I was always taught to avoid talking about politics, money or religion with friends...those were subjects you avoided, as it wasn't couth. When I became a parent I learned there are more topics to avoid, how you parent, discipline, breastfeeding, vaccines, leashes, starting solids, etc. And I do avoid these subjects between friends, as my views aren't always the same as theirs...BUT...
I have to say there is one topic that REALLY gets my goat and that is car seats!
The rest of the subjects aren't life and death, they aren't going to make a difference in the life and ability of children but car seats are, they do mean life and death!
* Children should be in a 5 point harness until 80 lbs
* Children should be rear facing until they are at least age 2, but better if they max out the car seat, the highest I've found is 33lbs and that is the Britax brand.
I've heard every argument in the book, none of which I find to be valid.
*My kid gets hot...turn on the ac for 5 mins before getting in the car to cool the car down, purchase a battery operated fan to adhere to the seat to keep the air on them.
*My kids legs hit the back of the seat and they are scrunched...well would you rather they have broken legs or a broken neck?
* They like it better facing forward...if you don't turn them around they won't know the differnce!
* They get car sick...this one is harder, as someone who used to get car sick I understand the misery, but if they get car sick rear facing they will get car sick forward facing. Another tip is not to feed them before getting in the car, give them water to sip on and do your best to make trips short as possible.
I have some links that talk more in depth, this first one has a lot of information about spine/neck structure .
Car Seat Safety
Please also make sure the seat is properly installed...
Convenience or life? When it comes to your kids it shouldn't be a tough choice. Spend the money, get the good car seat and protect your kids, vehicles are deadly weapons. While I love Britax there are plenty of good car seats out there that aren't as costly, read the consumer reviews, find the one that fits best of your vehicle and will keep your child safe as possible for as long as possible.
This is one topic I don't avoid, I'd rather hurt a friends feelings then attend their childs funeral.
This is my favorite car seat, the Britax Marathon in Cowmooflage. This is the car seat my son will sit in until he is 65lbs or less than 1 inch from the top of the seat...at that time we'll move to the Britax Regent which maxes out at 80lbs.
My daughter sits in a Britax Marathon, she's 3 and 27lbs, she'll be in it till 65lbs...for her that may be age 12!