24 answers

Car Seat Advice for a Tall Infant

I recently read a lot of advice for the woman whose baby is little. Our 7 month old son is tall and has outgrown his current rear facing car seat. We haven't been to the doctor lately but he is over 30 in. long and more than 20 lbs. (over 75%). I assume he still needs to be in a rear facing seat, but I can't figure out which ones will accommodate a larger infant. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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Thanks for the advice on car seats for bigger babies. Here is a summary of the suggestions:
- an upright, convertible seat that can be either rear or front facing
- some people think that it is o.k. to front face the baby car seat if the baby is over 20 lbs.; others think you should wait until 1 year old.
- some people recommend that if your baby's legs are too cramped from hitting the back of the car, then you need to front face him/her
- try the seats in the store before buying
- Britax brand (Marathon and Boulevard models) or Evenflo Triumph

Featured Answers

My daughter is tall also. We have the Alpha omega elite in my car and a Graco convertable seat in my husband's car. The Graco was much less expensive, but the alpha goes up to 100 lbs. I think the Graco only goes up to 40 or 50 lbs. Both seats work well.

I have a Britax seat that can be used for rear or forward facing. You are doing the right thing by keeping him rear facing as long as possible. Even if his little legs seem to be getting too long, it's still safer to keep him rear facing until he gets older/stronger. (This is what the police officers that are certified in car seat safety/installation have told me) Good luck!

B.,

We have the same issue with my daughter. She too is really tall and over 20lbs which I think is big for almost an 8 month old. I got the Britax Boulevard. It handles up to 65 lbs and she looked the most comfy in it when we tried all the seats out at buy buy baby. It is a little bulky but was afraid she would grow out of the smaller ones and have to get yet another seat!!!

More Answers

I would suggest that you get a Graco upright car seat that allows you to place it rear facing and then once your son hits the one year old mark you can turn it around so he is facing forward. You can find them at any Wal Mart store or K-Mart. Please let me know if this helps you any.

My daughter is very tall for her age. She will be 3 on the 28th and she was a very big infant. We actually had to put her front facing at 5 1/2 months. I don't remember how long she was but she was 22 lbs, and she was WAY too long to sit rear facing anymore. Her legs were very cramped and she just whined alot everytime she got in the car. She was always off the charts for height and weight, since the day she was born. Now she's finally in the 95th percentile for weight and still off the charts for height. She's 41.5 lbs and like about 41-42 inches tall. So my advice, whether or not you use it, is face him foward. He's about the size of a 1 yr old and probably has the strength of a 1 yr old. He should be fine. Good luck!

I would suggest a Convertible seat. This one is a rear facing, forward facing and booster all in one. I have the Alpha Omega and love it. He should face backwards until 1 yr old AND 20 lbs. But that may vary by state. My state is 1 yr OR 20 lbs but if your in a collision and your 9 mo old is facing forward their neck just can't handle the inpact. I will keep my daughter facing backwards until she's 1 not matter her weight and I did the same with my son.

My 9 months old grandson is over average height and weight like yours. I suggest you get GOOD carseat that hold up to 100LB. His other grandmother bought one from Kmart that have 100LB on sale, I think its Evenflo. I wish I got that one.
I have one in my van that is up to 80LB Graco bought at Babies R Us. He sat face forward and lean seat back further. No way I could fit him in rear because my Mazda Van is cramped. His legs were crushed.
I like Graco cuz is light weight. Evenflo is little heavy and bulky and costly but its good that it can hold up to 100LB.

Hi. You really should wait until your baby is 30lbs before you turn him to front facing. At his age he isn't really going to care if his legs are scrunched up a little. However, I faced mine forward around 10 months. All of my kids have had long legs. So as long as he can support his own neck *very* well he'll probably be ok. 7 months is a bit iffy though. A baby usually can't support his neck well enough to face front at that age.

britax marathon..i love it and its made for big babys!

if the child's feet are touching the back of the seat, you should switch it to forward facing. i forget the exact website, but i found good carseat info through the DMV site.

B.,
My daughter sounds just like your son. She is 10 months old and she weighs 24 pounds and is 31 inches long. She is in 18-24 month clothing. when I went car seat shopping I took my 4 year old daughter with me. I figured if she was comfortable in a car seat and it wasn't digging into her thighs or neck the baby would be comfortable. After sticking her in about 10 different seats I went with the Evenflo Triumph Advance Premier Convertible Car Seat. It is great. It is large enough for a older child, however even when my baby was smaller she wasn't lost in it. I have always felt safe with her in it. As a matter of fact my older daughter (now 5) decided that she was going to sit in the car seat today, because we were out without the baby and she was very comfortable in it!! This seat is not the cheepest, but it is far from the expensive ones. Like I said it is a great seat and I know my baby will be in it for a few years!!

My son is on the longer side too. I took him out of the infant carrier at 4 months and put him in the Britax.... seems to fit him better then most. He was rear facing until 12 months and he was fine in that seat. HTH.

It is safer and I think the law in your state to keep babes rear-facing until AT LEAST 1 year AND 20 lbs. I have an Alpha Omega Elite and an Eddie Bauer. Both are 3 in 1 seats. I didn't like infant carriers so my son was in them at 4 months, rear facing. They are good rear facing to (i think) 35lbs and 34? inches. Leave the base on and install with the 'level' lines correct and the baby has tons of room for their feet. If you can hold out on putting your little one front facing, please do so.

Our son is also tall. We had to move him to a rear facing convertable seat at 6 months. We use the Eddie Bauer 3 in 1. We liked it so much that we got a second one for my husband's car. The Alpha 3-1 is the same seat only a little cheaper. Good luck with your search.

Hi B.,

The car seat we have for our 1 year old daughter is one she can grow into. We had it rear facing until she turned 1 and we have just recently turned it facing front. She will be able to use this car seat for a booster as well. The brand we bought was Safety First but there are many companys that sell similar car seats. Hope this helps a little.

Megan

A little about me:

First time mom of a 1 year old girl born April 14, 2007.

My tall girl was born in August, and at 6 months she was 29 in long and weighed over 20 lbs. We use an Evenflo carseat, and it faces the rear. She is very, very comfy in it.
I am happy to hear about all the other tall babies! Especially the girls :) I am curious to know how tall they'll all be later as adults.
Good luck.

My daughter is tall also. We have the Alpha omega elite in my car and a Graco convertable seat in my husband's car. The Graco was much less expensive, but the alpha goes up to 100 lbs. I think the Graco only goes up to 40 or 50 lbs. Both seats work well.

I had the same problem with my youngest daughter. By the time she was 8 mos old, she was too tall for a rear facing car seat. I ended up buying her a rear/front car seat that held up to 40 lbs. I think it was a graco, and I used it until she was about 2 1/2 and then moved her into a booster seat. I felt so bad that she was always so uncomfortable in the rear facing seat. She loved the car rides, but was always crying/wimpering because her legs hurt. Talk to your pediatrician. He/She may be able to recommend a good one, but the fact is that when your child gets that big that fast you have to make a adjustments. Oh and she loved facing front. To this day she still stares out the window just taking in the scenery, except that everyone she sees on a motorcycle is a power ranger :) Good luck to you and congratulations!

Hi! I'm a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and I can point you in the right direction for your little stringbean. The Sunshine Kids Radian ($200) has the highest shell height to accomodate RFing for a longer baby. The 65lb limit Britax seats($230-$300) and Evenflo Triumph Advance (make sure it's Advance!)($120) are also good choices for long babies.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends rear-facing to the limits of your convertible seat, which is typically 30-35lbs. My 3½yo is 25lbs, rear-facing and happy as a clam.

Also, an infant seat is outgrown when the top of the head is less than an inch from the hard shell at the top of the seat OR the baby is over the weight limit dressed and shoed (not naked weight). Legs touching the seatback is irrelevant and there are no documented cases of leg injuries due to rear-facing.

I hope this helps! http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html

My son is 10 months now, and a big boy (24 pounds and growing). A few months ago we switched from the infant car seat to the Evenflo Triumph. This seat can be either rear facing, or front facing (my pediatrician says wait until 1 year to turn it to the front), and he is very comfortable in it. It is also easy to adjust the straps. He is tall, so he still kicks his feet on the seat behind him, but I guess that will be better in a few months when we change him to forward facing. Also, this seat was tops in safety!

most instructions with seats ok front facing over 20lbs, i had to front face both of mine around 7-8months

Hi B.,

My son is 8 months old and quite tall for his age. He was 29 inches at 6 months. We just bought an Evenflo Triumph Advance LX and took an 8 hour drive in it. The seat was PERFECT! It was roomy, looked comfortable, and it is the second highest rated seat on Consumer Report. It isn't priced too badly either at $130 at Walmart.

And, yes, he needs to be in a rear facing seat until he is 20 lbs AND 1 year old. :) I also suggest making sure the police or fire department checks the installation of your seat. You'd be surprised how many seats are not installed correctly.

Best of luck!

L.

http://APerfectMoment.MyArbonne.com

Your son has to be rear facing until at least 1 yr. and 20 lbs. You should check out the Britax line of car seats. I have 2 of them for my 2 younger ones. I have the Marathon which goes up to 65 lbs. and has a tall back. It can be used rear facing for infants. It has a great saftey rating and is a sinch to take in and out if you have to.

I have a Britax seat that can be used for rear or forward facing. You are doing the right thing by keeping him rear facing as long as possible. Even if his little legs seem to be getting too long, it's still safer to keep him rear facing until he gets older/stronger. (This is what the police officers that are certified in car seat safety/installation have told me) Good luck!

My son had this same problem, he was 20 lbs at 6 months. I had to use the convertible seat, and rear face it. At the time, only one suited his size, of course a more expensive one in its' time. Try to find one that rear faces to 30-35 lbs. The height in the convertible seat will accomidate since it is for children up to 3 yrs. Also, don't be afraid, he will slow down, my son ended up being 27 at his first year check up.

B.,

We have the same issue with my daughter. She too is really tall and over 20lbs which I think is big for almost an 8 month old. I got the Britax Boulevard. It handles up to 65 lbs and she looked the most comfy in it when we tried all the seats out at buy buy baby. It is a little bulky but was afraid she would grow out of the smaller ones and have to get yet another seat!!!

Hi B.,
I was reading your so what happened and noticed some people told you it is ok to face the baby forward. New York State law is that a baby has to be rear facing until they are both 1 year old and 20lbs. The law changed to that a few years ago and I know some people are not aware of it and others choose to turn the babies but the muscles in the neck are not strong enough if you were to have a accident. I do have a evenflo triumph and like it I also have the alpha omega which is good. I wish you all the best with your decision in buying the car seat and i hope I wasnt to pushy with the car seat law. I have 3 children myself and live in the same area as you I like to know they are safe.
Sherri

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