how old should a baby be before he can face forward in a big boy car seat??
Katrina - posted on 01/27/2009
All the above posts are the MINIMUM for facing forward. It's SO MUCH SAFER for infants/toddlers/children to be rear facing, though. There's a reason why Sweden has the lowest car-related child mortality rate -- their laws require rear facing until 4 years! If you look at DOT and manufacture guidelines on convertible car seats, you'll see they state the minimum height/weight threshold, but they also go on to say that the seats are rated up to XX lbs rear facing, with a minimum height (check with your manufacture for specific weight and height limits). For instance, my Britax Marathon is rated for 35 lbs, up to 49" tall.
Rule of thumb is if you're using an infant carrier seat, the head should have 1-1/2" clearance from the top of the seat. If the head is above that minimum, it's time to graduate to a convertible seat, rear-facing. Even though my son has quite a ways to go before he reaches the minimum for his infant seat, he's long in his torso and is just shy of the 1-1/2" clearance. However, his playmate is taller with longer legs, but has quite a bit more head room.
It's safest to keep them rear-facing until they reach 35 lbs, then they can face forward. If you're wondering about how kids sit backwards, look at pictures found on Car-Seat.org. They cross their legs in their seats. It's easier for broken bones to heal than for internal organ and brain damage to be reversed.
Lorilynne - posted on 01/26/2009
Thanks for that Tayo, I knew there was a reason for the age limit but I couldn't remember where I had seen it.....
This website has lots of info and some other links for more information but here's a quote from that page.
In fact, the policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics says, "Children should face the rear of the vehicle until they are at least 1 year of age and weigh at least 20 lb to decrease the risk of cervical spine injury in the event of a crash. Infants who weigh 20 lb before 1 year of age should ride rear facing in a convertible seat or infant seat approved for higher weights until at least 1 year of age. If a car safety seat accommodates children rear facing to higher weights, for optimal protection, the child should remain rear facing until reaching the maximum weight for the car safety seat, as long as the top of the head is below the top of the seat back."
Tayo - posted on 01/26/2009
The child must be atleast 1 year of age, and 20-22 pounds, depending on your car seats requirements. The age is because of a muscle in their neck. It has to be strong enough to withstand anything that were to happen. Before 12 months it is not.
Lesley - posted on 01/26/2009
Here it's the 1 year old AND 20+ lbs before the seat can be turned forward. All 3 of my kids hit the weight limit before the 1 year mark.
I just changed my youngest over to the front facing seat a few days ago. She will be 1 in 10 more days. I felt it was close enough for her to switch.
Vicki - posted on 01/26/2009
Hi there we bought a new car seat back in June last yr and this is from 9mths to 4yrs rear facing.But they say babys weight as got to be at least 20lb +.We got ares from Halfords and there great and fit it for u aswell.There around £90+ But are worth the money.Hope this hepls.Thanks Vicki.x
Sharon - posted on 01/26/2009
Lorilynne, I agree with you 100%. That is why my 21 month old is still rear facing. My son measures in the 3% for his weight and height so he will be rear facing for some time. I have no problem keeping him rear until he reaches the car seat thresholds. As much slack as I get from people for not turning him around, nothing sounds better than safety!
Lorilynne - posted on 01/25/2009
Karina, I totally understand wanting the car rides to be more enjoyable but it just isn't safe. She needs to be at least a year AND 20 pounds. Just being over 20 pounds isn't enough. There are reasons for the age and weight limit and rear facing is the absolute safest way for your daughter to ride in the car.
Renee - posted on 01/24/2009
They are safest facing backwards. There are countries in Europe that have laws that children under 4 are facing backwards. Their child mortality rate is LOW LOW LOW. Keep him rear facing as long as possible!!! All three of mine were rear facing until about 2.5.
Many other countries have much stricter rules. A lot of other countries have it as 30 pounds rearfacing. Rearfacing is so much safer. You don't forward face until they are atleast a year old, and then only if the baby is 20 pounds. My baby was not 20 pounds at a year. Think of it this way: you get in a crash would you rather your baby break its legs or neck?
Lorilynne - posted on 01/24/2009
Ok for some reason my link isn't working....I've tried to post it multiple times and isn't showing up. So, if you're interested, go to you tube and look up the importance of rear-facing and watch the first video on the list.
Melanie - posted on 01/24/2009
backwards is safest as long as they are under the height and weight requirements. I don't know where you're at but in TX it is 1 year and 20 pounds. I still have dd, who turn one 2 weeks ago rear facing. I'll keep her that way until she hits the weight limit on rear facing on our car seat. As for my son, he would scream bloody murder in the car, I figured turning him forward facing made me a better driver because I wasn't constantly trying to talk, sing, or do anything just to calm him down.
Jaime - posted on 01/24/2009
If it hasn't changed, it is 1 yr and (the and is important) 20 lbs. If baby is 1yr, but under 20 lbs, they should still be rear-facing. I believe I started the booster when my daughter when she was was 5yrs. I would check with your Pediatrician to see if this is still current as they are always updating child safety "rules."
Sharon - posted on 01/24/2009
In California, a baby has to be 1 year old AND 20 lbs...My son is 21 months but very small for his age and hanging at 20lbs so I still have him facing rear. I have him in a Britax Boulevard and I believe the rear facing weight limit is 30 some pounds. If your child has hit both those thresholds, then it's really up to your own comfort level and the limits on the car seat you have. I believe it's always safer for a child to be rear facing.
Check out this link if you like : http://cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfac...
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