10 answers

Seeking Opinion on Car Seats for 1 Year Old for Long Trip.

My son will be 16mths old when we take a 20hour car trip (over 2 days/nights)in July. I am wondering whether I should move him to a forward facing car seat or leave him in his infant seat. Our infant seat holds kids up to 30 lbs (my son is 20lbs) and 32in tall (my son is 29in) so he can will still fit in the car seat in July. The next car seat we are getting is a forward-only facing seat for kids 20-100lbs (1-10yrs old). I am hearing alot about keeping a child rear facing until 30+lbs but I think being forward facing in an approved car seat for such a long trip will be much more enjoyable for my son. So, what do other moms think? I am not looking for advice on a particular brand or seat and I know you can buy convertible seats that can rear face for a while. But I am just looking for opinions on this specific situation - keep my son in the infant seat for the trip or move him to the forward facing seat. Thanks in advance for sharing your opinions.

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K., I would turn him around in a new car seat. I am thinking more about his height. How much leg room he has up against the back seat. He is at the legal weight to turn him around now. Unless you have some health or motor concerns to keep him backwards, you should turn him around.

It is so great to hear a mother that is concerned about keeping their child in a car seat. I see sooo kids on the road hopping around in the car. Yesterday, I was next to a car at the light. The mom was on the phone and the kid was in the back seat hanging out the window. He was about 20 mo. Then I go to a drive thru and two very young kids are in the trunk of the van waving at me. Jumping back and forth over the seats. Very frustrating to see the lack of safety.

1 mom found this helpful

We went through this same dilemma during Christmas. Our doc. recommended that our 15 month old (who was only 19.5 pounds at the time) be turned around for the long trip. I'm glad we did it! Her constant crying in the car and motion sickness stopped as soon as started facing forward. I could tell she enjoyed the trip much more than previous trips when she was facing backward. Good luck on your trip!

1 mom found this helpful

My 19 month old son is in a convertable car seat, facing backwards, where he has been since I hit a deer when he was about 8 months old, and had to replace his infant seat. I figured I might as well get the next kind of seat he would need, since I had to get another seat at some point. Anyway, because he is small, his legs are barely starting to touch the back seat now, so I might have to turn him around soon, but for now, he doesn't seem to mind riding backwards. I have heard it is safer for them to ride that way.
As far as your son goes, I would probably go ahead and get the bigger seat, because you will need it soon anyway, and try it out backwards the first day of your drive. If he is miserable, then turn his seat around when your stop for the night. He is used to riding backwards, but a new seat that allows him to sit upright a little more might be a nice change for him. That way, he can do things like look at books or play with toys a little easier.

1 mom found this helpful

I'd say if he's not pitching a fit about being backward, leave him that way. He is safer - period! So - if his feet are touching the seat - broken legs are way easier to fix than broken necks and heads. What we've always done on long car trips when our kids were that little was put an adult right next to them in the backseat and then treated it like a normal day - play, read, snacks on time, pretend to sleep at naptime until they went to sleep, etc. It's actually easier for the adult to interact w/ a child in a rear facing car seat than in a forward facing seat (you'd be turning around in the front seat the whole trip - and that's not safe for you). or you'll be straining to see around the seat if you're sitting next to him. Our kids didn't actually get flipped until 16 and 17 months because they didn't weigh enough and they were fine, never pitched a fit, and didn't get car sick.

1 mom found this helpful

At over a year old your sons current car seat should be forward facing also, and it is ok at 1 year to turn the seat around. The other carseat you are talking about isn't really for kids that young, unless they are big and you said he isn't so I would hold off as long as possible before putting him in the five point harness booster seat. I have never heard of a carseat for up to 30 pounds that can't also be forward facing so I am assuming it is the carseat that is above an actuall infant seat and before the booster style? If so turn it around it is fine.

1 mom found this helpful

Your son will be much happier on a long road trip forward facing. We have found that with both of our sons. You can get a forward facing seat that reclines easily for nap time. We have one from Costco, I think. The only thing we don't like is the huge size of the seat.

1 mom found this helpful

ok, I understand your concern and wanting to get some opinions. My opinion is who would want to look at the ceiling while going on a 20 hour trip? Ha ha! I think you would be fine to face him forward. Now having that said, I would not do it in the seat he is in now. I would go and get the convertible one that you want. I have a Elite by eddie bauer (I know you did not want brands, but it helps me get a point across :) and it has padding all around them. It is also one that takes them to 100 lbs. The infant seat would be risky in my opinion but it is ultimatly your choice. He is soooooo ready to be forward facing and will enjoy the trip more.

Also, just an idea. We bought a catipillar thing that hooks on the back of the headrest and my daughter LOVES it! It plays music and lights while teaching them colors. It also has a remote and mirror. You may want to look into something like that to keep him occupied (atleast for a little while) If you need some more info on it, send me a message and I will look at it so you can get one. Good Luck!

J. S

1 mom found this helpful

My son was 11 mos when we were about to take a long road trip in the van. I asked my pediatrician, since my son was big and strong he let us flip the seat around so he could enjoy the ride. So we got a nice 3 in 1 that will convert to a booster down the road. He is way old enough for a bigger seat at 13 mos and face forward. Your son should be out of the infant seat. He will be so miserable in an infant seat especially on a long ride. I am surprised he hasn't pitched a fit about looking to the back so long. And when he is 16 mos he is more then able to be face forward and in a better seat. It is about strength much more then weight. My daughter has always been tiny and after she turned 13 mos I moved her into a bigger seat and she was only 18lbs at the time, but I got approval from the Pediatrician. She has to still be in a five point harness though. Do your son's feet touch the back seat when he is in his carseat? If so, having him face back is more dangerous then having him face forward.

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