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Rearfacing car seat questions

(6 Posts)
CherryChoc Mon 15-Jun-09 09:15:21

I know quite a few people on here are clued-up about rearfacing car seats past the age of 9-12 months, so I wondered if you could answer me some questions.

Firstly, I have seen lots of questions about the legs and I know it's not uncomfortable or dangerous for the child to have bended legs, but is it dangerous if the child is kicking the back seat and moving the carseat forward? DS is doing this now if he gets frustrated/upset in the car and he is only 8 months. His head still has an inch or so to go until it's near the top of his seat (an infant carrier). If this is a problem, do you think it would still be a problem if/when we move him into the group 0+1 seat?

Secondly, I bought a group 0+1 car seat (Britax First Class) when it was on offer believing this to be the only option in this country for rearfacing when the child has outgrown the infant carrier without buying a very expensive and bulky special needs seat. Now I have read things which say that you can buy Group 1 rearfacing seats and am thinking maybe that is what I should have bought. I would like to keep him rearfacing until about age 2. The problem is I can't return the carseat I have now, even though it is still in its packaging, as they don't accept any returns on carseats unless they are faulty, and we can't really afford to just write off £100!

I need a car seat which is not too difficult to install in different cars because I can't drive myself. Also our budget is fairly low. DP is unlikely to want to spend more because the one we have got should be good enough.

Anyway I suppose I am asking, is the leg-kicking a problem, will it be a problem in the Britax, and is the Britax ok or should I try to change it before it ever gets used?

usernametaken Mon 15-Jun-09 09:29:14

I have a Britax First Class for my DD. She rear faced in it until she was 2yrs and then we turned her round. The car seat installed itself very well into our car so kicking the backseat when she was in it, did not budge it an inch...I guess this varies on car makes though.

Just keep an eye on your DS's weight, he might be a lightweight like my DD (14kgs at 4.3yrs) so will be able to rear face for that bit longer in the FirstClass and then you'll get more use of rear facing it.

Tangle Mon 15-Jun-09 12:07:40

Have you had then installation of your current car seat checked? How far is your DS moving it by kicking? My understanding was that, when fitted correctly, a car seat fitted with a seat belt should be as solid as a car seat fitted with Isofix (ie it might rock slightly but should be pretty imobile) - if you're DS is able to move it significantly there may be a fit issue.

We followed a similar path to you - DD grew out of her infant carrier at 7 months and so, to keep her RF, we bought a Concord Ultimax (Britax 1st Class too big to be useable in our car). When she was 18 months we bought a BeSafe IziKid, which she's still in at 26 months.

From my experience I would advise you to look at RF car seats (the Essex County Council In Car Safety Team are extremely helpful - they could also give advice about the kicking), see whether you think any of the available seats would work for you and, if so, sell the Britax on 2nd hand. DD is a LOT happier in the IziKid than she ever was in the Ultimax. It sits higher in the car so she can see a lot more and doesn't get bored, and there's more space behind the seat so her legs aren't so crumpled up. The fitting is also substantially more secure. Looking back I wish we hadn't bought the Ultimax but at the time it seemed like the only option. At the moment we can't see any reason to turn her around until she outgrows the seat, and lots of reasons to keep her RF.

Goood luck

CherryChoc Mon 15-Jun-09 14:11:41

Tangle I have, it is just a Mothercare infant carrier seat, I was concerned when I first installed it that it appeared to move easily, but the woman in the shop said that they were designed to, because generally you're not touching the seat while the car is moving, and it was to slide up in an accident and form a rollcage with the back seat. It's quite a lightweight seat and DS looks huge in it now, I don't think he was really moving it much, it just looked a bit worrying that it was able to move at all! There is no way it could be as solid as an isofix seat though. The Britax First Class seat looked a lot more solid when installed.

nicm Mon 15-Jun-09 14:24:43

we have the 2 way elite and there is no way the kids could move it by kicking it-it is held in by the seat belt and 2 tether straps so can't move at all. it's really up to you what you do? i'd say rf to they are older but luckily i found out about this before i bought my car 2nd car seat! if not-not sure what i would have done!!?? could you take it back and say that you got bought one and didn't know when you bought this? maybe they would give you your money back? worst they could say is no? sorry not much help!

Lucky13 Wed 17-Jun-09 16:30:33

I would second Tangle's advice and talk to the Essex Road Safety team. We just met them at out local fire station who were having free car seat checks and they are fab!

We found out about the event through the rear facing website and got their email address through our own Road Safety team.

They have a selection of rear facing seats for you to try and will check your current one for stability and weight limits etc.

I can't rate them highly enough!

Have a look at the forums on www.rearfacing.co.uk

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