Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Q and A time

Okay quick question, okay maybe not so quick. J is 30 lbs. Should he still be rear facing? He has about another inch before he is taller than the two inch rule for his car seat. My husband and I talked about getting a new car seat and we are not sure what to do. Money is tight since I am not working, hopefully that will change by the summer. We know that J is going to be tall and weigh more than most kids his age. He is about the same height/weight as a lot of the two year olds in his class. Should we purchase a better car seat than what we have? Sitting on the floor, he's 19.5 inches to the top of his head.

Since J is under 2 years, and still under the weight limit for rear facing, he should remain rear facing if at all possible. What seat is he currently in? Also, it's a 1 inch rule, not a 2 inch rule. He can continue rear facing in the seat as long as he's within the weight limits (is your seat a 30, 33, or 35 pounds seat?), and has 1 inch of seat shell above his head. Since money is tight, I would reccomend the Cosco Scenera for $35-60 or the Safety First Uptown/Avenue for $65-90. The Uptown and Avenue have a taller shell than the Scenera and more padding/foam as well.

This is the proper way to measure how much room is above a child's head. Imagine a line at the top of the carseat (the top of the shell, don't include cover padding). Imagine another line at the top of the child's head. Both lines should be at the same angle as the carseat. If the child has more than 1 inch between the 2 lines, he still fits in the carseat RF.

This is the wrong way to measure the space above the child's head. The line should not be level with the ground. It should be at the same angle as the back of the carseat. This looks like the seat is outgrown, but she really has more growing room.

Here is a picture of a child with 1 inch above her head. She now needs a new carseat to remain RF, or needs to turn this seat forward facing.
*NOTE- These pictures were used with permission from their owners at www.car-seat.org*

Q and A time

I have a question too. I have a Britax Decathlon for my nephew and I'm having the hardest time getting it installed facing backwards in the infant position. Any tips? The tether straps aren't long enough to lock it in. Is the middle the best place to put him (only place with the metal bottom tethers, so that's where I placed it.

What vehicle do you have? I suggest you start by checking the owners manual for it's information on LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren). Most (though not all) vehicles don't allow you to use LATCH in the center. There are usually a set of LATCH anchors for each outboard seating position, and they can not be used for the center. If the LATCH straps aren't reaching, than you may be trying to use the anchors in the wrong seating location.

The middle seat is the safest as long as you can get a good installation. If you can get a better installation outboard (side), than that is safest. Also, if you want to keep the carseat in the middle, you can install with the seatbelt. LATCH is not safer than the seatbelt, it was simply designed to be easier.

Q and A time

My charge is getting close to needing the next size seat. She is in a carrier car seat now. What would you suggest for a seat that can do both rear and forward facing and can last to at least 40 pounds?

I suggest you look at my post http://carseatnanny.blogspot.com/2008/11/carseat-likes-and-dislikes.html For convertible seats. A convertible seat is one that will go rear facing and forward facing. It'll tell you my likes/dislikes of the various seats. Different features are important to different people. There are nice seats in all different price ranges as well.