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  1. #1
    Carseat Crazy
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    At what age would you consider FF?

    My daughter is 2y 9m, 35 lbs and 38 inches (not sure of torso height because she won't sit still, but is just over the second highest harness slots on her radian). My plan has been to RF to 1.5" from the top or 45 lbs, whichever came first. However, for the past two months she's been a bear with getting in the seat. She will sit so her legs are up the back of the radian and her back is against the car's seat back and try to use the seabelt to buckle herself in. Then when I get her turned around she'll scream and cry "I not a baby!" I keep waiting for this phase to end and it hasn't. We've tried special car toys, new toys and every other motivational tactic in the book and nothing works anymore. It's to the point where I avoid getting in/out of the car because getting her back in is so difficult, but that isn't realistic either.

    Her sister is in a booster, so she's well aware that some kids sit RF and some sit FF, and I'm thinking she decided that she must be RF because she's "a baby" although none of us has ever said that (including her big sis who would love to fit RF still).

    The really hard part is that I'm trying to wrestle her in the backseat of a beetle, so I *have* to count on her to get in by herself. She's too tall and heavy for me to lift before we get in the car and force across the car into her seat while I'm bent over trying to fit into the backseat to buckle.

    At what age is it less dangerous to have kids FF? I'm really trying to hold out, but it's reaching the point where her fighting has me unable to grocery shop or do other things that I *have* to do, and I have a feeling turning FF would help (if nothing else it would be a lot easier to get leverage to force her into the seat because I could squat in front of her seat instead of trying to get her in from a very odd angle). WWYD?

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  3. #2
    Admin - CPST Instructor wendytthomas's Avatar
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    There was a five page thread on this the other day. http://www.car-seat.org/showthread.php?t=218001

    HTH

    Wendy
    wendy, cpst-i mom to
    piper, 7/26/02, 62", 108#, seatbelt, driving her own car
    laine 9/16/09, 54", 96#, Nuna Aaces, Diono Solana 2
    in my husband's 2018 Toyota Land Cruiser, my 2017 Volvo XC90, and big sister's 2016 Honda Civic
    https://www.car-seat.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=1353&dateline=1552329  785

  4. #3
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    Okay, so a variety of opinions on this matter. Thanks Wendy. I think we'll keep her RF and keep wrestling until her birthday and see how compliant she is about it then.

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy Joyofbirth's Avatar
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    Aside from a safety concern, I wouldn't turn her because of the power struggle. I think giving in will just teach her if she keeps fighting, she will outlast you. I would make a sticker chart for her. Maybe even give her a sticker in the car before you pull out. She gets a sticker every time she gets in the car without fighting. If she fights, I'd just carry on like it wasn't happening. I use tickling a lot when they try stiff legs and bodies and such to try to avoid getting in the seat. Hope this helps.
    Jessica, with my girlies, Emma-8 years, in a Livia PWSG , Mattie-6 years, in a butterfly turbo booster and Lilly-3 1/2 years, FFing in a Cranberry True Fit and Norah, noob riding in a mickey mouse SR22.

  6. #5
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    My son is like this a lot. He's 2 but light weight, so he'll fit his convertible RF for a long time. He'll be in it RF until he outgrows it, as the manufacturer suggests, whether he likes it or not. Our house is not a democracy, and safety is never ever negotiable. If I have to wait 20 minutes for him to calm down so I can put him in his seat, then we'll be late to the next thing. I'm not giving in to him on a safety issue. He also needs to know that mom is in charge, and sometimes he doesn't get his way.

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy amelia222's Avatar
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    Honestly, my dd was doing the same thing a few months ago (she'll be 3 in a few weeks) and I sold a few things and with a good sale was able to buy her a new "big girl super safe" seat to keep her RF. That did the trick, along with showing her a crash test video to show her how she'll get big owies if she faces the front
    Alice, May 2009, riding in a Frontier
    Astrid, May 2015, riding in a Snugride 30



  8. #7
    CPS Technician HaileysMommy's Avatar
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    DD did the same thing and I turned her at almost 3. She just started messing around by jumping in the front seat. So she went back RF because honestly its so much easier. She eventually quit..there is hope!


  9. #8
    CPS Fanatic
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    My dd is opposite. She lays down in her frontier with her feet up the back!

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    Quote Originally Posted by squishles10 View Post
    My son is like this a lot. He's 2 but light weight, so he'll fit his convertible RF for a long time. He'll be in it RF until he outgrows it, as the manufacturer suggests, whether he likes it or not. Our house is not a democracy, and safety is never ever negotiable. If I have to wait 20 minutes for him to calm down so I can put him in his seat, then we'll be late to the next thing. I'm not giving in to him on a safety issue. He also needs to know that mom is in charge, and sometimes he doesn't get his way.
    Unfortunately we don't always have the option to arrive late. 90% of our driving is getting my older daughter to and from school and being 20 minutes late is not an option. She has made us 20+ minutes late for pick up (even when I allow a 15 minute buffer to get her in the car) and I feel terribly because the teacher's husband was sitting outside the school waiting to pick the teacher up and I held them up getting home (and they have to cross the George Washington Bridge, school ends right before rush hour, so my 20 minutes likely cost them an hour). Guess I'll have to find a new bribe for the next year or so (my projection for how long she'll fit RF).

    It stinks that the subway is cost prohibitive or I would just take that and avoid the issue.

  11. #10
    CPS Fanatic Brianna's Avatar
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    J went through a phase of me folding him in half to get him in his seat then holding him down while I buckled him. It wasn't fun for anybody involved. Now he nicely climbs in his seat and starts putting the straps on, he's 2 1/2 now. Bribes, rewards, and "car only" toys didn't help. He just grew out of it.

    If you can afford to allow more buffer time, I would try that. If she's being a grouch but it's throwing a tantrum, tickling her to get her to sit might work. I know what a headache it can be when kids won't just get in their seat, but sometimes you just have to force it and ignore the tantrum.

    Maybe you could convince her that big girls buckle themselves in and reward/praise her for trying to do her chest clip and crotch buckle?

    The godkids are growing!
    J 9/09 and J&A 1/15

  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brianna View Post
    J went through a phase of me folding him in half to get him in his seat then holding him down while I buckled him. It wasn't fun for anybody involved. Now he nicely climbs in his seat and starts putting the straps on, he's 2 1/2 now. Bribes, rewards, and "car only" toys didn't help. He just grew out of it.

    If you can afford to allow more buffer time, I would try that. If she's being a grouch but it's throwing a tantrum, tickling her to get her to sit might work. I know what a headache it can be when kids won't just get in their seat, but sometimes you just have to force it and ignore the tantrum.

    Maybe you could convince her that big girls buckle themselves in and reward/praise her for trying to do her chest clip and crotch buckle?
    She always buckles the chest clip while I buckle the crotch strap and I've told her that makes her a big girl. She also "helps" push the crotch buckles down. Tickling just infuriates her more, we've tried that and she screams louder. I think if we had a 4 door it would be a lot easier, but I'm stuck trying to force her in from the tiny space between the seats so I can't physically get the leverage to just force her in. We do a lot of buffer time, but sometimes we just don't have buffer time.

    It's so hard because her sister (4.5) has not once in her life given me a hard time about the carseat. In fact, she's the seatbelt police and if I try to turn the car on before everyone (including adults) is buckled she'll scream at me, even if it's just to warm the car up!

  13. #12
    CPS Fanatic Brianna's Avatar
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    Would it be cost prohibitive to do the subway for just a month? Maybe a break from struggling to get her in her car seat would help her attitude towards it.

    I don't have much else to offer other than empathy. I'm getting a headache just thinking about the fits that J was throwing not too long ago.

    The godkids are growing!
    J 9/09 and J&A 1/15

  14. #13
    CPS Technician CrunchyMaineMama's Avatar
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    Have you shown her pictures of older kids RFing? There are plenty around here that she could see. I've explained to my DD that if she fits in her car seat "backwards" than it is safer for her and she chooses to be RFing because of this. Would she understand if you talked to her about why she rides RFing and if she keeps eating veggies and grows quickly than she'll get to be turned?
    Rachel-CPST & Mom to 4 Now!
    J-7 Recaro Performance/Nauti, A-4.5 Frontier 85/Nauti, O-3.5 RFing Size4Me/RXT and M-3.5, RFing Size4Me/RXT

  15. #14
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    Quote Originally Posted by CrunchyMaineMama View Post
    Have you shown her pictures of older kids RFing? There are plenty around here that she could see. I've explained to my DD that if she fits in her car seat "backwards" than it is safer for her and she chooses to be RFing because of this. Would she understand if you talked to her about why she rides RFing and if she keeps eating veggies and grows quickly than she'll get to be turned?
    She so rarely sees other kids in carseats at all that I don't think it would help, and she's a fantastic eater so that's not going to help (she already eats tons of fruits and veggies thankfully!).
    As far as the subway, even for a month it is cost prohibitive (unlimited monthly pass is over $100, whereas driving costs under $20 in gas for the month). Plus, since she can unbuckle the stroller I don't feel safe having her on the platform (trains terrify me, so the thought of her running off on the platform is awful).

    I tried giving her a long talk about how if she wasn't buckled in her seat backwards she could get a big booboo but she misunderstood and often screams that she'll get a booboo if she's buckled .

    Today we spent 30 minutes screaming after we dropped her sister off. I finally wrestled her in and she screamed all the way home.

  16. #15
    CPS Technician Phineasmama's Avatar
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    Re: At what age would you consider FF?

    I would measure how much more room she still has above her head until she outgrows her seat RFing, then mark it on a growth chart that you can put up on the wall in her room (have her help you do all this). Then she can check herself to see if she's big enough whenever she wants.

    Also maybe you could get her a special toy that she is only allowed to play with when she's in her seat?

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