43 answers

Transitioning Out of Infant Car Seat

Hi all! I have an 8 month old "little boy" who is 21+ lbs. (yes, can we say OINKER? haha) He is also very big and his little legs hang over the edge of his pumpkin seat/infant car seat carrier. He is getting extremely difficult to carry in it, and he even looks too big FOR it. I know the rule is 1 year old and at least 20 lbs. to transition into a rear facing high back car seat with a 5 point harness... I, however, know not EVERYONE follows that rule. I didn't with my other 2 children. I don't think they were quite 1, but also don't think they were 8 months either. They weren't nearly as large as my lil guy though. So should I just go ahead and do it now? Wait a month? Wait until he's one? I know what the law says so I don't need it reiterated - I need advice from moms who have battled this and the solution they came to. :)

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

WOW! The responses were overwhelming! I'm going out next week and buying a convertible seat for my oink oink son and facing him backwards for another couple of months. I think both him and I will be happier! Thanks to all, your advice, stories, and links were a HUGE help!! :)

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I think you are mistaken on the rules. Get a seat that is a convertable. The rule is not 1 year for a rear facing high back. You can put a newborn in one. Get a seat that can go forward or backward and goes up to 40 or so pounds. That will last until he is about 4 or so and goes into a booster. Put it backward for now. At 1 put in forward.

Have you looked into the carseats that are 5-40lbs. The ones that can be used as rear or front facing? There are also 22-80 or so...that are just front facing. With my children I transitioned to a 5-40, this way we could keep them rear facing longer.

Little about me: I am a sahm of 4; my girls are 5 1/2yr., 4yr., and 2 1/2 months and my son is 22 mo.

I say move him to the rear facing 5pt. harness car seat. I had to do that with my son when he was about 5 months old. He was too big for the infant carrier/car seat. Plus, that was hard on my back lugging him and that thing around. I remember how uncomfortable he looked in that little seat. Just my suggestion. :)

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Your little guy can be in a rear-facing convertible car seat from birth (only 5 lbs for many of the Britax models) until 35 pounds! And the recommendation for convertible seats is to keep them REAR facing up to the WEIGHT LIMIT of the seat -- if their legs seem "too long" that is NOT an issue. If you want to spend your money the wisest, so you don't have to go out and buy a booster seat in a couple years, get a convertible 5-pt harnessed carseat that goes up to 65 lbs. This website is a great resource (even if you don't buy from there):

So if you get a seat that goes to 35 lbs rear facing, and 65 lbs forward facing, I'd definitely get him out of the infant seat and into the convertible, keep him REAR facing up to 35 lbs. Then, once he's 35 lbs, I'd turn him front facing and keep in in the 5 pt harness until he hits 65 lbs OR is too tall for the seat (whichever comes first).

Just keep in mind that even though the Britaxes may SEEM expensive, they'll LAST through 65 lbs, several YEARS. And it is well worth the investment to have our kids safe in the car, IMO.

Hi S.,
I was in your situation with my little guy. He is 11 monts and about 25 lbs. We had to move him out of his infant carrier when he was 7 months old. I am using a convertible carseat. It is rear facing until he's a year old and then I can turn it around and make it forward facing. The convertible style works for 5-35lbs rear facing and then 22-40lbs forward facing. I have one for my daughter that goes up to 80lbs forward facing. There are different styles out there. I have an Alpha Sport I got from Babies R Us.

Hi S.,
I too was going through this problem and I just went to Babies R Us yesterday and purchased a new seat. I spent a lot of time trying many different models out. I was vearing for the Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 seat, however I did not purchase that one because it is rated low in consumer ratings and crash tests. I ended up purchasing the Evenflo Triumph Advance Premier Convertible Car Seat - Hampton Park(even though I'm a Graco user) but it is rated #1 in safety ratings and consumer reports. It is for infants and toddlers weighing 5-50 lbs. newborn to age 5 and one of the best parts about it is that it reclines in the rear facing direction (and forward as well). With this seat you can keep him in the rear facing position and still have the benefits of an infant seat because you can lay him back just like the infant carriers or sit him up, plus you save $ for a toddler seat in a few months. Oh, and of course, obey the law.
I had the Eddie Bauer 3-in-1 seat with my 5 yr old, I really liked that one but I found when he was still an infant at 7 mths his little head always hung forward when he would fall asleep. As you know it seems our little ones at that age always fall asleep when the car starts moving.
I hope this helps you out.
Good Luck!

I say move him to the rear facing 5pt. harness car seat. I had to do that with my son when he was about 5 months old. He was too big for the infant carrier/car seat. Plus, that was hard on my back lugging him and that thing around. I remember how uncomfortable he looked in that little seat. Just my suggestion. :)

My daughter is 11 months and over 20 lbs. I just got her a front facing care seat. I had to. Her legs were getting squished against the back seat when she faced backwards. She is so much happier now that she can move her feet. I don't want to tell you to get a front facing car seat now because I haven't seen your son. Little kids are supposed to face backwards in case of an accident because their necks aren't very strong. I know all kids grow at different speeds. Only you know your kid. You just need to make a judgment call. Do you think he can handle facing forward?

Hi S.,
There is a car seat you can buy that is good for 20-40 lbs. and will transition from rear facing to forward facing. When you go to the store, you can look for those requirements. That is what I use for my daughter. We used it as a rear facingseat until she was about 10 months old, then we turned her around because she was not a happy rider in the car and it got better once we turned her around. The 20 lbs and one yr rule is to prevent little ones from neck injury in case of a rear end collision. You just have to decide what is best for your family.

I had a similar problem. My children were all pretty big when they were born and outgrew their little carrier-type car seats quickly. However, most of the new car seats that are high back with the 5 point harness can be rear facing as well as front facing. Sometimes they can be way more comfortable for a larger baby. I wouldn't suggest turning him around quite yet though. Even though he's big enough, he may still not have good enough head control if you happened to get in an accident.

You don't have to wait until he's a year old to get him into a rear facing convertible carseat! You could put a newborn in one of them, if you wanted to. I use(d) convertible carseats for both of my girls and my 3 3/4 year old is still riding in hers, facing forward of course. I despise those infant carrier seats, they are too heavy! We did have one that attached ot the stroller, and while they may be nice for the first 8 weeks or so while baby sleeps a lot, after that they suck.
Anyway, the rule is 1 year and 20 lbs before you make baby forward facing. Get yourself to Babies R Us stat! Poor guy doesn't want to ride in the goofy newborn seat anymore. He may even be too big for it, literally, as many of them have a 22lb weight limit.

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