Since I saw the thread about registering it reminded me of a high school friend who is due in October who asked me opinions on her registry.....and turns out she only registered for a booster seat because she had no idea there were different car seats for different stages! I know there are a lot of BTDT mommies on here, but I thought I'd go ahead and share the recent info on car seat safety. What you decide to do in the end is ultimately your decision, but I feel that it's always great to be informed about these types of matter so that you know you made an informed decision for your family.
1) The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommend that kids stay rear facing till 2 years of age or beyond depending on the limits of your car seat. There are many rear facing seats that go to 40-45 pounds now. (Do note that this came along with recommendations to keep a child in a high back booster until "4 foot, 9 inches, AND 8-12 years old.")
2) Why Rear Face? by the car-seat.org blog (car-seat.org btw has fantastic forums for searching for info on different car seats and which ones fits better in which cars - even includes information for others countries especially Canada).
3) Why used car seats may not be the best idea. It's a blog, but there's an interesting picture of car seats looking fine after a major car crash.
Quote: "Anne said aside from the dirt, the carseats looked perfectly fine. THIS is why you can't buy used carseats, you won't know if it's been in a crash. Even though they look fine, they have done their job and must be replaced."
4) 11 Deadly Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making
Okay the title of this blog post is a bit sensational IMO, but it does contain great information about using car seats properly.
I know in NZ and AUS there are VAST differences from the US when it comes to car seats. Unless you have a tiny child, chances are you'll struggle to find a car seat that allows a child to rear face till a year.