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Son is 9.5 months old
Weight: 20 pounds
Height: 29 inches
No other car or booster seats
Other: Would prefer a seat that isn't really big/bulky
I am past ready to get him out of his infant carrier. He HATES it. It is a huge fight to get him snapped in. He flips, turns, kicks, arches his back and screams.
Are there any safe rearfacing car seats out there that don't have the "loops" that I have to put his arms through? I feel like I have to bend his arms backwards to get them in the loops and it is very hard while he is fighting.
I don't feel equipped to answer this question all that well, but I'll try. Any convertible car seat or extended use car seat (I believe that's what they're called) will suit this purpose. There's no rule saying you have to put them in an infant carrier, ever. It's just a convenience for the mother when they're little and floppy. But there are laws about rear facing, and there are strong safety recommendations that exceed the laws. So research everything that harnesses from 5 lbs.
I'm not a lot of help in the reviews area, but I have learned through trial and error and the "if I did it again" wisdom that if you have the space, find something that will harness them from 5 lbs. to booster age/size. And preferably that ends up as a booster itself. BUT dedicated boosters aren't that expensive. I have a kid who will have been through 4 car seats by the time he's done, costing around $180 (doesn't include the infant carrier I still had, so $280 if you add an infant carrier). If that's out of your price point (it certain isn't in ours right now), then try to find a harnessing seat that will face both ways, and has a high top harness slot as well as a high weight range. I hope someone will hop on here and help you with suggestions. I'm hoping there's a mystery magic seat out there, myself. I did find this, maybe it would be useful for you.
As for the car seat battles, all my kids went through a back-arching phase like that and then around 2 or 3 where they just feel like fighting. A new seat might not fix that. I haven't seen a car seat with one piece chest straps in years. It's a kind that comes over their head in a V and then just snaps at the crotch strap. BUT, if you get a roomier seat, maybe it will help the arm-bending issue. He sounds like he's about maxed out for the infant carrier anyway. Ok sorry for the novel! And I hope you have found or will soon find a solution!!
Married to a wonderful man
Mommy to DD, DS1, & DS2
We have a britax advocate and we love it. It's got side impact technology, a comfort cushion for their hiney, the buckle doesn't get stuck under their bum.
It's soft and comfortable. We like britax because of all of their safety features.
It's sturdy, it's got a metal bar built in.
You tube britax and see some if their safety features videos
I am a member of the britax safety squad and these opinions are my own