carseat

Valerie - posted on 06/25/2010 ( 84 moms have responded )

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So my pediatrician told my husband something interesting today at my son's 6 month appt. (I had to work) He said that the infant seat should be used until your baby is at least 9 months old because they are way more safe. He said that you shouldn't switch over to the convertible seat until after that. I had never heard of that before but it works for me. He also said that my son should be rear facing until 2, which I have heard and I agree with because it is much safer.
Has anyone else heard about keeping their babies in the infant carseat until about 9 months?

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Janice - posted on 07/01/2010

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Oh, and legs aren't important.. Children are flexible and will bend their legs. It's perfectly safe. There has actually never been a case of broken legs from rear-facing, but there has been cases of broken spinal cords from forward-facing to early. And a broken leg would be easier to fix anyway.. Right?

Sarah - posted on 07/04/2010

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I don't agree because my son is 7 mon. and is too big for infant seats, he's 28 and 1/2 in. tall and 21 lbs., I found a convertible seat at walmart that goes from 20 lbs. to 45 lbs. so that's what I'm going to get. My daughter was the same way, she wasn't too heavy for the seat but she was too tall so she has been in a forward facing toddler seat since she was 1. I think it depends on the kid, drs. are not always right.

Cassandra - posted on 07/01/2010

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It is nice to see some parents out there who care more about safety than it being "easier". Thanks Janice for being one of those rare finds:) Keeping your child rear facing as long as possible is the best thing you can do. It is 500% safer for them to be rear facing in an accident. If their legs are bent because they are long, who cares! Kids tend to be more comfortable in weird positions anyway. I plan on keeping my son rear facing (RF) until he reaches the RF weight limit for his car seat which is 40 lbs. Extended Rear Facing is the way to go. Good luck to everyone out there :)

Janice - posted on 07/01/2010

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You can switch to a convertible whenever you want. As long as the baby still fits in the infant seat, he/she is fine in it.
They still fit if: the head is at least one inch below the top of the seat OR if they have not reached the weight limit.

My 6.5 month old in a Chicco Key Fit 30. It goes to 30 pounds. He currently has several inches above his head and another 11 pounds before he hits the 30 pound weight limit. So we're leaving him in it.

Remember though, when you are buying a convertible car seat, that it needs to fit your vehicle, fit your budget, fit your child and be something you will use properly every single time.. And the current AAP recommendation is that children stay rear-facing until 18 months, or when they have outgrown the upper rear-facing limits of the convertible car seat. Usually 33-40 pounds, depending on the brand.

Let me know if you have more..

Janice-certified car seat technician and mommy to 2.

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84 Comments

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Angie - posted on 08/08/2010

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For accurate car seat information, please visit www.car-seat.org Pediatritions don't know everything when it comes to car seats. car-seat.org is run and moderated by certified car seat techs. There is no added safety in using an infant seat instead of a convertible, at any age. They are equally safe, assuming they are installed and used correctly every single time. The old advice of 1 year AND 20 lbs. has been changed to 2 years AND 35 lbs., or to the maximum weight allowed by your car seat. There are convertibles that rear face to 40 and 45 lbs. Rear facing is infinitely safer than forward facing. The idea that rear facing older babies (and toddlers and kids...) will be uncomfortable or have their legs broken in a crash simply isn't true. Visit www.car-seat.org and you can see 4-6 year old children happily rear facing, some by their own choosing. Please don't forward face too early. Broken necks and severed spinal cords are MUCH worse than having your child "look" uncomfortable in their car seat or not being able to look in your mirror and see their face. Also visit www.joelsjourney.org to see what forward facing too soon can do.

[deleted account]

Yes I have heard about the 9 month thing with carseats. I know too that each carseat has a different weight and heighth requirement. My daughter is 8 months and she is 21 lbs and 29.5 in long. She is too long for the infant seat now. They have the convertible carseats which you can rear face until I have heard 1 years of age then turn it around. I haven't heard about 2 years but I know they say as long as possible rear face them since it's safer. I believe you go with what your child needs!

Nicole - posted on 08/07/2010

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i know the legal law here in az is that they are supposed to be rear facing until 20lbs and or 1 year........however, the infant car seat is only safe up until 20 lbs and my daughter hit 20 lbs at about 4 months old, so we got her a rear facing convertible....it goes from 5 pounds up until 100 pounds......

Nichole - posted on 07/10/2010

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Well my daughter was born December 08 of last yr now at 7mths she weighs 20lbs she is 22 1/2in long and a solid baby girl so she will b in a convertable seat real soon plus who carries a huge baby in a seat that the arm/Handel of the carrier could break....I think u should go by mothers intuition

Alma - posted on 07/10/2010

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I used the infant carseat (facing rear)until my daughter was 11 months then switched her to a toddler carseat (facing forward). Now my son is 6 months and using an infant carseat but i will have to switch him pretty soon he is big andhis feet hang from the carseat so he will have to face forward!!.......

[deleted account]

I would go off the childs height and weight. Every ones different right?! My baby only stayed in the capsule until 3 months, by then she had outgrown it in length completely! Then we had no option but to have her in a 6-18kg FRONT facing carseat, which Plunket NZ dont reccomend because of the neck muscles being under developed enough to hold head in place due to crash impact.
But I think it all depends on your baby. Our girl was lifting her head from 2 weeks, with very strong neck muscles. Whereas there are a lot of 4-5 month olds who cant yet! Personal development plays a big part in this decision.
Alot of my friends put their baby forward facing from about 3 months too. It kept baby a lot happier too, she could look at the world.. No more bordom crying!

Briona Morris- - posted on 07/09/2010

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My son was in a convertible seat before 9 months because he was so long and weighed well over 20 pounds. We faced him forward before he was one, because he was so long and I think it is more dangerous to have them bending there legs up to their chest. My daughter who is now 6 months is still in the infant seat only because she isn't as long, but she will be in a convertable by 9 months and we'll go by her height and weight on when we'll face her forward.

Nakia - posted on 07/09/2010

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My husband stumbled across some research about rear facing car seats. In Sweden (somewhere like that) they have to have their child rear facing until 4ish. They haven't had a child death relating to a car accident since 1960's, whereas, In NSW along there was 60 in one year!!! Their necks just aren't strong enough to withstand the momentum. Apparently our Government doesn't want to 'burden' us with having to buy a new car seat so implement this......

Danielle - posted on 07/09/2010

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I had to switch my baby, he's 6 1/2 months, 19 lbs and the infant seat started to flip to the side on turns. I moved him to the regular car seat, but yes still rear facing.

Kathleen - posted on 07/08/2010

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My son is 7 months and is 30 in long... my chicco keyfit30 carseat is maxed out in height... so i have no choice but to change him over to a convertible carseat... Im buying the Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL because its rearfacing untill 45lbs and forward till 80lbs (with the 5 point and Super Latch) Check into it on www.babyviva.com :)

[deleted account]

I have a 2 year old son who is 37" tall and 29 lbs. My infant carrier that currently holds my 7 month old goes up to 30 lbs...but there is no way my 2 year old would still fit in that rear facing. Even though his weight is almost at capacity, his height would have made it nearly impossible by the time he was a year old. I kept him rear facing as long as I could but had to turn him around at 1 year old.

Kendall - posted on 07/08/2010

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My little one, at 6 months was 17.8lbs and 27.5 inches long. She still fits fine in her infant carseat. Even if their legs are bent, they are fine and it's still safer to keep them in the rearfacing position. As far as whether or not the infant seat is safer than a convertible...no idea and I'd say it's about the same, but def keep them rearfacing as long as possible, even if the legs are scrunched. It's still safer. That being said, my first stayed rearfacing until about 1.5, turned her around because she started getting really upset when we went for a drive. Turned my second around at about 10-ish months because she was screaming bloody murder and crying during a 6 hour cardrive. We made it about 3.5 hours into the trip, before I just couldn't stand it anymore and turned her around. She was perfectly happy. My third(my 6.5 month old) will stay rearfacing as long as possible...And we'll probably have to move her into her convertible carseat soon as ( I believe) the carseat she currently has has a 20lb weight limit.

Julie - posted on 07/08/2010

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ya that sounds great, but for one, my daughter is WAY to big and has been for 2 months now! and two, she does NOT want to face away from me!! it always changes and what works for one baby doesn't work for all of them! i cant imagine a kid who would want to sit that way for very long, especially over age 1!?! wow, good luck!

Danielle - posted on 07/08/2010

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I would go check online for your state requirements on car seats b/c in my state you can go front facing at 20 lbs and in other states it's both 20lbs and 1 year

Rebecca - posted on 07/08/2010

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Lea Jones... what state do you live in? I am in NSW is this one of the requirements of NSW as well.... As my girl is just over 8kgs and she is 69cm long?

Laura - posted on 07/07/2010

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I haven't heard that, but Melissa's way too tall to stay in that car seat, having been 28 inches at her 6 months checkup. I also am positive that she'll barely be able to stay rear facing until she's 1, there's no way she'll make it to 2. My nephew outgrew the rear facing around 1 as well. I think it should be more of a size issue than an age issue personally.
Laura

Andrea - posted on 07/07/2010

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Yeah my son hit 22 pounds and could no longer be in his infant seat. He is now in a convertible seat but still rear facing.

Lorelle - posted on 07/07/2010

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Every country has it's own safety standards and car seat regulations. For example, in Canada, car seats from the US are not approved because they do not meet Canadian safety regulations. You will be ticketed for using a non-approved seat (if you are unlucky enough to be pulled over for something else like speeding and the cop decides to check out your cat seat).
It is safer to keep your children rear facing. However, the only vehicles that the convertible car seat can fit in properly are minivans. As long as the person riding in the front passenger seat of the car can still fit with the convertible car seat rear facing, it is safer for the kids to be rear facing. They can cross their legs.
But the same argument can be made for the vehicles themselves. Some vehicles are 'safer' than others. And some drivers are safer than others! As long as we follow the safety regulations of our respective countries, provinces, territories and states, we should be as fine as we can be.

Lea - posted on 07/07/2010

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The infant seat has a weigh limit on there. Ours is 22lbs and my 7 month old is over the limit. We will get the convertible seat but he stays rear facing until 1 year old (in my state anyway)

Rebecca - posted on 07/07/2010

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No i have not heard that but i was reading the Australian Safety Standards on my daughters car seat and it said that they are to be in a rearward facing seat until they are 700mm long and 9kgs in weight.

ASIAN - posted on 07/07/2010

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My daughter made 6months on the 21st of last month and has outgrown her infant seat. so i went to get her a Big Girl seat and she is more comfortable...the infant seat only held 20lbs and 22inches which she was well over at her 4month appt....the requirements are ther for Safety and the requirements on infant seat weight and height are also for Safety...I think when the child reaches the requirement change the seat And follow the Safety guidelines...Rear-facing til 1yr

Nicki - posted on 07/06/2010

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I heard about keeping them in the infant seat until they reach the weight limit or age of one but not 9 months...My daughter is in normal car seat because she would do nothing but scream bloody murder in her infant...I also never heard about the rear facing until 2 years but I'm glad I know about that now because that is a lot safer than forward facing...I'm going to keep her rear facing until then now!!

Kellie - posted on 07/06/2010

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Unless you have a 30 pound car seat. We got one because my daughter came home at 4.3 and most car seats only go to 5 pounds plus we wanted her to be more protected longer since she had a rough start.

Kellie - posted on 07/06/2010

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Nine months is generous. The recommendations I have heard are 1 year. It is much safer to keep the child rear facing in a crash.

[deleted account]

I switched my daughter out when she was 9months. My son is now 7months and I plan on doing the same with him he is a lot bigger than my daughter was at this age. My doctor never told me to keep her rear faced in the other car seat but that was 4 years ago so I think I'll have to ask about it for my son at the next checkup.

Angie - posted on 07/06/2010

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I thought it was a year, but there are the problems with only going to 20 pounds and the length requirement too.

Amanda - posted on 07/05/2010

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Even if your babies feet hang over it does not neccesarily mean they are too long for teh seat. It's all in where the shoulders come to on the carseat. All carseats have length maximum and minimums. Follow those. If you put them in the reversible seats it can be the same way. Their feet will eventually hang over. It's ok.

Alexis - posted on 07/05/2010

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My son is 20 lbs and 28 1/4 inches his carseat only went to 20 lbs... and his lenght restrictions were 25" he had that met at 3 months. They "recommend" keeping your babires rear facing as long as possible. My son is 7 months and due to the way he was growing is now forward facing... my vehicle wouldn't work with the convertable carseat the other way. It should be up to the parents and which way the feel safer. I am not in the car alot anyways and so I don't really worry about it. I just make sure his seat is well slanted, the ground line-up is as close as possible and his neck is protected. He does just fine with it!

Holly - posted on 07/05/2010

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Ella weigs to much for the infant seat.... She just went into the convertible seat this week and she is alomost 7mos old.

Heather - posted on 07/05/2010

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Never heard the 9m thing, but that's impossible for us. I agree on erf though.

Kerri-Anne - posted on 07/05/2010

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Actually it (rear facing) is compulsory in Australia until either 12 months or 12kg (or was it 18kg). Reason being that their heads are still heavy in comparison to their bodies- in a crash even in an infant seat the whiplash can be devastating. Under recent law changes Children also have to have an approved restraint or child seat until age 7yrs (I can't remember the weight cut off) again because of effects of a crash and the size of their bodies.

We have a reversible car seat (Safe n' Sound) with an infant insert which can be removed as she gets bigger and is height adjustable. Should last her until about 4yrs, then we will move up to a booster seat.

Miranda - posted on 07/05/2010

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My son is 7 months and is almost 25 lbs and 30 in so we had to get rid of our infant seat because it only supported 20 lbs. I hate that we have to face hom foward but he is so big that he didnt fit backwards. Luckaly I found a frontfacing seat that has a 5 point restraint that holds form 22lbs to 65 lbs and has a booster that goes to 100 lbs. We live in a very small commuinty though so he is at home 90% of the time anyway because I like to stay at home with him.

[deleted account]

I've just been going through all the info I can find on this subject as my 6 month old is over 9kg, his legs are touching the back of the seat and his head is almost to the top of the carseat (maxicosi cabriofix). Apparently they should not forward face until at least 9 months and preferably older. Sweden has compulsory back-facing til 4 years!

Theres only a few big carseats that face both ways, I've just bought the Britax first plus which you can have rear or front facing and it lasts til they are 4. To be honest it's a bit bulky and not as good looking as the maxicosi priori so I'm going to give this one to my mum and get the other one when he's a bit bigger. Got it on ebay for £30, is £109 in Halfords at the moment.



Ps anyone who is unsure, just look at the crash testing on rear vs forward facing babies. Is pretty scary stuff, I know it's boring for them but I'd rather have toys dangling over the seat etc than all his organs getting battered and him having whiplash or worse.

Kandy - posted on 07/05/2010

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I had purchased a larger car seat for my son and taken it to the local firehouse to have it installed. They fireman (who is trained on installation, etc) told me to keep him in the infant car seat as long as I can because they offer the most protection. My son is pretty tall for his age so that may only be another month(at 8 months). Hope this is helpful. I would highly suggest speaking with a fireman at your local firehouse and letting them install the new one. They are trained on this and are more then happy to help.

Lyndal - posted on 07/04/2010

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Wow, the laws are so different every where. I guess the car seats are too. I can't imagine having my >6-8mth olds rear facing. They would be so bored, I know safety is the concern, but a child who is screaming all the time is just a little distracting for the driver and I think that would be pretty dangerous.

Amber - posted on 07/04/2010

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Two weeks ago my son was 21 lbs and 28 1/2 in. and his pediatrician said he can go to the next seat as long as he stays rear facing. The seat we bought was from 5 lbs to 35 lbs rear facing and from 35 lbs to 80 lbs front facing. My son is also 6 and a half months old

Susan - posted on 07/04/2010

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I heard to keep them in it as long as they are able. I got an infant seat that would allow her to be in it till 32 lbs and 36 in. because my hubby and I are both quite tall. I really want her in that seat till 1 year.

Erin - posted on 07/04/2010

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Yes, I heard that but I had to switch sets when my son was 4 months old because his infant seat only went up to 17 lbs and he was 17lbs when he was 4 months. Now he 7 months and 25 lbs. And he is 30 inches long. I am going to have to flip his seat around by the time he is a 1 year if he keeps growing at this rate. He will be to long to be in a rear facing carseat. His knees will be squished to his nose. lol

Sarah - posted on 07/04/2010

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Yeah my son is 21 lbs. and his carseat only goes up to 22 lbs. so I will be buying a new reversible convertable seat very soon.

Serena - posted on 07/04/2010

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I have it is much easier to have the infant carseat facing rear then the convertible one. Also you should keep them in it until they weigh a certain weight. I think it is like 20-30 lbs.

Kerrie - posted on 07/04/2010

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My Little girl is just over six months. I heard they should stay in the infant seat until a certain weight. It stipulates the weight on each individual seat. I would check what weight your's indicates and may be consult with one more opinion just to see.

My daughters Practitioner always tells me one thing, I read another, and friends Dr.'s may say something else as well. I would do what you feel is best for your little guy!


I am now reading other posts below that are saying the weight is what you should use.

Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 07/04/2010

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I was always told to keep your child in the Infant Carseat until they have outgrown it. I have the Chico KeyFit and it holds up to 30 lbs. I would keep your baby in the infant carseat until they outgrow it, and after which, you should get one that's more safe for them. :)

Colleen - posted on 07/04/2010

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My daughter has been in a bigger rear facing car seat. She was too long and too heavy for the seat anymore. If your baby's feet are hanging out I wouldnt think that they need to be in it because they are too long! I guess it depends on what car seat you have!

Julie - posted on 07/03/2010

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My son didn't fit in his infant carrier @ 6 months. He is in the convertible seat now and in the reclining position just like the infant car seat. He didn't fit because he was (and is) so long. I didn't feel comfortable with his legs hanging over the edge of the infant carrier.

Rachel - posted on 07/03/2010

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in new jersey, law is rear faceing until 1 yr of age or 20 lbs, preferably both.

Amanda - posted on 07/03/2010

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To Cassandra,

I love the fact that you used those videos to say what needs to be said. But I have a problem with the second one. In the second one, it is incorrect because they used a regular seatbelt for the child in the forward facing. You still use the same straps for the child forward facing as the rear facing. But that makes me want to turn my two older ones back around. My oldest is four and my middle is 2. Though my daughter is four which they said would be the age they recommend turning them around, she is small, or my son is big, one of the two because my son is the same size as her two years younger.My husband will make a big deal if I turn them back around in their carseats but I definitely will be leaving the baby rear facing much longer than I did them. Carseats are my biggest thing when I argue with someone about something in the car. The children NEED to be properly strapped into their carseats that also NEED to be properly strapped into the car. And anchors are even better than seatbelts if you have them. This is a touchy subject for me. But definitely things will be done differently this time. She is 7 months old and will be rear facing as long as possible. I have to keep him from taking the kids anywhere without me because he will not use a safety seat at all. Even after seeing the news with the new laws for children in carseats.....Please everyone keep your babies safe!

Amanda - posted on 07/03/2010

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I have not heard that but you should keep them in it as long as they fit in it. My daughter grew out of hers by 4 months of age and my son was in it until a year because he was smaller due to his heart problems. My newest little girl will probably be in it til a year as well because she is so much smaller than they were. But you need to read the manuals because each seat is different and they do have maximum weight limits and maximum length limits. This is normally 20 pounds becase that's when the child weighs enough to face forward in a regular carseat. But the newer carseats are getting made with higher limits these days. Also you child cannot face forward until they are at least 20 pounds and a year old. They have to be both. And though it's better to keep your child rear facing for as long as possible, there are limits as well for that. If you child out weighs the maximum limit the car seat was made for when rear facing then you have no choice but to turn them around. My son just turned two in january and has been forward facing since he turned one. Though he met the requirements, I didn't have to turn him around because he was not past the maximum limit. But he preferred being forward. I am a very big safety freak when it comes to kids and the car. I've watched every video on carseat safety and taken courses as well. So I'm well informed on these things. And just having a child care provider not following my wishes with my child can set me off. This is my childs safety we are talking about. My children though are too big to be rear facing longer but my smallest one of course, she is a much slower grower and will definitely be rear facing much longer. If you have ever heard of postpartum OCD, that's what I have. Not to the extent where I think I will hurt my child so I avoid them, but enough that I worry about every little thing when it comes to stuff like that or something happening to them. If your child can still fit in the infant carseat at that time, then keep him in it. Keep him in it until he outgrows the maximum limits on the seat. And the same with having him rear facing.

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