car seat questions

MelisaNovember 18, 2001

Does anyone know of a site that advises what weight/age a child should be in a car seat until? Both of our children (7 1/2 mos. and 2 1/3 yrs.) are in car seats and our infant will be ready for a forward-facing seat after her 1st birthday. We're trying to determine whether we ought to purchase a new car seat for her, or our toddler son, as we'll need a third car seat then. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance. Blessings!

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Your best bet would be to check out the many styles and types of carseats at a store like BabiesRUS or ToysRUS,..each carseat has different weight limits, etc..

We'll be in a similar situation and here's what we did and will do..
Our son started out in an infant seat/rear facing..just prior to 1yr we switched him to a larger seat/with a shield that works both rear and forward 1yr or 20lbs, we turned his seat around forward facing..He is now 17mos still using this seat which is good up to 35lbs.
Our #2 son is due in Feb, he will use the infant seat and we will keep son in current seat, until baby #2 is ready for that seat, around 7-8/9mos depending on how fast he grows out of the infant seat! When that day comes, we will buy a booster seat (30lbs+) for our older son, who by then will be around 2 1/2 yrs old..By the time #2 son is ready for booster seat, our older son won't need one......make sense!

My a booster seat for your older one
Use a dual use seat/both rear and forward facing for up to 30lbs..this will last the longest for your 2nd child..

Happy Riding!
Jen, Early Childhood Specialist and mom!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2001 at 4:59AM
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I don't know a site, but I do have a friend who is a certified car seat safety inspector. The guidelines for safety are: (note that these are not the same as what the law requires in your state - the law doesn't require you to do the maximum-safety options)

- infants should face rear until they are BOTH 1 year old AND 20 lbs. (so if baby reaches 20 lbs at 9 months, he should still be rear-facing until his 1st b-day)
- 20 lbs and 1 year is minimum, but that really is the safest way for baby to sit. If baby is still within the weight limits for the seat and will tolerate sitting backward, leave him rear-facing as long as possible.
- for 20-40 lbs and >1 year old, baby/child should be in a forward-facing car seat
- 40-80 lbs, your child should be using a booster seat, which usually doesn't have it's own restraints, its purpose is to properly position the adult seat belt on the child. Rather than using weight as a guide, you can also say that the child is ready to be totally out of boosters/car seats when the back of his/her knees hit the edge of the car's seat properly - i.e. his legs don't stick out when seated upright against the seat back.

My friend and the police officer who did our safety inspection also said that there is *no significant difference* in the safety quality of the car seats available today. All have to meet certain requirements to be sold at all and the different prices are simply a function of extra features, weights they will hold, and brand names.

They don't recommend using a car seat more than 5 years because it is unknown whether prolonged use and heat/cold exposure reduce the safety of the seats.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2001 at 5:14PM
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Our boys are 21 months apart. When our youngest turned 1, we took him out of the baby seat / carrier and put him in the car seat that our then 33 month old was in. It is the type that can be used forward facing or rear facing. We kept him rear facing for a few more months since he still fit that way and in my opinion it is safer. For the 33 month old, we bought a seat that is a forward facing car seat for toddlers but it will convert into a booster to be used until 80 pounds. To convert, all you do is remove the restraint. It is called the Next Step (Century?).

    Bookmark   November 20, 2001 at 12:33PM
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In case anyone is in this situation: in the rear-facing situation, it is 20-lbs AND 1-yr. Note that is AND , not either-or. Some people with babies who are big for their age think they can sit them forward facing, because they are >20 lbs. But the 1-yr limit is geared on maturity and known developmental stages of the neck and spinal cord, NOT on weight. Just FYI because I have seen people misunderstand this.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2001 at 9:09PM
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Here is a VERY good web site.

Here is a link that might be useful: Child Passanger Safety

    Bookmark   November 25, 2001 at 6:26PM
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We have a Cosco Alpha Omega - they go from 0-70 lbs, so we didn't have issues with switching carseats.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2001 at 9:28AM
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There are many others web sites that have very good information. I am also certified in Child Passenger Saftey and I do what I can for others to ensure that our younger generation is safe.

There are many more, if you have any questions please feel free to drop me an email @ **YOU MUST REMOVE ALL 3 'nospam's **



    Bookmark   November 30, 2001 at 6:24PM
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