Sigh. If you would have asked me a year ago if I planned to write an entire blog post about car seats, I would have told you that you were off your rocker. But here I am, about to do it. Fair warning. If you don't care about car seats, please just go ahead and back slowly out of the blog.
Anyone still here?
Yes? No? Maybe so?
So. Today I measured Lizzy, and realized that she is about 25 inches long. The maximum height for her infant seat is 29 inches...so we're good for awhile, but for the first time since she was born, it occurred to me that we'll eventually need to buy a convertible car seat.
After only a few minutes of researching, I saw that the big hype about car seats is trying to keep kids in a 5 point harness for as long as possible, which is why now a lot of convertible car seats go up to 65 pounds. I kept reading how you NEED a car seat with a 65 pound weight limit. The whole selling point is that you'll only really have to buy one car seat (some of them convert to booster seats too).
I'll admit it. I was sold. I was totally prepared to tell Justin that we NEEDED a car seat with a maximum weight of 65 pounds. After all, I had read the stories of mamas who lost precious babies in car accidents, and they were all convinced that if their children had been in a 5 point harness, they would still be alive today. It was heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking.
But then I whipped out my trusty copy of Baby Bargains, wherein they mentioned that the problem with the 65 pound weight limit car seats is that they often expire before the child actually reaches 65 pounds (I'm not sure if this is the "official" answer, but I have read from multiple sources that car seats should only be used for 5 years after the manufacture date printed on the car seat). And if they don't, the child is usually too tall for the car seat long before they reach 65 pounds.
For example, in looking at the growth charts, if Lizzy stays on the growth curve that she's on, she'll weigh less than 30 pounds by the time she's 3. And by my rough calculations, by the time she reaches 65 pounds, she'll be in 4th grade. Is it really practical to assume that I'll be strapping my 4th grader into a forward facing car seat every day after school? And hello, even if I could swing that, the car seat would LONG be expired.
Don't get me wrong, the 65 pound feature is probably nice for some families and some kiddos, but after looking at things a little more closely, I'm just not sold that it is a necessity for everyone.
For all you mommas out there, how did/will you handle the car seat situation?