8 answers

Car Seat for 'Petite' 15 Month Old

My 15 months old daughter is petite, she weighs 19 lbs. and is 24 inches tall. I still have her in the infant car seat facing backwards. My pediatrician says she's ready for an upgrade to a forward facing car seat. But I'd like to find one that's not so roomy. I want her to feel comfortable and secure and not have alot of side-to-side movment. Also, the chest harness connector needs to be the "push button" kind. I've been searching but haven't had much luck, and there's not alot of information on line about the inside space of a car seat. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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More Answers

Check the instruction page (usually attached to the underside or back of the seat). Usually, the rear facing seats only need some minor modifications to switch into forward facing. Just be sure to check the weight restrictions.. Alot of them max out around 19-21 pounds.
Also, try going to a big baby store (Baby's R Us?). They have a LOT of seats on display, and if you ask, they will even let you take one out to the parking lot to try how it fits in your car...
A lot of the seats have cushion insert things that might help. (As they grow, you can remove them) If not, you can always try rolling up towels and put one on each side of her (Like for a preemie in an infant seat).
Usually, the higher end seats have lots more cushion.. and so are more snuggly..
Also, it seems to me that if you do not buy a "convertible" seat (converts to just a booster seat)and just get a plain car seat, that they are fuller/snugglier, too.
Happy shopping!

Hi H. ~ Check the Eddie Bauer model seats. I got mine at Babies R Us at a reasonable price. It has a "pillow" on each side near the bottom seat which keeps my son snug until he gets a little bigger, and then they can be removed. It also has a push button release.

I have a petite 28 month old girl - she's just at 34 inches tall and 23 lbs. When we turned her car seat around, she was 25 inches tall and 18 lbs at one year with great head and neck control and it was the best thing we did. We went with a Britax Marathon which though a little more expensive, is totally worth it in terms of security. She loves her seat, as she's nice

Good luck

Babies are not supposed to be put in front facing carseats until they are well above 20 pounds, even if they are already 1 year old. Especially if your little one is very petite, you should keep her rear facing for a little while more. I am surprised your dr. told you to put her in a front facing seat when she is not yet 20 pounds. Don't be in any rush. My son is 20 pounds, but I plan to not put him front facing for quite a few more months.

We have 2 Marathons by Britax and love them! The manufacturer lists that it is reclinable and rear-facing for kids 5lbs - 35lbs. and forward-facing for kids up to 65 lbs. They are pricey, but the kids LOVE the comfort and I love the safety ratings. We've been on MANY long trips (20+ hours) and no complaints from either of my boys. This looks like a good fit for your concerns. See the Britax website.

Britax! My daughter was born very early and in fact only weighed 1 pound 2 ounces at birth. Three months later, when we were able to bring her home, she still only weighed 4 pounds. She wasn't in need of a specialty seat, just a VERY good, and versatile one. We found that in Britax. Honestly, they are a little pricey, but SO worth it. My daughter has had two now, she started out in the Companion with the travel system, and now the Boulevard. This seat will carry her all the way through her carseat years, with no trouble. All of my safety issues (and more) were addressed by this company - I love them. They provide removable padding in the Boulevard, at no extra charge. If that still isn't snug enough for you, you can purchase extra inserts somewhere locally (to save on shipping) and remove them as she grows. Although, I doubt you'd need them with this seat - my daughter didn't and she will always be very tiny for her age. Here's a link: http://www.britaxusa.com/products/Default.aspx
That site is for information. To purchase you'll have to go to another. Try Baby Universe for free shipping.

My 2 1/2 year old son is very slim (although pretty tall). We went with the Evenflo Triumph carseat. It was the highest rated in crash testing through Consumer Reports. It also reclines and comes with a pillow & some seat padding... this would allow for you to have some flexibility in finding comfort for your daughter.

We have had it for a year & a half now, and I am still VERY pleased with it. It seems/ feels very sturdy and my son is quite comfortable with it.

If you go to BabiesRUs you can probably "try out" different seats in the store and that might help you make a decision too.

Good luck!

--P. M.

Hi H.,

I COMPLETELY agree with the previous poster that you should leave your daughter in a rear facing seat. This is from the babies r us website:

"The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies ride rear-facing until they reach at least one year of age and 20 lbs., but ideally longer if possible within the rear-facing limits of their seat. When your child exceeds the infant car seat's height or weight limits, switch to a convertible car seat. This will allow your child to continue to ride rear-facing up to a higher height or weight limit before having to switch to forward-facing car seats."

So, this may explain why your pediatrician said to switch seats? Is your daughter too tall for your current seat? If the answer to that is no, then I say ignore your pediatrician, because s/he is not up on the current guidelines. Since they change all the time, that is not entirely surprising.

The bottom line is that you should leave them rear-facing for as long as possible. My eldest son was 14 months when we switched him, because that is when he reached the weight limit for his seat (25 lbs). So, the AAP (and every other child organization) says that the guidelines are one year of age AND at least 20 lbs. If you have to get a new seat because your daughter is too tall for her current seat then get a convertible seat, as Babies R' US suggests. That way, you can leave your daughter rear facing until she reaches the weight requirement and only have to buy one new seat.

Please go look at this video on you tube, showing the difference in crash tests in rear and front facing seats. A mom made this for her sister to convince her of the very same thing that we're discussing here:

Also, you might share it with your pediatrician...
Hope this helps!

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