Car Seat Questions - Valley Village,CA

Updated on March 17, 2010
K.F. asks from Valley Village, CA
19 answers

My son is almost 6 month and we have a greco car seat system that goes up to 32 pounds. He has a while to go, but I am wondering what type of a car seat is good to get once he outgrows this one? When will he be riding in the car facing the front?

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answers from Los Angeles on

There are many fine car seats out there. We have an Eddie Bauer and we love it. The one recommendation I will make is that you buy one that converts to a booster. That way it can be the last seat you have to buy. Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter switched to a convertible (Britax Roundabout) at 8 months. The AAP recommends rear facing in a convertible seat for at least 2 years. We made it slightly past that until she outgrew the carseat's RF height restrictions that the shell of the seat must be at or below head level (she was 37-38" and 32 lbs at the time).

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answers from Minneapolis on

A child cannot legally face the front of the vehicle until at least 1yr AND 20lbs. Even if your state does not have a specific car seat law stating 1yr and 20lbs, all states have proper usage clause, meaning you have to use the seat to the manufacturers specifications, and there is not one seat on the market that allows forward facing before 1yr of age and 20lbs, and most seats have a height minimum for forward facing too, of 34" tall.

If your child is outgrowing the infant bucket seat, purchase a CONVERTIBLE car seat, which will rear face to 35-45lbs (depending on model) and forward face to 40-80lbs (depending on model). NHTSA, car seat manufacturers, and the AAP all recommend children remain rear facing until they hit the rear facing weight limits of their convertible car seat. A rear facing car seat is outgrown when the child goes over the rear facing weight limit or there is less than one inch of hard shell above the childs head.

PLEASE PLEASE google 'internal decapitation', 'extended rear facing', and 'Joels Journey' for more information.

There are so many great seats on the market now, car seat manufacturers are catching up and making seats taht not only keep children rear facing as long as possible, but also in a harness as long as possible!

Graco MyRide65- $150 will rear face to 40lbs and fits most kids rear facing to age 3, and forward facing to 65lbs and fits most kids forward facing to age 6.

First Years Trufit- $170 will rear face to 35lbs and fits mostk ids rear facing to 3, and forward facin to 65lbs and fits most kids to age 6/7 forward facing.

Evenflo Triumph ADVANCE- $130 will rear face to 35lbs/around age 2/3, and forward face to 50lbs/around age 5/6.

Britax Marathon- $270 will rear face to 35lbs/around age 2/3, and forward face to 65lbs/around age 6.

Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL- $300 will rear face to 45lbs/around age 4, and forward face to 80lbs/around age 7.

These are all amazing seats taht will rear face your little one as long as possible, and in the harness as long as possible. Avoid 3-in-1 seats like the Alpha Omega. Its ok rear facing but they are outgrown super fast in height, and they make horrid booster seats with the adult belt, they failed every crash test miserably in booster mode. A dedicated convertible until outgrown, then a dedicated booster seat until age 8 or 4'9" is the way to go.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

at one year and 20 lbs he is able to ride forward, but the longer you can keep him rear facing is the best. I LOVE Britax carseats. I worked at babies r us for a long time and I'd always ask the firemen and police men that come in for our safety fairs what seats that they see in accidents keep babies safer. They have all said that they want Britax's. Britax has foam inside the frame which absorbs a lot of the shock. Other seats don't have that. They are just lined with foam. Another thing is that they have velcro on the straps and on the cover so that you don't have to fumble with the straps. And it has a belly pad that protects the baby from a hot buckle thats been sitting in the sun.
One thing I'd always say to guests is feel the plastic. If it feels like McDonald's toy plastic, don't get it. I don't suggest Evenflo, Costco, Eddie Bauer (which is Costco with his name slapped on it an d$20 more expensive), or Saftey First. We had more returns and complaints about them then any other brand.
Britax is soooo worth every single penny. It may be a few more dollars than most other seats, but what is the price of your beautiful baby's life? Becky W is soooo right about the 3-1's soooo craptuacularly horrid BTW!
Or if you see another a European seat (which Britax is English) check them out. Europeans have a higher safety standards then we do.
I also wouldn't trust consumer reports. They did a study on car seats and put everything in wrong. And most reviews are by parents and not actual safety people. Hope this helps!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

We love all of the Britax seats we have purchased for our sons - the Marathon is great and has a high rating for safety - it fits well into most cars. Google britax online coupon or similar searches to find seats sometimes as much as 30 percent off retail. My little boy is 18 months old - we kept him backwards facing as long as we could because it is safer and he didn't mind it. Guidelines are 1 year old and at least 20 pounds for forward facing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

You're supposed to wait until they're 20 pounds to turn them around. My daughter is so tiny so I think a little before a year old, when she was about 18 pounds, I turned her around. The have bigger car seats - 'convertible' ones for bigger kids. Not sure how old your child will be at 32 pounds, but he might be big enough for a booster seat by that time.



answers from Las Vegas on

We had a Greco infant car seat as well and honestly I wouldn't use any other brand car seat! We purchased a Greco Convertible car seat when our girls were 10 months old (they are big babies!) and just love them! They are expensive but our girls will use them for years because they can hold up to 60lbs! Usually you can swing your babe around to forward facing at about 1 year



answers from Pittsburgh on

Go to:

for answers to any questions you may have.



answers from Las Vegas on

It seems like everyone loves their Britax, based on the answers you've received. We have the Britax Marathon, and it is great. My 18 month old son is still rear facing, and will be for as long as we can. I also have a Sunshine Radian 65, I just bought it specifically for traveling (the Marathon is much too large to lug around the airport). The Radian is also very nice, not as much padding, and definitely smaller (plus it folds up, which is why it's great for traveling). It has the same weight restrictions as the Marathon (65 pound), but goes up to 53 inches height, while the Marathon goes up to 49 inches. I chose the Marathon because it has one of the highest rear facing height limits (although the Radian is the same), and it will last a long time forward facing as well. If you plan on going through airports with the car seat, look into the Radian, cheaper than the Marathon (or most, if not all, of the Britax), and the higher height restriction (you really want them in a 5 point harness for as long as possible). With the Radian, I'm hoping I don't have to buy a booster or anything since he shouldn't outgrow it for a very long time (saving money in the long run).

Oh, depending on space in your car, and how many kids you have or will have, I know you could easily fit two normal car seats into most cars, but I have heard that the Radian fits three across (it is really slim).



answers from Los Angeles on


Congrats on your he your first? A baby can go forward facing at 1 year of age or 20 lbs depending on the seat. It is recommended by the police to keep a child rear faciong for as longs as you can for safety reasons. If you are thinking of the next seat to buy and are concerned with safety for your little one, the Britax is one of the best on the market although a little pricey compared to the others.

Hope that this helps,

Mom of a 15 month old.



answers from Sacramento on

He shouldn't face front until he's at least 1 year old and over 20lbs. Since your current seat goes to 32lbs, you shouldn't need another seat until after he's a year old.

My son (4) rides is a Graco Nautilus. Since it doesn't sound like you'll need a convertible seat to face backward (some infant seats have lower weight limits so people need a new seat before the child is ready to face front), you might look into something like that. It's a forward facing harnessed seat to 65lbs then a belt positioning booster.



answers from Los Angeles on

The only part of your question which I know how to answer is whether or not your LO will be facing is actually recommended that he/she will be facing backward until 2 years old for safety reasons...



answers from Los Angeles on

We loved our Britax. They consistently get high safety ratings. There are different models at different prices. Check for the latest safety ratings and prices. If you find a model you like check around on line for the best price and for the fabric you want. Hope this helps!



answers from Honolulu on

OK, so safety is always everyone's first concern, but, seriously, don't you think that any car seat on the market in this country has had to pass some rigorous safety testing? This is what I have learned that you need:

1. Easy to Buckle - your child will want to buckle it himself and that is pretty cool for you, too. Get one that is pretty easy for a 3 year old to buckle
2. Straps are sturdy - I had the alpha omega (#1 for safety, by the way) and it drove us all nuts because the straps constantly twisted themselves around and did not lay flat easily
3. COVER COMES OFF AND ON EASILY - potty training will be here before you know it and accidents happen pretty often. Again, the Alpha Omega required a masters in engineering to disassemble and reassemble after those messy days.

I can't recommend a specific one, because the one that I had was extremely deficient in the areas above. All I can say is, try them all out with the above things in mind!



answers from Chicago on

The car seat you get will depend on how old he is when he outgrows it. Your son needs to be BOTH one year old AND weigh at least 20 pounds before he can be forward facing. When our twins outgrew their car seats at six months, we bought a convertible car seat that could still hold an infant, would become a forward facing seat, and also a booster, up to 100 pounds. I only wanted to buy one more carseat that would last them until they were done.


answers from Los Angeles on

The new recommendation is that they remain facing to the rear for two years. Once our daughter could no longer fit into her infant seat (about 6 months), we bought a Britax Roundabout and loved it. She was in that until about 3 months ago, when she reached 40 pounds (she's now 4, almost 5). We replaced it with a Britax Frontier, which is a booster seat w/ a high back and 5 point harness (unusual in boosters but soooo much safer). She can use that until she reaches 100 pounds.



answers from Gainesville on

I second BeckyW! My almost 21 month old/25lber is still rear facing and she will continue to stay that way for awhile. Watch the videos of the crash tests. Pretty powerful endorsement to keep the little ones rear facing.

I have a Britax for both my kids and feel it was worth every penny. They are tanks. The Britax site has a great tool where you can plug in your little one's info and it gives you a list of all their seats that will work for him. That way you can really maximize your Britax dollar.



answers from Los Angeles on

You have a lot of answers already. I know that a lot of people like the Britax, but my friend has one and her 2 year old can already maneuver his arms out of the straps. I am very happy with our car seat since it looks comfortable is convertible and has a cup holder once they are old enough to use it. It is a Safety first Alpha Omega Elite. I think you can get it at Costco now for $40 less than baby's R us.



answers from Columbus on

Thea & Melissa are right. It's not an and/or situation. They must be rear facing until they are 1 year AND 20 lbs. Even if he hits 20 lbs at 9 months, he needs to remain rear facing until at least 1 year. Then, "As a general rule: Rear facing car seat / infant car seat until 1 year old and 20 lbs. Car seat until 4 years old and 40 lbs. Booster seat until 8 years old and 80 lbs." Check your state laws. Most states are now requiring that kids be in a booster until they are 8 & 80 lbs.
I also found what the AAP recommends. That children remain rear facing until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer. Let me know if the link doesn't work.

We were given a convertible seat that goes up to 80 lbs. It was rear facing as long as possible, then forward facing, & is now a booster. Car seat opinions are pretty personal as to what fits your style and car best. Good luck in your search.

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