when is my baby ready for a toddler seat?

[deleted account] ( 13 moms have responded )

my daughter is 6months old and 20lbs and sits on her own. she has just about out grown her car seat. how do i know when she is ready for a toddler seat? does it still have to be rear faceing?

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Merry - posted on 05/20/2011

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My newborn is in a convertible seat! She was born last week and her first car ride she was in a nice big toddler seat! It says 5-35 lbs for rear facing so she's quite safe in there but she looked so small! My son is also rearfacing in a convertible seat, his goes to 45 lbs so he will be rear facing for a few years more :)

Merry - posted on 05/20/2011

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My newborn is in a convertible seat! She was born last week and her first car ride she was in a nice big toddler seat! It says 5-35 lbs for rear facing so she's quite safe in there but she looked so small! My son is also rearfacing in a convertible seat, his goes to 45 lbs so he will be rear facing for a few years more :)

Theresa - posted on 05/20/2011

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At Martha. They have out grown the infant seat when the top of their head is past the top of the car seat or when they've reached the max weight. The shoulder straps for a rear facing child should be at or just below shoulder level. So strap wise it sounds like your seat is still fine. I switched my kids from the infant to the convertible before they reached the max weight of the infant because they were getting too heavy to lug around in the seat. I figured the main reason for the infant one was because of the ease of putting into and taking it out of the car. Since I was just taking the kids out of the seat and leaving the seat in the car anyway I moved them to the rear facing toddler seat. the rear facing (convertible) toddle seats can actually be used right from birth, so there's never a "too early" to move them to one.

Mary Kay - posted on 05/18/2011

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For Martha - The type of seat you're describing, with the bar that comes down in front of the child, is no longer available in the US. Check the manufacturer recommendations on your baby's infant seat for weight limits as well as descriptions of where the straps should hit him or her on the shoulders, etc. That will tell you best when your child has outgrown the infant seat, which is usually around a year old (a lot of them say 35 pounds and when the straps are below the baby's shoulders, for example). At that point your best bet is, like several have said, a convertible car seat. It's called "convertible," I believe, because it can be rear facing or front facing. Most of those type of car seats can be used before a year and for several years after, depeding again on your child's weight and size. Check out some manufacturers' websites (Graco, Britax, Chicco) for more details and pics if you think that might help. Good luck!

[deleted account]

I'm not sure, but it seems to me that she's not asking what any of you are replying to. I believe she is asking the same question I came here to find out. When she says toddler seat, she's not suggesting a booster seat for a 4 year old, they're not toddlers anymore at that age. She's asking.....and I'm asking, how do you know when they've grown out of their infant seat and are ready for the next seat up; a seat you'd put a toddler in (Toddler being a 1 to 3 year old child). In other words, your standard car seat with a back, most often side wings at the head and leg area. Often times these seats come with a pull down padded bar in front that is connected to the seat belt straps. Anyway, we have a 6 month old as well who's just about out of his infant seat, the holes for the straps are getting low on his shoulders. We need to get him into a larger car seat. And yes, they should be rear facing until about 2 when their spines no longer stretch further than the spinal cord, thus not breaking the spinal cord in the event of an accident.

Merry - posted on 04/28/2011

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Keep her rearfacing as long as possible. Forward facing is a big step down in safety. American law says no baby under a year can be forward facing. But that's the bare minimum, two years is the recommended minimum. Longer then two years is the ideal!
My son is rearfacing at 2 years old, 27 lbs and 37 inches.
Where do you live?

[deleted account]

Ditto everyone else. If you aren't in the US... I don't know, but if you are... rearfacing til a year and 20 pounds is the law... and rearfacing til 2 is the reccommendation.

My personal opinion.... if she's already 20 pounds at 6 months.... buy a convertible seat w/ the highest rearfacing limit you can find (I 'believe' it's 45 pound?) and keep her rearfacing til she's at the weight limit.

I got lucky w/ my son. His seat rearfaces to 35 pounds and at 3 he's only 31 pounds, so... still rearfacing for a few more months. :)

Theresa - posted on 04/28/2011

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I don't know where you live, but in the US children HAVE to be at least 20 lbs AND 1 year old before facing forward. And it is RECOMMENDED they stay rear facing until 2 or the max weight of the seat. You can get a convertible car seat that can be rear facing and then turn to be forward facing when your child is old/big enough. My 13 month old is still rear facing and I plan to keep him that way until he's reached the max rear facing weight for hi seat which is 35 lbs. Young children don't have strong enough neck muscles to withstand the force from even a fender bender type crash. The force on their little necks if forward facing can cause internal decapitation. Rear facing the head is pushed back into the car seat so there isn't the pressure on the neck muscles. Please keep her rear facing for her own safety.

Jackie - posted on 04/28/2011

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Not sure where you're located but it's recommended that you leave your child rear facing until 20lbs AND 2yrs old... I think. 6 months is way too early for rear facing but you can change the seat as long as it's 5 point harness.

Mary Kay - posted on 04/28/2011

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The American Academy of Pediatrics just upped their recommendation from one year to two years...in other words, they would prefer that kids stay in rear-facing car seats until they are two years old, as it's much safer. I'm not sure what you mean by "toddler" seat, but if you are talking about a booster, you've got a few years to go. Most kids can't go in them until they're closer to age 3, and even then they still need to have 5 point harnesses. So the short answer is, if she's outgrown her infant car seat, it's time to put her in a rear-facing convertible car seat (there are loads to choose from) for the next year or so.

JuLeah - posted on 04/28/2011

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As I understand, it is rear facing til they are one yr at least. Check the local law where you live, it differs from state to state

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