Monday, June 30, 2014

Turning the Car Seat Around

A couple weeks ago Harry went through a huge growth spurt. Like, one day a pair of pants fit, and the next they were an inch too short. He also seems a bit more substantial, as in, not a teeny tiny twig anymore. Aside from pants, this last growth spurt also caused Harry to outgrow his car seat- in the rear facing position.

We have a Graco MyRide 65 and the top of Harry's head was one inch below the top of the seat. Once you reach that height it's time to turn the seat around. We made it 31 months rear facing. I wish we could have made it longer, but it is what it is. There are newer seats on the market that can keep taller kids rear facing longer, but they're expensive and not in our budget.

He'll outgrow the MyRide when his shoulders are above the highest shoulder restraint holes. He's currently just below the second to the highest, so I'm guessing we have at least a year left in this seat. After that we'll get a harness to booster combo seat.

While I'm a bit disappointed that we had to switch Harry, keeping him rear facing for so long was no small feat. Here are a few things that helped us keep him that way so long.
  • Don't let your child think their seat is different. Just don't mention that their seat is backwards. Harry never new anything different than rear facing. He never questioned it and we never brought it up. Obviously this might be easier said than done if there are older siblings in the mix.
  • Set smaller goals for yourself so you don't get disappointed if you don't ERF as long as you'd initially like. My first goal was to two years old (the AAP recommends rear facing until at least a child's second birthday). After that I wanted to make it past the winter, and then it was to his half birthday, which was last month.
  • Don't let yourself think that turning the car seat around will be easier. I was surprised to find it's not! At least with my car. Getting Harry in and out is the same and I wasn't able to move the front passenger seat back as far as I would have liked.
Obviously I'm a huge proponent for extended rear facing. But, legally children can forward face on their first birthday if they also weigh 20 pounds or more. However you face your car seat, please make sure to strap them in correctly. There's only one way to do that!

Click here for more info about car seats. 


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  2. We faced Jax forward about a month ago. She had no complaints with rear facing at all, like your Harry, she knew no difference. She has always done so great on car rides. But the Phoenix heat is BRUTAL! And my car doesn't have back seat vents for AC. It takes forever to cool off a car when it's 110 degrees outside and 200 degrees in the car and I felt so bad for her. She'd be drenched with sweat and her face was bright red. Then we read a story about a baby who died in a hot car as his mom drove him around with no air conditioning. I know that was an extreme case but our poor girl was wilting facing backward with no air. So we turned her. She was 22 months old, I struggled with the decision and still worry, but it was the right thing to do considering the hellish conditions of the summer.


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