How long should babies be in a rear facing car seat?

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Tami - posted on 08/28/2009

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Pediatricians say 1 year and 20 lbs. Police officers and firemen/EMTS will tell you as long as comfortably possible, but at least until 18 months, as it is the safest position for ANYONE (ourselves included) to be in the event of a collision. The reason behind this really has nothing to do with the child's weight, it has to do with the development of neck muscles. A low impact collision can cause a baby's neck to extend an inch or more, which can cause serious damage.

[deleted account]

Quoting toni:



Quoting Jenifer:

Actually, their feet being over the edge, or even touching the seat, aren't reasons to switch them forward facing. They're designed to be safe that way, and babies aren't at risk of hurting their legs like that. Most kids outgrow their rear-facing seats by weight, rather than height. Lots of seats on the market currently can rear-face up to 35 or 40 lbs.





how can yu say that you would then be squashing their legs !





Most kids who sit extended rear facing cross their legs. I don't think that's any less comfortable than if they were forward facing with the legs dangling over the edge. Of course, my son is only just turning one, so I can't give you first hand experience on this. But I've included some links below on leaving toddlers rear facing. In Sweden,  kids stay rear facing unti age 4 or 5 with no trouble. Hope that helps.



http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html



http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRea...



http://www.joelsjourney.org/

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Leanne - posted on 04/10/2011

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@ Jess In Australia it's 6 months or 12kgs. Alot of parents a switching them at 6 months and not keeping them rear facing longer than they should in my opinion 6 months is too early. My son is 8.7kgs and he's 9 months old and I've still got him rear facing. I'm going to keep him that way until he's 12kgs. And hopefully that's when he's 2 yrs of age if POSSIBLE. I love that idea at age of 2 switch them around foward facing too bad in Australia they still haven't changed that rule and turn babies around at 6 months.

User - posted on 09/01/2009

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In the US, the laws generally dictate at least 1 year AND 20 lbs. However, the law does not represent the BEST practice or what is actually safest. The AAP now recommends rear facing to the limits of the child's seat (meaning the limits of a convertible seat) or at least 2 years.

My son is very happily rear-facing at 15 months (and well past 20 lbs). Kids sit with their legs folded up all the time...in fact, TONS of kids will complain about legs falling asleep when they are turned forward facing. Since they don't have anything to support their feet, it's not at all uncommon for them to be uncomfortable. There have also been no reports of legs being broken or injured for older RF children in an accident. And, frankly, even if it were an issue (which we know it's not)...broken legs can easily be fixed...broken necks are much more difficult.

Tamara - posted on 09/01/2009

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At LEAST 2 years AND 30 lbs. Mine's almost 2 and I still have her rearfacing. Jenifer Lawrie has great links in her posts here.

[deleted account]

My parents actually turned my car seat around when Lily was 7-8 months old because she was so unhappy with facing back (also in Aust so legal limit is 6months) I was going to wait a bit longer but talking to family and friends who are both in the police, fire and nursing arena they felt that there was little reason to keep her facing back if she wasnt happy that way. However the studies do say later - I just think I'll try and avoid having an accident to be on the safer side :P

Mel - posted on 09/01/2009

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whenever u feel safe but the law in US is 12 months. im in australia so we truend our daughter around about 4-5 months the first time she didnt have good enough head control second time she was better.

Tracy - posted on 08/28/2009

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Every state has different laws check with your local fire dept. They should be able to tell you. In Washington they have to be 1yr and 30lbs.

Jennifer - posted on 08/28/2009

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My son is 28 inches long and 20 pounds. Hes 6 months. We switched carseats to one of the car seats that can be forward and rear facing. he is rear facing. We had to use the infant one today and he was sooooo big for it. I would suggest getting of the seats that can go to front facing when your child can go to front facing.
The leg issue, I dont understand why any child would be comfy rear facing at age 4-5, thats nuts. Unless they have short children sure, but I know at age 4-5 my child will be a giant! My nephew just turned 3 and in no way would he beable to be rearfacing, hes very tall, that to me isnt safe!

Jennie - posted on 08/28/2009

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I believe it's one yr old and/or 33 lbs. At one year I switched my son to front facing because the doctor said he was tall enough and ready to be. It's only safe to be forward when they are bigger and have good head control and height. I'd ask your doctor to be sure though.

Linda - posted on 08/28/2009

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Children are to remain in a rear facing car seat till they are 1yr of age. They do out grow the small infant seats at either 22lbs or 35lbs depending on your infant seat you can look on the side of it to see what its weight limit is. She has also outgrown the infant one if her head is over the top of the seat. They do make the larger car seats that are made for rear and front facing positions for children up to 100lbs that is the one I would recommend buying. That way you are not landing up having to purchase another one when she reaches 50lbs. This is a link to some more info on rear facing infant seats that may help answer some of your questions. I hope this helps you out. http://babyproducts.about.com/od/carseat...

Cayla - posted on 08/28/2009

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for what i meant for the legs hanging over is the newborn car seats so the first one they are in, This is coming from the place that i live.

Audrey - posted on 08/28/2009

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My doctor told me when they are 20 lbs they can ride forward facing, but there's babies that are 3 mos. old and 20 lbs these days...personally, I would wait until they are able to support their head well.

[deleted account]

Quoting toni:



Quoting Jenifer:

Actually, their feet being over the edge, or even touching the seat, aren't reasons to switch them forward facing. They're designed to be safe that way, and babies aren't at risk of hurting their legs like that. Most kids outgrow their rear-facing seats by weight, rather than height. Lots of seats on the market currently can rear-face up to 35 or 40 lbs.





how can yu say that you would then be squashing their legs !





Most kids who sit extended rear facing cross their legs. I don't think that's any less comfortable than if they were forward facing with the legs dangling over the edge. Of course, my son is only just turning one, so I can't give you first hand experience on this. But I've included some links below on leaving toddlers rear facing. In Sweden,  kids stay rear facing unti age 4 or 5 with no trouble. Hope that helps.



http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html



http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRea...



http://www.joelsjourney.org/

[deleted account]

Quoting toni:



Quoting Jenifer:

Actually, their feet being over the edge, or even touching the seat, aren't reasons to switch them forward facing. They're designed to be safe that way, and babies aren't at risk of hurting their legs like that. Most kids outgrow their rear-facing seats by weight, rather than height. Lots of seats on the market currently can rear-face up to 35 or 40 lbs.





how can yu say that you would then be squashing their legs !





Most kids who sit extended rear facing cross their legs. I don't think that's any less comfortable than if they were forward facing with the legs dangling over the edge. Of course, my son is only just turning one, so I can't give you first hand experience on this. But I've included some links below on leaving toddlers rear facing. In Sweden,  kids stay rear facing unti age 4 or 5 with no trouble. Hope that helps.



http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html



http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRea...



http://www.joelsjourney.org/

Jessoliver87 - posted on 08/28/2009

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In Australia, the law is newborn to 6mths should be in a rear facing car seat.

Johnny - posted on 08/28/2009

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If possible, keep them rear facing until you've reached your carseat's rear facing upper weight restriction. It may squish their legs, but it is far safer for their head, neck and back. Definitely better to have broken legs than a broken neck. The earliest you are legally allowed to turn them around where I live is 1 year and 20 lbs (not one or the other).

Toni - posted on 08/28/2009

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Quoting Jenifer:

Actually, their feet being over the edge, or even touching the seat, aren't reasons to switch them forward facing. They're designed to be safe that way, and babies aren't at risk of hurting their legs like that. Most kids outgrow their rear-facing seats by weight, rather than height. Lots of seats on the market currently can rear-face up to 35 or 40 lbs.


how can yu say that you would then be squashing their legs !

[deleted account]

Actually, their feet being over the edge, or even touching the seat, aren't reasons to switch them forward facing. They're designed to be safe that way, and babies aren't at risk of hurting their legs like that. Most kids outgrow their rear-facing seats by weight, rather than height. Lots of seats on the market currently can rear-face up to 35 or 40 lbs.

Cayla - posted on 08/28/2009

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I know that when my daughter was 25 pounds i switched her into the bigger car seat, The rear facing ones are only meant up to a certain weight, or if the feet hang over the edge apparantly your supposed to switch them

Frances - posted on 08/28/2009

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there are rules and guidelines for each state - I would check with your sherrif's department - they could give you the rules and regulations for your area.

[deleted account]

They should be rear-facing as long as possible, because its the safest way for them to ride. Depending on where you live, there may be a minimum age to forward face (1 yr in the US). Doctors now are saying that isn't long enough though - ours recommends at least 2 years rear facing, regardless of weight.

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