennifer - posted on 06/13/2010

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No one said anything about better than anyone else, but as a carseat tech I know what the research says and that trumps most other reasons to go ffing before 2, or even 3 in my house.

Madeleine - posted on 06/13/2010

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whoa, easy there, jennifer.


none of us have a right to a "better mommy than you" trophy. we all care about the health, well being, and safety of our kids - otherwise we wouldn't be so apt to discuss and seek advice and opinions.

Jennifer - posted on 06/13/2010

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Happier does not make up for safety. I'm sure my kids are happier doing a lot of things I don't let them do, doesn't make them o.k. things to do! Yes, we are way ahead of where we were when we were kids, why stop the process by choosing to do something that is shown to be statstically less safe? My dd is 38" and still rfing easily and is not 'squished'. Children's bones are just starting to harden at 12 mos, that's why you have to wait till at least 12 mos. While they are less likely to get hurt ffing at 12 mos than they are 10 mos, they are even less likely to get hurt if you wait till at least 24 mos to turn them ffing. In fact, studies show that children who ff before 24 mos are 5x more likely to be seriously injured in crashes vs those who are rfing.

Madeleine - posted on 06/12/2010

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At 14 months and 23 pounds we switched our son to a convertible seat in the forward facing position. He is pretty tall, too, and his legs were really squished rear facing at that point. He is also a bruiser, and is just a stout and sturdy guy, so we felt this would be ok. He was instantly happier and would ride longer in the car without protesting. We live in NY but have lots of family in PA, so we take lots of 4-6 hour trips fairly often to visit.

The statistical advice about front facing you've gotten is good - not before 20 lbs.

Also use your best judgment, though. Once your kiddo hits 20 lbs, if you think he'd be happier front facing, turn him around. It's up to you. Cars are never completely safe, no matter how or where you sit, but of course taking any measures to make the trip more safe is the smartest thing to do. Already, though, our generation is miles ahead of where things were 30 years ago...

I remember as a 4 year old sitting in the back seat of my Dad's Camaro on the hump between the two seats, with no seat belt, just so I could see where we were going better.

It's crazy how things have changed since then.

Jennifer - posted on 06/12/2010

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First, there are no seats that go to 25#. I'm assuming yours goes to 22#. There is no reason to keep him in an infant seat, some babies never use infant seats. The important thing is to keep him rfing for as long as possible, which means careful shopping when you buy a new convertible seat. My 16 mos old was 17# at 12 mos and is 20# now and is rfing still of course in her seat. My 3.5yo is also still rfing in her seat at 32# (hers goes to 40# rfing).

As a carseat tech I can say a lot of these responses were great, the other 1/2 were just plain scary and helps me understand how 90% of seats are used and/or installed incorrectly! I don't have time to respond to everyone on this thread w/ their bad advice unfortunately. The safest thing for your child and what the AAP reccomends is to stay rfing as long as possible. The min is 1 AND 20# OR whatever your seat says (ALL Dorel/Cosco seats require the child be 1, 22#, and 34" tall to go ffing). They are currently revising the reccomendations to redo the minimum to a longer span of time, probably 2yr. Some reccomend 30# as well, but some of us have skinny kids, lol.

Ann - posted on 06/12/2010

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For our 1st child, we went by the height, not the weight. I think that is better because if they are too tall for it, then their head could be hurt in an accident.

Sarah - posted on 06/11/2010

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Make sure you keep your baby rear facing, even if you do switch him to a convertible car seat. Even though the MINIMUM is 20 lbs, check the minimum weight of your car seat to be forward facing. Some require the baby to be 22 or 23 lbs before they can safely be forward facing (mine was and I didn't know it until it was pointed out at a car seat check).

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You can put him in a convertible carseat. But I believe that they are supposed to weigh at least 20 lbs and one year old before you put them forward facing (for many models at least). I say go ahead!

Carrie - posted on 06/11/2010

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I just know the longer you can keep them rear-facing, the better. It's the safest way for the babes to ride!

Kristen - posted on 06/11/2010

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We moved our daughter out of the infant carrier when she was about 14 months and around 20 lbs. We moved her to a rear facing convertable car seat that she uses forward facing now (she is two). I think she stayed rear facing until close to 18 months. We moved her when her poor legs were getting too long to be comfortable against the seat back. She never minded being rear facing so I would suggest keep your son rear facing as long as you can. They are SO MUCH SAFER!

Ashley - posted on 06/11/2010

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I would take it up. It's okay. I stopped using the infant seat, and started using the toddler seat before a year (even though I still kept it rear facing)... It just depends on how large your baby grows. My 3 year old sits in a booster seat because he is too large for a toddler even though you are supposed to wait until 4.

Ivy - posted on 06/11/2010

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Convertable will be just fine as long as you keep him rearfacing until the minimum of 20lbs AND 1yr. The AAP recommends that you keep them rearfacing until the max of your convertable seat or 2yrsold.

Rearfacing is the best for everyone so keep him backwards to the max of his seat.

My oldest daughter is 3yrs and still rearfacing she is 30lbs. My youngest is 14M rearfacing 22lbs.

Christine - posted on 06/10/2010

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What I want to know is that does it sound wierd or is it just me that your child is a year old and only 17 lbs?

Sabrina - posted on 06/10/2010

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I moved my daughter to a regular car seat at 9 months old because she was too long for her infant car seat. However, I did keep her facing the rear until she was 14 months old. I had to turn her around because she was bracing her feet against the seat and pushing, causing the straps to loosen up that hold the seat in place. so for me it was more of a safety thing than a necessary thing.

Cheryl - posted on 06/10/2010

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I turned my daughter early she hated sitting backwards. so why not move him forward

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You can switch to the next level of carseat but you have to keep him rear-facing until 1 and 20lbs. But they recommend that you keep RF until 2.

Roxy - posted on 06/09/2010

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that depends on the laws.. in new zealand we are required to keep our children in rear facing car seats until they are 1year old

Kristy - posted on 06/09/2010

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Depends. My son is two and half and he still is in his original car seat. i turned his around when he was 7 months. i will be buying a toddler seat when he is three. there is nothing wrong with keeping bub in the same seat by loosening the straps to their build. my son is 12 kgs (in pounds i dunno but he is skinny) and my daughter went forward facing at six months and that gives me more success keeping her asleep when i transfer her from car seat to cot. but choose what you think best that is legal. but that depends if the next step up is turning the seat around or buying a toddler seat. if it is a toddler seat a one year old is two young. best wait till two and half or three. if turning around, they will be able to see out windows and you can point out sceneries to them like trees, trucks, animals and tell them so they know what to look for. but choose what you think is best.

Kylie - posted on 06/09/2010

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i agree to keep him rear facing as long as possable. My car seat rear faces birth - 25 kg(55 lb) (4-5 years) if he is uncomforatble in his infant car seat, change

Andrea - posted on 06/09/2010

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Most infant car seats also have a height requirement as well. Ours is 22 lbs and 29 inches. If your son is still within the limits of your infant car seat I would think it would be ok to stay with that seat. However, usually at 1 year kids are strong enough to move to a forward facing seat (which brings new and interesting things for them to see in the car). So you may want to change seats to a convertible car seat that can be used in the forward facing position. Have fun!!

Toni - posted on 06/08/2010

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It is best to leave a baby rear facing as long as possible. Even if you get a larger car seat to replace an infant seat, make sure it is a convertable car seat so that the baby can stay rear facing. I am keeping my baby in her infant seat until she reaches the weight limit of 30 lbs and then she is going into a rear facing convertable car seat until at least 18 months. Most states have a weight limit of 20-22 lbs.

Amy - posted on 06/08/2010

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Most of the weight and height requirements are 22 lbs and 28 inches long. Need to fatten that lil guy up lol

Katie - posted on 06/08/2010

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You could keep him in his current carseat until he meets the 25lbs weight limit (or height restriction.). I know our Infant carseats restrictions were 30lbs & 30inches. We chose to switch to a convertable carseat when he was 14 months old. He is currently 17 months old, 32 inches tall, 24lbs and still happily rearfacing. We plan to keep him that way until he outgrow's the rf'ing limit on his current seat, which is 35lbs.

You could move him up to a convertable carseat, but like lots of posts below, I would keep him rearfacing.
Good Luck!

Jacquelyn - posted on 06/08/2010

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Sherry - Is there a height limit on that seat because my 4 yr old only weighs 33 lbs and I can't imagine she would fit rearfacing

Kathy - posted on 06/08/2010

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and the restriction for each car seat and stages should be printed right on them

Jessica - posted on 06/07/2010

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my son is 5 and half months and is 19lbs 8 oz. we switched him to a convertable carseat rear facing, he definatly is more comfortable in it. here in Canada there is also weight and hieght restriction for them to go front facing.

Lexi - posted on 06/07/2010

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He still needs to be in a seat that is rated for 17lbs but you can still go for a new seat. Our car seat was $75 at costco and is considered "convertible". It is rated for babies/kids 5 pounds up to 80 pounds. We have never owned an infant seat. The instructions say to keep it rear facing to 30 pounds then turn it around.

Kathy - posted on 06/07/2010

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you can switch as long as the new car seat meets his weight & size requirements. I think most of the ones that are convertible should be ok. My daughter is 8 months and weight wise hers is fine for now but we're going to have to switch her soon because she's almost reached the length requirement.

Melissa - posted on 06/06/2010

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You should be fine to move him to a five point harness convertible seat but I highly recommend keeping it rear facing as long as it's possible, they are far safer that way. My little dude is 1.5 and still rear facing. I just bought a car bar to keep him entertained and bought a mirror and have placed it so I can see him in it from my rear view mirror. Each car seat manufacturer has different recommendations as far as weight and height so just try out different ones in the store, it took me forever to find just the right one for each of my kids.

Janita - posted on 06/06/2010

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the next step up would be a five point car seat, generally a child needs to be 20 pounds and one year of age to be in a five point carseat that is forward facing. however you can use a five point that is rear facing until your child meats the weight requirements.

Sherry - posted on 06/06/2010

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age and length aren't really mandatory in Alberta (my son is already past the lenth requirement for rear facing but hasn't quite reached the 22lb limit listed on his current seat)... the health professionasl here stress the weight.. as long as the babe is under the weight limit keep him/her rear facing regardless of age-- a convertable seat (3 in 1, 2 in 1) are also great.. I'd suggest a 3 in one though... that's what we have as a next up.. pricy to be sure but cheaper then always buying the next step up seat... was about 160 canadian... these also have their own requirements for forward facing and rear facaing so do read the manual cover to cover (in your language of coures wouldn't bother reading the french section)

Hoep that helped.

Catherine - posted on 06/05/2010

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yes he does your child needs to be in a weight appropriate car restraint at all times.Do not take him out of his seat until his weight forces you to. In Australia new laws have just come in and you must keep your child in a carseat until they are 7 yrs old now , cheers hope this helps

Annie - posted on 06/05/2010

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I would check with your Dr. or the local fire dept. We have to meet both age and weight.

Jenee - posted on 06/05/2010

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A convertible is totally fine since most of them start at 5lbs. Just remember that you have to keep him rear facing I am not sure where you are from but I know in many states in the USA it is the law. They can be turned forward facing at 20lbs AND 30 inches AND 1 year. They have to me all three of the above before doing so.

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