Changing Car Seats

Updated on June 16, 2011
X.M. asks from Chesterfield, MO
10 answers

My son is 11 months and 20 lbs. I have bought his car seat already but I was wondering if I should switch him now, since he is 20 lbs, or wait until he is 1. Does it really make a big difference?

I don't mean that I am going to put him forward facing. His new car seat can also be rear facing. I just wanted to know if it was a big difference to switch him now that he is 11 months or wait 1 more month so he is a year.

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answers from San Francisco on

as long as he's tall enough for the harness straps of the convertible seat to fit properly (shoulders at or slightly above the harness slots for rear-facing), he's good to go from the infant seat to rear-facing convertible. The seat can also be a bit more upright than the 45 degree incline specified for infants.
The following link gives a nice summary of child safety seat usage from infant on up:

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Kansas City on

As long as he still stays rear-facing it doesn't matter.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

If I'm understanding your question you just want to know if you can change from an infant to convertible car seat, right? You could have skipped the infant seat all together, as long as your child is within the right height and weight requirements for the seat. You do need to keep him rear facing until he is at least a year old, and as the other moms said the best thing is to keep him rear facing until he outgrows the rear facing option for his seat.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Please call your local police dept for a FAST FREE inspection of your child, his seat AND your car. It really IS a big deal.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I just posted this on another mama's question regarding carseats. This is the link to TX state guidelines

Like Lesley S. said below, it's safer to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible, we are actually all safer riding backwards but we obviously can't drive a car that way. I keep my kids facing backwards until humanly possible, LOL! My daughter is 2.5 yo and is still rear-facing, it doesn't bother her at all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

There are now recommendations to leave children rear-facing until age 2. Really, the longer they stay rear-facing, the safer they are. Check your state guidelines, but I'd wait.

My 7 month old is 20 pounds, but she'll stay rear-facing for as long as possible.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jackson on

Hey just to let you know we bought a britex(think that is how you spell it) and we have a new car. Well it has special straps on the back seat for car seats. That paticular brand combined with the straps in my car(jetta wagon) they say the child in an accident doesn't propel foward but moves down. I have no idea how. My husband did all the research so at 1 year we did do foward facing. I know other mothers are resistant but my husband researched with both the car and car seat so our child would be happy. She hates facing backwards.



answers from Springfield on

I don't remember when I switched my to a forward facing seat - because he is 4 now and I forget..!! One thing to note when you do move to a forward facing seat make sure it as "wings". Mine still falls asleep in the car and the "wings" give him something to rest his head on. My husband's doesn't have wings and neither does his nana's and he looks awfully uncomfortable when he does fall asleep.



answers from Missoula on

Yes, it is a big deal, and in most places the child must be 20 pounds AND 12 months before you can switch to forward facing, but it is much safer to leave them rear-facing for as long as possible. The new recommendation is 2 years.



answers from Albuquerque on

I just switched my 10month twins to the regular car seat. My son is 20lbs and was too tall for the infant carrier. As long as the car sear is rear facing he should be fine. There are several car seats that do recline in the rear facing position.

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