The decision to FF

Little Ps Mama

New member
I am torn between keeping my 4 year old RF because he still fits or turning him FF for convenience (I'm almost 7 months pregnant and it's getting hard to get him buckled in the third row where his RXT needs to be). I know this might seem silly to some here and ridiculous to everyone i know IRL but I am having a hard time coming to terms with the idea of him being FF after having been RF for so long. So humor me: Is it okay to turn him when I don't "have to"? I just keep hearing "when you know better, you do better" in my head. :p WWYD?

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jkrkmama

New member
I would have no qualms about turning a 4yo. You knew better, and did better. I get where you are coming from, I would feel the same. I feel guilty for car seat misuse from years ago. But I really think its okay.
 

NicoleCPST

Senior Community Member
I turned DD a few months after she turned 4. We did it gradually, short trips around the block, to the store and gradually *I* got used to it. She loves it.

Now that I'm pg, I'm considering moving her from the center to an OB position. My belly gets in the way and its getting hard to buckle her. I'm struggling with putting her back into a Radian fulltime in the center, or OB in a Nauti. We both other the Nauti and DH prefers his Xtsl, so until I just can't buckle her, she's stand how she is.

FFing for a 4yo is very safe. You'll make the right decision for you.
 

crunchierthanthou

New member
No judgement here. I turned dd at 3.5 for a road trip where I was the only adult and needed to be able to reach her. I left her ff when we got home because I didn't want to go back to lifting her in. I was only like 20 weeks pregnant at the time.
 

babyherder

New member
I'd have trouble with it too. But if its hard for you to buckle your ds you could always turn him ff and see how it goes. If you can't take it, turn him back around.
 

Brianna

New member
With no medical issues, I don't see a reason to keep a 4 year old RF. NHTSA even recommends turning FF at 4.
 

laurengt

New member
You've done great and I'd turn without guilt.
I am planning to FF DS at 3.5 when the new baby arrives (unless he jumps 1.5" in torso height sooner). I know him and know he will be a PITA if he can't see the baby. He is a sturdy boy an I'm sure he will be fine but I still am anxious about it. We will always worry. :0)
 

ketchupqueen

CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
I turned Maggie at 4y3m by her repeated request. I had told her when she was 4 she could choose. The first few months it was hard looking back and seeing her ff but it got better with time and I'm over it now!
 

Phineasmama

New member
I totally know what you mean, I still waffle with turning DS and he's turning 4 in December. He's been FFing a couple times. Including for a few weeks when I was super pregnant and could barely walk because of pubic dysplasia :rolleyes:
 

cookie123

New member
I'd turn at 4 without too much worry. I admit it gets easier with time and it's hard to see them ff at first and not second guess yourself. Those who said it's hard to buckle them, you should make them buckle themselves.:)
 

bnsnyde

New member
I understand!
I just made a similar decision. It's tough.
My nearly 5 kids are placed where they are based on various factors.

So, my 3-year-old is RF in a Radian. In May baby#5 arrives. 2 months ago when I was very newly pregnant, I installed a FF Radian for my son to use once baby arrives (he'll be 3 months shy of age 4 and around 40 + lbs. and he's tall). The thing is...I'm guessing. Would he still fit RF at that time? Maybe. I even had to guess (I hope I'm right) to take Safe-Stop off.

The install was SO difficult that I almost couldn't do it. My hands were JUST small enough. I was up against the belt path and the plastic of the car, hanging upside down as I did this. These are two Radians side by side with the 40 part of the seat folded down, third row. I don't even know that two RF would puzzle like this and didn't try.

I know I couldn't do this any more pregnant easily, if at all. And I don't know what kind of recovery I'll have. Nobody (not even the carseat checks) have heard of Radians around here, so if baby arrived (and I was too sick or sore to re-install), and my almost 4-year-old didn't fit RF anymore...what would I do?

I'd probably pay a tech who knows Radians to switch it, but even so, the install was so awkward. Terrible. But it's done. He'll FF when he's almost 4. I probably overthink this too! Right now he's RF and I have to lean on my belly to buckle while bending into the hatch. This, obviously, will get difficult. I'll have to not lean on the belly somehow.

Note, though, that usually by age 4 or even earlier my kids could buckle alone in the Radian, so that's always an option!
 

NicoleCPST

Senior Community Member
cookie123 said:
I'd turn at 4 without too much worry. I admit it gets easier with time and it's hard to see them ff at first and not second guess yourself. Those who said it's hard to buckle them, you should make them buckle themselves.:)
The only problem with that is that I can barely buckle the new Nauti buckle myself, there is no way DD can do it.
 

Little Ps Mama

New member
Brianna said:
With no medical issues, I don't see a reason to keep a 4 year old RF. NHTSA even recommends turning FF at 4.
I know what the recommendations are, and I feel good about having reached age four, but then I see techs with more knowledge than me buying Foonfs to rear face to booster age and I can't help but feel that there must be safety benefits to RF beyond age four.

I know a FF 4 year old is very safe. But is my 4 year old just as safe FF as a FF six year old? I always read that ossification is complete between age four and six. Without knowing when that has happened in my child, I can't help but feel I am taking a risk by turning at the beginning of the spectrum instead of as close to the end of it as I can possible get.

I'm sure I have long since crossed over into over thinking it ;) but does anyone have any perspective to share on this?

Thank you to everyone who has responded!

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Last edited:

bnsnyde

New member
If being pregnant makes it impossible to buckle, you might have to turn. Really I think it's fine. Pregnant myself, I sympathize. Plus he's 4. The fact he still fits RF is impressive.
If it makes you sleep better, and it's just the big belly that's making your decision, you can always turn him back after baby is born in 2 months. (And maybe have help at a check doing all this. 7 months pregnant is not fun, I know.) :)
 

babyherder

New member
Everyone is safer rf than ff. I'd rather never turn a kid ff and I'd rather do it closer to 6 than 4 if I can but at some point its no longer realistic (with the cars and car seats we have now) to rf. Its very safe to ff at 4 so I think in this case you just have to decide what you can live with. I can tell you the "right" decision based on physics but I can't tell you what will feel ok to you.
 

Little Ps Mama

New member
Thank you everyone for weighing in! I had him FF over the weekend and, when it came down to it, I just couldn't deal :p. He has room to grow and he doesn't mind RFing in the slightest (which is really lucky for me, I know). He is FF in our sedan but is only in it once or twice per week at best. I got his RXT RF outboard in the second row of our Sienna without touching the driver's seat and feel better now. We'll re-evaluate after the winter or when DD gets here in January if necessary. :)
 

SafeDad

CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
I am torn between keeping my 4 year old RF because he still fits or turning him FF for convenience (I'm almost 7 months pregnant and it's getting hard to get him buckled in the third row where his RXT needs to be). I know this might seem silly to some here and ridiculous to everyone i know IRL but I am having a hard time coming to terms with the idea of him being FF after having been RF for so long. So humor me: Is it okay to turn him when I don't "have to"? I just keep hearing "when you know better, you do better" in my head. :p WWYD?

Sent from my iPhone using Car-Seat.Org
Not silly in the least- It's awesome that you made it to 4 years!

Properly installed and used, a child above 2 years old will be very safe in an appropriate forward facing child restraint system.
 

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