Logistics of RFing past 2...

ks227

New member
DD is 26 months, rear facing in a Boulevard 70 with at 2" of hard shell over her head. She's also on the light side at 27-28 pounds. The seat's installed on the driver's side with seatbelt since I feel like I get a tighter install than with LATCH, and it is tethered. I'm growing increasingly frustrated with having to wrestle her into her seat. My car has a sharply slanted C-pillar and the Boulevard's height plus the deeper shell and the headwings make it a challenge to get her into the seat RFing. She has to be fully cooperative for it to work and while usually she is, we've had a number of instances where it's gone less than smoothly (typically it's going stiff as a board and screaming in a parking lot because she doesn't want to leave her friends at daycare).

Being an independent-minded 2 year old (I hear they tend to be like that ;) ) she said a few weeks ago that she wanted to climb into her seat herself. I didn't think she could do it, but she could and she was very happy to get into her seat like a big girl. Since then I've let her climb in several times with me standing there to make sure she doesn't fall. I do the buckles and off we go - it's great. Several times we've avoided a scene in the parking lot when I ask her if she'd like to climb in by herself.

1) The issue is that when she climbs up she's bracing herself and pulling on the Boulevard itself for leverage, including the headwings/head rest. A few times she actually stood in the seat before turning around and sitting. Am I risking her damaging the seat or loosening the install over time by letting her climb in on her own? I check for belt path movement and it seems fine but the Boulevard's not a cheap seat and I'd rather not break it.

2) As we head towards winter, I'm growing concerned about wet or muddy feet on the vehicle seat back. Last winter we had very little snow and I carried her to/from the car, but she's just too big now. Can we use one of those kick mats on the back of that seat while she's RFing? I'd prefer that to a towel that will absorb water.

3) DVD players that strap to a headrest - OK or not? My husband suggested we just put my old iPhone into a kids' case and upload some videos to it and let her hold it, but I feel it would become a projectile in the event of a crash. Would a DVD player be a better choice or is it just a heavier potential projectile?
 
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Brianna

New member
1) The issue is that when she climbs up she's bracing herself and pulling on the Boulevard itself for leverage, including the headwings/head rest. A few times she actually stood in the seat before turning around and sitting. Am I risking her damaging the seat or loosening the install over time by letting her climb in on her own? I check for belt path movement and it seems fine but the Boulevard's not a cheap seat and I'd rather not break it.

She might break the foam but Britax is usally great about sending replacement foam, or you could tape it together. Can you put the seat in the middle of your car?

2) As we head towards winter, I'm growing concerned about wet or muddy feet on the vehicle seat back. Last winter we had very little snow and I carried her to/from the car, but she's just too big now. Can we use one of those kick mats on the back of that seat while she's RFing? I'd prefer that to a towel that will absorb water.
If you put a kick mat on the vehicle seat, it's only going to allow the water to drip onto the bottom of the vehicle seat. I liked the towel method- it may get wet but it's so easy to toss into the wash. We had very little snow last winter and when we did I mostly carried J (at 36 pounds) to the car.

3) DVD players that strap to a headrest - OK or not? My husband suggested we just put my old iPhone into a kids' case and upload some videos to it and let her hold it, but I feel it would become a projectile in the event of a crash. Would a DVD player be a better choice or is it just a heavier potential projectile?
Given that your seat is tethered, there will be less rebound. If the DVD screen stays strapped to the headrest, chances are she'll be fine. She also can't drop a DVD screen strapped to the headrest on the floor and throw a fit until you can pick it up for her like she could with the iPhone.
 

wendytthomas

Admin - CPST Instructor
Staff member
1) The issue is that when she climbs up she's bracing herself and pulling on the Boulevard itself for leverage, including the headwings/head rest. A few times she actually stood in the seat before turning around and sitting. Am I risking her damaging the seat or loosening the install over time by letting her climb in on her own? I check for belt path movement and it seems fine but the Boulevard's not a cheap seat and I'd rather not break it.

In general this isn't a problem (Laine does it every day in our True Fit). She grabs on and hauls herself up. Sometimes even swinging from it. However, the Boulevard's wings (the internal headrest) are just foam. They can and do easily break, even by two year olds. Laine can't break the sides of the True Fit, so I don't worry.

And no problem standing in the seat. It's designed to take a lot more weight than than.

2) As we head towards winter, I'm growing concerned about wet or muddy feet on the vehicle seat back. Last winter we had very little snow and I carried her to/from the car, but she's just too big now. Can we use one of those kick mats on the back of that seat while she's RFing? I'd prefer that to a towel that will absorb water.

Sure! Uninstall the seat, put the kick mat up, and then reinstall over it. You can even get one with colors and pockets for flash cards and stuff so she can look at it while you're driving.

3) DVD players that strap to a headrest - OK or not? My husband suggested we just put my old iPhone into a kids' case and upload some videos to it and let her hold it, but I feel it would become a projectile in the event of a crash. Would a DVD player be a better choice or is it just a heavier potential projectile?

Heavier potential projectile, but strapped down so potentially less likely to be a projectile. Parental decision. Some parents are ok with this, others aren't.

Wendy
 

moonmommy

Senior Community Member
I wonder if it would work to put a towel over a kickmat to avoid water dripping down the kickmat and to keep the back seat dry?
 

leighi123

Active member
1. Ds has been climbing in his own seat sense he was maybe 15months, he often stands in it, its never been an issue. I taught him right away not to grab the headwings (he had the TF at the time).

2. I take his shoes off in the car year round, so dirt/mud/rain is never an issue. I keep a towel on the floorboard and throw them on there. In the winter when we are in Tahoe where it snows, I keep a fleece blanket on his seats so he can wrap up once he is buckled. He wears warm socks so his feet don't get cold. I just pull off his shoes as he starts to climb, so his feet are off the ground already, but not yet in the car.

3. I don't like DVD players in the car (IMO, too much of a hazard and kids don't NEED to be watching TV)
 

jjordan

Moderator
When my kids were that age and climbing into their own RF seats, we actually put a towel on the vehicle seat for them to wipe off their feet before climbing in. So they'd climb up on the vehicle seat, which was covered with a towel, and then into their car seat. It worked very well.
 

krystin_21a

New member
What about putting something like a Sham Wow up as a kick mat? That way it would absorb the water and be less bulky then a towel.
 

ks227

New member
OK, we'll start to work with her on climbing in but not grabbing the headwings for leverage. I thought about moving her seat back to the middle, but if she won't climb up on her own, having the seat in the center makes it a real bear for me to get her in and out. Maybe once she's climbing in on her own consistently, we'll move it to the center.

We bought a two pack of kick mats (at BRU where a "helpful" employee inexplicably tried his best to convince us to buy an Argos). I like the idea of keeping some of those microfiber towels in the foot well of the back seat and teaching her to wipe her feet before climbing up into her seat. That plus the kick mat should help keep the upholstery looking nice. I could also take her boots off entirely if it's snowy but would need to find a way to keep her feet warm.

I'm considering the iPod/DVD player because she hates being in the car while she's awake if it's dark out. DH drops off at daycare and I pick up, so I'm the one contending with this problem, because with DST ending soon we will be driving home from daycare in the dark. I thought having something backlit that she could look at/play with would definitely help because last winter I kept a small light up musical toy in the car specifically for the drive home, but it's too simple to hold her attention now. He and I will discuss it and figure out what we're comfortable with.
 

Pixelated

Moderator - CPST Instructor
I could also take her boots off entirely if it's snowy but would need to find a way to keep her feet warm.

When we lived in a cold place we used to have van slippers - they were fleecy on the inside so they didn't feel too cold from staying out in the van. Kids walked to the van, climbed up, boots off, slippers on, and then climbed into their seats. Otherwise it would have turned into a wet and slushy -- and then frozen -- mess very quickly. It was a bit of a process, and a learning curve to figure out the logistics of it all, but once we did it was manageable.
 

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