Rear facing to booster seat?

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walnutgold

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I will preface this by saying that my DS2 is currently six years old, 36 pounds and around 40 inches tall. He's a peanut and I do NOT plan to move him into a booster any time soon. However he is creeping up on the height limit for his Radian rear facing.
My DW and I are hoping to upgrade our vehicle to something more spacious. If we get the upgrade we will have space to get a special needs booster for DS2. He currently rides RF in a Radian RXT in both vehicles.
If we are able to get the upgrade I will either purchase a Graco Extend2Fit or we will start the hunt for a special needs BPB. We will also test him out in DS1's harnessed Frontier to see if he is able to support himself enough to use a traditional harnessed seat. I would prefer not to get a special needs harnessed seat because they are all giant and even with a larger vehicle it would get very cramped. What are your thoughts on this? Does it seem like a safe option?
 
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Brianna

New member
Hi there! I'm not a tech, but in general it is preferred to keep children in regularly available seats before moving to special needs seats. The RXT has a rear facing height limit of 44" or 1.5" from the top of the shell, so it sounds like you DS should have quite a bit of growing room yet.

Beyond that, could you describe the nature of his special needs- is it just low tone that you're concerned about with his ability to sit in a standard 5 point harness once forward facing?
 

walnutgold

New member
He has cerebral palsy and low tone and cognitive delays because of it. I am worried that he could slump over and out of place if the seat is not reclined enough. He (and the rest of my children) LOVE to sleep in the car. But when he is at an upright angle and he falls asleep his chin drops to his chest and he struggles to breathe. He still has plenty of room to grow on his Radian right now, but I want to have a seat ready or go/ready to buy when he gets closer to the limit.
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1mommy

New member
A forward facing Graco My Ride is the most reclined forward facing away I know, I would try that out, normally i wouldn't recommend buying a convertible just for forward facing but given that he's such a peanut it'll last him a good amount of time.
 

Brianna

New member
+1 on the MyRide recommendation. I'm not sure how much time he would have in it once the RXT is outgrown rear facing, but the MyRide is just as reclined forward facing as it is rear facing.
 

walnutgold

New member
A forward facing Graco My Ride is the most reclined forward facing away I know, I would try that out, normally i wouldn't recommend buying a convertible just for forward facing but given that he's such a peanut it'll last him a good amount of time.
Well it's not just recline we're looking for. He also tends to "noodle" around and slump to the side in wider seats. Right now we stuff rolled blankets into the seat next around him (after properly buckling him in of course!) to keep him from flopping around. He's so skinny and I just don't know if the MyRide would work.
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Carrie_R

Ambassador - CPS Technician
Hi! Welcome!

I want to preface this by saying that I don't have a medical background, but I do have experience working closely with practitioners for kids who have some special positioning needs and am special needs certified.

Typically, with my low tone kiddos, our first route is to keep the child rear-facing as long as possible since it allows max recline. From that perspective, the Extend2Fit might be a great option. But I know RFing has its practical limits, and at 6, if you're nearing them, I understand!

You could also consider seats that have some forward-facing recline to them - the MyRide 1mommy & Brianna suggested above is one but I know what you mean about the width/noodle. You could also consider a Britax convertible, a NextFit, maybe a Graco clone (I want to say those allow some recline FFing to 40lb but I can't recall off the top of my head.) I keep an Evenflo Symphony on hand since it allows recline to 40lbs. It's pretty wide, but I think the Triumph is the same way and may cradle him more. How quickly might he gain those 4lb?

The fact that he's still noodling and needs add'l support in a Radian would make me disinclined to look towards a booster seat with positioning harness. I generally recommend those for kids who are "close" but still need some support. I'd probably be more inclined to look towards something like a Traveler Plus (once it's being produced again) or a Roosevelt - something that has additional positioning inserts that might "narrow" the seat. How is his airway control when he's seated fully upright? (ETA: I re-read and see that you note he struggles - so again I'd look towards something with a functional 5pt since they tend to have recline bars, where positioning boosters tend to be very upright.)

Ideally, you'll want to work with your practitioners - is he seen by a CP clinic at a children's hospital? They are likely to have a "protocol" to assist with these requests. Otherwise, you could talk with your OT or PT and reach out to a special needs trained tech to assist with an evaluation.

My single biggest concern is that at his size (weight, especially,) insurance is not likely to approve a specialized restraint. It sounds like there are still some conventional options that may fit his needs - if you run through them and find that there *aren't* any, you'll want to make sure his OT or PT details in their Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) WHY nothing conventional will work, and what the specialized restraint offers that a conventional restraint cannot.

I hope that helps!
 

walnutgold

New member
Hi! Welcome!

I want to preface this by saying that I don't have a medical background, but I do have experience working closely with practitioners for kids who have some special positioning needs and am special needs certified.

Typically, with my low tone kiddos, our first route is to keep the child rear-facing as long as possible since it allows max recline. From that perspective, the Extend2Fit might be a great option. But I know RFing has its practical limits, and at 6, if you're nearing them, I understand!

You could also consider seats that have some forward-facing recline to them - the MyRide 1mommy & Brianna suggested above is one but I know what you mean about the width/noodle. You could also consider a Britax convertible, a NextFit, maybe a Graco clone (I want to say those allow some recline FFing to 40lb but I can't recall off the top of my head.) I keep an Evenflo Symphony on hand since it allows recline to 40lbs. It's pretty wide, but I think the Triumph is the same way and may cradle him more. How quickly might he gain those 4lb?

The fact that he's still noodling and needs add'l support in a Radian would make me disinclined to look towards a booster seat with positioning harness. I generally recommend those for kids who are "close" but still need some support. I'd probably be more inclined to look towards something like a Traveler Plus (once it's being produced again) or a Roosevelt - something that has additional positioning inserts that might "narrow" the seat. How is his airway control when he's seated fully upright? (ETA: I re-read and see that you note he struggles - so again I'd look towards something with a functional 5pt since they tend to have recline bars, where positioning boosters tend to be very upright.)

Ideally, you'll want to work with your practitioners - is he seen by a CP clinic at a children's hospital? They are likely to have a "protocol" to assist with these requests. Otherwise, you could talk with your OT or PT and reach out to a special needs trained tech to assist with an evaluation.

My single biggest concern is that at his size (weight, especially,) insurance is not likely to approve a specialized restraint. It sounds like there are still some conventional options that may fit his needs - if you run through them and find that there *aren't* any, you'll want to make sure his OT or PT details in their Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) WHY nothing conventional will work, and what the specialized restraint offers that a conventional restraint cannot.

I hope that helps!
His airway control is fine when he's upright/reclined which is just another of my many reasons to keep him rear facing. I'm really considering the extend-2-fit because it offers additional leg room (which he would love!) plus super extended rear facing! He's a pretty slow grower but never in consistent amounts. I would say that we have anywhere from three months to over a year before he gains those pounds. But I'm in love with the idea of the Extend2Fit and I think that will be perfect for him.
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Carrie_R

Ambassador - CPS Technician
His airway control is fine when he's upright/reclined which is just another of my many reasons to keep him rear facing. I'm really considering the extend-2-fit because it offers additional leg room (which he would love!) plus super extended rear facing! He's a pretty slow grower but never in consistent amounts. I would say that we have anywhere from three months to over a year before he gains those pounds. But I'm in love with the idea of the Extend2Fit and I think that will be perfect for him. Posted via Mobile Device

If you're open to keeping him rear-facing, I think the E2F sounds like a great solution. When you get to the point where you are looking for something else, you are 110% welcome to PM me and I can help you find resources in your area. (Sometimes posts like this get 'missed' since they are a bit buried in the forum!)

Brianna - it's a shame, because those inserts look like they'd be great for positioning low tone kids otherwise!!
 
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