Car Seat Advice - Manassas,VA

Updated on July 03, 2010
A.A. asks from Manassas, VA
20 answers

I have a 6 1/2 month old son. Hes a big boy. Already 22 pounds. The car seat that i have right now is 5-22 lbs.Hes about to outgrow that one. I think he is too young for a front faced car seat but all the rear faced ones are to 30 lbs. What should i get?? Dont wanna buy a car seat then in 2 months buy another when hes 30 lbs. Advice??

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answers from Cleveland on

Just bought a Radian XTSL. has offered 20% off before plus free shipping. It is 45 lbs rear facing and goes up to 80 lbs forward facing. It is an expensive seat, but I didn't want to spend $ on two.

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answers from Norfolk on

I would get a "convertible" car seat. I bought one for my daughter about 2 years ago and it was about 30 or 40 dollars at walmart.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

This overview is from (where you can find a free inspection site near you and car seat laws specific to Virginia):

Ten Tips to Keep Your Child Safe*
1. Infants should ride in rear-facing child safety seats in the back seat until at least age 1 and at least 20 pounds.

2. If under age 1, but more than 20 pounds, infants should ride in a child safety seat approved for heavier babies and remain rear-facing until at least age 1. Best practice states that children should ride rear-facing until they reach the upper weight or height limits of the safety seat.

3. Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of a passenger air bag.

4. Once children outgrow their rear-facing child safety seats (typically over age 1 and heavier than 20 pounds) they should ride in a forward-facing child safety seat until they reach the upper weight (usually 40 pounds) or height limits of the seat.

5. Once children outgrow forward-facing child safety seats, they should ride in the back seat in booster seats until they are at least 8 years old, unless they are 4 feet 9 inches tall, at which point they should fit properly in a seat belt.

6. After outgrowing a booster seat, children under age 13 should always use a seat belt and ride in the back seat. Remember, kids of all ages are safest when properly restrained in the back seat.

7. Old/used child safety seats should not be used unless you are certain they have never been in a crash and you have all the parts (including instructions). Seats that are 6 years old or older should be discarded and never used. Click here to check if your child safety seat has been recalled.

8. Always read both the vehicle owner's manual and the instructions that come with the child safety seat.

9. It is important to remember that the "best" child safety seat is the O. that correctly fits the child, the vehicle, and is used correctly every time.

10. Get your child's safety seat checked!

What should parents expect when they get their child's safety seat inspected?
Certified technicians will conduct the child safety seat inspection, and it should only take about 20-30 minutes, depending on the seat and the vehicle. The certified technician will:

* Check the child safety seat to see that it has been properly installed;
* Remove and inspect the child safety seat for damage;
* Diagnose problems;
* Ensure the child safety seat is not a recalled model;
* Get information about children riders from the vehicle owner (size and weight of child, etc.);
* Ensure the child safety seat is appropriate for the size and age of the child;
* Teach the vehicle owner the correct procedure to properly and safely install the child safety seat in his vehicle;
* Show the parent or caregiver how to secure the child in the child safety seat; and
* Discuss other vehicles and child safety seats they own, and provide instructions to repeat the correct procedure with other seats or when installing the seat in other cars.

What are the most common child safety seat installation mistakes?*

* Not using the right child safety seats for a child's size and age;
* Not placing the child safety seat in the correct direction;
* Incorrect installation of the child safety seat in relation to the vehicle's air bags;
* Incorrect installation and tightness of the child safety seat to the vehicle seat;
* Not securing/tightening the child safety seat's harness and crotch straps;
* Improper use of locking clips for certain vehicle safety belts;
* Not making sure the vehicle's seat belts fit properly across the child when using a booster seat; and
* Using a defective or broken child safety seat.

*Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

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answers from Dallas on

Like others have said, buy a convertible carseat. Most rear face to 35 or 40 pounds, and then forward face to 40, 50, 65, or even 80+ pounds. It's important that you buy a seat that fits your child and fits your car, and you can get one that will last you for the next several years; so while you may be spending more up front now, you'll save in the long run because you won't be buying several carseats in the next few years.
Besides the weight factor, also look at the torso height. Some carseats with higher weight limits really won't do you a whole lot of good if you have a child who has a long torso, because they'll outgrow the seat by height way before they reach the weight limit.
My husband is 6'5, and both of our kids have long torso heights. The Britax Boulevard has worked really well for us so far; my daughter is 2 1/2 years old and is still rear facing in the Boulevard.
The Radian XTSL is a great seat.
The Britax Roundabout that was mentioned below usually doesn't last too long because of the height being outgrown quickly.
The Graco MyRide 65 is a good option, and is less expensive than other seats.

Hope that helps! Keeping your baby rear facing as long as possible is the safest way to go; the law says 1 year AND 20 pounds, the current recommendations are to go to 2 years, but the experts agree that keeping your child rear facing to the limits of the seat is the safest thing to do.

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answers from Minneapolis on

You can buy a convertible car seat and put it rear facing in your car. They go up to about 40lbs so it will last a while. The newest recommendations are that children ride rear facing until 2 years old instead of 1 now. My daughter is 15 months and she is 21lbs. I have her in a convertible car seat rear facing and it works fine. Also remember, if you have the car seat rear facing that the straps should be positioned so that they are lower then his shoulders and go over his shoulders and down. When he moves to forward facing they should be placed in the holes that are above the shoulders. Hope this helps!

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answers from Austin on

I got the Britax Rounabot50 for my 6 month old. It can be rearface unit 35 pounds and forward facing up to 50. I figure she will be in it until she is in a booster seat around 3-4y/o. You can find the seat online for less than $200 and it fits well in smaller cars (somthing i was concerned about). Britax seats are also know for being really safe. My doctor seaid even though my daughter meets the weight requirement for forward facing, she should remine rearfacing until 1 year old.

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answers from Washington DC on

You need a convertable seat , even if he was 30lb he cannot go forward facing. They need to be at least 1 yr , be able to sit up unaided (properly without toppling over after a few mins) and weigh 20lb. So you have a while yet of him being rear facing. There are many seats that are convertable on the market , go to somewhere like Babies R Us where they have more selection , take a look at what is available and ask to try a few in your car to make sure it fits ok (you need to keep in mind some seats take up quite a bit of room when in rear facing posistion) and if you have a small car the one you want may not fit. Once you know what fits , and what is within your budget , look around on line to find some deals.

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answers from Cincinnati on

The Graco MyRide65 is good rear-facing up to 40 pounds, and forward facing up to 65 pounds. That is what we have for my son, who is not big but is extremely tall and also outgrew his pumpkin seat around 7 months. You can find them at Target, BRU, and Walmart, and they are very nice and padded and a lot less expensive than the Britax. The recommendation from the AAP is currently to keep a child rear-facing until they are at least two years old if possible. Good luck.



answers from Washington DC on

As many others have recommended, you should purchase a convertible car seat and keep your child rear facing at least until age 2. You've gotten some great recommendations for car seats from others here.

The new recommendation from the AAP is that children should remain rear facing at least until age 2 but preferably until they max the rear facing limits of their car seat. This is based on a study which showed that children under the age of 2, not 1, are 75% less likely to die or sustain serious injury in a car crash, and that children between the ages of 12 and 23 months are 5 times safer rear facing.

I wrote an article about the AAP recommendations and the study here:

Hope this helps.



answers from Washington DC on

We have two Cosco Alpha Omega car seats. They can be used rear facing as long as you need it and then turns forward and can be used with the 5 point harness and then a regular seatbelt up to 100 lbs. My 5 year old is still using his car seat. This car seat also got great ratings on Consumer Reports. I found both of mine at Big Lots on sale for under $100 but other places sell them too.



answers from Roanoke on

I am a car seat tech and actually just had a recert training yesterday. They revealed some of the new seats on the market and Graco actually has one now that will go rear facing up to 40 pounds. It is a convertible seat and is called My Ride 65. It also goes forward facing with a 5 point harness up to 65 pounds.
You are right to not put your baby forward facing, their little bodies aren't developed enough to handle a forward facing crash until at least 1 year of age. Our recommendation is that you keep your child rear facing as long as your car seat will possibly allow as long as your child's head is 1" below the top of the seat.
Hope this helps. You can also check out the website: for the most up-to-date car seat information.
Hope this helps.



answers from Washington DC on

I myself JUST went throug this. my son is 5 months and weighs 20 pounds! he's also very long, longer than the hieght limit of his infant carrier. He's baby #4 for me so I've had many car seats over the years. Britax is great but somewhat pricey. the graco my ride seemed great and very cushy too but it was HUGE and BULKY. This time around we went with the Maxi-Cosi Priori. It is a convertible seat with a 35 pound max rear face. However, i think my little (big) guy will be forward facing long before that. I do intend on keeping him rear facing as close to two years as possible as new studies show this is safer. The Maxi Cosi Priori is also the only on the market (or so they say) that has a 4 seat recline! a big seller for me. There are many colors to choose from as well. I bought one that matches the other car seats in my car! the only downside was that, although the max weight for forward facing is 40 pounds (and there are many on the market that go well beyong that) i don't see any child sitting in that seat at that poing. i have a 5 year old who isn't quite 40 pounds yet. and although i haven't put him in it i'm sure his head would be higher than the back of the seat. But because i have 4 kids. I can just move my youngest up into my 2 year olds seat, and my 2 year old into my 5 year old's seat...musical car seats!
Although this is a seat that won't last for years, i'm still very happy with the purchase and don't regret it. it's pretty compact for a convertible and it's LATCH system is the easiet I've ever used! it's widely available online. but if you want to see it in person you'd probably have to go to a buy buy baby, in rockville, md or springfield, va. GOOD LUCK!



answers from Augusta on

His growth will prob even out. 30lbs at a yr MAYBE . Both of my kiddos were chunks of lead ( as in my son was only 3 weeks old and most people thought he was 6 months old) and they were only 25lbs at a yr. His growth will definitely slow down as he starts to move more, walking, crawling.
Go for a convertible seat. Most convertible seats I looked up go to 35lbs rear facing and 50lbs front facing.
He needs to be in a rear facing seat until he's a yr old, that's the law. It's not 20lbs OR a year it's 20lbs AND a year.
Go to Babies R Us ,the people that work in the Car seat area are very knowledgeable about their products.



answers from Phoenix on

I am not sure your son will grow 8 lbs in two months? I would keep him in the rear facing seat until he meets the weight requirements (whenever that ends up being). Are his feet hanging over the edge? Is he seriously overgrown for the current car seat? I would buy the right rear facing one for his weight because who knows how long it will take for him to get to 30 lbs. and you will want him safe. He is too young for a forward facing seat.



answers from Washington DC on

The First Years True Fit carseat rear-faces up to 35 pounds. It also got the "Ease of Use" award for how easy it is to install. It has a removable headrest piece for when it rearfaces so it doesn't take up as much room. I think it is the carseat with the highest rearfacing weight limit. It goes to 65 pounds forward facing so it should last you a while. Also the minimum age for turning the seat around is one year old. Rear-facing is the safest until the weight limit of the seat. Good luck!



answers from Seattle on

I'm not gonna tell you what brand to buy, just what to look for. My husband and I feel our money is better spent on our child's saftey rather than another outfit he might only wear twice. Invest in a convertable carseat that can go from rear facing to forward facing and withstand up to 100 lbs. We also stayed away from microfiber cloth because it makes your baby sweat bad, so look for breathable fabrics as well. Our son when he turned one went to forward facing. We kept him rear facing as long as we could. He's a sturdy boy as well ;)



answers from Washington DC on

britax roundabout and many others like them can be installed rear facing and go to 35 lb rear facing and 40 lb forward facing (they make a roudabout 50 that goes to 50lbs). by then you may be ready for a booster. our recaro goes to 50 lbs.



answers from Washington DC on

There are many convertible car seats that can take a child from birth up to 40 lbs and beyond and be installed rear facing until they are a year and then forward facing after a year. Some even have a booster component. My kids both were in the convertible car seat rear facing at around 4 months and my almost 40 lb 3 year old is still in the same seat only now turned forward. Test it in your car before you buy though so you get something that fits well.



answers from Washington DC on

I would suggest a convertible car seat. My daughter has a true fit and it goes up to 35 lbs rear facing and 65 lbs forward and she is still rear facing and is 2 1/2. Also I read that someone else said that you can take off the headrest off the true fit when it's rear facing but they forgot to mention that it's only up to 22 pounds w/o the headrest, when it's on your child can be rf until 35 lbs. I would also suggest that you go if possible to babies r us/ toys r us and see what car seat fits your car (most store let u take the display car seat to test in your car). Good luck!



answers from Washington DC on

A convertible carseat can face rear or front and the weight starts at five lbs. They have them at any Target, Walmart, or Toys R Us. My 2 year old has been in hers since she was 6 months.

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