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marieNJkitty
09-15-2008, 10:37 AM
I cannot decide which car seat to get. My DD is 12 months, 21 lbs. I'm looking for a comfortable reclining seat that is not to bulky. I am looking at the Britax roundabout ($200), Britax Boulevard ($230) or Graco Nautilus ($140). Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!

allie1078
09-15-2008, 10:55 AM
I would not get her the nautilus as she is to small to forward face yet. She should still rear face as long as possible. the britax are good seats. I would look at the marathon before the roundabout as it will last you longer. some other options are the evenflo truimph advance, radian 80, or the new truefit. A good site to check into for more advice on seats is carseat.org.

allie1078
09-15-2008, 10:58 AM
just noticed that you are in northern michigan. me too. where are you? I am in the tawas area on lake huron.

also I have my son rear facing in the evenflo triumph advance. He is 23 months and 26 lbs. I plan on leaving him rf until he outgrows the seat rf which is 35 pounds.

NY_MOM
09-15-2008, 11:00 AM
I would absolutely go with the Britax Marathon. My DD now 5 has only had one car seat since birth. It will be useable until she is 65 pounds...so it saves money because you can use it for so long, and they have a good reputation as well.

mom2princessj
09-15-2008, 11:03 AM
I had an evenflo triumph with both kids and loved it however I do have britax for both kids now (its the regent youth carseat up to 80lbs not boosters) and would HIGHLY recommend britax. If it were me I'd get the marathon. My kids love their seats. I just switched my daughter out of an eddie bauer booster into the britax regent. My daughter complained all the time how uncomfortable her seat was and since I'm an advocate of the harness until they outgrow it I went ahead and spent the $$ to get her the same seat we got our son. I now wish I had spent the $$ all along and gone with britax. Both kids fit comfortably and I feel like these are the safest seats I could have for my kids (consumer reports rates them highest).

thegrimdwarf
09-15-2008, 11:09 AM
I would ABSOLUTELY go with the Nautilus. Just yesterday I went to Walmart to purchase a second one for DS2, for my husband's car. I've had one in my SUV for about 2 months, and we LOVE this seat. My son is a huge kid - 38" tall and 42 pounds of blocky muscle - so I wanted something that was in for the long haul. My son is very comfortable in this seat, it's easy to get him in/out, and adjustments are quick.

Technically, your daughter is old and heavy enough to ride in this seat forward facing (20 pound minimum). Though honestly I would try to keep her rear-facing a little longer. So if you can keep her in her current seat for a while, I think you can't go wrong with the Nautilus.

katiemugs2
09-15-2008, 11:18 AM
I just bought the Britax Boulevard Click and Safe this past weekend. It is pricey but it is listed as the safest car seat on the market and the staff at babies r us stated that none of the other car seats on the market even come close to it's safety features. You can get a great deal on it if you have babiesrus coupons, it retails for 329.00 and with coupons I got it for 269.00. Good luck, at least you got a year out of your infant car seat, my som is 6 months and he is already 20 lbs and 30 inches long!!!

Katie

thepeach80
09-15-2008, 11:23 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psmUWg7QrC8

That video is great to show you WHY you want your child to stay rfing for a long time to come. My youngest 2 are 45 and 22 mos and both are still rfing. :) It's safer, so why not?

Of the ones you listed, my only choice would be the Boulevard. Most kids don't make it to 2 in the Roundabout rfing and outgrow it by 3 or so ffing. It's not worth the $. My almost 4yo is still rfing in his BV (he's 30# and just over 36") and last I checked my 5.5yo still fit in it barely. It's well worth the $. Some other seats to look at are the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 and the First Years True Fit. We also have a Marathon for my dd, but I much prefer the BV.

We have a Nautilus for my 5.5yo and it's a great seat, but not appropriate for your child at that age/size.

marieNJkitty
09-15-2008, 11:23 AM
Thank you for all the suggestions as I have been so torn about what to buy. Your opinions help me a great deal!

just noticed that you are in northern michigan. me too. where are you? I am in the tawas area on lake huron.

I am on the opposite side, close to Lake Michigan by Traverse City.

pinktink83
09-15-2008, 11:50 AM
Any carseat with a 5 point harness is just as safe as the leading, expensive brands. Underneath all that fancy fabric its the same plastic shell. :thumbsup2 You're just paying the brand name and the cool accessories. If you can afford it and thats important to you, then just pick out the one you like the most, because they're all safe. But if its out of your budget, you really don't need to spend that extra money. Making sure its properly installed in your car the is the number one important thing. :)

mjkacmom
09-15-2008, 11:54 AM
Any carseat with a 5 point harness is just as safe as the leading, expensive brands. Underneath all that fancy fabric its the same plastic shell. :thumbsup2 You're just paying the brand name and the cool accessories. If you can afford it and thats important to you, then just pick out the one you like the most, because they're all safe. But if its out of your budget, you really don't need to spend that extra money. Making sure its properly installed in your car the is the number one important thing. :)

I disagree - I've owned MANY carseats, and after I got my first Britax, I couldn't go back. The padding, the straps, the buckling - huge difference in ease and quality. They also hold up really, really well. When my twins were born, #3 was still in a carseat, and although I already owned other carseats, and I ran out and bought 2 more britax seats.

mom2aredhead
09-15-2008, 12:07 PM
I would also say Britax...but not the roundabout. Look into some of the others that you can use a bit longer.
I found that the Britax is much easier to install correctly (especially rear facing) than the Graco my husband has in his car and the Evenflo my mother has in hers. The straps do not twist and tangle nearly as easily, and my son just looks like he is more comfortable in that vs. the others. Also, the higher weight limit eliminate the need to buy another seat too soon...my son just started kindergarten and is still strapped in his Wizard.

As a disclaimer, I just want to add that I am not one of those "have to have the name brand" people.... I've never owned a Mac stroller, a Stokke high chair, pottery barn kids furniture or accessories, and the only name brand clothes my son owns were given to him as gifts. :lmao: I chose the Britax because of the ease of install in my car, the fact that I can just turn a knob to adjust the headrest taller, and he can sit in it until he reaches 65 pounds, which at the rate we're going will be sometime in college! :rotfl2:

Fall1
09-15-2008, 01:15 PM
I'd go with the Britax Marathon. I bought the Britax Roundabout for my twins and I wish I bought the Marathon, just for the height difference. Otherwise I love the Britax!

melafive
09-15-2008, 01:31 PM
Thank you for all the suggestions as I have been so torn about what to buy. Your opinions help me a great deal!



I am on the opposite side, close to Lake Michigan by Traverse City.

While I don't have any advice about car seats, I just wanted to add that I am from Traverse City too. Hi neighbor!

FunkyDuck
09-15-2008, 02:26 PM
I own the Britax Boulevard and absolutely LOVE it. It is THE cadillac of car seats...safest on the market...and my 16mos. old loves it too. I would never use anything else...and recommend it highly.

marieNJkitty
09-15-2008, 03:20 PM
Thanks all, I am leaning toward getting the Britax Marathon if I can find a good deal.


While I don't have any advice about car seats, I just wanted to add that I am from Traverse City too. Hi neighbor!
Hi neighbor!

Jennygt
09-16-2008, 07:10 AM
Britax for sure. skip the roundabout, too small, we have the matathon and love it, I have friends who have the boulavard and swear by that, either one would be my suggestion.

lilybrooke14
09-16-2008, 08:06 AM
Any carseat with a 5 point harness is just as safe as the leading, expensive brands. Underneath all that fancy fabric its the same plastic shell. :thumbsup2 You're just paying the brand name and the cool accessories. If you can afford it and thats important to you, then just pick out the one you like the most, because they're all safe. But if its out of your budget, you really don't need to spend that extra money. Making sure its properly installed in your car the is the number one important thing. :)

Actually, in carseats, the more expensive seats are actually more expensive for a reason (with a few exceptions). Carseat companies pay for additional testing on the seats. It costs more for Britax (who, by the way, crash tests from more angles than any other carseat manufacturer) to have the Marathon tested and approved for 65lbs than it does for Costco to have the Alpha Omega Elite tested at 50. If Costco had any way of putting 65 on that label, you'd better believe they'd do it. They pass the price of the additional testing on down to the consumer. Bummer, but the truth.

That said, there are excellent carseats that are less expensive, and if you have to get a more budget friendly carseat you are not putting your child in any danger, as long as you are using it within the weight limits and it is properly installed. All carseats sold in the USA must pass the same US safety standards. However, it is my understanding that Evenflo and Britax are side impact crash tested, and the rest of the seats aren't, because they don't have to be.

All of the seats for sale in the US have gone to High School.....but some of them have gone to college. :thumbsup2

Tiffany_MommyOf3
09-16-2008, 08:29 AM
I don't think the Nautilus is rated for under 2, is it?

I personally wouldn't feel comfortable with a baby facing forward at 12 months old... I woul RF in either a Boulevard or Orbit Baby.

My children are --

5 yrs -- FF in Graco Nautilus
3 yrs -- FF in Britax Marathon Couture
2 yrs -- FF in Britax Boulevard CS
7 months -- RF in Orbit Baby Toddler

Tiffany_MommyOf3
09-16-2008, 08:33 AM
Yeah and not all carseats are equal -

Most cheap-o seats don't have the EPS foam. The side impact protection, etc...

Many cheap-o seats are just plastic and cloth --- no foam, no side wings, no top tether for RF

karapp75
09-16-2008, 09:42 AM
We have Britax car seats and love them. However, DO NOT get the roundabout. They may get too tall before they reach the weight limit which has happened to my son. So now he sits in my daughter's pink marathon and she sits in the gray roundabout (she is younger) My girlfriend knows the "carseat lady" who works at our area hospital in Maryland. She just recommended the Graco nautilus over the britax car seats. My girlfriend is a car seat FANATIC! She loves the Graco and I may be getting one for my son since he may grow tired of his "pink" carseat. Poor kid

thepeach80
09-16-2008, 06:26 PM
However, it is my understanding that Evenflo and Britax are side impact crash tested, and the rest of the seats aren't, because they don't have to be.



There are no set standards for side impact crash testing in the US, so while companies may do it, their methods and results may vary. Any harnessed seat w/ a shell will have some side impact protection. None of them have to be side impact tested, they only have to pass testing in frontal crashes.

LisaNJ25
09-16-2008, 06:39 PM
I am going to purchase my second Nautilus later this week. I have one already that my son is using.. He just turned 3. My just turned 4yo is now finally over 40 pounds and I m getting her one. I was holding off until she outgrew the one we had. My state is 8yo or 80 pounds so these will be the last ones I need to buy.

Anyone notice TRU and BRU upped the price to $159.. it was $149 when I bought the first oen a few months ago.

thepeach80
09-17-2008, 09:16 PM
I am going to purchase my second Nautilus later this week. I have one already that my son is using.. He just turned 3. My just turned 4yo is now finally over 40 pounds and I m getting her one. I was holding off until she outgrew the one we had. My state is 8yo or 80 pounds so these will be the last ones I need to buy.

Anyone notice TRU and BRU upped the price to $159.. it was $149 when I bought the first oen a few months ago.

Wal-mart.com had them pretty cheap. We got the one from Target b/c it's nice and soft. :)

mom2princessj
09-17-2008, 11:53 PM
Any carseat with a 5 point harness is just as safe as the leading, expensive brands. Underneath all that fancy fabric its the same plastic shell. :thumbsup2 You're just paying the brand name and the cool accessories. If you can afford it and thats important to you, then just pick out the one you like the most, because they're all safe. But if its out of your budget, you really don't need to spend that extra money. Making sure its properly installed in your car the is the number one important thing. :)

I would disagree with this statement. I use consumer reports for just about every purchase and carseats go through rigorous testing (crash and otherwise). When it comes to child safety not just any old carseat will do at least not for me. Evenflo triumph was a highly rated safety seat when we purchased it...right up there with Britax. I didn't know much about britax but it was expensive so we didn't buy it. But when my son needed a new seat I did my homework, read ALOT of reviews and opted to spend the money. Britax is worth EVERY DOLLAR YOU SPEND AND THEN SOME! It's much more comfortable for both kids (my dd had cheaper seats) and I feel its very safe and well made...so much so I bought a britax for my daughter and pulled her out of her booster in favor of the youth carseat. It is top of the list in all categories on consumer reports and since i've had ALOT of success with cars, appliance, etc after reading Consumer reports I have confidence that they don't just do reports/ratings on things for meaningless reasons if carseats and anything else is all created equal.

GrumpyMom1
09-18-2008, 08:18 AM
We have a Roundabout, Marathon, and a Nautilus and we love them all. I would say a 12 month old is too small for a Nautilus. While we love the Roundabout and it served it's purpose of letting DD rearface longer in DH's truck, our 25 month old only has about 1 1/2 inches to the top slot and then she will have outgrown it.

There are now several less expensive seats that have higher weight limits and taller slots such as the Evenflo Triumph Advance and the new Alpha Omega Elite which goes to 50 pounds.

thepeach80
09-21-2008, 09:37 PM
I would disagree with this statement. I use consumer reports for just about every purchase and carseats go through rigorous testing (crash and otherwise). When it comes to child safety not just any old carseat will do at least not for me. Evenflo triumph was a highly rated safety seat when we purchased it...right up there with Britax. I didn't know much about britax but it was expensive so we didn't buy it. But when my son needed a new seat I did my homework, read ALOT of reviews and opted to spend the money. Britax is worth EVERY DOLLAR YOU SPEND AND THEN SOME! It's much more comfortable for both kids (my dd had cheaper seats) and I feel its very safe and well made...so much so I bought a britax for my daughter and pulled her out of her booster in favor of the youth carseat. It is top of the list in all categories on consumer reports and since i've had ALOT of success with cars, appliance, etc after reading Consumer reports I have confidence that they don't just do reports/ratings on things for meaningless reasons if carseats and anything else is all created equal.

You have to remember that till latey, Consumer Reports didn't test carseats appropriately. Do you remember a few years ago when they did the infant tests and almost all of them flew off the bases? It was b/c they did the testing wrong. They now do consult w/ CPST in order to make sure the seats are at least installed correctly now. If you look at CR, Britax is actually not at the top of the list, so if you're going by that, you're getting the wrong seat. All seats meet the same requirements, after that it's ease of use and parent preferences.

sahm1000
09-21-2008, 09:47 PM
We have had two Britax car seats and love them both. My oldest is in a Wizard (the predecessor to the Boulevard) and my middle child is in a Boulevard. We have loved that car seat. When my youngest is ready in about 4-5 months we will be buying another Boulevard for her. They are great seats!

all4fun
09-21-2008, 10:37 PM
I cannot decide which car seat to get. My DD is 12 months, 21 lbs. I'm looking for a comfortable reclining seat that is not to bulky. I am looking at the Britax roundabout ($200), Britax Boulevard ($230) or Graco Nautilus ($140). Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you!
We had a Blvd for ds, and loved it, because I found it so easy to install and the seat just seemed very comfortable for ds. We also had a cosco convertible (alpha omega) which he outgrew by height before he was three. He was able to ride in the Boulevard until he was almost five, since the top harness position is a few inches taller. It's amazing the difference just a couple of inches makes. So I would definitely recommend a seat with taller top harness slots since that will last you a lot longer. The Roundabout only has 15" top slots, so unless you have a teeny tiny back seat, I wouldn't get one, because for just $30 more, you can get a bigger seat that will last years longer. The bigger convertibles will fit rear facing quite well even in a smaller back seat, because for older babies, they don't need a full 45 degree recline. Usually older babies and toddlers can sit at a 30-35 degree recline, just enough so the head doesn't slump forward onto the chest when sleeping. Only very young infants need 45 degrees because their head control hasn't developed well enough to keep the airway open if they are more upright.

Also, since your lo is still so young, I am also recommending rear facing at least until 2yrs old, if not longer. My ds r/f (quite comfortably) until 35 mos/33lbs in a Britax Blvd. It is truly the safest way to ride, especially at that age, when the spine hasn't fully developed. So much more research has been done on this in just the last five years...it's really worth looking into if you haven't already...just to be informed, if nothing else.:goodvibes

The Britax marathon, Blvd, and decathlon all have tall shells, and about 17" top harness slots so they all will last most kids to about 5yrs old on average. I've read some good things about the Evenflo Triumph Advance, which goes to 50lbs an has 17" top harness slots, as well. There is also the new First Years True Fit, and the Sunshine Kids Radian. All of these seats will last years longer than a Roundabout, or similar sized convertible seat.

hth!

mom2princessj
09-21-2008, 11:02 PM
You have to remember that till latey, Consumer Reports didn't test carseats appropriately. Do you remember a few years ago when they did the infant tests and almost all of them flew off the bases? It was b/c they did the testing wrong. They now do consult w/ CPST in order to make sure the seats are at least installed correctly now. If you look at CR, Britax is actually not at the top of the list, so if you're going by that, you're getting the wrong seat. All seats meet the same requirements, after that it's ease of use and parent preferences.

Based on crash testing all seats are NOT equal. I haven't had a need to look at CR for seats in a few years so I have no idea what the latest ratings are but when I did my research for my seats, britax was rated highest at that time. Yes all seats do have to meet specific requirements but that does not mean they all hold up the same upon impact of crash...side crash vs front or rear crash.
I'm not advocating anyone spend $$ they don't have on a seat...each person should spend what they are comfortable with. I've had different seats based on CR reviews and my experience with britax has been excellent (easy to install, comfort for kids, 5 point harness, etc). There are also other safety sites that can be checked for safety ratings based on crash testing (again I don't have the sites because I haven't had to check this in a while) and IMO its due diligence to check out these things and base your decision on the ratings along with your budget.

YellowMickeyPonchos
09-22-2008, 12:43 AM
We have 4 Marathons divided between 2 cars and love them. One of the best features is how easy it is to strip the fabric shells off of them and throw them in the washer. :banana: Any product that allows for this beneficial feature and is proven to be "safer than safe" wins my vote!

We were staunchly reminded of this benefit when our 3 yr old daughter threw up on a 3 hour road trip this weekend. "Mommy - my tummy hurts..... Blechhhhhh!" :scared:

YellowMickeyPonchos
09-22-2008, 01:18 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psmUWg7QrC8

That video is great to show you WHY you want your child to stay rfing for a long time to come. My youngest 2 are 45 and 22 mos and both are still rfing. :) It's safer, so why not?

Actually, All reputable convertible carseats list the age and/or weight that you are NOT to use their carseat in the rear-facing positions. A quick visit to their website shows that "Britax convertible child seats allow children to remain rear facing up to 35 pounds." http://www.britaxusa.com/safety/safe-reason.aspx

If you use a carseat in the RF position passed the recommended guidelines and you have an accident and need recourse to seek damages, they will toss you out of court for blatantly ignoring the safety guidelines recommended by the manufacturer. These manufacturers test these things (physics of motion/inertia) and develop their guidelines accordingly so they don't get their butts sued.

Please use common sense when watching things like this - they are designed to trigger emotional response without fully-supporting researched fact. It's interesting that in the video, all of the documented quotes they used from those websites were referring to infants, who were below the standard age and weight. One quote was skewed to make it look like the recommendation for the full max height and weight of the seat and not the Manufacturers guidelines. Government regulations were conveniently left behind.

On the non-legal side, how can a child at almost 4 years old be comfortable with their legs cramped up against the back seat? The big seats like the Boulevard are huge and the bottom of the seat usually sits braced right against the back of the rear seat for stability (if correctly installed). That means the child's legs are in a bad position, should there be a crash. They could suffer facial damage from their knees being jarred into their face, or a broken leg/foot if it is being positioned out to the side. (I like how the video prepped you for folks to tell you that...) I would like to see the origin of the stats they found to prove that this would actually make a difference, or if they are extrapolating the data on "what-if" circumstances.

Use common sense and follow the manufacturer's directions for whatever seat you end up buying.

hmacmahony
09-22-2008, 06:20 AM
Please, please do your research about what is safe, and what is not the safest. Yes, the law is one and 20 pounds, but some carseats can stay rearfacing until 30-35 pounds (and the kid head one inch below the shell). Even the AAP is recomending rearfacing as long as possible, to the limits of the seat. The person you quoted, both kids are safe rearfacing in their seats, neither are over the weight limit.

It is 75% safer to be rearfacing, there has NEVER been a documented case of broken legs, or anything like that because of extended rear facing, NEVER! My kids were all over 3 when we flipped them forwards, and sat comfortably. They crossed their legs, no biggie, plus, since I am the mom, I make the saftey decesions in our house.

To the OP, Britax is great, the do go above and beyond the normal carseat testing. We LOVE our britax, we have 3 marathons, and 2 britax boosters. I wish I had bought them first, but had bought something else. They are comfy as well, my kids never complain about sitting in them, and they are very safe.




Actually, All reputable convertible carseats list the age and/or weight that you are NOT to use their carseat in the rear-facing positions. A quick visit to their website shows that "Britax convertible child seats allow children to remain rear facing up to 35 pounds." http://www.britaxusa.com/safety/safe-reason.aspx

If you use a carseat in the RF position passed the recommended guidelines and you have an accident and need recourse to seek damages, they will toss you out of court for blatantly ignoring the safety guidelines recommended by the manufacturer. These manufacturers test these things (physics of motion/inertia) and develop their guidelines accordingly so they don't get their butts sued.

Please use common sense when watching things like this - they are designed to trigger emotional response without fully-supporting researched fact. It's interesting that in the video, all of the documented quotes they used from those websites were referring to infants, who were below the standard age and weight. One quote was skewed to make it look like the recommendation for the full max height and weight of the seat and not the Manufacturers guidelines. Government regulations were conveniently left behind.

On the non-legal side, how can a child at almost 4 years old be comfortable with their legs cramped up against the back seat? The big seats like the Boulevard are huge and the bottom of the seat usually sits braced right against the back of the rear seat for stability (if correctly installed). That means the child's legs are in a bad position, should there be a crash. They could suffer facial damage from their knees being jarred into their face, or a broken leg/foot if it is being positioned out to the side. (I like how the video prepped you for folks to tell you that...) I would like to see the origin of the stats they found to prove that this would actually make a difference, or if they are extrapolating the data on "what-if" circumstances.

Use common sense and follow the manufacturer's directions for whatever seat you end up buying.

all4fun
09-22-2008, 08:05 AM
Actually, All reputable convertible carseats list the age and/or weight that you are NOT to use their carseat in the rear-facing positions. A quick visit to their website shows that "Britax convertible child seats allow children to remain rear facing up to 35 pounds." http://www.britaxusa.com/safety/safe-reason.aspx

If you use a carseat in the RF position passed the recommended guidelines and you have an accident and need recourse to seek damages, they will toss you out of court for blatantly ignoring the safety guidelines recommended by the manufacturer. These manufacturers test these things (physics of motion/inertia) and develop their guidelines accordingly so they don't get their butts sued.

Please use common sense when watching things like this - they are designed to trigger emotional response without fully-supporting researched fact. It's interesting that in the video, all of the documented quotes they used from those websites were referring to infants, who were below the standard age and weight. One quote was skewed to make it look like the recommendation for the full max height and weight of the seat and not the Manufacturers guidelines. Government regulations were conveniently left behind.

On the non-legal side, how can a child at almost 4 years old be comfortable with their legs cramped up against the back seat? The big seats like the Boulevard are huge and the bottom of the seat usually sits braced right against the back of the rear seat for stability (if correctly installed). That means the child's legs are in a bad position, should there be a crash. They could suffer facial damage from their knees being jarred into their face, or a broken leg/foot if it is being positioned out to the side. (I like how the video prepped you for folks to tell you that...) I would like to see the origin of the stats they found to prove that this would actually make a difference, or if they are extrapolating the data on "what-if" circumstances.

Use common sense and follow the manufacturer's directions for whatever seat you end up buying.

No one is recommending people use their car seats past their stated guidelines! Convertible car seats can be used rear facing until their weight limit is reached (30-35lbs depending on the mfgr), or until the child has less than 1" of shell above their head. Britax seats are great for extended rear facing because 1) they have a tall shell so therefore accommodate taller kids, and 2) they can be tethered rear facing which helps prevent over rotation of a car seat. Only Britax and Sunshine Kids allows their seats to be tethered in the r/fing position.

Here are a few more links to information, much of which the video thepeach80 posted was based on:
MSN Article “Child Car Seat Advice Questioned” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9916868)
“Why Rear-Facing is Safest” A fairly comprehensive article from kyledavidmiller.org (http://www.kyledavidmiller.org/pages/4209/Car_Seat_Safety:_Rear-facing_is_safest.htm). This site has pictures of how the spine develops along with links to other sites that talk about why rear facing is safest.
AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) Policy (http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;109/3/550)
Highlight of the policy - for optimal protection, the child should remain rear facing until reaching the maximum weight for the car safety seat, as long as the top of the head is below the top of the seat back

Sorry to the OP for taking this a little off topic! Since my son was almost four when I flipped him forward, I felt I needed to respond. I can assure you, his knees were no where near his face. He was quite comfortable...and as a matter of fact, after I flipped him forward, he complained that his legs were falling asleep because they dangled and he had no where to prop them. So he was actually quite comfy rear facing, I assure you. If he hadn't been, believe me, he would have let me know!;) Also, I did follow the mfgr guidelines as far as height and weight limit goes. He was born an IUGR preemie, and until recently has been on the very slender side of the weight chart, so it took him a lot longer than most kids to hit 30+lbs.

thepeach80
09-22-2008, 09:22 AM
Actually, All reputable convertible carseats list the age and/or weight that you are NOT to use their carseat in the rear-facing positions. A quick visit to their website shows that "Britax convertible child seats allow children to remain rear facing up to 35 pounds." http://www.britaxusa.com/safety/safe-reason.aspx

If you use a carseat in the RF position passed the recommended guidelines and you have an accident and need recourse to seek damages, they will toss you out of court for blatantly ignoring the safety guidelines recommended by the manufacturer. These manufacturers test these things (physics of motion/inertia) and develop their guidelines accordingly so they don't get their butts sued.

Please use common sense when watching things like this - they are designed to trigger emotional response without fully-supporting researched fact. It's interesting that in the video, all of the documented quotes they used from those websites were referring to infants, who were below the standard age and weight. One quote was skewed to make it look like the recommendation for the full max height and weight of the seat and not the Manufacturers guidelines. Government regulations were conveniently left behind.

On the non-legal side, how can a child at almost 4 years old be comfortable with their legs cramped up against the back seat? The big seats like the Boulevard are huge and the bottom of the seat usually sits braced right against the back of the rear seat for stability (if correctly installed). That means the child's legs are in a bad position, should there be a crash. They could suffer facial damage from their knees being jarred into their face, or a broken leg/foot if it is being positioned out to the side. (I like how the video prepped you for folks to tell you that...) I would like to see the origin of the stats they found to prove that this would actually make a difference, or if they are extrapolating the data on "what-if" circumstances.

Use common sense and follow the manufacturer's directions for whatever seat you end up buying.

First, PLEASE look at my siggy where I plainly state I am a carseat technician. This is what I'm trained in and what I help parents do on a regular basis, nothing I'm saying is going against any reccomendations or guidelines. My almost 4yo just hit 30# finally and has both 33# AND 35# rfing seats, he's only 36" as well, a whole inch shorter than my oldest when he had to go ffing at 34 mos b/c of weight. My almost 23 mos old is only 24# and 32" and has very short legs. Since you're wondering though, here they are recently in their 35# rfing seats. They don't look uncomfortable to me, and really, I'd take uncomfortable over dead any day. Car crashes are the #1 killer of kids and it's 530% safer to ride rfing than ffing, I'd rather ride rfing!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v216/thepeach80/Sept08007.jpg
I'm not here to argue w/ you, the facts are out there, you can research all you want and you'll never find anything saying ffing is safer, unless a child is too tall/heavy for their rfing seat. Any child over 35# in the US has to be ffing unless their parents have brought in seats from Sweden. Those children are safer ffing than rfing simply b/c of the limited options. In Sweden, children rf to 55#, generally 4-5yo. I'm sure nothing I would show you would convince you otherwise so I won't bother, but please at least research before spewing what is nothing more than propaganda about breaking legs etc. In a tethered seat, this would be a non-issue anyways). My dd has already broken her leg, it was no big deal and I'd rather have that than have her break her neck or worse. The AAP reccomends rfing to the limits of the seat. CHOP has done some great research on rfing and has lots of their findings available online and of course Safe Kids is always a great resource as well.

thepeach80
09-22-2008, 09:56 AM
Based on crash testing all seats are NOT equal. I haven't had a need to look at CR for seats in a few years so I have no idea what the latest ratings are but when I did my research for my seats, britax was rated highest at that time. Yes all seats do have to meet specific requirements but that does not mean they all hold up the same upon impact of crash...side crash vs front or rear crash.
I'm not advocating anyone spend $$ they don't have on a seat...each person should spend what they are comfortable with. I've had different seats based on CR reviews and my experience with britax has been excellent (easy to install, comfort for kids, 5 point harness, etc). There are also other safety sites that can be checked for safety ratings based on crash testing (again I don't have the sites because I haven't had to check this in a while) and IMO its due diligence to check out these things and base your decision on the ratings along with your budget.

I don't think you're understanding that the ONLY crash test requirements are for frontal crash tests only. All seats in the US have to pass those tests, no other crash tests are required and no other crash test results are released. There are side impact crash standards so anyone can say they tested their seat in a side impact crash, doesn't mean anything b/c there are no basic standards for that. There is no where to go that will tell you which seats tested better than others, NHTSA has a site for ease of use ratings though. There is a chart I have that tells you how they did in the frontal crash tests, but again, they all meet the same basic requirements. I'm not arguing Britax are good seats, I know that, I have 2. :) I'm arguing your info on crash test results. If you go off of CR only, you'd be getting a new seat every year as their reccomendations are always changing. A few years ago their top pick for convertibles was an awful seat (IMO) made by Evenflo that was about to be discontinued. How did that go from the bottom to the top in 1 year when no changes were made? Again, now CR does use technicians for their testing and stuff so I have slightly more faith in them, but not much. There are plenty of other places to look and research w/out having to look at CR.

YellowMickeyPonchos
09-22-2008, 10:35 AM
Ladies, Time out. Let's breathe. :flower3:

I am not here to argue and realize there is a difference between having children who barely meet the required guidelines of height and weight and having much larger children, as much of the country does these days. That message was not made clear in earlier posts.

Also, please do not imply that I am not here to listen to research. I have 20 years in a radiology profession in my background - that should pretty much state that I have seen a lot in my day. My primary point was that if you don't follow the MRG of the individual seats, that your recourse in case of tragedy would be extremely limited. No one had previously stated to use the manufacturers guidelines and the video certainly didn't, so I felt it was worth the mention.

For those who said the video didn't imply that, please watch that video link again, carefully. Take the emotional "heart" out of yourself as you watch and look at it with the "head". To many "scientific/education-minded" professionals, doing an emotional presentation detracts from the research credibility of the film.) Does that make sense?

I'm not hear to argue, but the video link provided plainly states maximum weight and age limits of the seat and then longer. The way the message is phrased completely implies that you should exceed manufacturer's guidelines. I think that the video needs to be clearer about that - that's what I had a problem with. It also needs to mention the US law that thepeach80 stated about any child being over 35 lbs - the Britax limit I mentioned in my post.

(My husband and many of our friends are in film and television, so I know a little something about making movies and how to evoke effect. I watched the video and my objection was that it was not designed to show a lot of research in it. It alternated between statements and photos of children - this focuses on grabbing the viewer from the emotional side and not the educational one. )

Also, please forgive me for being skeptical about advice from some "professionals" in your field, since I've also seen a car safety technician (on the DIS) advise incorrectly that I should put my kids in a non-infant car seat on a tour style bus which is not designed for the use of car seats - i.e. nothing to hold or latch down the seat, which is extremely dangerous, since you are adding the carseat weight to the physical propulsion. As we all know, this is not allowed by WDW Buses in FL and also the Disneyland Express, which uses the large tour style buses.

It's people who use their profession incorrectly that give others in that field a bad name. As we all know there are always radicals/extremeists on any side of an issue and sometimes those viewpoints are presented in such a subtle way that very difficult to tell them apart. (This practice is commonly used by both sides of environmental viewpoints, as well.)

Thank you for allowing me to express my viewpoint. I'll bow out of this discussion.

thepeach80
09-22-2008, 10:49 AM
Thank you for your last post, it was helpful. The video is meant to get parents researching, not the be the end all of rfing vs ffing. It would be impossible to have a video IMO that would cover all the info and still get parents to watch it. Lets be honest, it's not exactly thrilling stuff. :) I know the lady who made the video and 'know' most of the kids in that video, or at least converse w/ their parents online. The point of the video was to get people PAST the 1yr/20# mark and to make them realize they can rf longer, the video does have a quote in there from the AAP to use the seat to it's rfing height or weight limit. AFAIK though, there are some tour style buses that do have LATCH attachments for seats (Greyhounds), I'm not entirely sure on that though. Child passenger safety generally deals w/ your everyday vehicles, not commercial buses. I wouldn't use that info on making a generalization about CPSTs in general. There are bad CPST just like there are bad anything else though. Yes, the WDW buses have no LATCH attachments, they are more city bus styles. My kids loved being on the buses w/ no carseats, my almost 3yo at the time had a hard time going back to having to use his carseat! He wanted to sit in the car w/out his seat too. :)

tkme4ard
09-22-2008, 11:20 AM
Gabby has the Britax Boulevard in the shannon print. I LOVE it. Not only is the fabric awesome in quality, the padding is by far better than any other non britax seat. Ease of moving the straps is also a huge bonus.

YellowMickeyPonchos
09-22-2008, 11:33 AM
Thanks Peach for your kind words.

I don't think the video has to be a "be-all-end-all", but it does have the responsibility to include a simple slide card saying "US law requires children over 35# to be forward facing" She could also change the one slide that states "Better still, rear face until the maximum weight or height limits of your car seat (whichever comes first)" to "Better still, use the manufacturer's suggested rear-facing maximum weight or height limits of your car seat " That would be an easy change that would clarify her point better and make it feel more credible.

If I can throw a Disney-related topic tie-in:
A note for folks travelling to Disneyland and using the Disneyland Express motorcoach (operated by Gray Line Tours) - they will require you to place all carseats in the baggage storage area under the bus. Children must sit in the lap of their parents. I believe this is the procedure for Magical Express, too.

Thanks again.

YellowMickeyPonchos
09-22-2008, 11:38 AM
This hasn't been mentioned, but take the car you are planning on buying for to the store and ask them if you can install the model in your car to test the fit before you buy!!! Any good store will let you do this, especially if they have trained carseat experts in the store.

There are lots of stories about how folks had to return a car seat because it was too big for the vehicle or the LATCH for that model was difficult to use due to the seat's construction. My Marathons are much easier to put into my Honda Element than in my husband's Nissan Murano.