My 9 month old is 20 lbs, Can he be turned forward facing in his carseat?

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User - posted on 09/28/2010

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Hi, don't feel bad about not knowing, I'm on number five, and still have to ask...as a matter of fact, I have a 20 pound three month old! I have to get a rear facing convertable seat because she is too heavy for the traditional rear facing seat. I appreciate many of these parents answers, but don't appreciate them being so judgemental. My pediatrician recommended a convertable rear facing seat, and yeah, she IS a little chunk. Not long at all.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/23/2009

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Quoting Claire:

if the childs feet is touching the seat then yes you are meant to put them in a foward facing car seat.



Not true.  Even if a child's feet touches the back of the seat, it's still safer for them to be rear-facing as long as the seat limits will accomodate him/her.  The law is a minimum of 20 lbs AND 1 year of age, not one or the other.  Keeping your child rear-facing as long as possible is the safest.  Most convertible car seats that rear face will accomodate a child up to 35 lbs and as long as their head is not less than 1 inch from the top of the shell of the car seat, it's safe to rear-face.  Studies have shown that rear-facing as long as possible reduces a child's risk of death or serious injury by 70%.  A small child's neck muscles are not strong enough and even in a low-speed crash, the spine can become detached from the neck (internal decapitation).  It's safer for your child to cross his/her legs if need be than to forward face too soon.  Sorry I'd rather my child have a broken leg than a broken neck.  My son is 19 months, weighs 28 lbs and is 33 inches tall and is still comfortably rear-facing in a convertible car seat.  He will not be turned around until he reaches the weight limit of 35 lbs or his head is less than 1 inch from the top of the shell.   Please check out this article.  http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrea...  If your son is still in an infant seat, then look into getting a convertible car seat that will also rear-face. 

Vicki - posted on 06/21/2009

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Quoting Donna:

yeah. Its fine. My son was put in a front facing carseat when he was 18lbs and he was around 8 months. Long as he is holding his head up and is long enough. I say around 28-32 inches he should be fine.



NO!



You may say so but you are wrong.



Have a look at what others have said just above you. Watch some videos of children involved in car crashes. There is no reason for a child to be forward facing.

Katie - posted on 06/24/2009

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I am certified as a Child Passenger Safety Tech and I STRONGLY reccomend waiting as long as possible. Stasticly a rear facing car seat is 72% effective in preventing DEATH of the child in the case of a crash. A forward facing car seat is only 54% effective in the same. Your seat will specify the MAXIMUM weight for rear facing use. The safest thing is to wait as long as possible. My kids were 22 and 20 months before we made the big switch and even then, I was scared to do it. A 20% chance of survival was worth the lack of conveniece to me!

Stacy - posted on 06/23/2009

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i work on ambulances and i see that it is very important to wait 20lbs and 12 monthes it has to be both not one without the other

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Rita - posted on 06/24/2009

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I have kept all 3 of my children rear facing as long as I could, even well past the maximum requirements of age and weight. They were okay with this and didn't fuss, their feet even touched the seat but they only had to bend their legs slightly.

Kathy - posted on 06/24/2009

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And, better to have a broken leg, which is completely fixable versus a dead baby don't u think?

Kathy - posted on 06/24/2009

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ABSOLUTELY NOT!

The "suggested" time is 1 year AND 20 pounds.... not or



However it is safest for him to stay rear facing until the max. weight on your car seat.

Heidi - posted on 06/23/2009

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I agree with as long as possible. DS2 is going to be 3 in Sept and he is still rear-facing. He will remain rear-facing until he outgrows his convertible by height. So probably until he is close to 4.

We are in Germany and I am DISGUSTED by the car seat use here. Ecspecially with how people drive. It is horrifying. THANK GOD the European countries are looking into Swedens standards of car seat usage. There will be changes in the making to protect our precious cargo even more.



But it is illegal to switch now and stupid and dangerous. Every child deserves to be at least a minimum (1yr AND 20) but I prefer mine to be a maximum (until they outgrow their convertible).



Don't bat a blind eye at the info you have been given. It is great PROVEN info that could save your childs life if you were ever in a wreck...

Christa - posted on 06/23/2009

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Keep your little one rear facing for as long as possible. You can get a convertible car seat and install it rear facing. In our state, and likely all over the US, it's 20 lbs AND 1 year old, not either or, but there's new research that states rear facing is the best, even a little beyond a year.

Jessica - posted on 06/23/2009

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i have a family member that is trained in the car seat safety....he official recommendation is to keep them rear facing as long as possible....atleast 18months....they are the most safe rear facing incase of an accident.....you can get a larger convertable seat that goes up to 100lbs and can be both rear and forward facing....GA right now is trying to pass a law to have all children unti they are 2 rear facing. its is so important to make sure they are propely installed and latched into the seat correctly.....go to your local police station or public safety place and have your seat checked everytime you change it.

i know from experience that if its done correctly it can save your childs life.....a family member got into a bad car acident where the adult was severly injured and had to have brain surgery BUT because her 2 children were properly in their seats they didnt have more the scratches.

Jennifer - posted on 06/23/2009

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There are new studies now stating that kids are safest in their seat facing rear and as a result should continue facing rear until they exceed the weight limit for a rear facing position on your particular car seat. They are saying it is much safer because the rear facing seat helps support their neck in a crash much better. If you drive most of the time going backwards though it would be safer if they were facing front! :)
I feel your pain, I will be excited when my little guy can turn around. He gets so bored and antsy facing backwards. good luck.

Rachel - posted on 06/23/2009

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I was just at the pediatrician's office last week & there is a sign posted of a study done to show that babies should be rear-facing until age 2. It said that after they are too big for the infant carrier, to get a convertible- rear/front facing carseat for them. I think 2 is a loooonnnng time, but that's the latest study!! Personally, my 20 month old has been front facing since 11 months!

Anissa - posted on 06/23/2009

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Ok so my youngest is 24 lb and 12 months, and she'll stay backwards facing until the 35 lb limit of her seat. It was explained very clearly to me that you can repair broken legs (i.e. if they are a little crunched into the seat, but a broken neck/severed spinal cord, not so repairable). So for safety she'll stay rear-facing. Yes, we did have to get a convertible carseat, when she was 9 months she was too long for the infant carrier.



My kids have never exceeded the weight limit on a seat, but rather the height is always the issue. This is something to keep in mind when you are buying new carseats, they always advertise they will got to a certain weight, but really you should be looking at the height limit. For example the Sunshine kids Radian 65 and 80 both have the same height limit, but different weight limits. For the money buy the Radian 65.

Amanda - posted on 06/23/2009

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He may need a bigger car seat, not the carrier type, but it still has to be rear facing untill at least a year.

Amanda - posted on 06/23/2009

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Quoting Anita:

What about if your baby has not reach 9kg (20 pounds) by the time they are 12 months? My little girl probably wont hit that weight until she's 20 months (if she continues to follow the percentile she is on) but she will be very uncomfortable staying rear facing for that long given her height.



They have to meet both requirements in order to be forward facing.  A girl I work with had to have her daughter rear facing until about 18-19mo old because she was not at the 20lb mark.  And although she was long, she was completely comfortable.  It's a lot easier to repair legs than it is to repair head, neck & spine...

Sarah - posted on 06/23/2009

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It depends on what country you are in i am in england and there is no law which says your baby has to be 1 year old and 20lbs all they say in england is that your baby has to be 9kg approx 9 months and be able to support their head which i feel is quite bad advice after reading all the other posts. Also my rear facing car seat only holds up to 13kg and i had alot of trouble finding a rear facing car seat as the seatbelts in my car are too short so a majority of rear facing car seats wouldn't fit in my car. I have just had to buy a new car seat as my baby is basically 13kg and 11 months old i got a britax one that is forward facing as i didn't really have alot of choice but the whole seat reclines in lots of different positions so the baby is not sitting upright and can still lay down i dont no how much this would help

Andrea - posted on 06/22/2009

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I wouldn't turn your child around... babies and toddlers necks can't support their heads in a car crash when facing forward. When they are rear facing the car seat takes the brunt of the wreack and cradles the baby so their heads don't snap back and forth. My husband and I both agree that we are going to keep our daughter rear facing as long as she fits in her car seat. We got a convertable car seat and for rear facing it goes 5 - 35 lbs (2.3-16 kg) and 19 - 36 inches (48 - 91 cm). She is 14 1/2 months 19 lbs and 30'' so she has a ways to go.

Ashley - posted on 06/22/2009

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No, not yet he has to be atleat a year old before you turn his carseat around!

Jewel - posted on 06/22/2009

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I was told that they had to be 20 pounds and one year old. The guy that inspected my car seat told me that they may look uncomfortable but there really not. That even if they have to sit Indian style with there legs, it's okay. It's a lot safer for them to be backwards.

Tammy - posted on 06/22/2009

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Here in England they say 20lbs or nine months, which ever they reach first. We put our little one in a front facing car seat when he was nearly 20lbs as he was so uncomfortable as his little feet were touching the back of the seat and we have never looked back he looks so comfortable now. x

Amy - posted on 06/22/2009

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Call your local police department, state patrol, or ask your doctor. They will know for sure.

Dara - posted on 06/22/2009

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The recommendation is 20lbs and 1 year of age. It has to do with the bones hardening or something like that....I asked my pediatrician the same thing. My daughter is now 10. I was watching the news the other day and they are actually recommending that a child stay rear facing until they are 4! Yikes. It has to do with the force pulling the child forward vs back into the seat. I just can't imagine where their feet and legs would go.

Elizabeth - posted on 06/22/2009

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Quoting Anita:

What about if your baby has not reach 9kg (20 pounds) by the time they are 12 months? My little girl probably wont hit that weight until she's 20 months (if she continues to follow the percentile she is on) but she will be very uncomfortable staying rear facing for that long given her height.


then wait! If she's not 20 pounds don't turn her around!

Betsy - posted on 06/22/2009

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Quoting Stephanie:

honestly I would say, that it's your opinion... other mother's can say what they want some of us do what we think is best because we have larger children then most. If you go by all the videos then we all should be in a rear facing car seat and nobody should drive.



How does that comment make any logical sense? There is a huge difference between us (fully grown, stronger bodied adults) and toddlers. Our neck muscles, spine and body structure is developed, so we are not at risk for internal decapitation like a forward-faccing toddler in the aerodynamics of a motor vehicle crash. Maybe you should do some research on what internal decapitation is and how it occurs, including the factors of a toddler's development to understand why the same risks do not apply to grown adults as to 1 and 2 yr olds. That's not opinion, but physiological fact and many deaths to show it as common sense. It is not the vehicular concern of cause of death for adults, but a huge one for toddlers and young children. Under your thought process, since children under 12, due to body structure, strength and size shouldn't be placed in front of an airbag, that that is the same for a 200 lb man, so no one should drive. That's absurd and inaccurate. That's not using any rational thinking or plain old common sense. Many children are now rear-faced until 2-1/2 to 3 yrs, which is recommended, and unless a child is so big that it exceeds the new RF weight and height limits, and this 1 yr old is the size of a 4 or 5 yr old (which would insinuate more medical concerns than car seat placement), the child being to "large" to ride an an automobile safely isn't an issue.

Karen - posted on 06/22/2009

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It's not recommended to turn face forward until a year old!! only few more months to go.

Hillary - posted on 06/22/2009

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When my son was younger he was over the 20lbs but I waited till he was over a year. My ex in-laws would put him in a forward facing car seat and put him in the front seat. I told them he had to remain in a rear facing seat till he was 20 lbs AND 1 year and he had to be in the back seat only or they couldn't take him in their car. I was very mad when i found out my ex sister-in-law was putting her 2 year old in a booster seat because she said the car seat wouldn't fit in her truck. I believe they should be rear facing as long as possible and with my next child I will keep them rear facing as long as possible even if their legs get too long. My son is 7 now and he is still in a booster seat. I feel that with the booster seat he sets up higher and the seat belt is where it's suppose to be not across his neck. He never rides in the front seat of my car because the back seat is safest.

Brandy - posted on 06/22/2009

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The new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is actually until the age 2!!! I don't understand where their feet/legs are suppose to go! I would wait at least until 12 months!!

[deleted account]

I would agree with most of the comments. Keep your children rear facing as long as you can. Feet touching the seat is not an indication of being ready to face the front. I have been in childcare/foster care of quite awhile. The carseat training that we had to take said the only switch you should make is if your infant is in an infant carseat and their head is past the top of the carseat, then you need to put them in a convertible carseat, but still rear facing. Some states are recommending rear facing until 18 months just to be safe.

Stephanie - posted on 06/21/2009

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honestly I would say, that it's your opinion... other mother's can say what they want some of us do what we think is best because we have larger children then most. If you go by all the videos then we all should be in a rear facing car seat and nobody should drive.

Vicki - posted on 06/21/2009

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Quoting Donna:

yeah. Its fine. My son was put in a front facing carseat when he was 18lbs and he was around 8 months. Long as he is holding his head up and is long enough. I say around 28-32 inches he should be fine.



NO!



You may say so but you are wrong.



Have a look at what others have said just above you. Watch some videos of children involved in car crashes. There is no reason for a child to be forward facing.

[deleted account]

I find all these posts very interesting. I live is Australia and we are told that it is fine to have babies forward facing after 9kg or 20 pounds no matter what the age so my son was 6 months (now 20 months) when i turned my car seat but never understood the importance of having the seat rear facing and was also never told by anyone of the risks of having him forward facing so early! Im very happy to have read all these posts

Donna - posted on 06/21/2009

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yeah. Its fine. My son was put in a front facing carseat when he was 18lbs and he was around 8 months. Long as he is holding his head up and is long enough. I say around 28-32 inches he should be fine.

Karlita - posted on 06/21/2009

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that how old my son was when i turned it, but he was very tall and his legs were to long. So i had to.

Sharon - posted on 06/21/2009

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OMG what an eye opener we are told so long as they can sit unsupported out of a car seat and are over 9 months that we should forewrd face our babies and tbh my sons rear facing car seat wont hold a 1 year old we live in not so great britain

Tara - posted on 06/21/2009

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It depends on where you live. In Canada, it varies from province to province. The law in BC (where I live) says 20 lbs and 1 year old before they can be forward facing. In different areas of the country it varies from 1 year and 20 pounds to 1 year and 25 pounds. In the US, UK, NZ, and Australia it differs as well. I would recommend looking up the law for your area to find out for certain. Regardless of where you live, the general recommendation is that you keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, and that the child be able to support their head and neck by themselves before being turned forward facing.

User - posted on 06/21/2009

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No. They don't have the head/neck control to be safe in a car accident. It is tempting, though...my youngest was 20 lbs at 9 months too!

Summer - posted on 06/21/2009

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Quoting Vanessa:

hi i truned my daughter seat around when she was 7 months in the end its up to u



Hi Vanessa,



It's actually not up to us - it is law to have a child placed rear-facing until at least 12 months.  Your child could be very seriously injured in the case of an accident and if you get pulled over for any reason, you would be fined for improperly installing a car seat.  Please check with your local police station or Public Health if you are still unsure.

Summer - posted on 06/21/2009

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It is illegal in Canada to put a baby forward facing until they are at least 12 months old. I attended a car seat clinic last week put on by Public Health and I urge you to call them with any questions. My son is 9 months old and 22 pounds and they told me to leave him rear facing until 12 months or longer because it is always the safest position for a baby. Also, most car seats are improperly installed so it's a good idea to have an expert inspect them.

Ashleigh - posted on 06/21/2009

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I cannot stress enough how important it is to rear face your child until the minimum, if not longer. In a car accident, if your child breaks his legs, they can heal. If your child suffers from whiplash, breaks his neck or even gets DECAPITATED, you cannot fix that. Please rear face your babies!

Latoya - posted on 06/21/2009

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My daughter is 8 months , 20 lbs and 28 inches, in a converter, and still the doc and grands say no. So no it is, plus i do feel safer with her in the rear facing position. Even though she hates the view.

Jaime - posted on 06/20/2009

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There is no question. Do not turn them until they reach at least age 2 if possible. That is the latest guideline from the AAP. It is more safe.
I'm amazed that any mother would turn her child sooner and put their life at risk. My son is THE most important thing in my life. I'd gladly give my own life so that he was safe.

Tamara - posted on 06/20/2009

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Quoting Vanessa:

hi i truned my daughter seat around when she was 7 months in the end its up to u


Please, please, please, turn your daughter back to rearfacing.  It is far and away safer for her to rear face as opposed to forward facing right now.  The absolute MINIMUM is 12 months AND 20lbs but it's much safer to continue rearfacing until the limits of your seat.

Amber - posted on 06/20/2009

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I am a cert passenger safety tech and the american academy of peds recommends 20 pounds and 12 months both. If the seat allows to rear face longer than do so whether their feet touch the back seat or not. my son was over 18 months before he hit 20 pounds and remained

rear facing until then. The longer the rear facing the better !!!!

Amy - posted on 06/20/2009

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children have knees for a reason. I agree with the weight limit...rear face till then for their safety.

Vanessa - posted on 06/20/2009

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hi i truned my daughter seat around when she was 7 months in the end its up to u

Julie - posted on 06/20/2009

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Hi Rachael, I did a car seat safety clinic and they told us that they should remain rearfacing definately until they are a year old. My daughter stayed rearfacing until about 15 mths olds. I was in such a rush to get her turned around until I went to the clinic. They said that it does not matter that the childs legs/ feet are touching the back of the seat. they said that it would be better for them to break a leg rather then suffer a a spinal cord injury if there was an accident. Also check on the side of your car seat because some say different weights. I have seen some that say 22 or 25 pounds as well. Hope this helps

User - posted on 06/19/2009

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No. It is much safer to keep them rear facing as long as possible. Todddler and Young children's neck muscles are not developed as much as an adults and they risk internal decapitation from being foward facing to soon. 1 year and 20 lbs is the minimum requirement and really it should be changed to older.



In Sweden kids rear face to age 5 and there are no fatalities in children. Here car accidents are the biggest cause of death for age 1-4 but not under 1 because most parents switch to foward facing at 1 here. My 3 year old is still rear facing and will remain so until she hits the limits of the seat.



Feet touching the back of the seat isn't a big deal at all. It actually is more comfortablel ike sitting with an ottaman. Better a broken leg than a broken neck. Broken legs heal and there actually aren't any causes of broken legs from sitting rear facing.



Here is a good video that explains why

Betsy - posted on 06/19/2009

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Most laws say 12 mo AND 20 lbs, like others have said, but that will be changing shortly as extended rear-facing at 1 yr old puts the child at greater risk for internal decapotation due to the weaker body structure, especially the spinal strength. Most manufacturers offer RF seats to 35 lbs now, so the child is RF until at least 2-1/2 yrs old due to that fatal risk. Their legs are fine at that age, but the risk of the fatal injuries in even a light crash with internal decapitation will kill them, so don't be in any rush and when you buy a convertible seat, it is best to buy one high RF height and weight limits so it accomodates those factors until the spine is strong and can handle the movement in a crash.

Sarah - posted on 06/19/2009

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My daughter just turned 2 and she finally made it to 20 lbs. She is tall for her age though and I turned her around at about 11 months because her feet were hanging off the edge. She went to a convertible car seat at 6 months so they are not much bigger than the infant car seats.

User - posted on 06/19/2009

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Quoting Carolyn:

However I heard on the news that they did a study in Britain and they say that it is safest to have a child forward facing till 4 years old. Dont know if I heard correctly has anyone easle heard this????


I believe you are talking about the recent study indicating that children are safest rear-facing until 4 years old.  Here is a link to a story about the study: http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/31326129/ns/...

Jane - posted on 06/19/2009

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Please keep your baby facing the rear.. If you have too go buy another car seat that is what we did for my grandson.

Nichola - posted on 06/19/2009

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my son is 11 months and about 25lbs...at his nine month check up he was just over 20lbs and his doctor told me that he couldnt forward face till he was one even though he had hit the weight and honestly i cant wait till next month becuz he hates facing backwards and car rides will be much better when he can see everything

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