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Car seat transitions - when and why?


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#1 Mose

Posted 06 November 2019 - 07:24 PM

Hi everyone

A few different posts in various car seat threads have me wondering about when people make car seat transitions, and why.  My observations is there is a huge gap between minimum required by law in a particular car seat, and gold standard approach to safety.  And I think the reality is we are all just doing the best we can for our families with the limited resources we have, so interested to read how people make their decisions about when to transition when there is such a range of options.

So, what car seat transitions have you made and why?

For us:

Capsule to rear-facing seat
#1: No capsule, but oh how envious I was of people with them!
#2: 4 months because the people we borrowed the capsule from were coming from a distance and I wanted to return it to them

Rear-facing to forward facing
(I have a big age gap and extended RF was not an option in Aus for no 1)
#1: 12 months because he hit the 12kg manufacturers weight recommendation
#2: 2 years 5 months, because we were moving the car seat into a rental car and back into our own and neither of us had much appetite left for re-fitting RF car restraint, nor for trying to help long limbed toddler in and out of the seat

Forward facing to booster
#1: 5 years 6 months because my baby bump was getting big enough for the harness to be awkward for me and I thought it was un-necessary to push through further.
#2: TBD

Booster to normal car seat
#1: TBD - he is only 127cm at nearly 9 so I am hoping to hold him out a good while longer as I don't like where the seatbelt sits on him unless he sits in the middle seat which is a higher seat and lower point the belt comes from.
#2 TBD

#2 Daffy2016

Posted 06 November 2019 - 07:40 PM

We had a capsule but DD got too heavy for me to lift in it around 4 months. Moved her to a rear facing seat around 6 months when I’d well and truly had it with the capsule.

Moved her forward facing at 18 months - she had hit the height markers for her seat and was absolute murder to get into the seat. While I would have much preferred she stay rear facing as long as possible, I couldn’t spend 20 minutes wrestling a nightmare child every time I had to go somewhere.

#3 Mooples

Posted 06 November 2019 - 07:48 PM

Ds1 didn’t have a capsule, went straight into a 0-4 seat. He stayed rear facing until 2y3m when we needed his seat for ds2. He’s now in an extended harness seat so will stay in that until his outgrows it so no lap sash booster.

Ds2 was in a capsule until he hit the height markers at 6 months. He’s almost 2 and still rear facing and will be until he either hits the markers (erf seat so not until 4) or if we have a third.

I’m big on car seat safety.

#4 PrincessPeach

Posted 06 November 2019 - 07:59 PM

View PostDaffy2016, on 06 November 2019 - 07:40 PM, said:

Movedd her forward facing at 18 months - she had hit the height markers for her seat and was absolute murder to get into the seat. While I would have much preferred she stay rear facing as long as possible, I couldn’t spend 20 minutes wrestling a nightmare child every time I had to go somewhere.

Same here with #1, add in being pregnant & bad morning sickness I persevered just to get him to the turn markers.

#2 - turned him at 15 months. The joys of having kids with long torso's & sitting on the 85th percentile for height.

#1 is currently in a maxiguard & will stay in that until he outgrows it.

#2 still fits into the compaq & he will then go into a maxiguard as well.

Depending on how old #1 is when #2 outgrows the compaq, i might move him to a booster.

#5 Cheesy Sanga

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:00 PM

We didn't have a capsule for either kid as we didn't want to spend the money on it plus didn't have a compatible pram.

#1.
RF to 14mo, met the max RF weight
FF harnessed to 9.5yo, met the max height marker
Seat belt booster still at 10.5yo, nearly at the max height marker

#2.
RF to 3.75yo, met the max height marker
FF harnessed to 7.5yo, met the max height marker
Seat belt booster still at 8yo, will stay til the max height marker is met

We've been lucky that we've been able to afford to get new seats as new options came on the market, and that our car can fit any seat option.

After watching crash test videos I wanted to RF/harness/booster as long as possible.

#6 Paddlepop

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:03 PM

One child. Only two seats so far.

Straight into rear facing 0-4 from birth.

Turned to forward facing at about 8 months because she kept screaming every time we put her in the car when previously she'd loved the car. Couldn't bear the screaming, and it was 9 years ago so hadn't heard of rear facing for as long as possible, so we turned her.

Grew out of that seat at 3.5 years old so we bought a 0-8 seat because she still needed to be harnessed for at least another 6 months. At about this time I learnt more about car seat safety via EB, so instead of changing from harnessed to booster with seat belt, kept her harnessed beyond her 4th birthday.

She's now almost 10 yo and is still in her harnessed seat. Still has another 2 higher shoulder slots for the harness available in her seat. She's short. About 125cm. Not sure when we'll change her to booster with seat belt. We tried booster with seat belt a few months ago and she wasn't sitting safely. Kept leaning forward or sideways stretching out the seat belt instead of sitting upright and mostly still so back to the harness.

She's small, has low muscle tone, and DH and I are both quite happy to take the bubble wrap approach with her so harness or booster it will be until she's big enough to pass the 5 step test. I do allow her to travel without a car seat if we're getting a lift with someone or we're giving a lift to someone with a younger child who is then put into DD's seat. But in our car she's harnessed.

Edited by Paddlepop, 06 November 2019 - 08:04 PM.


#7 mayahlb

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:06 PM

#1 RF to FF at around 1 when he hit the 12kg mark (no larger seats for extended RF then)
#2 RF to FF I think he was 2.5-3

#1 FF harness to booster, we had a few seats over the years. I believe he was around 8/9 when he went into a booster full time (we had a type G but he need “seatbelt practice” on how to sit with a belt). He outgrew the booster around when he turned 10 and was 143cm and the booster was too small. He also passed the 5 point test.
#2 well I took him out of the type G last year at 8.5 because to be honest I couldn’t take doing the harness up all the time anymore. It was too tight for him and as we are often in and out of the car he was getting frustrated and so was I. He’s 9 now and I suspect we will get AT LEAST a year more. Maybe 2. He’s on the shorter side at 132cm (30th percentile according to the last pead visit).

#8 Fluffy Potatoes

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:09 PM

Ds1 - straight into a 0-4 and forward facing around 9mths. Moved into another type of 0-4 yrs at 18mths because he got too wide. Moved into a 6mth -8yr seat at 4 because I wanted to keep him harnessed, but he was too heavy for the other seat. Moved into a booster at 7 because his brother needed the seat. Will keep him in that until he fits the seatbelts properly.

Ds2 - was born prem so had to buy a capsule that could fit him online while in hospital. He stayed in that until 13mths and moved to ff in ds1’s 6mth-8yr.

Car seats have changed a lot in such a short time, they’re so much better these days.

#9 ~LemonMyrtle~

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:15 PM

DS1, RF until about 13 months then forward faced in a 6 month to 8 year booster cause DS2 came along and we couldn’t rear face behind the driver cause it wouldn’t fit (DH is 6’2 and leggy). He is still in that seat, he is now 5, and will be in it for a few years yet. May skip the booster seat and keep him in it until he can go without.

DS2, tried a capsule but we both hated it. Rear faced until almost 2, then forward faced. He is still in that seat at 4 and won’t grow out of it for a long time yet cause he is short. I’m considering getting a second 6 month to 8 years seat for him, just for a change, his car seat is 5 years old now.


#10 SM3s Fight Song

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:19 PM

All straight to RF seats.  Can't remember exactly 14-18 months when I swapped to type g FF.

Eldest nearly 7 is still in a harness and will be till she out grows it. She's short so could be a while.

#11 Murderino

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:20 PM

Capsule to rear-facing seat
#1: capsule for a few months and into a rear facing seat.
#2: no capsule

Rear-facing to forward facing
#1: I think about 8 months, I didn’t know so much about rear facing back then.
#2: little over 12 months I think

Forward facing to booster
#1: 9 when she outgrew the seat
#2: still in at almost 8.5

Booster to normal car seat
#1: almost ten when she outgrew the booster, in my car she meets the Kidsafe five step so I didn’t buy a new one
#2: n/a

#12 Jamelex

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:25 PM

No capsules for any.

DS1 RF until 18months in my car (hit 12kg), and 19months in DH’s car (shoulder height marker).
Still in 6point harness in both cars at 8yo. Was in seatbelt booster while we were on holidays for a couple of weeks last year. He’s staying in the harnessed seat (love my maxi guards!) until he hits the marker.

DS2 RF until 2yr 1.5m, nearly at marker, needed the RF seat for DD. Remains harnessed in both cars and will for years yet. Currently nearly 6.

DD RF until 2.5yrs in DH’s car (12kg) and 3.5yrs in mine (marker). Yep, RF in one car and FF in the other for a year, she was fine. Now harnessed FF both cars at nearly 4 and will be for several more years, I suspect.

#13 sahmie

Posted 06 November 2019 - 08:54 PM

#1 Capsule till 15 months-ish
#2 Capsule till 12 months
#3 No capsule, straight to RF seat

#1 RFing till 2yrs 6 months (she is now 9, and it was definitely known that rfing was safer then, but Australia didn’t have ERF seats on the market yet)
#2 RFing till 2yrs 4months.
#3 RFing currently at 22 months, a long way off growing out of her ERF seat.

#1 FFing in a g type seat currently at 9 yo
#2 FFing in a g type seat currently at 8 yo

#14 ~strawberry~

Posted 06 November 2019 - 09:13 PM

#1 Capsule til 16 months
RF til 8kg age 2.5y (was way too old for the lying down RF seats of the time but had no other option)
FF until 7 or 8 then
Booster until nearly 12 and peer pressure was just too strong to wait for 145cm (which she's just hit now a month off 13 and finishing year 7).

#2 Capsule til 8 months
RF until 18 months
FF can't remember, probably around 6 or 7
Just out of a booster age 11 (14cm tall)

#15 Jenflea

Posted 06 November 2019 - 09:44 PM

We hired a capsule from Kidsafe for the first few months then DD went into a rear facing seat, which she stayed in till 22 months.

I was on EB by then and read about extended rear facing.

Then she went into a 5 point harnessed booster seat which she stayed in until 8 years(she's little) and only this year at 8 did she get the regular seat belt but still in her booster seat.

She'll be in her booster seat till 10 or 11, she's not tall and it's safest.

Most of my school mum friends let their kids sit in the front seat from 7 or so onward, they don't seem to worry about safety no matter how often I try to explain the benefits.

I get told "oh she'd hate to still be in a booster" or "I couldn't fit him in the back along with the baby seat and other booster".
DD doesn't get a choice until she's 145cm and passes the 5 point safety check.
She does ask why some kids get to sit in the front but i explained the risks and she's ok with it.

#16 Future-self

Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:36 PM

DS: Capsule until 9 months
   RF 0-4 seat until 2
   FF 0-4 seat until 3.5
   Maxiguard harnessed: current

He;s super tall and is only just 7 but on the last slot of the Maxiguard harnessed seat. They have an exit marker  of 51cm and there's Boosters now that are 56cm or 57 cm so he will go into one of those next year once he grows out of the Maxiguard.

DD: Capsule until 9 months.
   RF 0-4 seat until 12 months Due to medical reasons she had to be upright or risk asphyxia so we turned her around and upright!
   FF 0-4 seat 12 months to  Current.  
She's 4 but short so luckily she won't outgrow this seat until DS outgrows the Maxiguard. She'll go into the Maxiguard next.

Edited by Future-self, 06 November 2019 - 10:37 PM.


#17 PrincessPeach

Posted 09 November 2019 - 02:12 PM

View PostJenflea, on 06 November 2019 - 09:44 PM, said:

We hired a capsule from Kidsafe for the first few months then DD went into a rear facing seat, which she stayed in till 22 months.

I was on EB by then and read about extended rear facing.

Then she went into a 5 point harnessed booster seat which she stayed in until 8 years(she's little) and only this year at 8 did she get the regular seat belt but still in her booster seat.

She'll be in her booster seat till 10 or 11, she's not tall and it's safest.

Most of my school mum friends let their kids sit in the front seat from 7 or so onward, they don't seem to worry about safety no matter how often I try to explain the benefits.

I get told "oh she'd hate to still be in a booster" or "I couldn't fit him in the back along with the baby seat and other booster".
DD doesn't get a choice until she's 145cm and passes the 5 point safety check.
She does ask why some kids get to sit in the front but i explained the risks and she's ok with it.

It wiuod be a zillion times more uncomfortable without a booster. Im average height & yet the seatbelts in the backseat of my in-laws kluger are really high & they cut into my neck. Its a very uncomfortable trip.

#18 Apageintime

Posted 09 November 2019 - 02:23 PM

No capsule, DS RF until the was at the line to then around. He's 5 now and just grew out if his 0-4 seat so I have a harnessed one that he'll be in until he reaches the marker in that.

#19 gracie1978

Posted 09 November 2019 - 02:46 PM

It's so good how many people were able to do extended rear facing.

My son screamed solidly in the car from 5-6 months and we turned his seat around from 6m.  DP and I had both had minor accidents and at least he was enormous.  Also totally different baby ff.  I also had a shoulder issue and he was horrendous to get into the seat.  However knowing what I know now I probably would have tried a new seat.  Although he hated being worn as well and we tried 50 million carriers.

Really hoping to do extended rear facing with the twins, hopefully they're easier than their brother was.  Maybe starting on capsules will make a difference?

Now at 5 he is still in the harnessed 0-7 we bought when he outgrew the 0-4 at age two.  He will be going in whatever fits in the middle!

#20 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 09 November 2019 - 04:29 PM

View PostMooples, on 06 November 2019 - 07:48 PM, said:

Ds1 didn’t have a capsule, went straight into a 0-4 seat. He stayed rear facing until 2y3m when we needed his seat for ds2. He’s now in an extended harness seat so will stay in that until his outgrows it so no lap sash booster.

Ds2 was in a capsule until he hit the height markers at 6 months. He’s almost 2 and still rear facing and will be until he either hits the markers (erf seat so not until 4) or if we have a third.

I’m big on car seat safety.

exactlhy the same for all 3 of mine (well DS is still rf @ 6 months)

#21 *Nasty*Squeekums*

Posted 09 November 2019 - 04:43 PM

No capsual, straight to a birth to 4 RF seat
We turned to FF as soon as we could at 6 months, dd hated facing the back

at 4 she went to a booster which she stayed in till 8 when she as good as grew out of it.
She now 9 and been in a normal seat since 8.
I didnt see the point in splashing on some fancy bigger seat that MAY last till she 10 or 12 but it will also do nothing but start arguments

#22 WaitForMe

Posted 09 November 2019 - 05:25 PM

View PostJenflea, on 06 November 2019 - 09:44 PM, said:


Most of my school mum friends let their kids sit in the front seat from 7 or so onward, they don't seem to worry about safety no matter how often I try to explain the benefits.

I get told "oh she'd hate to still be in a booster" or "I couldn't fit him in the back along with the baby seat and other booster".
DD doesn't get a choice until she's 145cm and passes the 5 point safety check.
She does ask why some kids get to sit in the front but i explained the risks and she's ok with it.

Yep I noticed that at age 7, most of DD1's school friends are without a booster. She has asked and its just another 'family rule'.

The safety might be better, but tbh the area we live in, most people here don't really drive very far or very often, the kids aren't in the car that much.

We drive from Melbourne to Adelaide at least once a year so they will be in car seats for a while yet.

I have zero memory of when I turned kids around.

#23 I'mBeachedAs

Posted 09 November 2019 - 07:15 PM

Capsule
#1- until 6 months as that's when the ambulance hire ran out
#2- until 12 months

Rf seat
#1- until 25months
#2- 23months

Harnessed seat
#1 still in it at nearly 7. He's short.
#2 still in it at nearly 4. Also short. They will probably be nearly 10 before they move out of the harnesses

#24 Allegra99

Posted 09 November 2019 - 08:26 PM

Capsule
#1 until 5 months when she outgrew it
#2 didn’t use one

RF
#1 10 months when she outgrew it
#2 3.5 years- ERF

Harnessed
#1 still harnessed at 7
#2 still harnessed at nearly 5

I obviously learnt a lot along the way re car seat safety!

#25 *Arcadia*

Posted 09 November 2019 - 08:48 PM

Capsule
#1 4 months
#2 6 months

RF
#1 16 months
#2 12 months (she screamed every car trip so was done for my sanity

Harnessed
#1 Still harnessed at almost 6. Seat is 6m-8 so will be in one for a while yet.
#2 Still harnessed at 4. Is still in a 0-4 seat but will replace with an 6m-8 seat when she outgrows it





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