Thank you to Graco for providing us with these car seats to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ben is almost 11 months and we’re finally moving him from his infant carrier to a convertible car seat because he is HEAVY. Carrying his little 23lb self + his 8lb car seat is giving me quite the arm workout/neck problems. With the cold weather we have in the midwest, combined with the fact that he still falls asleep during most trips in the car, it has just been easier for us to keep him in a seat we can take in and out of the car with us.
But, it’s finally time. And Ben loves his new car seat! Extended rear-facing is so, SO important to me. Anyone who KNOWS me, knows how passionate I am, not only about extended rear-facing, but about car seat safety in general. If you haven’t heard the term “Extended Rear-Facing” before, I can explain:
Extended rear-facing is choosing to keep your child’s car seat rear-facing past the age of legal requirement, usually until the age of 4 or as long as the height/weight limit on your child’s seat will allow.
As a new mom, I was clueless about car seat safety. I didn’t know exactly where to place the chest clip, how loose/tight the straps should be or that children shouldn’t wear heavy jackets in their car seats. Luckily I joined the Car Seats for the Littles Facebook Group when Blaire was only a few months old and I’ve spent hours and hours reading about car seat safety best practices, because 1| anxiety 2| there are so many nuances to it. So, please, PLEASE, take car seat safety seriously. The FB Group linked above is admin-ed by Certified Car Seat Technicians, so they can give you advice on anything from a photo of the way you have your child buckled in, to feedback on a photo of your car seat installation, to the best seats for your vehicle when it’s time to add a new baby/car seat to the mix.
Blaire just turned 4. She currently weighs 38lbs and is about 40″ tall. That makes her about 70 percentile for both height and weight. She has been using the Graco 4Ever Seat for the almost 2 years. Lucky for us, it supports rear-facing up until 40lbs and the child’s head must be at least 1″ below the handle on the headrest. So, we were able to keep Blaire rear-facing up until her 4th birthday. But, it was a close one, friends. Knowing Blaire is average on the growth curve for her age, I’m not taking any chances of Ben growing out of rear-facing quickly. So, enter the Graco 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum Car Seat! This sweet car seat will keep my baby safely rear-facing until he’s 50lbs and his head must be 1″ below the handle on the headrest, which I’m hoping is his 4th birthday. The 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum Car Seat is special because it has EZ Tight LATCH. It’s SO easy to install and remove from the car. You can use the EZ LATCH with this car seat up until your child reaches 45 lbs.
We love Graco and any carseat we have ever purchased has been Graco. They’re affordable, and most importantly, they are a brand we trust to keep our babies safe. Their seats have always held up well, which is especially important with a seat like the 4Ever, since we can use it for the next 10 years.
This 4Ever Extend2Fit Platinum car seat is perfect for us. They are the seats we use in my car, which is where our children ride 99.9% of the time. (They usually spend less than an hour per week in Jason’s car, where they both have Graco 4Ever car seats.) It makes me so happy to know Graco takes the benefits of rear-facing seriously, and is doing their part to allow parents to keep their children rear-facing as long as possible.
I want to leave you with this, and please know I say this with love, and not judgement, because I know not all parents are interested in extended rear-facing and ultimately, you know what’s best for your child.
Even if your child, who is currently under the age of 4 (but not exceeding the maximum height/weight for RF), is already forward-facing, it’s never too late to turn them back. Studies have found your child is 92% less likely to be seriously injured in a crash if they are rear-facing. If you want more stats about extended rear-facing, including videos of crash simulations and photos to prove your child’s legs won’t be uncomfortable if they’re still 3-years-old and rear-facing, you can visit the Car Seat Lady’s article “5x Safer”.
As parents, we know it’s our job to keep our children safe. So, please know, you’re not alone when it comes to car seat safety. There are many resources out there. If you want links to more, please leave a comment, send me an email, or message me on Instagram.