Rear-facing vs. Front-facing for car sick baby?

Kristen - posted on 05/20/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hi, everybody! I know everyone asks questions about rearfacing vs. front facing but I have a new question. My daughter is right at 20 pounds and going to be a year in a few days. She has road rearfacing up til now but now everytime she is in the car for more than a few minutes she starts to throw up. And its not even a small amount, its excorism vomiting. I am beginning to wonder if she has developed car sickness since she rides backwards. It is something that adults have and I just wondered if that is it now. I am just trying to get peoples opinions on what other mothers would do. She is only about 2 pounds under and she will be 1 in a mere 11 days but I just don't know what to do with her. Any ideas?

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Mel - posted on 05/20/2009

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why not move her forward facing and see how she goes? 2 pounds is not going to hurt her, and every country is different in Australia its 6-8 kilos which most babies reach around 6 months some by 5 months so im sure it wouldnt be recommended over here if it wasnt safe. I really hope it gets better for you and your daughter!

Kirsty - posted on 06/01/2015

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Hi Kristen,
I know you posted this ages ago but I have exactly the same problem as you with my little girl who is 9 months old and projectile vomits every time we drive for more than 10 minutes. Everyone is telling me to put her in a forward facing seat. What did you eventually do and did it help? Your little girl must be about 6 by now, did she outgrow it?
Thanks I hope you can help me!!

[deleted account]

I agree with trying to keep her rear facing as long as possible. I have a friend who's daughter has fairly intense car sickness now at the age of 6 and she's obviously forward facing, so rear facing v. forward facing isn't her issue. Things like keeping her distracted in the car, using the acupressure wristbands, ginger pops and other types of things have helped a bit. They even tried having her in NO car seat while traveling in Europe and that didn't make a whiff of difference either. You may want to try -- as the PP suggested -- having her ears checked for vestibular issues and things of that sort.

I would try a different seat that can be adjusted to a more upright position. My ds is on his third rear facing seat and he is very comfortable in his Britax Marathon as it's quite roomy and cushy. He's not a big guy even though he's almost 3 (he's just past 25lbs) so he has lots of wiggle room and can adjust his tush to get comfy and sometimes has a "cuddle friend" along for the ride. He also like to have a softee (which is basically a one yard piece of fuzzy fleece) to cuddle up with sometimes to soothe himself when it's chilly out.

There's just so much safety data out there to support keeping them rear facing longer and with your daughter's age and size I would try to delay turning her around as long as possible and do it as a VERY last resort. It is, of course, ultimately your decision, but I would urge you to exhaust your other options first like talking to your doctor to get those ears checked. .Maybe even talk to an acupuncturist to get some ideas about non-invasive things like the wristbands to put on her to quell her nausea and just to add other ideas to your tool bag so that you know that you've tried everything possible.

[deleted account]



Quoting Laura:

I personally wouldn't. The AAP has actually changed their guidelines, recommending rear-facing until at least 2 years old. It is more than just the weight that is the concern. We actually would all be safer if we rear-faced. However, babies just don't have the muscle tone to withstand the impact when they are forward-facing, especially if they are turned early. If forward-facing and in an impact, a child can actually be internally decapitated.
My daughter is 2 1/2 and still rear-faces. I doubt that yours just developed car sickness overnight. Especially since babies that age don't really look out the window and process images the same way that we adults do, which is what causes the sickness. Is she going through any sort of separation anxiety right now? Maybe get a mirror so that she can see herself and you can see her when you drive.

Here is a link with tons of information about the importance of rear-facing: http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/c...



 



 



car sickness sometimes also is due to inner ear problems, when the inner ear has issues it effects ur equal libreum.





 

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/01/2015

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It is not worth it Kirsty, no matter what people are telling you. The impact of a car accident when a child is front facing can literally snap their neck. Make short car trips if possible, or ask your pediatrician for advice. But if your doctor says to forward face, they find a new pediatrician.

User - posted on 05/21/2009

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I would also support keeping her RF. It's just so much safer to keep her RF until she is at the very least 2 yrs old or meets the maximum RF limits for her seat. If you turn her FF, her body is still not ready to deal with the forces of a car accident (nor will it be for a while).

So, a couple of questions...what kind of seat are you using right now? Is she still in her infant seat, or in a RF convertible seat? If she's still in the infant seat, you might try switching to a convertible (which you'd be getting soon anyway) and see if that helps. Along with that, if your daughter has good head control, then you might try installing the convertible seat slightly more upright. (Check your seat's manual before you do any reinstall!) Once she can control her head, she does not need the full recline that an infant needs. You may find that having her sitting a little more upright helps.

Also, when is she eating? Right before you put her in the car or are you waiting a while? If it's right away, then you might try waiting an hour after she eats.

My final thought would be to give her something to focus on in the back seat and see if that makes a difference. While hard toys are no-no's for the car (they can become projectiles in an accident and injure), you could give her some soft toys to play with or get some of those window clings with characters/animals/etc. on them that she could look at.

[deleted account]

Changing her to forward facing will probably not fix the car sickness problem if that is actually what is causing her to vomit. Car sickness is caused by the brain seeing that it's going fast but not feeling that motion. When she's facing the back she's looking out the rear window where the objects actually go by slower than in the side windows which would be the only place to look when she's facing forward. Plus, for me personally I'd rather have to deal with the vomit then risk death or serious injury by turning them around too soon.

[deleted account]

I would discuss the vomitting w/ur dr. I think that it is strange that she all of a sudden developed it. I understand the discomfort of car sickness, becasue I get extremely car sick (fresh air helps) but you need to be cautious with to much air blowing at your child, so again I would first discuss this with ur dr.

[deleted account]

I personally wouldn't. The AAP has actually changed their guidelines, recommending rear-facing until at least 2 years old. It is more than just the weight that is the concern. We actually would all be safer if we rear-faced. However, babies just don't have the muscle tone to withstand the impact when they are forward-facing, especially if they are turned early. If forward-facing and in an impact, a child can actually be internally decapitated.
My daughter is 2 1/2 and still rear-faces. I doubt that yours just developed car sickness overnight. Especially since babies that age don't really look out the window and process images the same way that we adults do, which is what causes the sickness. Is she going through any sort of separation anxiety right now? Maybe get a mirror so that she can see herself and you can see her when you drive.

Here is a link with tons of information about the importance of rear-facing: http://community.babycenter.com/post/a99...

And here is the link to the American Academy of Pediatrics' new statement on rear-facing until age 2:
http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/c...

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