When do you change from an infant seat to a car seat?

Katie Pearl - posted on 04/15/2010 ( 54 moms have responded )

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I'm a new mom and my son is only 6months old and he weighs 20lbs. I'm just curious when other moms changed to car seat. I don't think my son is ready to face forward but I'm not sure what kind of seat to get for him... His current infant seat only goes to 22lbs. So I know I need to figure it out soon. Hope to get some great feedback... xoxo

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Shannintipton - posted on 01/06/2012

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Hi ladies. This thread is really old so I am going to lock it. If you want to start a new one about please feel free. Thanks for your input. :)

Heather - posted on 04/15/2010

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I would ahead & get the forward faceing seat.. I waited till both of my boys were @ least 20 lbs & got it.. Look @ the weight for the seat dat u wanna get I got my baby one not to long ago frm Target & its 20lbs-100lbs so I wont hav 2 buy him another seat.. But Shop around & c wat u lik...

Sarah - posted on 04/23/2010

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We got a reversible seat. When my son got too big for the infant seat, he moved to rear-facing in a larger capacity seat. you are not supposed to have them facing forward till 1yr. Our friend is an automotive safety engineer and does a lot with car seats... he says you wait till at least a year to forward face.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/15/2010

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You change them over when they past the max on weight or height for their seat.

They make some awesome seats the go up to 30some lbs rear facing then can be turned around to front facing up to 60lbs.

Thats the kind I'm getting for my son.

I would not turn him front facing until he was at least 2 or 3 years old.

When riding front facing a younger baby/toddler can have his neck snap on impact of a crash. Rear facing is the safest way to ride, even for an adult.

If adults could ride rear facing many injuries could be avoided and many lives saved.

Hope this helped :)

Michelle - posted on 04/07/2011

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Get a convertible rear/ front facing. Your son is most definitely not ready for forward facing ( one year AND 20 lbs). My older kids got switched to a convertible between 6 and 8 months.

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Crystal - posted on 01/06/2012

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Do not buy him a FF car seat he is way to young to face forward the law is 1yr AND 20lbs but it's 5 times safer to keep them RF get a convertible seat that can rearface and forward face later on go on youtube and look up Joels Journey and RF vs FF please dont forward face him it's to dangerous he could break his neck if yo got in an accidant my daughter is 29 months,27lbs and 37in and still RF broken leg cast it broken neck casket also you dont switch to a booster when there legs bend over the edge of the car seat you dont use a booster until a minimm of 4yrsAND 40lbs a child is not to tall to RF until they have less than 1in of shell above there head in a convertible car seat please do some research

Crystal - posted on 04/07/2011

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you should just buy a convertible that RF and FF babies should never face forward before 1yr and in most stated it's the law that be be 1yr before FF a babys spine isn't developed enough to with stand an impact FF my youngest is 20 months 23lbs 32in and still RF there legs touching the seat or bending is not an issue RF is so much safer please wait until at least 1yr

Nicole - posted on 04/23/2010

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When my son got to the 20lb mark I got a seat that faced rear and then you could change to the front. He was getting way to heave to carry around in the infant seat. It was just much easier taking him in and out of it and carrying him and not him and the seat. He is almost a year and have already switched him foward. It is what you are comfortable with though.

Krystal - posted on 04/23/2010

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We changed our son to a convertible toddler seat around 1 year and turned him forward around 14 month old.

Tiffany - posted on 04/22/2010

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I bought an awesome car seat from Walmart that grwos with them. Its holds and converts with their growth. Five point system and holds up to 100 lbs. I think I can't remember what brand it is but they have them in the carseat section at your local Walmart.

Rebecca - posted on 04/22/2010

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Do not change him to forward facing. Whether he weighs enough or not, his neck is not able to stand impact should you get in an accident. You need to get a convertible seat. Ours go up to 35lbs i think it is(both of my kids are well below this still) rear facing. We changed our son to his convertible seat when he was 8 months and changed him forward facing when he was just over 1yr. Our daughter was changed to her convertible seat when she was 6 months and she wont be changed to forward until she hits the seat limit for rear facing. Rear is MUCH safer for a child of any age. In Europe they don't even do forward facing, they do rear then at 4yrs go to booster. Go on you tube and look up car seat safety, you will find LOTS of videos on how to install seats properly, or you can go to your fire station and see if someone there does it,they do where i live, and there are also vidoes of people who's children have been injured or died by being changed too early. There was a story of a little boy who was 18 months and weighed 33lbs and he broke his neck.

My son is now 2.5yrs and weighs 28lbs and i'm thinking of changing him back to rear facing because it is so much safer...my daughter weighs 22lbs and is almost 10 months but again i wont change her until she hits the limit for rear facing. Don't do this for convenience a car seat is for safety. Remember a child does not need to be turned forward when their feet touch the seat either. A child's legs bend and a broken leg heals better then a broken neck.

Ok i went back through and read a couple of things and i want to add...a child outgrows a seat when their head is reaching the top of the seat. It has nothing to do with where the feet go! You are supposed to take your seat with you for Dr appointments and the Dr will tell you how close your child is to the limit. My kids have long legs doesn't mean they outgrew the seat. I think it's 1inch from the top...but double check with your child's Dr.

Jacqueline - posted on 04/22/2010

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Do not put ur child in a forward facing car seat until they are 1, but you can buy a 3 in 1 car seat ...which u can find a Kmart online.
It's called Safety First Alpha Omega, it's rear facing up to 35lb, it's a harness booster up to 40lb and it is also a belt positioning booster up to 100lb so for $160.00 you are for sure getting ur money's worth and you will never have to buy another car seat...so again this car seat is from infant to 7 or 8 years old...rear facing and front facing!!!......hope that helped :)...also evenflo makes a great one too.

Kelly - posted on 04/21/2010

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I don't know what the law is in your state but here in NM they have to be a least 20 lbs. and 1 year old before they can be turned around. As the mother of a 6, 4, 2 year. I looked for a car seat that would grow with them. there a some good one out there that go from infant to 60lbs, even some that go up to 100 lbs. I bought my daughter who is tall for her age a Graco Nautilus 3 in 1 car seat, it goes from 5 lbs up to 100 lbs. I hope this helps.

Thaleia - posted on 04/20/2010

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most states law and best practice mandate that a child MUST remain rear-facing until AT LEAST 1 yr AND 20 lbs, but it's best to use a convertible carseat that goes rear-facing until 30-35 lbs and keep your baby rear-facing as long as possible.

Nicole - posted on 04/20/2010

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Rear facing for a year. I would look at the Britax marathon bc you can do both rear facing and forward facing so you will be able to use it now and then at a year old. My children were able to stay in this one for a long time from birth to 4/5 years old. It is alittle pricey but you can use it for a longtime and do not have to buy another one til you need a booster. My girlfriends 6 year old is still in it and he is not petite. Good luck. It is safest to keep them rearfacing for as long as you can!

Sharon - posted on 04/20/2010

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mym baby has been in a forward seat for over a month,shes 6months now.i just did it when she outgrew her first seat.

Niki - posted on 04/20/2010

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You need whats called a convertable seat. It can be placed facing either way and sits more upright. DO NOT PLACE A CHILD UNDER 1yr old FACING FORWARD! Their neck muscles havnt strengthen enough to take on a impact when facing forward!

Cindy - posted on 04/20/2010

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Regular convertible car seats can be installed rear-facing, up until they are one year old, babies should be rear facing because the spine and neck are not strong enough to sustain an accident if front facing. Also, check your states DMV site because many states have laws regarding that, but ultimately once your child turns 1, then that convertible seat can be switched to a front-facing position. Trust me, don't feel bad, I just went through that same thing about a week ago, although mine is 15 months she doesn't weight 20 lbs yet lol.

Lisa - posted on 04/20/2010

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There are a lot of carseats that are both forward and rear facing. The standard recommendation is rearfacing until 1 year of age and then forward facing.

Virginia - posted on 04/20/2010

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The recommendation and law for the state of California is that a child must remain rear facing until they are both 1 years old and 20 lbs not either both. If your child us under a year and 20lbs he still needs to be rear facing. Get a convertible car seat. They are rear facing up 25-30 lbs and when he reaches a year you can use it forward facing. This is what is safest for the child. I don't know where you live but here in California the fine for not properly using a child car seat is almost $1000.

Carolyn - posted on 04/20/2010

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You're supposed to wait until your son is 12 months to face the seat forward, but there are companies now that make big seats that hold up to 60 lbs and can be rear facing as long as you need it to and then you can turn it around when the baby is old enough.

Korine - posted on 04/20/2010

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I have four kids with the oldest being four and the youngest almost 6 months. Our youngest is still in her infant seat, she is also getting close to the weight limit. I will be switching her to a full size seat soon. With all of them I switched them once they outweighed their infant seat and then put them into a full size seat that goes from 5-80 lbs. These can also face backwards. I keep them backwards until they are 12 months old, as this is our state law. Most larger car seats can face backwards, just check your labels.

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I got a Britax seat for my son when he became to large for the infant seat. I chose one that could be rear facing at first and then change to front facing after he had turned 1. The one that I chose could have actually been used for an infant, and I plan to use it with our next baby... I know there are other brands that offer this as well. Good luck! And happy shopping!

Jennifer - posted on 04/19/2010

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You aren't supposed to turn them around until they are at least 20 pounds AND one year. And you can rear face them as long as the seat fits them that way (weight and height limits can usually force them to be turned at two, but some can go longer). In Sweden, they rear face much longer.

Kristin - posted on 04/19/2010

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Check the limits on his carrier seat, the one he is actually in. If he is past any of them, it's time for a convertible seat. He is far to young to face forward and most are recommending they stay rear facing as long as possible; closer to 2 years.

Now is a great time for you to be looking at convetible car seats and trying them in your vehicle. Hope this helps.

Monica - posted on 04/19/2010

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We were told by WIC and our ped that we should have taken our son out of his infant seat to a convertible toddler seat when our son was 23 inches long. I was told by both that if your babies heels can go over the edge of the infant car seat that they were too long and needs to be in a bigger car seat. They still face the rear but its just a bigger seat. he was only 5 months old when we had to get a new car seat and if we go by what wic and the ped said then he should have been in it at 4 months....But i think the safety guidelines are 1years old AND 20lbs...not or.....and i think the new weight is they can rearface until 35 lbs now.

Joan - posted on 04/19/2010

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Both of my boys outgrew their seats in height before weight.
We got one that could be rear or forward facing ( I love my britax roundabout). At least in WI they must be rear facing until they are 20 lbs and 1 year old. They do recommend keeping them rear facing as long as possible but we only made it to around 14 months because they are both tall and their legs were cramped. I researched carseats on amazon because they have a ton of them and most have reviews from users. Also check consumer reports for safety ratings.

Natalie - posted on 04/19/2010

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my son was out of his infant seat @ about 5mnth. He was quite the porkchop! We put him in a convertable car seat that would last him well into his toddler years. We just made sure to recline it as best we could & made sure it was rear-facing until his first birthday.

Jennifer - posted on 04/19/2010

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you should get a convertable car seat, it goes from infant all the way to booster seat. but your son should stay rear facing until a year old because his neck isn't strong enough to hold him if in an accident. better safe than sorry! rear facing till a year!! It's not all about weight! hope that helps.

Alisha - posted on 04/18/2010

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here in FL the carseats state do not put them forward facing until 25lbs and 1 year

Jennifer - posted on 04/18/2010

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Hey my son is also 6 months and they say your not supposed to forward face them until 10 months or so. I have whats called a convertible car seat that rear faces and reclines so that when they fall asleep their head doesn't slouch forward, then when they're old enough it sits upright and faces forward then later on it turns into a booster seat that you use with the cars seat belt (obviously later on in the game!) It says it fits 5 lbs - 100 lbs!! Its an awesome seat i highly recommend it!

Susan - posted on 04/18/2010

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If he's outgrown his seat, go ahead and get the next type of seat. But, DO NOT install it so he faces forward. He needs to be a year old for that, even though he's already 20 pounds, he'll be much safer. We got an adjustable seat that goes up to 100 lbs. My daughter is four and she still fits it. The straps can be moved as the child gets taller.

Jessica - posted on 04/18/2010

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22 lbs. or about a year. i waited until my daughter was about 9 months. they have to be able to support their head well (very well) incase of an accident

Shelley - posted on 04/18/2010

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I changed around 7 but my bigger car seat is a 3 in one so was suitable for rear facing & gave him a ton more space than a bucket seat.

Corinne - posted on 04/18/2010

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When baby was around 10 mos old as he outgrew his infant seat in length, he's pretty tall and his feet would be pressed awkwardly against the car's back seat when rear facing.

Sherri - posted on 04/18/2010

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You need a convertible car seat and there are many to choose from - I just got my baby girl the EVENFLO titan 5. It will accomodate up to 40 lbs. I just thought the ones that go up to 100 lbs looked so big for her now - so I will just buy one when we need it - I new it was time her feet were hitting back seat she was 26 lbs and is almost 1 yr old.

Joy - posted on 04/17/2010

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They are now recommending that you keep your child rear facing until the age of 2. My dr. told me that it isn't so much the weight as their development. Age 1 was because that is when there breast bones have harden and are more able to deal with the stress of the harness in their car seat should you be in a crash. The 2 year thing is because they are find that kids between the ages of 1 and 2 are suffering neck injuries in a crash. I've kept all mine rear facing for absolutely as long as possible (at least 18 months). It is sometimes inconvenient because we live in the middle of no where (literally) and have to drive a lot of miles and it is so hard to deal with them rear facing however it is the safest. There are a lot of really good convertable car seats out there. They are rear facing and then can be used forward facing when needed. Do your research and find what kind you like best. Too many people turn their kids around to early. Just a thougt. Our kids are precisious and we need to do all we can to keep them safe. Rear facing is best for as long as possible.

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My 13 month old is in a Graco Comfort Sport, rear facing and will remain rear facing until she hits the 30 lbs. limit on the rear facing position. I am sure it will be a long time before she reaches 30 lbs since she is barely 20 now. I kept her in her infant seat until her first birthday, then made the switch to the bigger seat. This particular carseat can be turned around to forward facing and used until she weighs 40 lbs. Since my 4 year old only weighs 38 pounds now, I think I am getting a lot out of this particular seat!

Kelina - posted on 04/17/2010

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Katie, try to be safe but make the choice that's best for you and your kids. Research the laws and see what they say and if you feel that it will be best to put them forward facing as soon as you legally can then do it. There will always be people who will criticize your decisions whether you keep them rear facing or turn them forward facing. Do what right for you. Good luck!

Diana - posted on 04/17/2010

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My daughter is almost a year old and we just put her in a My ride 65, we plan on letting her rear face for as long as we can. Her feet already touch the back of the seat but that is fine. we really like the my ride 65. we were looking at a birtax car seat they are the best and the safest but very expective, so depending on how much you want to spend. Birtax can cost 300+ but its worth it.

Stefania - posted on 04/17/2010

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They have infant/toddler seats that go up to 35ibs. My daughters a little over 13 months & i just recently put her in a foward facing seat cuz her infant seat only went to 21lbs. They recommend to keep your child rear facing for as long as possible but no soon then 1 year AND 20lbs. I stress the AND because some think that just cause they have a big baby its ok to put them in a foward facing seat, its not. So i will tell you to go out & get either an infant/toddler seat OR they have infant seats that do go up to 35lbs but if you dont want to waste the money just get the infant/toddler so when he turns 1 you can easily turn him around without having to buy a new car seat. Hope this was the answer you were looking for.

Karen - posted on 04/16/2010

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"I have decided that my son is going to ride rear facing until his feet hit the back seat (he'll be over a yr old then)"

Why did you set this limit? His legs can touch the back of the seat you know.

Sara - posted on 04/16/2010

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they dont recommend putting your baby in a forward facing seat until AT LEAST 1 yr old. My son is in his infant seat but Im going to get him a convertible seat (probably the Evenflo Triumph) since it can be rear facing then later on forward facing. I have decided that my son is going to ride rear facing until his feet hit the back seat (he'll be over a yr old then) He has a Graco Nautilus for his forward facing seat already, but I feel like hes getting too big for his infant seat so Im getting him a "big boy" carseat soon...even though hes 9 mos old & can go in his Graco in only 3 more months.

Jessica - posted on 04/16/2010

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My daughter moved into her new seat at 6 months! It got to be such a pain with the infant seat and she was getting close to the length limit. She was also frustrated b/c the babyseat had her laying down. We got the Safety 1st Alpha Omega Elite. It fits in my little toyota corolla and it's comfortable and padded. She is still rear facing b/c she is only 10 mos and 20lbs. This seat is convertible it goes all the way to a toddler booster. I can't remember the exact weight limit, but I know it goes a long way! Oh, Safety 1st is also known as Cosco and they make the Eddie Bauer seats. I researched and the AO Elite had great roll over reviews by consumers! Good Luck!

Diana - posted on 04/16/2010

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My daughter was out of her infant seat by 6 months and at 4 months my son is almost out of his. I am getting a Graco snugride 35 soon so that we still have the protability(we have a snap and go stroller so the weight of the carseat doesnt matter as much) so we don't have to put him in and out of the carseat if he is asleep. It also helps so I have more free hands getting into our appartment on the 10th floor. It is a bigger seat to lug around so the convertable carseats that can rearface for up to 30-40 lbs are good options. We got my daughter a Combi And she is 2 and now forward facing. It is good to keep them rear facing as long as possible. But do your research and find out your laws to see what carseat works best for you.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/16/2010

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Its really not about kids 'Allowing' you to keep them rear facing when they're older.

Its not their choice. If it was up to the child I'm sure 80 or 90% wouldn't use carseats or even seatbelts. We have to make sure our kids are safe because they are not mature enough to do it for themselves. And they do make rear facing carseats big enough for 5 year olds, I've never seen a baby under a year old that was bigger than a 5 year old. I think a lot of the time parents 'think' a seat is too small when its really just fine. I would check with a pro before just turning them front facing.

Karen - posted on 04/16/2010

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Rear facing is safest! So keep him that way as long as you can. You can get a convertable seat that will RF until 35lbs or more. At the very least 1 year old but perferably until 2 or longer if they still fit in their seat. And please DO NOT change to foward facing just because their legs are touching the back of the seat. That is not a good reason. IT does not hurt them, they can sit perfectly fine like that. All my kids are still rear facing. My daughter turned 4 yesterday and still is RF, then I have a 2.5 and a 14mo. They cross their legs, keep them straight, hang them over the sides. Kids are very flexible. Trust me if my oldest had an issue with it, she would certainly let me know. And no their legs will not break. And they love looking out the back window.

I have done tons of research and it is highly recommended to keep them RF past the bare minimum of 1 year and 20lbs.

My favorite seat is the Radian XT (RF>35lbs). Second choice is the Graco Myride (RF>40lbs!). On a budget you can do the Graco Comfortsport but that only goes to 30lbs RF. The True Fit is also a good budget friendly option. Even a cheap Cosco Scenera is way safer RF than the most expensive FF seat.

I actually have a picture in the photos section of this community of my two girls RF. Check it out!

Myra - posted on 04/15/2010

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It may be different in the state you live, but in GA they have to be at least 20lbs and 1yr old before they can face forward. Check with your local police on laws where you live because there usually is both a weight and age requirement. They can even help you to properly install the new seat. Most of the bigger seats go from 5-40lbs, then they go to another range; usually 80lbs or higher. There are big advantages to getting a seat that goes up to 80-100lbs. Biggest being that you don't have to buy another one. However, remember that there is a child using it. If you use your seat often, there's a good chance it will be cruddy and worn by the time he gets halfway through the weight range if you get one that goes very high.

I got my daughter a seat when she was about 6-8mo old because she seemed like she'd be outgrowing her infant one so soon (she was 23lbs and hers went to 25lbs), and she really tapered off her growth, and we had to wait until she was nearly a year old to change. Even now, she's only 30lbs and will be 2yrs old next month.

Gina - posted on 04/15/2010

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Elizabeth is correct about rear facing being safer,,but i don't know any 2-3 yr old kids that would allow mom to keep them looking at the back window all the time! Their feet would be all cramped up too.not to mention that by that age most kids are able to get in or out of the chair by themselves( but not to unbuckle or buckle up without help)
but to answer the origonal question,I turned my first kid around between 8 to 10 mo old.She was too big for her baby seat and i chose to get one of those infant to big kid seats that has the 5 point buckle and can go either way. She is 5 now and still in it untill she is heavy enough for a booster.

Jacqueline - posted on 04/15/2010

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I changed as soon as my kids had their legs on the back of the seat. Both of my kids were about 9lbs a piece when they were born and my 2yrold son is currently weighing in at 36lbs and is 3 and a half ft tall and my 1yr old daughter is 2lbs and is 3ft so I cant go by the weight. As soon as the legs go on the back of the seat change to a front facing car seat and when the legs dangle from that seat change over 2 a booster seat. That is what I had to do

Katie Pearl - posted on 04/15/2010

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Thank you Heather and Elizabeth... I guess I better get my butt out there and start shopping..lol (at least its a good excuse to tell my husband) I went from buying myself things here and there to a full on mommy shopper...lol At least this is within my element... xx

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