::pack:: of fixations



life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.

9.03.2013

girls and car seats

I'm still pregnant!  34 weeks and 2 days to be exact.  Although since it's after 5pm I think it's safe to round up to 34 weeks and 3 days don't you?  My 'week count' goes up every Sunday if we are being technical but I like to round up...usually the Thursday before.  But since we are close I will just keep it honest.  

I've shared on here how absolutely terrified I am to A)have daughters...3 at the same time and B)to have 3 babies to take care of...at the same time.  But about a week and a half ago at my Dr appt there was a Mom with a teeny tiny newborn baby girl.  She was holding her and the teeny tiny thing was sleeping with her head resting on her Mom's shoulder.  

I wanted to hold her SO BAD.  I wanted my own SO BAD.  My arms have been hungry ever since.  And every day they grow hungrier and hungrier.  I'm no longer terrified at all.  I'm beyond excited.  It's hard being patient.  I want to see their faces and snuggle them close.  They do a very quick ultrasound twice a week after my stress tests to check the fluids.  Last week on Friday you could see hair on their precious little heads!  I doubt they will have a lot of hair being so early but there's definitely something!  I can't wait to know how much they weigh and hear them cry.  I wish I could take a pill and just sleep until Sept 15 comes because the wait is killing me.  I'm trying to take in the last few days of this crazy pregnancy but honestly I'm just ready to meet my girls!

Last Thursday Ryan and I were both lying in bed and I suddenly screamed. Baby A completely flipped!  She was head down but she flipped to head up. She's so low and it hurt so bad, an ultrasound proved it the next day.  They've all been very active lately, baby C is the most active.  You can feel her little feet and legs with your hand.  My belly is frequently lopsided because her head is always poking out too.


Ok, now for something serious.  I haven't been able to write about this.  I'm barely able to talk about it and I've only read about it because I stumbled on to something via Facebook a few months ago.  I don't want to start a debate or any statistic war.  This subject is hard for me, I'm forcing myself to go here just so you are informed.  

I will be putting these girls in rear-facing car seats when they turn 1 and they will remain rear-facing until it's safe enough to turn them around.  We were hit head on and was also told we were hit from behind as well because the people behind us probably couldn't stop in time.  I thought since we were hit from behind it wouldn't have mattered which way his car seat faced.  But I watched some youtube videos and I think a rear facing car seat would've saved Colum's life.  The only problem is I'd never heard of rear-facing car seats, not even a whisper.  I heard talk that the Pediatricians in our home town were really pushing it after our accident and I've heard that it's become more popular recently.  I'm not planning on being a car seat advocate or anything and perhaps this is all old news to everyone.  I probably shouldn't have watched those youtube videos because it broke my heart and I sobbed for days.  Also, I think it's the parents decision and I won't pass judgement on what type of car seats people put their children in.  Colum's injuries were caused by the extreme whiplash of the impact and a rear-facing seat would have prevented it.

One thing I have going for me and that I've always been grateful for is that I don't have any guilt.  It wasn't my fault.  We were following all the laws.  The car seat thing could put a little guilt on my shoulders but I'm not going to let it. If you haven't heard of the rear-facing carseats I encourage you to do some research and talk to your Pediatrician.

update: Colum was in an infant rear-facing carseat until he was about 13 months old.  We then put him in a forward facing car seat.  He was 18 months old when he died.  Also, I looked for the info I read on car seats and I couldn't find it.  

46 comments:

  1. So you have only used forward facing car seats? I thought ALL babies up to a year were by law to be rear facing. This is interesting.. Maybe its a East Coast thing? The Rear facing? In South Carolina babies are to be in a infant seat rear faced. Praying for you and your sweet lil angel girls.

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    1. No. Colum was in an infant rear-facing car seat until he was about 13 months old. But then we put him in a forward facing car seat. You still move them into a different car seat when they turn one but we are going to buy them the rear facing ones. Hope that makes better sense.

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    2. Yes that does. Guess I should have read better lol.

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  2. I don't comment often but I just had to stop by and say I am SO SO SO SO SO times a bagillion excited for you and your sweet family!! It is so evident that the Lord is with you, blessing you, and keeping your body strong to help grow you baby girls!! You are going to rock being a mom to 3 girls!! The love you have for your boys is evident and going to overflow on your girls! Hang in their momma 9/15 isn't far away!!!!!!!!!!

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  3. So excited about your babies!!! Yay! On the rear facing car seats, you can find them that can stay rear facing up to and beyond age two. This is fairly new stuff. I don't think this was even the advice at the time of your accident. At any rate, we bought them for our twins, and they were rear facing until they just got too tall (right around their second birthday). They are off the charts in height, though. It is a personal choice, but there are some very good rear facing car seat options with very high safety ratings out there for once your little ones outgrow their infant car seats. Our seats just converted to forward facing when we were ready to turn them around. Can't wait to see pics of your lovely ladies and hear those names!

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  4. im so amazed at how well you are doing and can't believe how close you are!!! i know that feeling of seeing another newborn and feeling like you can't go another minute without your own to snuggle. you are going to be the cutest mom to girls ever! soooo excited to hear their names!! - arrowsmithchic

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  5. It is amazing everything your body has been through, yet you are still able to bring these girls to term. It is nothing short of miraculous. I have been debating whether to comment on your blog since I first came across it over a year ago. I have a little boy, same age as Colum. His birthday is July 24th 2010. I had heard from a few people about this extended rear facing concept, but chose to not listen and turned my boy forward at 1 year old. I thought, "He's too big, he's too hot, his legs are cramped." And because it was not against the law, my boy was forward facing at 1. After reading the facts of your crash, how Colum was virtually uninjured except his spine injury, I began to reconsider forward facing. I cried my eyes out reading your posts. So I decided to buy my son a new car seat and turn him back around. He was just over 1 1/2. Almost two months after making this decision, we were driving down the road when a young kid pulled out in front of us. We t-boned him at 55 mph. My husband got cut up pretty bad and I broke my foot. But our son was uninjured. Our crash wasn't near as bad as yours, but I still believe rear facing my child saved him from death or a serious injury. I'm so glad you decided to write about this, as it opened the door for me to tell you my story. You are so brave, and I am greatly anticipating posts about these three little girls!

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  6. I am delighted for you that your pregnancy is going so well. To read you are still pregnant is music to my eyes :) Keep up the great job you are doing growing those girls. You should be so, so proud of yourself!

    Michelle from Brisbane, Australia

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  7. Hope you truly don't feel any guilt over Colum's car seat. I am an obsessor and understand how that could be so upsetting to learn about. You did everything you could to keep him safe that night. Hope the next few weeks pass quickly for you. I am so excited for your family!

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  8. Kelly, you are amazing growing those three little babes and keeping them safe in your belly for so long. You are one strong woman. Add me to the list that is excited to hear what you name them - but as long as you can wait until the 15th I can too. :)

    When I started reading your car seat stuff I was thinking I thought rear facing for infants was a country-wide thing, then I realized you were talking about after the age of one. I'm not in the car seat world any more, but that is totally new to me. The understanding and guidelines for baby/kid car safety is just constantly improving, it's hard to keep up. When my dd was little the guidelines were confusing in that it was clear that a kid under 20 pounds and under a year should be be rear facing and over 20 pounds and one year should be forward.Question was what about a kid well under 20 pounds and well over 12 months. I could not get an answer, even from child safety seat experts. So my 16 pound 20-month old sat in a forward facing seat. I made the best decision I could at the time, one we'd shudder at today. A few years after that they clarified it that the kid had to be 20 pounds to face forward. Now there is even more information and even better guidelines. Of course you'll follow them, just like you made the best decision you could with the information available for your boys.

    Sending love!

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  9. I am beyond excited for you and those darling little ones coming. It really is around the corner, but the anticipation can be so overwhelming as you want to see them NOW!!! I have 4 and with each one it is soooooooo hard to wait but I do love as it gets close how the fear leaves you and the excitement overrules and all you want is to hold them.

    You are amazing and will be so great with daughters. Can't wait to hear the big news and hear their beautiful names.

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  10. Kelly,
    I think I know of the video that you are talking about and I cried when watching it. We voluntarily kept our oldest rear facing until 18 months but he was 96% percentile in height by that time so we changed to forward facing, we were concerned about space for his legs but never really considered his neck if we were to be in an accident, he was in a car seat so I assumed he should be safe. My youngest is very small for his age. At 1 year he was only in the 6th percentile in weight though he is slowly starting to catch up. Our youngest was rear facing until he was 23 months. Now our pediatrician recommends rear facing until 24 months. He is currently 30 months and I just read that children are actually 5 times safer sitting rear facing until the age of four (in Sweden it is a law to keep children rear facing until 4). Makes me want to consider putting my son rear facing again.

    Please don't ever feel guilty about how Colum was positioned. You had him as safe as you knew and it was not yours or Ryan's actions that resulted in his death. We learn of new safety procedures and requirements sometimes as a result of these horrific accidents as you pointed out.

    Keeping you and your family in my thoughts. Wish we could make it the 15th for you already so that you could meet your little ladies.
    Best Wishes

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    1. Just an FYI, it is not law in Sweden to RF til age 4. The law is something like 9 months. But they do such a great job of educating and informing the public, nobody forward faces that early. Nearly everybody rear-faces til age 4. =)

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  11. Kelly, You don't know me but I have followed your blog for quite some time and I have to tell you... because of you, I hold my children a little tighter. I try to have a little more patience with them. I appreciate the little things a little more. After your accident, I asked my husband (because I was familiar with the rear-facing till 2) if he thought Column would have survived if he had been rear-facing. He didn't want to turn our son back around so he said no. Now that you write this, it makes me want to keep my now 6 month old daughter rear facing till she is 2. I've turned all mine at 1 yr thinking it was fine and that nothing would happen, but you just never know. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this! Good luck with your babies, I am so excited for you!

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  12. I'm so happy to hear about the car seat safety. If you're on Facebook car seats for the littles is excellent information and can answer any questions you have about why its 500% safer to rear face until at least age 2 but ideally they should stay that way until they outgrow their seat and closer to age 4. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet little boy, and so excited to see the new little girls that will be here soon!

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  13. I'm so excited for you and your family! I have baby fever :)
    We are keeping our daughter rear-facing for awhile...she's 2.5 now. I think it's safer. She has no problems with it either. I say go for it!

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  14. Kelly, I have wondered about this factor since first reading about your accident, and have come to the same conclucsion, it was not your fault, you were not the ones breaking any laws, it was an awful horrific accident. That and no matter how bad you want to you can't rewind the clock. That being said the mere fact that you didn't know, hadn't heard about the reccomendations regarding chidren remaining rear facing speaks of a bigger problem. Every single parent in america should be told of this at doctors appointments, at the library, on the news, in the mail. Laws should be changed and car manufacturers should be required to include latch hooks to allow for rear facing car seats to be properly installed. Kind of a soap box issue for me, but it just breaks my heart to think of the lives that could be saved. In any case your bravery in sharing your story has impacted my life for the better and I'd like to hope I am a more patient mom, a more informed driver and more empathetic human from having cried with you. Bless you! Hang in there and good luck with your trips!

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    1. I saw the sentencing in the newspaper today and it reminded me to come check on your blog.

      Like Jeanna, as soon as I heard about Colum, I wondered if he was rear-facing, but would have never dreamed of saying anything about it. I feel like a know-it-all jerk when I say things about parenting (including car seats) to other parents, but then here you are, desperately wishing you had known! It's hard to balance the two. My husband's niece turned her baby forward-facing before she was a year old. It was hard to just let her make that decision without giving her constant lectures every time I saw the car seat.

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  15. Do you still have your p.o. box and do you still need newborn diapers? Sorry I know it has nothing to do with this post but I cant find the post with the box #. Glad to hear you are doing so well. You are amazing!

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    1. Hi. Yes diapers would be very much appreciated :). It's P.O. Box 71960 cottonwood Heights, Ut 84121

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  16. Kelly you look fantastic! And, such a miracle that all four of you are doing so well. I can't wait to see your first post of your new extended family. Regarding the car seat issue. I guess it really depends on your doctor. My granddaughters 5 and 3 rode rear facing until the age of two. I don't know the name of their doctor but he practices out of Jordan Valley in South Jordan. I thought it was a crazy idea after about 15 months old, but my son insisted or I was not to take the girls in my vehicle. I really didn't want them to face the rear as I thought if we did get in a crash that it would break their little legs as they extended over the back of the car seat. Thankful for their great doctor and dad. By the way, is Finn excited?

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  17. Kudos to you for carrying those girls so long :) Everyone here has pretty much said everything I want to say to you. It's a great idea to fight guilt over Colum's car seat, because you didn't know. It's always been common knowledge that folks turn their kiddos around forward-facing at their first birthday. You almost have to know where to look to find the newer safety info on keeping kids rear-facing longer.

    I'm excited for this next stage of your life: raising girls. It's a wonderful thing. I've blessed with one girl and my second was stillborn. I've been in boyland since. I love having had the experience of both genders. Can't wait to see pictures and names of your precious three new ones. Your c-section is scheduled ten days before mine, so I'm definitely in my hungry arms phase too :)

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  18. Just google "extended rear facing" for the information on it.
    I am SO relieved that the girls will be remaining rear facing! :)
    You very possibly saved some lives by putting this out there, so thank you so much for doing it.
    Many parents don't know... so thank you for telling some that may not have known yet.
    Can't wait to see the girls and hear names!

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  19. I encourage you to be an advocate! There is so much you can do in Colum's name. Getting the information to other parents that rear facing could have saved his life could save other children. There are so many parents that don't know or that disregard the recommendation to rear face until at least age 2 which the AAP formally issued a statement on in 2008.

    Good for you for not letting the guilt get at you.
    I lost twins and I have to fight guilt over what I could have done differently all the time.
    What my husband told me is that we did the best with the information we were given by those we trusted with my care.
    You did the best with the information you had. Yes it's heart breaking that it could have been different, but you didn't know.

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  20. I think it is very admirable that you are advocating for extended rear facing! There is no way to know whether it WOULD have saved your son's life, and you definitely should not feel guilty. But the fact that it is safer is something that ALL parents should know about, and you can help with that! There are so many people even in positions of power (like doctors and police officers) who are still giving out false/outdated/misleading information to parents. Like "oh you have to turn them or they'll break their legs in an accident". FALSE! Keep up the good work...and good luck with your upcoming birth :) September 15 is so close!

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  21. I agree with the rear facing as long as possible. I know some people who think I am ridiculous for keeping my kids that way so long, because their legs are so bent and it cant be safe etc. But even with their legs having to be bent a lot it is much safer than forward facing. My 1st only rear faced for 2 yrs and only because she didnt weigh 20 lbs until then. At that time there wasnt much on extended rear facing and I didnt know about the safety aspects until my 2nd daughter was about a year old. So she rear faced until she was 4.5 years. I kept getting asked when I would switch her forward and yes I got into a debate with my sister who thought it was dumb(how?). My duaghter could have cared less whether she was facing backwards or forward! My youngest just turned 2 and is rear facing too. Btw I think its crazy you are 34.5 wks pregnant with triplets! I didnt know it was possible to carry this long. I thought the max was 34 weeks ever and that was with a super woman body! You do have a super woman pregnancy though.

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  22. SO happy for you that you and the babies, you are doing awesome. I know it must be agonizing for you for share your car seat research but you're doing everyone a great service and doing good with Colum's legacy. Hang in there! Thinking good thoughts for you - can't wait to see those sweet faces :-)

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  23. You are so amazing and brave. I found an article as far back as 2005 that the AAP was recommending rearfacing until 2. I had absolutely no idea. My younger daughter sat rearfacing until she was 3 and she still sits in a seat with a 5 point harness. She is 5. I don’t trust her to stay positioned correctly in the car so it is much safer that way. My older daughter was in a 5 point harness until she was 7.

    Even though the recommendation is until 2 you can still rearface longer. Just be aware of the weight and height restrictions of the seat. Usually height is the one they outgrow. A child’s spine is more vulnerable until the vertebrae fuse around age 4. Plus they have a much larger head to body ratio. Here is a better explanation. http://windsorpeak.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?180970-Pictures-of-spine-development-the-reason-a-baby-should-not-face-forward-%28edited%29

    I agree with everyone else that you should not feel guilty. You were following the law and there is no way to know if the outcome would have been different. I do know that Colum is a very special boy and he continues to touch the hearts of so many people.

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  24. Kelly, you don't know me. I have followed your blog since the very beginning. I just wanted to thank you. your story has made me a better mother. I cherish moments more. I take more pictures and videos. tonight I was laying my son in his crib and he clung to me too cuddle. he never does this. my husband asked if I was going to lay him down and so we could finish or show. I simply said no, I need this moment. and I h ugged him until he was ready to be layed down. I had that moment because of your tragic story. So thank you for sharing even though I can't imagine the heartache it takes for you to share. also I can't imagine how much you're going to have to do with three babies!! I just want to offer to help you, at no cost to you, I know I'm a complete stranger, but I'd love to help you if you need it. as a thank you for helping me gain precious moments with my own babies.

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  25. Congratulations on carrying the babies for so long! Well done Mama!

    I'm in Australia, and the law only requires rear facing until 6 months. After reading this I did a bit of googling and I think I found the videos you were talking about. Needless to day I'll be turning my 14 month old's seat back around tomorrow!

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  26. Dear Kelly, the world can be cruel. Each story has its own if only, or split second change. How about a darting child -- one grabs the hood of the jacket to stop them. If its zipped the child stays put, if unzipped the child may be able to dart out -- are we going to insist on jackets always being zipped? The irrational part of me says, yes but then surely there is something else that will be a risk for keeping it zipped :-) We can question each decision, and ultimately decide to bubble wrap and keep them in the house.
    There was nothing wrong with the way in which you keep your children safe. Not one decision you made was risky. THe responsibility lies in that driver.
    As a healthcare professional I can tell you that since you were also hit from behind, and your car frame most likely bent - the outcome may have been no different. I share this because I want to say Kelly you should know you are not responsible at all.
    THe extended rear facing is valuable information and can save lives in crashes -- and something that is not well known, discussed or practiced. If you feel your story can help make a difference, shine on my dear. I hope my rambling makes sense, I know we are strangers but your life has touched mine, and I pray for you and your husband to be at peace with the trauma you have experienced. Jen from NY

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  27. You are amazing and beautiful. Thank you for sharing the rear facing information. It baffles me as well as to how this information isn't more readily available and isn't the law. My son is 5 and still in a 5 point and my little one just turned 2 and is still rear facing. People think I'm nuts! None of this was your fault and I'm so glad you don't feel guilt. I can imagine it would be easy to second guess everything but you can't. Just keep focusing Finn and those 3 little girls!

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  28. Your precious precious Colum is going to save many lives because you are so brave to share your story. He is going to watch over his big brother and his three baby sisters. I cannot wait to see them & to hear their names. I will be praying for you on the 15th! You have done SOOOO amazing with your pregnancy!!! Every time you post an update I think back to that very first "6 pink lines" post. Look at you now! Sending love & prayers!!!

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  29. WHO cares about the Royal Prince George?? The birth of the year is coming in one week and one day, and I can't wait! Thinking of you all the time, Kelly, praying for your comfort and for a healthy, uneventful delivery (ies).

    Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom about the car seats. We will take this into consideration for the new little bundle coming our way in a couple of months.

    Love you lots!

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  30. As mothers, we all want the best for our children. We can only make decisions based on the knowledge at hand. I think that more and more of us are hearing more and more each day about keeping our babies turned around and safer. We can only hope that people will take this information seriously. I hate to interfere with anyones parenting skills but sometimes people are stupid. My neighbor transports her 15 mo old in a toddler booster seat. Sometimes the grandma takes him without any seat. I can only say a silent prayer. It is with great excitement that we wait for the " news". Please know that you are blessed and that we are all praying for you. This is better than Christmas morning. How is the weather there? What type clothing do the princesses need ?

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    1. Thx Lisa!!! Oh my gosh I'm dying of excitement! It's usually warm here until the end of October. We are lacking in 6-12 month sizes.

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    2. I am so excited you replied, now we can do more shopping. My daughter just started medical school. I may not get a grand baby for 10 plus years. The triplets are like having a grand baby substitute..

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  31. Week 35! Thinking of you!

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  32. Hope you're still hanging in there and those babies are still in the oven growing and getting stronger....watching for an update! Take care!

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  33. http://www.thecarseatlady.com/car_seats/rear-facing_seats_6.html

    The Car Seat Lady is completely on board and includes several research articles.

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  34. Whatever you feel is best for your children is best for your children. No debate from me.

    You are almost there!! So excited for you all :)

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  35. I just shared this post on a web form for twin moms, some are wanting to change to forward facing because they weigh enough but are only six months. Thank you for this article. I know it will help someone.

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  36. Have you heard of the Diono Radian XT Car Seats?? They are 'the best' for extended rearfacing...4-5-and some six year olds even can still rear face with them. And they are narrow enough to fit 3 across a seat row in the car! (Lucky number?!?) So excited to see these precious beauties and see their hair!

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    1. I love these seats too!!!! And they convert into AWESOME booster seats to use with just the car seat belt for when they're over 60 pounds. They are made of solid steel, so they're dang freaking heavy, but that's why they are so safe. I love them. You can also get the option of the head rests so their necks can rest and they can sleep better! Really, love these seats. My 5 year old is still using hers with the 5 point harness even though she's 50 pounds. We travel A LOT on a 2 way highway where there are lots of semi's, and I only trust these car seats and Britax.

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  37. Katie, all carseats pass the same crash tests. It is either pass or fail. We do not get the grades. They are all considered equally safe, and save lives when they are used properly. Britax is not infallible.
    Also, for most children, the Radian cannot be used as a booster as it is outgrown in booster mode at the same time as harness mode. But, there are many other great booster options out there, considering children should be boostered until 12 yrs of age.

    That being said, my 4 yr old is still rear-facing in a Chicco Nextfit, and she loves it. She says it is super comfy to be able to prop her legs up on the back of the seat.

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  38. Lots of great car seat comments here. As a Child Passenger Safety Technician, we encourage all parents to rear-face until at least age 2 but it is more important to go by the limits of the seat. My kids RF until 4.
    You do NOT have to booster until age 12, you booster until the child fits the adult belt properly which is usually sometime between 10 & 12 (4'9" usually).
    Good for you for learning more and wanting to do better now. When we know better, we do better. You did nothing wrong, you did what you knew to be safe but now you know more.
    For more information on car seats and to ask specific questions, go to www.car-seat.org

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