42 answers

Big Girl Car Seat

Hi Ladies! I just have a question for you all. I have a 9 month old who is still in her infant travel carseat, the one that you can just pull in and out of the car? And she keeps kicking the back of the seat and is very long. I was told by a few people that it was up to me if I wanted to change her to a forward facing carseat. I was also told that it would do more harm than good in an rear-end accident if she was rear facing and her feet were against the seat. Like her legs would get broken because she was too big for the seat. But, she is only 9 months old and I am nervous to get her a big girl carseat. She is 19 lbs, so I thought it wouldnt be too bad, but needed other mothers advice. Help?!

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So What Happened?™

Wow ladies, thank you so much for all the responses! I am so glad to see how passionate you all are about the safety of other womans children. I have taken all your thoughts and suggestions into considersation and we have purchased a convertible carseat that is able to stay rear-facing. Thank you all for your help!!

Featured Answers

Hi C.,
You should get a convertable car seat that is rear facing until the age of one and then you change it to forward facing. I was confused at first as to what the rules are, but they were finally explained to me by my ped. Babies should be rear facing until the age of 1 and at least 20 poinds. I have a 9 month as well and we just bought the Evenflo convertable car seat and she loves it. Basically she should still be rear facing until the age of 1. Hope that helps.

My second son was really big and long and I ran into the same problem. A forward faceing seat is not safe for 9 months though. You can find a convertable seat that is rear facing but gives the baby more room and when it is time to move to a forward facing seat, you can flip it around. They are a bit pricey but the safety aspect far outweighs that. Good luck!

Nine months is way to early. Go to this link. It provides information on why rear facing is better, even if their legs are long. Plus gives links to some crash test videos. Plus the law is 20 lbs AND one year old.


More Answers

Hi C., All of the research I've ever read says babies are the safest if left in a rear facing seat until they are at least 1 yr old. You can go ahead and purchase the next phase of car seat if she meets the weight requirements and many of them allow you to still keep them rear facing until she reaches the 1 yr mark. Good luck.

You can get a bigger car seat and still keep her rear facing. Some people keep their children rear facing until they are 3 years of age. It is the safest way for her to travel. If she has outgrown the infant seat, then get a convertible seat. They can be used rear or forward facing and many go up until the child is 40-65 lbs.

Federal law, as well as KS and MO are very clear on the regulations. You can be ticketed and fined. Here it is: ONE YEAR AND 20 pounds. Not or, not length, not anything else. Exactly 12 months old and 20 pounds regardless of length. Even 30 pounds at months have to be rear-facing until one year of age. My daughter is in the same situation, but as a CPST (child passenger safety trainer) I can tell you this is the law, and it really is for their own safety. Rear facing is actually less harmful in a crash because the worst they get is broken bones. Forward facing, they can be crushed. I get this phone call at least 20 times a day, and get a lot of angry parents yelling at me for quoting the law. Your friends are right in that ultimately it is your choice, but from the law and safety standpoint I have give you the information so you can make an informed decision. Hope this helps.

Get the Britax Marathon!!!

It's time to get her a convertable car seat and keep her facing rear until she is at least one year old, even if her legs still look squished. God forbid you were in a car accident, I think you'd rather her break her leg(s) than her neck! At 9 months her neck muscles are not strong enough to handle a crash facing forward.
I switched both my children over to a Britax Roundabout when they were 5 months old. The seat is pretty pricey but I saved the boxes and 4 years later when I was done with them I was able to sell them both on ebay for around $115 each!
Hope this helps!

She may not like having her legs scrunched, but as far as safety, the measure is if her head comes over the top of the seat. Someone mentioned an Evenflo convertible. We have the Triumph, I think that might be the one she was talking about. We've been very happy with it, and our daughter is 4 and still using it.

we upgraded to a big boy carseat for my son at about the same age. He was very long and didn't look comfortable w/ his legs bent all the time. He was also too heavy to carry around in the infant seat. We bought the bigger carseat and had it rear facing until just before his 1st birthday. Just make sure you buy a seat that can go forward and backwards.

From what I remember, you are supposed to keep your LO in a rear facing carseat until 1 year of age or 20 lbs. Since she's still a few months from 1, I would recommend getting a forward facing carseat that you can also face backwards. Maybe if it's bigger than an infant carseat (ie: pumpkin seat), her legs will not touch the back of the seat. If it still doees, I relaly think it's up to you. I would see what your pediatrician recommends - but I am thinking he'd say to keep her rear facing. I kept our DD rear facing until like 11 months - she is very tall for her age, too, but was not quite 20 lbs (I think she was 19 lbs when I faced her forward).

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