Tag Archives: car

Look How Far I Have Come! Car Seat Safety

Car seat safety is HUGE to me. I have been a Child Passenger Safety Technician for over 5 years now. I will for sure do it for another year, and I will decide after that if I am going to keep going! I hope to but time needed for re-certification, combined with living 45 minutes from most of the people who want their seat checks can be challenging.

I was just talking to my friend about how far I personally had come in car seat safety. I was telling her about how 10+ year ago I used to wrestle with a locking clip in the back of 1990 Honda civic, and how it usually was on the complete wrong side. I really wish I had taken the time to learn the right way! Not only would I have saved a ton of blood sweat & tears, but my kids would have been safer! I had no idea until well after my 2nd kid, that I needed to lock the seat-belt when using the infant seat baseless. I didn’t know after market products where putting my child in danger for ejection & fire risk. I also only read a few pages of the car seat manual. READ THE WHOLE MANUAL PEOPLE! lol I sure wish I had! My straps were never right, and I only used the top tether in cars where it was right above the headrest. I had no idea they could be other places!

Another mistake I made was forward facing soon after the first birthday. Yes it can be easier to install a forward facing car seat if you never took the time to learn how to properly install a rear facing one. But let me tell you, I know prefer my Safety 1st air protect 65 rear facing install with a pool noodle over many car seats forward facing! It’s so easy once you learn the proper way! No tipping seats when you go around a corner, no car seats falling out of the base (totally happened to my friends kid while I was driving, so scary!). Read the manuals, and be open to other parents trying to help! I have had people attack me for simple comments like “hey! move the straps down one slot and you are golden!” they think you are attacking their parenting, but really you are just looking out for them because you have been there! I have seen posts about babies being seriously hurt in car accidents and the parents asking “why did no one tell me I was doing it wrong?” So I would rather tell someone, and lose a friendship, than have them lose a baby.

I know this was a long ramble, but our children’s safety needs to come first, always. No boosters before 5 years old and 40lbs, no forward facing before 2 at the minimum. No belly clips & straps hanging off! And just to show I’ve been there, here are a couple of photos I found where it’s all wrong!

carseat carseat1

These are both my son Junior who is now going to be 9, and still in a high back booster!

First picture is wrong, not only is he forward facing at 1 year old, but the straps are too loose, the chest clip is too low, and I could have moved the straps down a slot for a more secure fit.

Second picture is him in an infant seat I bought at a second hand shop (yikes! bad call mom), it has a three point harness that I’m sure was never tight enough. I have a pottery barn seat cover over the existing cover, and I have a toy bar on the handle just asking to fracture his skull in a collision 🙁 Toy bars should never be used in a car, and you shouldn’t leave baby in the seat when not in the car if you don’t have to for long enough to need a toy bar 😉 Plus who knows how thick that coat is he was wearing. I have more awful pictures but I’m not trying to depress myself too much today.


My Favorite Extended Rear Facing Convertible Car Seats


This post contains affiliate links to amazon. The cost is the same for you but any purchase helps this blog grow!
This post contains affiliate links to amazon. The cost is the same for you but any purchase helps this blog grow!

I am often asked what my favorite or most recommended convertible car seats are for extended rear facing!! Here are a few of my favorites that I recommend as a CPST.

1. Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat. The Extend2Fit is a brand new seat from Graco, it’s main features for rear facing are a hefty 50lb rear facing limit and an extendable leg that gives the child up to 5″ extra leg room as they grow! This is huge for Graco and it’s already a best seller. and the price point is just $199.99. The only real thing that bugs me about the seat is that the harness pads are required to be taken off for forward facing. I am hoping they change this because that could become a misuse issue. Here is the seat in Gotham fashion.

2.Graco Size4Me 65 Convertible Car Seat or clones. The Graco Size4Me, Headwise, Fit4me, & MySize are called the “clones” in the car seat world. They all feature the same shell with on hand harness and headrest adjustment, and rear face to 40lbs and last most kids forward facing until around 6+. The differences are in the fabric patterns/colors and what stores market them. The headwise markets side impact testing “safety surround” in the headrest. All of these seats are good for extended rear facing! They fit in many cars with three across and leave more legroom for the front seats as well. Here are some good links to a Car Seats for the Littles blog post Graco Clones (here). Personally I don’t use their Facebook page but their blog posts are good. Also I am throwing in the link to the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat because it is VERY similar minus the way the recline works on the bottom, and it’s a buget friendly seat Contender Post (here).


3.Diono Radian RXT Convertible Car Seat, or other Diono Convertible. The Radian RXT (shown in the featured image in the camouflage pattern called trekk). The Diono line of car seats (formally known as Sunshine Kids) have a wide range of convertibles that boast a super narrow footprint and rear face from 40, 45, or 50lbs depending what model you choose! You can get a three across with these even in many tiny 5 passenger cars. They have premium fabrics, and great rear facing leg room. They can be a bit tricky as they come with a few parts and have specific rules as to when and how the parts are used, but if you read the manual and meet up with a CPST you will be golden! The way these seats rear face make the seat not fit in all cars (a few Subaru come to mind) but if you order from amazon with prime you can return it if it’s not for you!

4.Clek Fllo or Clek Foonf. These seats are very similar, the Fllo is a bit cheaper, and the Foonf has rigid latch for forward facing. Both come in many colors with a black or white shell in the older models. I believe black shells are available for 2016. These fit in three across scenarios very well, have anti-rebound bars (optional), and let your child see the world! They are pretty tall seats so I keep my rear facing child behind the driver for best visibility. I have an original foonf and it is still going strong! I have the one shown in the featured image in snowberry, but recently I traded the cover off of it for green so my son could look a bit more manly in it 😉 These seats rear face to 50lbs and recently Clek released the Clek Infant-Thingy Infant Insert so you can use the seat from birth. The covers are not easily machine washable because they are screwed into the shell and it took me over a month to get my cover back on correctly after I swapped covers out (never again!), so most of the models are Crypton treated so they wipe clean very easily. The cover I traded for had some melted chocolate on it that I was not able to get completely off, but it’s not noticeable. The 2016 versions have been revamped with extra padding and larger strap covers, I can’t wait to be able to buy one since my 2012 has no soft padding in the bum (it is foam like the head wings), and I want to see how much softer it is! You can also find both seats in cute Tokidoki patterns.



5.Britax USA Boulevard or Marathon ClickTight Convertible Car Seat. The Britax Click Tight range of convertible seats are also a great option as the redesigned headrests are reinforced providing a taller seat back for rear facing! These do have less legroom so if you have a straight up and down seat back it might not be “as” comfortable as the other options above, but many kids have rear faced to at least 3 in these with no issues. It is not dangerous for their legs to be crossed or up on the seat back. My only other complaint about the seat is the crotch buckle is short, especially when using the infant insert. I returned mine for the Diono radian rxt shown in the featured image because my son has been large since birth. Britax is know for having amazing features and fabrics, the Click Tight technology makes installing this seat rear facing for forward facing with the seat belt so easy Grandma/pa Mom & Dad can get the hang of it in seconds. My favorite is of course the Cowmooflage pattern…how could it not be?

These are just a few of the amazing options to make sure your kiddo can stay rear facing as long as possible! Also not every seat is going to be the right choice for your car, child, or budget! Please get in touch with a knowledgeable CPST or feel free to email me if you have questions or need help picking the right seat for you!!