Quincy came home from the hospital in a Britax Chaperone at 5 weeks and 1 day old. She turned 1 year old last June. She’s just a few months shy of her 2nd birthday and she still weighs under 20 pounds. It goes without saying she only fits half of the OLD guidelines of forward-facing at 1 year and 20 pounds. Actually the NEW recommendation from the American Association of Pediatrics is to leave children rear facing until the age of 2. Until recently, she was still riding in her Chaperone.
Of course, chances are, Quincy might not even weigh 20 pounds by her 2nd birthday on June 28 of this year. Or she might just squeak by.
But I am still keeping her rear facing in a convertible car seat, specifically, the Britax Advocate 70 CS.
The Advocate 70 CS is part of the convertible seat family from Britax. With features like the Click & Safe® Snug Harness Indicator (an audible aid that provides extra assurance when the harness is within range of appropriate snugness) that I love about ALL of our Britax car seats to the Side Impact Cushion Technology, Integrated Steel Bars and Tangle-Free, Five-Point Harness with HUGS™(Harness Ultra Guard System), this is one heck of a seat.
When she’s ready to face forward (like when she’s 3 or 4 at the rate we are going) we will be able to utilize the Energy-Absorbing Versa-Tether® which features a staged-release tether webbing to slow the forward movement, reducing the crash forces reaching the child, and a two-point attachment to minimize forward rotation while anchoring the top of the child seat.
It’s suitable for rearfacing from 5 to 40 pounds, and up to 49 inches tall and then forward facing up to 49″ tall and 70 pounds. Quincy is going to be in her Advocate for a long time, quite possibly for the life of the seat.
Just like my Britax Boulevard, which I bought for Sebby when we upgraded from his infant carseat, the Advocate 70 CS is a breeze to install thanks to LATCH. Because it’s a heavier seat compared to some other convertibles on the market, it took the tiniest bit of muscling to get it in place behind the passenger seat in our Subaru Outback, but after we were in place it was just a matter of click, click and TUG. That’s probably our favorite thing about ALL Britax seats, we can get a safe install in minutes, every time.
Did I mention that this snazzy Zebra print cover is removable so you can wash it? WIN! Sure, it’s a challenge, but I love that I don’t have to sponge clean it. Britax still recommends AGAINST submerging your carseat straps in any sort of liquid or solvent as it can compromise the integrity of the straps. No good. Please follow your car seat manual for more information.
So Quincy will remain rear facing as long as possible. Because I think its safer, and so does the evidence.
Now, before you tell me that her legs will kick the back of the car seat and make it dirty – let me tell you about my preschooler that kicks the back of the drivers seat and makes it dirty. And who sits in the backseat anyway? That’s right. Quincy. So even WHEN we flip the seat, the back of her seat will cover up any of those “unslightly” scuff marks.
And you know what? I’ll take “unslightly” scuff marks over the injuries she could sustain if she was facing forward in a collision.
In addition to keeping her rearfacing to the limits of her Britax Advocate, there are a number of car seat tips:
1.) Install her seat with LATCH or seatbelts, not both.
2.) Make sure the seat is installed tightly, moving less than an inch in any direction, without over ratcheting the straps or seatbelt, which would cause unnecessary stress.
3.) Making sure the straps on her harness are snug, if we can pinch the straps, they are too loose.
4.) It’s a chest clip, not a stomach clip. The clip should be at armpit level. This is really important, if it’s too low, it won’t keep Quincy contained in her seat. I won’t get graphic about this, but a quick search on YouTube will show you any number of videos about why this is important.
5.) While rearfacing, the harness straps below her shoulders. This keeps Quincy from moving upwards in the event of a collision.
6.) NO WINTER COATS. Luckily we don’t have crazy cold winters in Seattle, but winter coats and carseats don’t mix. Buckle your child in, then tuck a warm blanket around them. It’s much safer.
7.) If we are ever in an accident, we will buy a new carseat. That being said, Britax is one of the the few companies that has a standard protocol on whether or not the seat needs to be replaced if it’s been in an accident. It’s likely that I will be better safe than sorry, but I am glad they have these standards.
Shop wisely. Choose a car seat that properly fits both your child and your vehicle and is easiest for you to use. Look for car seats that offer advanced safety technologies to reduce the risk of head injury in the event of a vehicle crash. Make sure the car seat has side impact protection with features like deep side and head wings made from energy-absorbent material and an adjustable head restraint. Remember never to use a car seat if it’s been involved in a crash or if you don’t know its history. Also, steer clear of after-market items, such as mirrors and hanging toys. Additional products like these that don’t come from the manufacturer can injure your child in a vehicle crash. – Sarah Tilton, child passenger safety advocate at BRITAX Child Safety Inc.
I’m a big fan of Britax products, we’ve owned 4 of their car seats and two strollers. I am continually impressed with their dedication to safety. I will be a customer of theirs for years to come.
Disclaimer: I was provided a car seat in exchange for this post. No other compensation was received. The opinions here are 100% my own (with the exception of the quote from Sarah).