Is it safe to have my 7month old in a front facing car seat?

Michaela - posted on 02/27/2012 ( 22 moms have responded )

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The reason I'm asking is the vehicle I have is two door and it's very difficult to place him in the rear facing position. He is 26in. and weighs 18pounds. I'm a first time mom and have had no experience with babies till I had my son. So please don't have any negative responses. Thanks.

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No. Absolutely not safe. Bare minimum is a year (and the law in the US). Recommendation depending on who you talk to is 2-3 years. Size is not as important as neck development.... which comes w/ AGE.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/27/2012

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Brittany, I'd recommend that you visit your local fire department as well, as they could help you find an appropriate seat for your precious little one as well.



My kids were both huge...height wise, that is, and reached the height requirement by 1 year. However, they weren't heavy enough, and I left 'em back facing until they were.



No matter how much you drive (a little, or a lot) that isn't the point. The safety of the baby is the point.



I will say this: When my youngest reached the minimum height/weight for sitting without a booster, I didn't keep him in one, but that was only because I couldn't find one to fit. I called our local law enforcement, spoke with them about the age requirement, explained that his height/weight were within limits, his age was 2 years too young, and they did allow me a "variance" on the local ordinance. but ONLY because he fit the height/weight criteria.

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Cyndi - posted on 03/20/2012

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Thanks from me too. I have a big nine month old boy who just outgrew infant seat maximum size and i am also having trouble with getting his new seat correctly rear facing, so was considering keeping front facing. I also have bucket seats and a very tall 3 year old in one backseat and my husband is 6'2 blah, blah. I am going to fire station today to help me get this fixed rear facing.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 03/15/2012

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You're welcome! Did you find something that worked for you?

Medic - posted on 02/27/2012

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My carseats rearfaced until 35 pounds and like 40 inches or something and forward faced until 100 pounds and 49 inches one and 65 pounds and 49 inches on the other. My son rearfaced until 3.5 and he was tall just skinny and our daughter is 25 months and we just turned her around because she is at the weight limit but not the height. My kids are both also in 5 point harneses at 5 years and 2 years.

Kay - posted on 02/27/2012

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One thing that I did not add earlier (only bad part about adding comments from my phone is that I do not like to add a lot of details, lol)...if you are able, look at different carseats. There are a ton of models by Radon and others that are meant for smaller vehicles. Two most important considerations when picking a carseat--how well it fits your child, and how well it fits your car. It is hard to find but completely worth it in the long run. Not only will it be easier and more comfortable to use, but also safer.

Sherri - posted on 02/27/2012

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NO NO NO the recommendation is to keep them rear facing till 3yrs old with a absolute bare minimum recommendation of 2yrs old.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/27/2012

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Absolutely not safe at all. These ladies, for the most part, have great advice.



I'll only add, if you're in the US, you can go to ANY fire department. They will not only help you find the most appropriate seat for both your car and your baby, but will make sure that it's installed correctly, and show you how.



As baby grows, and you need to update your seat, just go back to the fire department. They offer this as a service, especially for first time parents. I actually had one of my friends (firefighter here where I live) get upset with me because I didn't go there to get booster seats for my son and niece...I thought it was just for new babies, or first time parents, but it's for anyone with children.

Kate CP - posted on 02/27/2012

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I suggest you contact your local fire department or police department and ask them about car seat installation classes and inspections.

Kaitlin - posted on 02/27/2012

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No! And it is illegal! Keep them in as long as you can. For my first, this was a year before the weight limit on the rear facing was done (he is a huge kid) for my second, it was a year and half. If you can keep them back facing until two or three, do it! It's safe and, despite how it looks to us, quite comfortable.

September - posted on 02/27/2012

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As everyone else has already said, no it's not safe. You say you worry that the front seats hit his chair can't you move them forward a little so they don't?

Kay - posted on 02/27/2012

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No, and also violates safety regulations, which require the child to be rear facing until one year, 20 lbs in the US.

Brittney - posted on 02/27/2012

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yeah, I live in US. I put it front facing in my parents' vehicles whenever we went over there and rear facing in mine. We don't drive many places. And I'm not sure I know what 'shell' you're referring to. Her head is at the top of the car seat.

Sarah - posted on 02/27/2012

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No it's not. They don't have the neck strength if you're in an accident and isn't safe (can cause severe injury/death). In our province (which I believe is pretty standard) the law is rear facing until 1 year AND 20lbs. My daughter didn't hit 20lbs until 18 months! Researchers are actually starting to recommend as long as possible rear facing, even to 2 or 3 years old. It's just safer for baby.

Michaela - posted on 02/27/2012

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The back seat is very cramped. The seats bend forward for a passenger to get into the rear. We have him in the middle but when put him in and then bend the front seats back it seems to hit his chair. And we have to have it reclined his chair so that it fits right and that worries me that the front seats hit his chair.

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In the US, Brittney? My son rear faced til 3.25 (June) and could've technically been rear facing til January (when he hit 35 pounds). As long as there is at least an inch of hard shell over their heads... they can be rear facing.

Liz - posted on 02/27/2012

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Definitely not safe. As Teresa already outlined, the US minimum is 1 year and the recommended is at least 2 years according to the American Society of Pediatrics. Your baby's weight will not impact this.



Is the rear of your vehicle cramped or is it a two-door where the front seats flip forward to allow passenger access to the rear compartment? If the latter, then plenty of rear-facing child seats should be suitable and you might just need better advice from the store as to which would be easy to fit and use.



If your child is too tall, you can buy bigger seats which may be placed in either rear or front-facing positions. There shouldn't ever be a need to place an infant in a front facing position.



I hope you find the right seat and manage to sort this out. :) Good luck!

Brittney - posted on 02/27/2012

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No, ours is 19-30 inches for rear facing up to 40 inches for front facing, she was almost 23 inches at birth and is currently 35 inches and 15 months. At 40 inches, we have to get her a booster seat, my guess is she will be 2 when that happens.

Brittney - posted on 02/27/2012

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I had to turn my daughter around at 9months because she was way too tall, she exceeded the maximum length requirements (I have a convertible car seat). As for your baby, I would have to say wait, you don't have that much longer until he can be front facing.

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