Is it time to go forward facing??

Katherine - posted on 08/30/2011 ( 69 moms have responded )

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My little man will be 6 months old on the 25th of september, I know you aren't supposed to turn them forward facing until they are a year old but he is very close to the weight limit for rear facing.

My seat is an evenflo symphony, has a weight for rear facing of up to 30lbs......

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Merry - posted on 09/04/2011

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My actual pediatrotion told me that there's no reason to rear face my son past a year.

Yup a literal MD told me there's no good reason to rear face past a year.

So I would NEVER take a pediatricians word as law. They can be misinformed just like the rest of the population.



Eric was huge as a baby too, he was gaining a pound a week for a while! But around 6 months he tapered off, he was 23lbs at 6 months and 25 at 9 months and 26 at 1year. Still 26 at 18 months and by two he was 28 and now just about 2.5 he got to 30lbs! So I'd bet your little guy will slow way down soon.



Now the bigger babies are the bigger heads they usually have! My big chunky walking 9 month old had great muscles and was walking so early and he was so big. But his head was huge! Compared to his neck his head was massive and I'm sure that it would have snapped his neck if that huge head went flying forward.

He's rearfacing still, bends his legs, and looks out the window happily. 2.5 years, 30lbs, 38inches. Sunshine kids radian xtsl.

Rachael - posted on 08/30/2011

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I want to apologize if I offended anyone with my comment. I am a pediatric nurse and anything that far over or under the high and low percentiles should be evaluated. It COULD be nothing, just an overweight child, or it could be something that requires medical attention. In either case the family could probably benefit from nutritional counseling as there is a HUGE childhood obesity epidemic in the US as well as other countries which is putting children (even young children) at a greater risk of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and respiratory problems. there are also thyroid and metabolic disorders that cause such a large weight discrepancy. I was not trying to upset anyone with that comment, but as a medical professional myself I believe that knowledge is power, and that checking with a specialist to identify or rule out a potential problem could be a HUGE quality of life issue for this family.

On a side note the graco32 is a carrier car seat isn't it? I am not sure what the evenflow symphony is, but there are many affordable convertible car seats (can go rear or front facing and some even convert to boosters) that have a rear facing weight limit of up to 45lbs.

Natalie - posted on 08/30/2011

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The law is that he should be rear facing until he's 1 AND meets the weight requirement. Also, some people need to remember that babies come in ALL shapes and sizes just like their mommies! I wouldn't worry about how much your six month old weighs, but definitely please do not turn him around until he is at least one year old!

Merry - posted on 09/05/2011

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Wow, lol thanks jodi! I guess Eric is really a big boy. I didn't think about the smaller kids out there. Well I guess if Eric is 4 and not yet at the weight limit I'll forward face him then. So i should say somewhere between 2-4 years is when I think they should forward face. Up until the limit of their seat but no sooner then 2.. :)

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Katherine B., it doesn't matter if his feet touch the back of the seat. As his legs grow longer he will simply bend his knees. My 27 month old is still rear facing and she's around 35 inches. It would be awful to be in an accident with your child, but I would prefer broken legs to a broken neck. No matter what country you live in it's safer to stay rear facing as long as you can. Do you have the opiton to buy a different seat? I know there are a few brands that go rear facing to 40+ lbs, but I'm not sure what's available in Canada. We have the Safety First Complete Air and it is rear facing up to 40 lbs. It's about $130 (U.S.) As others said, his growth will probably slow soon as well so you may not even have to worry about it.

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Tanya - posted on 09/06/2011

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Hi Katherine, I'm in Canada too, and I have an Alpha Omega Elite (Eddie Bauer version) that RFs to 35 lbs., and a Marathon 65 that RFs to 40 lbs.

Also, just because he's close to 30 lbs. now, doesn't mean he'll continue to grow so fast! Both my kids were 20 lbs. @ 4 months, 22 lbs. @ 5 months, and over 23 lbs. @ 6 months. My oldest was just over 27 lbs. at 12 months, and hit 30 lbs. at just under 2 years old. My youngest is 16 months and just hit 30 lbs., after staying at 29 lbs. for 3-4 months! I find once they start crawling/walking, their weight gain REALLY slows down, they just get taller for a while!

My boys are also tall, but having their legs against the back of the seat isn't nearly as concerning as being forward-facing too early. My toddler just has his legs almost crossed when he's in the car. It doesn't seem to bother him at all. I know kids who are RFing at 3 and 4 years old, and it doesn't seem to bother them either!

Katherine - posted on 09/06/2011

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Natalie, we've got a 3 in 1 - goes from newborn to 100lbs. rear facing max weight 30lbs, but if he outgrows it before a year we're purchasing a new one that goes to 40lbs rear facing

Here the min is 1 year rear facing plus weight and height...so we have to wait and see, at the rate he's growing he'll be forward facing way before 2

Natalie - posted on 09/05/2011

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You may have the answer to this or have made up your mind. But they have seats that can go from rear to front-facing for just such a case. And its actually recommended that you keep them rear facing until about 2. Sorry if its repeat info but hope it still helped on some way! :)

Katherine - posted on 09/05/2011

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Sorry Rachael, upon first reading thats what came across....I re-read it several times.....and totally agree with you about it being a wild as letting a babe drive!!!

Rachael - posted on 09/05/2011

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Katherine I NEVER said or would say to go beyond the capacity of the seat, that would be flat out stupid no questions asked! I would never want anyone to do that on that same note the safe range for height is the head must fall at least 1 inch below the top of the carseat in the rear facing position NEVER did I even hint that you should keep your child rear facing beyond the limit, you might as well let the child DRIVE! What I meant when I said rear facing as long as possible is get a convertible seat that goes rear facing until a higher weight limit. I ALSO said to do the research and decide for yourself please Katherine do NOT put words in my mouth especially ones that are so ludicrous

Katherine - posted on 09/05/2011

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Rachaeal - It isNOT safe to keep a child in a rear facing seat if he/she is OVER the weight limit...thats just as safe as putting a newborn forward facing.....The seats have testing done to ensure limits....my seats limit is 30lbs rear facing....therefore he'll either be forward facing at 30lbs (depending on his age) or we'll buy a new seat to do rear facing to 40lbs - if we purchase the new seat once he hits the 40lbs limit he'll go forward facing, I wouldn't endanger his life by keeping him rear facing when the limit is 40lbs

Katherine - posted on 09/05/2011

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Like I mentioned before, he will be rear facing until he reaches the max weight of his seat.....if it's before 1 year we'll purchase a new seat with a higher limit....if it's after he'll go forward facing in his current seat..

I know i'll get hell from ppl on here about that, but my child is my child, and we'll do what we want with him, and he'll be safe!!!!

Christin - posted on 09/05/2011

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why not look into something like this
http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?...
or this
http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?...

as a certified technician I would advise you to look into these, the recommendation is to rear face until at least two years of age if possible now, and also the legs being touching the seat is not a safety issue, there have been NO cases of broken legs in crashes due to rear facing

http://www.canadianparents.com/article//...

Rachael - posted on 09/05/2011

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it would be safer for adults to be rearfacing in cars, so it is not a matter of weight, height OR age. there is no magic number, but once the infants neck muscles are on par with an adult's his or her risk of internal decapitation or other serious neck trauma decreases significantly. The highway safety commission has performed tests on car seats in both the rear and forward facing positions and found that for the AVERAGE size child with AVERAGE musculature (not just size big does not equal muscle) that point is around age 2. Alexander is SMALL 29 months and 25lbs his head is still disproportionate for his small frame, so I as a medical professional, mother and child advocate (as well as a person with common sense) I am going to keep my little man rear facing as long as humanly possible. As a health practitioner I will tell you 100% that PARENTS need to be educated advocates for their children. Medical professionals do not learn everything in school, and then they don't always stay up on the standards so read the research (not blogs/ect) and educate yourselves in order to do what you believe is the best for your child. there is no one all encompassing correct answer.

Katherine - posted on 09/05/2011

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Lets not forget, different countries, states, provinces etc all have different policies!!!

I like the fact of keeping my baby rear facing until he's bigger, however I also need to keep in mind the MAX weight limit for rear facing. I need to watch both his age and weight and then go according to that as well. For those ppl who have dainty babes (Jodi your daughter for one) they are easier to keep rear facing.....my son, 6months on the 25th is 28+ inches long and 25lbs+.....so I need to be on it daily, watching his weight etc so i don't exceed his seat limit and put him at farther risk.

Heather - I looked into the sunshine kids, I WILL NOT purchase an older model, I want it to be appropriate for my child and be current. Plus I don't think I would feel safe puting my babe into one of their seats due to the lack of padding and seat around the head. I have major concerns of what if the seat was ejected from the car, what if we were in an accident the seat would smash his face into the seat.....or into the ground if it was ejected.

Jodi - posted on 09/05/2011

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The trouble with 35lbs, Laura, is that some children don't reach that until they are a LOT older. My daughter did not reach that until she was 5. Even now, she is 6 1/2 and only 40lb. To me, rearfacing at that age is ridiculous. At the rate her curve is going, if you had your way, she'll be rearfacing until at least 8...... :\

Merry - posted on 09/05/2011

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I think the law should say until 35lbs. I'd prefer 45lbs but there's only a few seats that go that high, so 35 would be good. 20lbs is just ridiculously tiny to be front facing.

Krista - posted on 09/05/2011

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Exactly. It's not like it's unsafe to forward-face them at 11.5 months, and then safe as houses at 12 months. However, numerous studies have shown that it is safest to keep them rear-facing as long as possible. Hell, it's actually safest for passenger adults to be rear-facing.

But, you can't just say, "As long as possible", because there will always be some idiot parent out there who front-faces the baby at one month old because "he likes being able to see!" So that's why they have to put a set age on there...because sadly, some parents just cannot be trusted to have anything resembling sound judgment.

Merry - posted on 09/05/2011

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I dontthink two years is amajic number either, I think that every child should be rearfacing as long as possible! For my son that's going to be 4+ years if he stays on this weight gain curve, 45lbs is pretty big....

Nicole - posted on 09/05/2011

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Broken legs is better then a broken neck! There are car seats that have a higher weight limit and still rear face.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/04/2011

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I'm also in Canada and while there is no law stating kids should be rear faced until 2 years old, every time we went to a vaccination appointment the public health nurses reminded us that there was no rush to forward face and that it was safer to keep them rear facing to 2 and beyond. My Sunshine Kids Radian rear faces to 40lbs. It was not anywhere close to $400. Just look for sales (tjs kids has them all the time...just google them!) on older models and fabrics no one else wanted. It's not impossible to get a good deal on a decent high weight seat. My kid is just about 27 months and still rear facing and we have no plans to turn her any time soon. And yes, she has to bend her legs.

[deleted account]

My ped would've been fine w/ me forward facing my son at a year. He still rear faced til almost 3.25 cuz I KNOW it's safer regardless of what the laws and/or recommendations are. I never actually asked the ped if/when I should forward face him until he was 31 pounds at 3 years... Then my only question was when the ped thought my son might reach 35 pounds (the rear facing limit for his seat). ;)

Mary Renee - posted on 09/04/2011

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I don't mean I plan to stay rear-facing forever, I'm just not rushing out to buy a new carseat for financial reasons. I'm actually watching another child (22 month old) and so I'm probably going to buy a forward facing carseat so that the 22 month old will have a carseat for my car, and then my daughter can go in that car seat when the 22 month old starts preschool.

I didn't want to come across as rude either, but I just think a pediatrician who actually has seen my daughter in person would know more about where she should be forward facing or rear facing then someone on the internet who has never seen my daughter.

There are regulations and then there is reality. I don't think there is a HUGE difference that makes it suddenly alright to go forward facing just because they've been alive of 730 days. I don't think "two years" is this magic number that all of a sudden it's ok and babies don't develop at the same rate and not even a year ago it was normal to forward face at year. I think it's possible that an 18 month old might be ready to forward face, and if a pediatrician that knows the child and says they're ready is probably right. Other kids might not develop as rapidly and not be ready until 2, which is probably why the guidelines are there. I don't by any means think a 6 month old is ready to forward face, I think EVERYONE should wait at least a year - but then sometimes between a year and a half to two and a half or even three, it's a decision your pediatrician can help you out with based on your individual child.

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Mary, I'm not trying to come across as rude, I'm honestly curious...if you really trust your pedi then why did you decide to keep your daughter rear facing? I wish all doctors were up to date on everything, but they're not.

Katherine - posted on 09/04/2011

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Ladies, don't worry we plan on keeping him rear facing, I've done alot of shopping and research over the weekend!!! I'm EXHAUSTED!!!!

But, we're keeping him in his current car seat until he hits 30lbs (or until we can sell it, if we can) and then buying a Britax (I REFUSE to buy from Babies r us anymore, all of the things we've bought there that were RECOMMENED by their employees have gone to crap...car seat, stroller....ick) anyways, buying a britax from a children's speciality store once he hits the 30lbs mark, keeping him rear facing to the 40lbs limit. It is MUCH safer, I know that, i just wanted to hear others opionions.....

and Laura, my little many is bigger then your little guy, just 5 months and 25lbs and has been steadily gaining (he was 8.12 at birth) and he's about 28+ inches long...he looks like a 9 month old if not older. He does however have a MASSIVE head....but his neck, I'm not even sure there is one under there lol

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR INPUT

Rachael - posted on 09/04/2011

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I would keep him rear facing for as long as possible for his own safety. I still have my 2 1/2 year old rear facing.

Mary Renee - posted on 09/03/2011

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Thanks Sara and Krista, but I think I'll trust the pediatrician who spent years in medical school who has known my daughter since birth. I'm just specifically talking about the upper body control and strength that makes a 1 1/2 year old different from a 6 month old... perhaps the word muscular threw you for loop.



That said, she's still rear facing, she just told me that she COULD go forward facing whenever I want at this point. I'm not saying pediatricians are always correct, but in this case, I'm going to believe the doctor that literally just saw my daughter (in person) three days ago when I asked her about it.



"Muscular" adults with whiplash usually aren't in five point harnesses either.



All that said, we're on the same side, I don't think a 6 month old should be forward facing. I personally plan to stay rear-facing, I'm just sharing what my actual pediatrician told me.

Krista - posted on 09/03/2011

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Exactly. How many grown adults have we all known who have gotten bad whiplash from a car accident? I'm imagining that those adults were probably more muscular than even the brawniest toddler....

Just a heads-up, Katherine. Babies R Us has the Graco MyRide 65 on sale now for $130! It's normally $230. And you can rear-face up to 40 lbs in it. It's the one I own, and I highly recommend it. If you can snag one for that price, then go for it!!!!

[deleted account]

Mary that worries me. I don't think I'd go by how "muscular" they seem either. Even accidents at low speeds can cause whiplash in us (adults). No matter how strong your child is the force of an accident is stronger. Leaving them rear facing as long as possible is the best options. If you buy a convertible seat then I don't see why you wouldn't leave them rear facing in it.

[deleted account]

I don't know about big babies, but my son rearfaced til June (he turned 3 in March). Not sure on his height, but he was 31 pounds and 25% for weight and height. Rearfacing is SO much safer that I'd keep him that way as long as possible.

Mary Renee - posted on 09/03/2011

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Hey! Here's an answer from a pediatrician!



I literally had this question in mind because like I mentioned earlier, my 24 lbs, 32 inch, 16 month old daughter is starting to get too big for the straps on her Graco Snugride 32 we've used since she was a newborn (so funny that it seemed GIANT when we brought her home from the hospital)



My pediatrician said that with her age (almost 1 1/2) and her body type that at this point it was alright for her to go forward facing. My daughter is very muscular and strong in the 80th percentile for height and 70 percentile for weight, ... I'm not joking, she's doing pull-ups on the playground! Definitely got that from Papa, not me! She's also been walking well for over 5 months.



I think the general opinion among pediatricians is that weight, and ability/strength is more important than an exact AGE, but there's no way that a 6 month old has the ability to hold themselves the way a toddler can. I think you should wait until he reaches BOTH minimum requirements of 1 AND over 20 lbs (not just one or the other)



Me personally, I would wait till he is walking well, then they might have better upper body strength - in addition to being over 1 and over 20 lbs.

Jenessa - posted on 09/03/2011

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There is a great group on facebook in regards to when to go forward facing, the minimum i believe is 2 now. Here is the link, https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/CarSeatsForTheLittles/
If you can't get in, look me up add me as a friend so i can add you to the group.. Its a great and supportive group.

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I'm in Canada, My car seat goes up to 35lbs rear facing. You don't need to order from another country. I got mine at walmart on sale for 120$

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2011

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There is a car seat in Canada that you can buy made by The First Years called TruFit. Rear facing up to 35lbs, and up to 65lbs forward facing. It sells for around $200 but when it goes on sale you can get it for $119(Zellers) ToysRus also sells it but I've never seen it go on sale there. I love this carseat! I bought one for every vehicle, it has very high reviews has been a great car seat to own! Hope this helped :)

Anna-Jo - posted on 08/31/2011

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In my opinion, a couple of broken legs is far better than a severed spinal cord. I live in Canada as well and our son stayed rear facing until he was 2. With my research done while in college for Developmental Services Worker, as well as input from friends at the local health unit, we made the decision to hold off as long as possible. I do know that the requirements are being looked at and reassessed due to all of information available now.

Ashley - posted on 08/31/2011

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My daughter is almost 19 months old, and she still sits rear facing. She doesn't know any different so i'm not changing it. Its law to have them sitting backwards until the are 1 AND 20lbs, which is why they have convertible car seats, but they are recommending now that kids stay backwards until they are 2. They showed the difference in the crash tests with ones sitting forward and ones sitting backwards and it was a significant difference. So I chose to keep my daughter rear facing. She is tall to, but she just kinda relaxes in it, so her legs arent pushing at the seat, so I'm not too concerned about it. No one ever thinks they will get into a car accident with their child, but it happens, so I just prefer to be on the safe side.

Katherine - posted on 08/31/2011

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Racheal - due to the standards here I am not able to buy online, as most things come from the states, where the standards are different.

We'll wait and see how quickly my little guy gains/becomes mobile and go from there.....

Krista - posted on 08/31/2011

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Katherine...1 year old isn't a "recommendation". In many provinces, it's law. So that's something you may want to keep in mind.

they want the kids facing rear til 2 now they say at the hospital (which i think is ridiculous) but they can face forward safely at 1 in my opinion

Not to be rude, Jennifer, but unless you're a car seat safety expert, your opinion doesn't really carry a whole lot of weight. The fact of the matter is that children under the age of 2 are 75 per cent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding in a rear-facing seat. So there's a darned good reason that they're recommending keeping them rear-facing until age 2.

It's about head control. Even in a low-speed impact, the weight of the head (in relation to the strength of the neck), can be enough to completely sever a toddler's spinal cord.

One thing to keep in mind as well, is that there are actually no noted cases of toddlers suffering broken legs as a result of rear-facing during a car accident. There ARE, however, children who have died from internal decapitation, due to their heavy little heads basically ripping away from their spinal cords. My son is two, and is still rear-facing. He just bends his knees.

And even if he DID break his legs in a car accident...like Jennifer Lott said, "Broken legs: cast it. Broken neck: casket." 'Nuff said.

Katherine, I hope that with increased mobility, your son's weight will slow down a bit, buying you more time. And I know that $400 is a lot to spend on a car seat, but if it buys protection for his little neck for an additional 6 months or even an additional year...

[deleted account]

My almost two year old does the same thing, shes still rear facing and she just sits and crosses her legs because she is really tall.

Medic - posted on 08/31/2011

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Feet touching the back seat is NOT a reason to switch them. Broken legs cast it broken neck casket. My son rear faced until he was almost 4 and there is no way you can tell me your 6 month old is as big as or bigger than my 3 year old was. In all reality you have 5 pounds to go and he probably not gain that in 2 months seeing as he will be slowing down once he becomes mobile. Both of my kids just cross their legs and get comfy.

Rachael - posted on 08/31/2011

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you may be able to order online cheaper including shipping... best to keep the little one safe! even though it may not be required, look at the research on injuries sustained in accidents. GOood luck!

Katherine - posted on 08/31/2011

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Erica, it is a convertible, he was measuring big before I had him so we didn't buy the bucket infant seat, opted for the convertable, goes rear facing up to 30lbs, forward facing, and booster.

Erica - posted on 08/31/2011

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Here where I live 2 is when u can have your little ones forward facing. I bought convertible carseat for my 3 and love them! Maybe that's something you should consider. Most brands are now made for both to toddler weight.

Katherine - posted on 08/31/2011

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In canada the age they recommend is 1 year, but that goes along with weight and height. No where do they say 2 years. We only have the Britix (sp?) here and it only goes to 40lbs and is over $400.....a bit pricy considering it only does rear and farward facing, not booster and the one I have does all three and was $400.

I'll wait and see if/when he starts slowing down in growth and speak to the doc about it. if anything he'll be turned at the 30lb mark due to safety in the seat.

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2011

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if u need a new car seat and cant afford it check with social services in your county in a few counties here you can rent a car seat for 10 dollars a year you just have to pay a 30 dollar deposit

Jennifer - posted on 08/31/2011

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they want the kids facing rear til 2 now they say at the hospital (which i think is ridiculous) but they can face forward safely at 1 in my opinion

Rebecca - posted on 08/31/2011

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both my babies we about this same weight at 6 months(one was 10 lbs at birth, the other was 9lbs 9 oz) so they grew fast...and by the time they were 1 they both slimmed down......( I was the same exact weight as my first son) and as an adult I am 5' 5 and 115 lbs....I know this doesn't answer your question about the carseat, but feel better knowing that some babies are big, and don't end up being fat throughout life...and are perfectly healthy~

Jennifer - posted on 08/30/2011

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I wouldn't, you can get a seat with a higher rear facing weight. My youngest is 3 and still rear facing.

Brittany - posted on 08/30/2011

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Sunshine Radiant makes seats that go up to 45 pounds rear facing, as far as I know they are the only company that has that high of a weight limit. Not sure if they are in Canada. Sure hope you can figure something out.

Katherine - posted on 08/30/2011

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Yea, I'm hoping he starts to thin out...he's starting to (grew an inch in just a couple of weeks) and he's looking thinner...fingers crossed, I don't really want to fork out another $400plus for another car seat!!!!

Noelle - posted on 08/30/2011

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Rear facing limit is 35 lbs. I suspect that your sons weight will mellow out as he becomes more mobile! As soon as my son started crawling, and now walking, his baby fat all just seemed to fall off. I wouldn't get to stressed about the weight limit just yet. If it's all you think about anytime you put him into the car, then you may consider getting a seat with the rear facing limit at 35 lbs

Katherine - posted on 08/30/2011

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Did you look at the max weight for rear facing for your car seat?

Thats my issue and something I will be contacting both my doctor and the transportation board about, he's already 25lbs, we only have another 5 lbs before he reaches the max weight....and then it becomes unsafe.

I called evenflo today and inquired and all I was told was to call my doctor and talk to them and that the canadian laws and testing is different then the american. In canada the seat only goes to 30lbs rear facing but in the US it goes to 35lbs rear facing due to the difference in testing

Noelle - posted on 08/30/2011

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My son is 23 lbs, and 31 inches, and just turned 1 year on the 28th. We have him in a safety 1st Alpha Omega carseat. It's infant and then up to 100 lbs as a booster and everything in between. We still have him rear facing, since the new recommendation is to have him rear face until 2. But at 6 months they do not have the head control that is needed for a child to be forward facing, reguardless of weight/height.

Katherine - posted on 08/30/2011

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just to throw it out there ladies....my doctor said my son is healthy, at his 4 month appt he was 26in (87th percentile) and 22lbs (97th percentile). The doc is not concerned about his weight and neither am I.

As for car seats, here in Canada we have several things to go by, weight, age and height....he's met the weight and height (his feet touch the seat back....) and the reason behind me asking is because god forbid there was an accident he would break both legs/knees etc.

We have the evenflo symphony and it goes to 30lbs here in canada, but in the states to 35 (I believe the states have a bit more of a relaxed testing approach, or at the very least a different testing approach), it converts from rear facing, forward facing and booster...until he no longer needs a seat. We checked out others seats today and found that one other brand goes to a higher weight category (only to 40 lbs) but was $400 plus 13% taxs.....and doesn't convert to a booster...only rear and forward.....

So we are planning on keeping him rear facing as long as possible....but we'll have to debate with his weight and ask the doctor at his 6 month appt later this month......

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