I had read similar recommendations when I was researching moving Michael from his infant seat to a convertible car seat back in 2008. At that time, I decided to buy the Radian 80 car seat because it would allow us to keep Michael in a five point harness until he was 80 pounds!! It also had the highest weight and height limits for rear-facing. Well, he's three and a half years old and still rear-facing. Ava is a little over two and she's rear-facing as well.
All of a sudden it occurred to me that I'd better check those height and weight limits, because I simply hadn't thought about it for a long time. We were just going on autopilot. Well, as it turns out, the weight limit for rear-facing on our model is 35 pounds. Michael currently weighs 33 pounds.
We have two choices. We can turn his car seat around. He'll remain in the car seat forward-facing in the five point harness until he's 80 pounds. That's a really long time. Or we can buy the newest version of the Radian 80 which has increased its weight limit for rear-facing to 45 pounds. That's the highest available in the US. The 50th percentile for 45 pounds is 5 1/2 years old. Buying the new seat would allow us to keep Michael rear-facing for at least another year and probably longer.
It's safer. We don't mind having him rear-facing. He doesn't mind being rear-facing. His sister is rear-facing and it is convenient to have them both facing the same direction. Pretty much the only negative is having to buy a new, very expensive car seat when I didn't expect I'd need to.
- What do you think about the new recommendations to keep children rear-facing until at least 2 years of age and preferably to the weight limits of your car seat (depending on the seat, until your child is five years old)?
- Do you think keeping Michael rear-facing for at least another year is worth buying a new Radian?