Set me straight on car seats!! — The Bump
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Set me straight on car seats!!

Ok I heard that laws have changes ( I think they prefer kids to be rear facing until 2 years of age).  I am so confused though, so when DS grows out of his infant car seat do I go on to Convertible Car Seat or Booster seat?  I don't see any boosters that are rear facing so I am thinking it's the convertible or am I missing something? I know I got some time, but I just want to start looking.

 

Thanks!!


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Re: Set me straight on car seats!!

  • I don't believe it is an actual "law" but the AAP rec's 2 years rfing.  From an infant seat they will go to a convertible seat, then booster also usally a 5pt harness until bigger.
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  • We switched T to a convertible seat at 5 months, technically you can use a convertible from birth.  We did RFing until 16 months.  State law was (not sure if it still is because I can never find the RCW) age 1 year and 20lbs to remain RFing.  We won't booster until T exceeds the weight/height requirement in his convertible.
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  • Yeah the law used to be 1 and 20 pounds and then it changed to just say that kids have to be in appropriate seats til something like 4'9"?  Something like that. .. but they recommend keeping kids rear facing til 2.    So you do a convertible next.  It will go rear and forward facing and most of them go up to at least 50 or 55 pounds forward facing with a lower weight limit for RF.  Then you can go to a booster.   Some boosters will do a 5 point harness forward facing and then convert to a seat belt harness.   Some just are the seat belts.  Depends on what you want.  The seat belt narnesses usually go up to 80 pounds or more.   

    Note also that your car and/or the seat will have a weight limit on  using the LATCH system in your car.  This information seems to be hard to come by but is a minimum of 40 pounds.  Some are 48.  

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  • Typically it's infant seat to convertible carseat to booster seat...though there are various height & weight limits to each type of individual seat.  I think the general recommendation is to keep children rear facing and in a 5 point harness as long as possible, though the law states at least one year and 20 lbs. before switching to the forward facing position.  Two years before forward facing is the newest recommendation from the AAP.  Feel free to clarify or correct me if I'm wrong...
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  • 2 kids and I've bought 4 carseats already.  Yes, typically it's infant to convertible still rear racing until whenever... my 3 year old is finally over 32 lbs and I couldn't imagine her still being rear facing (I think the first convert. I got her was up to 35 RF)  My youngest is now in that seat still RF and she is still fine that way at 17 months- we're aiming for 2 or so.  Oldest is now in a Graco 3 in 1 booster, but it has a 5 point harness that we'll use until she just doesn't fit right in it anymore.  That seat will be the last one she'll need because the bottom can be a booster that goes up to 100 lbs.
  • we did the infant seat until about a year old.  Then went to a convertible seat.  Both my kids were rear facing until they hit the rear facing seat limit, which was about 2 - 2 1/2 yrs old.  It is 5 times safer for them to be rearfacing.  Then we switched to the Graco Nautilus.  i like this seat because they can be in a 5 pt harness for a LONG time.  (Hannah is 48lbs and still in the harness.)  Then the seat converts to a backed booster, and then a backless booster, so she won't need another car seat.  I've been really happy with it.  But, I don't think you can use it for rearfacing.

    The law is that the child has to be a MINIMUM of 1yr and 20lbs to be front facing.  However, it is strongly recommended that that child be rear facing as long as possible.  And it doesn't bother them for their legs to be touching the seat, or having to bend their legs.  (Something I am passionate about!)

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  • OK... so just to clear up what the law actually is.... the law does NOT say that they have to be a year and 20 pounds.   The law USED to say that they had to be a year OR 20 pounds.  Here is the text of the law that was in effect until 2007:

    http://law.justia.com/codes/washington/2005/title46/46.61.687.html

    "(b) If the child is less than one year of age or weighs less than twenty pounds, the child shall be properly restrained in a rear-facing infant seat;"

    I know I was told at our car seat safety class that the law was AND.  And I know at the Evergreen class they always said AND.  But the law never actually said that. 

     

    The law as it currently stands took out all of the specifics that were in the old law.  I don't really know why.  I guess they decided to let the car seat manufacturers decide what to say is safe rather than trying to keep up with new standards?  

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?Cite=46.61.687

    (a) A child must be restrained in a child restraint system, if the passenger seating position equipped with a safety belt system allows sufficient space for installation, until the child is eight years old, unless the child is four feet nine inches or taller. The child restraint system must comply with standards of the United States department of transportation and must be secured in the vehicle in accordance with instructions of the vehicle manufacturer and the child restraint system manufacturer.

     

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  • I wish they would make the law until at least age 2.  It is SO much safer; we are not turning C until at least then and hopefully not for a while after. There is a dumbass poster on 9-12 who turned her baby around at 9 months.  Why on earth would you do that??  I wanted to smack her, along with the poster who talked about holding her kid in the car while her DH drove on long trips.  National posters be crazy sometimes.

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  • The AAP is who is hoping to have the law passed, but it's not yet.  Not so long ago (3 years), I argued with then current president of the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics about turning your child.  Megan was 12 months and he told me it was time to turn.  I was hoping that he would help me convince the husband to keep her rear facing longer.  He sided with C.  I'm tempted to write him an e-mail and say "Told ya so!"
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  • image MrsAmyB:
    The AAP is who is hoping to have the law passed, but it's not yet.  Not so long ago (3 years), I argued with then current president of the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics about turning your child.  Megan was 12 months and he told me it was time to turn.  I was hoping that he would help me convince the husband to keep her rear facing longer.  He sided with C.  I'm tempted to write him an e-mail and say "Told ya so!"

    wow, and never was it "time to turn" at 12 months.  It was "ok" to do it at 12 months, but never was it said that it was something you needed to do.  I think everyone knew it was safer rear facing even if it was allowed. 

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  • We too plan to RF long as possible. All you have to do is watch the crash test videos to know why. I personally cringe every time I see a kid younger than 2 FF - even bitched out my Ped (well, kindly pointed out) their poster was out of date on recommended limits...argh.

    As parents, you fight to brush their teeth, limit juice, stress to get enough veggies in their tummy, put helmets on their heads - and then some blindly (and some knowingly have their reasons) FF on their 1st birthday. Personally, it drives me nuts.... *rant over*

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