Carseat Question - Staten Island,NY

Updated on December 24, 2008
L.B. asks from Staten Island, NY
29 answers

My son is almost 9 months old and we just bought a full size car seat because he is getting to big for the infant one. Do we still have to keep him facing backwards or can he sit forward. He weighs about 20lbs. Any info would be appreciated....thank you..

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much everyone for all your info! I will definitely keep my son rear facing for a year or longer. It seems like that is the safest way for him. I appreciate all the responses!

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E.S.

answers from New York on

We moved to using the Graco Safe Seat, a step larger than their Snug Ride to accomodate larger infants and still be rear facing. I forget the weight limitations but the length holds up to 32" I think. I highly recommend it!

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O.C.

answers from New York on

He has to sit backwards until he is one AND at least 20 pounds so you have a few months until the big switch.

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D.C.

answers from Albany on

You need to, by law, keep him rear-facing until 1 yr. Some carseats are able to keep him rear-facing much longer than that (some to 30 lbs or so). He's much safer rear-facing, so keep him that way as long as possible.

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T.D.

answers from New York on

Backwards for as long as possible!

There are some videos on Youtube you can watch that demonstrate the impact a crash has on your baby while front and rear facing. Google them and you'll be convinced!

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T.F.

answers from New York on

yes you have to keep him rear facing until he is 1 and 20 lbs it has to be both, I have an 8 month old who is 20lbs and tall and we had the same issue but God forbid you have an accident the force would really hurt him

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T.B.

answers from New York on

He needs to sit facing backwards till at least one year old. When my daughter turned one we turned her around. Shortly after we stopped at one of those car seat checks (the troopers check to see that your seat is in correctly). They told us that she would be safer facing backwards for as long as possible. I live in Monmouth county and they usually have one in the summer at the rest area. Sometimes the Wal-Mart in Brick, NJ also has one. You can probably find one online or go by your local police station. They know how to install and have recommendations for height, weight and age. Good Luck

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N.C.

answers from New York on

L.,

We just went thru this with our 11 month old. He just got switched into a full size seat as well and YES, he still needs to be REAR FACING until he is 1 year old. It doesn't make a difference about weight, it goes by age on this one.

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M.C.

answers from New York on

I know the recommendation is 20 lbs AND 1 year before facing forward. My daughter is going to be 1 on Jan 31st and is well over 20 lbs now so after New Years Day we're turning her around since she already has to sit with her legs open facing rear since she's so long.

This link is helpful: http://www.aap.org/FAMILY/carseatguide.htm

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K.Y.

answers from New York on

Hi L.,
Once my children outgrew their infant seat I put them both directly into the forward-facing big seat. My daughter at 8 months, my son at 9 months. Just to be sure ask your pediatrician, but it was fine for me. GL!

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M.S.

answers from Syracuse on

You have to keep him rear-facing until one year old. His head/neck will not be strong enough until then if he's forward facing and there's an accident.

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K.K.

answers from New York on

I know that they can sit face forward after they reach 20lb. but after they're 1. So, if your child isn't there yet on both... better keep him facing back.

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L.N.

answers from New York on

you can face a 20LB child in a full size car seat forward.

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G.S.

answers from New York on

Hi! My husband is a 911 dispatcher in our town and always tells me to tell whoever has a question about a carseat/booster to call the police dept directly. Some of the salespeople at the stores may steer you the wrong way and each state varies. We actually had to go back to a carseat w/my 5 year old over the summer because she dropped under 40 & wasn't heavy enough for her booster. If you call the main number at the police dept they should be able to tell you - most of them even offer installing the seat for you. You just may want to call to see if you need to make an appt. Good luck!

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A.S.

answers from Albany on

YES! One year 20lbs... I am a certified carseat tech, that is the rule in NY state, and most others. Go to a check station and they will check the seat for free. Take care!

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K.R.

answers from New York on

As most of the others have said, YES! Law is 1 year and 20 pounds.

HOWEVER, research has shown that it is much safer to keep your child rear-facing as long as the seat will allow. My 16 month old 26 lb daughter still rear-faces and will until she hits the seat's 33 lbs rear facing limit. Really, if it makes your baby safer to stay rear-facing, why in the world wouldn't you do it?

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H.P.

answers from New York on

I'm sure others have answered this already (I didn't look at the responses) but you need to keep a baby rear facing (either in a convertible car seat or a carrier) until one year AND 20 pounds. So even if a baby is 20 pounds before a year, he or she needs to be rear facing until AT LEAST one year. It's best if you keep them rear facing even longer. My kids stayed rear facing until about 20 months at which time we bought a new car and I just had the car seats installed forward facing. Even if their legs looked scrunched into the seat, that's totally safe - - safer than putting them forward facing.

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J.C.

answers from New York on

Please keep that precious baby facing rear! Current guidelines suggest that you keep him rear facing for as long as possible, well after a year. His neck and back muscles simply aren't developed enough for him to safely come through a crash forward facing. They're so resilient day to day that we tend to forget just how delicate they really are.

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A.G.

answers from New York on

Can he sit up on his own without ANY support? Can he control his head completely? If no to either question then have him rear facing. Check your state laws also as to what it says for the rules. In New York ALL children under the age of 7 years MUST be in a car seat/booster. I'm not sure of the rules for rear or forward facing. Also contact your local Police Station, Fire House or Ambulance Squad and ask about a car seat inspection officer. They should be able to point you in the right direction. Our local First Aid Squad has a car seat safety officer and they can show you how to PROPERLY install your seat, where the safest position is and if baby should be facing forward or back. Unfortionatly, over half of all car seats are installed wrong cutting back on their effectiveness in an accident. A.

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S.H.

answers from Albany on

If he weighs 20 lbs I would face him forward. He should be fine :) I am not sure if you could face those carseats backwards anyway?

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K.W.

answers from Glens Falls on

Please keep that beautiful baby rear facing until he outgrows the weight limit for rear facing! The US is about the only country with car seat laws that allows you to turn a baby around so early. The European countries know better and are more safety minded than this country. Their babies stay rear facing until 2 or 3 years old.

If you're worried about leg room, think of it this way...wouldn't it be better for your baby to have a broken leg in a crash than to be dead because his neck snapped? Sorry that's kind of graphic, but true.

Good luck mama.

Kate

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A.R.

answers from New York on

If you lived in Upstate NY, the state troopers do car seat checks for free. By law it's until the baby turns 1 years old. Like everyone has said the baby's body isn't strong enough to withstand whiplash or anything else for that matter. The longer you can keep then facing backwards the better. Oh and also ask your pediatrician - ours gave us the ok and checked our carseat for us.

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M.A.

answers from New York on

the rule usually is 1yo and 20lbs. new data suggests that you keep him rear facing for as long as possible, until his feet hit the back seat. rear facing is the safest direction for children in a car. we just turned my daughter who is 15 mo.

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L.L.

answers from New York on

Yes, even though he is 20 lbs. he still needs to rear face until atleast 1 year. Though, many are now recommending that you keep them rear facing for as long as possible as this is the safest. His bone structure at 9 months is not what it should be to face forward. Wait atleast 3 months.

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K.P.

answers from New York on

Hi L.,

I was told with both of my girls that they need to be 1 year old and 20 pounds before they can ride forwards. My peditrian told me this. But if I am not mistaken I think that is part of the car seat regulations. My youngest was 1 year old but 19 pounds... I waited until she was 20 pounds to turn her car seat. Good Luck!

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M.B.

answers from New York on

Babies must face backwards until they are over 20 lbs AND a year old, not one or the other, it is both. Reason is, they've found the neck muscles are still not strong enough to withstand alot of damage in an accident at ages younger than 12 months.

I know you are anxious to face the baby forward, I was with all 3 of my kids, but the risk to the baby makes it worth waiting the full amount of time. Hang in there, you're almost there! :-)

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M.S.

answers from New York on

Yes, you must still keep it facing backwards until he's 1 years old. This is because the neck muscles take that long to develop and strengthen properly. It has nothing to do with how much he weighs or how tall he is. It's annoying, I know, but for the safety of your son -- keep it facing the rear until he's a year.

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K.M.

answers from Syracuse on

It's not just a rule, it's the LAW. Babies must face backward until they are 1 year AND at least 20lbs. It has to do with neck and back strength, not size. If a baby turns 1 yr, and still does not weigh 20lbs they must still be rear facing.

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D.

answers from New York on

Yes, he has to stay rear facing until at least one. Because if you were in an accident his neck muscles couldn't support that. However, they suggest now that you keep them rear facing for as long as your seat will support it. If your seat supports rear facing until 30 lbs he should face backwards until he reaches the seat limit. My daughter is almost 17 mos and still rear facing. It truly is the safest position for her. And that is what it comes down to...safety.

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B.J.

answers from New York on

honestly i recommend that u keep his facing backwards for his safety. no mattet how big there are certain guidelines like if he can do certain thing independantly then maybe but he is still a baby be safer. i know the excitement but in time youll get there so for his safety keep the car seat facing towards the back of the seat

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