Car seats — The Bump
January 2016 Moms

Car seats

What is everyone currently doing in the world of car seats? My LO is 16 months and average height and we are rear facing in a Graco convertible car seat.

shes not a huge fan which would be tolerable, but she is too tall to rear face. Her legs are "frogging" and she can't stretch out so anything longer than 5 minutes she's miserable. But I know new research says we should wait until they're 2. No clue how to do this with her legs.

any advice?

Re: Car seats

  • mamadcbmamadcb
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Third Anniversary Photogenic
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    I don't know where you live but in CA it's the law that they have to sit rear facing until 2 (unless they're taller than 40 inches or weigh more than 40 lbs). It would certainly be frustrating to drive with a miserable toddler but a) it's the law and b) it's what will keep her safest in an accident. 5 times safer! Those things are so much more important. I hope for your sake and hers that she'll get used to it soon! 
  • TRA0816TRA0816
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
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    In Georgia, the law is over 1 yr old and over 20lbs for front facing...but, the recommendation is 2 yrs old. My son is still rear facing even though he meets these requirements but we are starting to face the squished legs dilemma too. I cant say when I will make the switch honestly. I'd look up your state laws and do what you feel is best based on that.
  • KFrobKFrob
    Long-Lasting Membership 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    In Connecticut the law is 1 year for front facing.  And then you have the AAP recommendation of 2 years.  I'm a super worrier about safety, but my daughter is in the 85 percentile for height and was extremely cramped and "frogged" so we chose to start to front face her.  She also fits the height and weight criteria for our brand of car seat for forward facing.  I still go back and forth on the decision and worry about it.    
    TRA0816
  • My daughter is in the 75th percentile as far as height, and we still rear-face. Here, the law is 2, and I've seen too many of those internal decapitation videos to turn her around. I know for certain car seats, there is an extender that you can add that will give them a little more room. My daughter just basically does whatever with her legs--sometimes they are extended over her body--feet flat on the seat back, sometimes they are frogged, sometimes she swings them over the side. She especially likes that when we have on a "marching song," that she can stomp her feet on the back seat.
    Here's a good graphic. Kids are super flexible. 
    Image result for rear facing car seat where do legs go
    fishee333krrpe99mamadcbBarrettJ89
  • mhamikmhamik
    100 Love Its Third Anniversary 10 Comments Name Dropper
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    Our law is one year as well. I worry too! And then I had a physical therapist I know tell me that if they are "frogged" we have to be extra careful on longer car rides for her legs and of course we have a bunch of road trips this summer. Hoping that is wrong but I'll have to do some research! 
  • Mine is over the 100 percentile in height (I had no idea they went over 100. She's been at 99% since birth, then jumped way over the curve at our last appointment.) And she is all legs! I think the law here is 1 year for rear-facing, but I'll keep her backward until at least 2. She has just learned to deal with the lack of room. Of course, she doesn't really know anything different! She loves to kick the crud out of the seat which bothers me to no end. But anytime I'm hard on the brakes, I'm glad she's turned around. 
  • My son stayed rear facing until just shy of 2.5. He's extremely tall (at 15 months, he was 36.5 inches tall). In my research, we found the best option was to buckle him them help him to sit criss-cross style. He seemed confortable and never fussed about it. 

    Something else to think about, to go along with the graphic from @stephanienjer, think of how your LO sits when they are playing on the floor. Are they sitting with their legs straight out? Many kids sit with their legs frogged or criss-crossed. If they are comfortable sitting this way out of the car seat, they should be fine in the car seat. 
    stephanienjerSDaniels19
  • krrpe99 said:
    Mine is over the 100 percentile in height (I had no idea they went over 100. She's been at 99% since birth, then jumped way over the curve at our last appointment.) And she is all legs! I think the law here is 1 year for rear-facing, but I'll keep her backward until at least 2. She has just learned to deal with the lack of room. Of course, she doesn't really know anything different! She loves to kick the crud out of the seat which bothers me to no end. But anytime I'm hard on the brakes, I'm glad she's turned around. 
    Right. The safety guidelines have more to do with spinal development as opposed to size. Some experts even recommend up to age 4 rear facing! I'm not planning on doing that, but I think if my LO is comfortable, we'll keep her rear-facing as long as we can.
  • Yeah the state I live in they can go forward facing when the car seat requirements say so, you don't ever have go to a year. Crazy right!! I know people with big babies that have turned them at 8 months. 
  • @BarrettJ89 yes! Kids contort themselves in the craziest positions, just shows how flexible they are! My niece is still rear facing at 3.5 yrs. Not sure when we'll turn Luke but definitely not before two
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