Extended rear facing

Stephanie - posted on 06/27/2010 ( 194 moms have responded )

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How many of your little ones are still in a rear facing car seat after the law's minimum forward facing stats of 1year and 20lbs?

many moms don't know the law also stated the you have to use your seat based on the manufacture guidelines, and for most seats they don't allow you to forward face until 22/23lbs.



RF is 500% safer... children should remain rear facing until they are at the weight limit for their seat or have less than 1in of shell left between the top of their head and the top of the shell

i have done LOTS of research and have great car seat info here.. please feel free to click share and share it with all of ur FB friends



http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id...



the law is in USA, but some other countries have better laws and seats. sweetish seats Rf to around 55lbs

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Nikki - posted on 06/28/2010

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LAW OR NO LAW I DONT CARE MY SON WILL RF AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, ID RATHER HAVE HIM BREAK HIS LEGS THEN HAVE HIM BREAK HIS SPINE!!!!!!
So many of my friends rushed to flip them FF because they want to see their baby and oh they are so much happier and blah blah blah. But as much as Id love to see my lil one while Im driving , Id more to see him everyday and know that if god forbid we got into an accident that he would be safe and I can rest easy. I bought a 3 in 1 convertible car seat and it RF til 35lbs so he's 26lbs now at just over a year so we got a while to go. For the safety of your child please if you have switched them FF switch them back, and if I havent given you enough reasons watch this video and Im sure you might change your mind

Emily - posted on 06/27/2010

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I wanted to add a couple moms mentioned about their child's legs touching the back of the car. This is NOT a reason to turn the seat around. It is not dangerous to have your child's feet touch the back of the seat, or to have their legs bent.

From http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRea...
"Many parents have the misconception that children are uncomfortable or at risk for leg injury by having their legs up on the vehicle seat or bent when kept rear-facing. These concepts are completely incorrect. First, children are more flexible than adults so what we perceive as uncomfortable is not for children. Think about how your child sits in everyday play. Do they sit with their legs straight out in front of them? When they sit on the couch, do they purposely sit so their legs dangle out over the edge? No. In real, everyday life, toddlers and preschoolers CHOSE to sit with their legs folded up - that IS comfort to them.

Second, there is not a single documented case of children's legs, hips, etc. breaking or being injured in a crash due to longer rear-facing. There are plenty of cases of head and neck injury in forward-facing children that could have been prevented if the child had remained rear-facing. However, even if a leg or hip were broken or injured, it can be fixed. A damaged spinal cord (from forward-facing too soon) cannot be repaired and subjects the child to lifelong disability or death."

Marie - posted on 07/02/2010

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Just saw this thread about car seats and rear-facing vs forward facing. I'm a long-time Certified car safety seat tech, an RN, and a long-time family educator who works with babies and moms every day. I have 3 grandchildren so far, and 3 grown kids. I had my oldest (35) in one of the first approved infant car seats after working in the ER in a very lg hospital, so I am passionate about safety. Please don't take offense when some of the moms seem adamant about longer rear facing. They've done their homework, and are obviously very concerned. You can have the most expensive, "safest" seat on the market, but it CANNOT override the laws of physics. The facts are: gravity, weight and speed will ALWAYS prevail. I pray those of you who choose to forward face too soon will never have to see your precious child suffer an injury to his/her neck & spine. Although there are no reported leg injuries rear facing, I would choose a broken leg over a broken neck any day for one of my precious grandkids.

My experience is that very few pediatricians/ fam drs are current with the new recommendations. The police depts and fire depts are NOT authorities on seat use and installation, unless individual police officers or fire fighters have gone thru tech training. Gone are the days when you could take your seat to them to be installed. Look for safety seat checks in your community-- for instance, thru Safe Kids Coalition. Remember no matter which seat you use, it will not be protective if it is not used/ installed correctly. After more than 10 yrs of seat installing, I would guess less than 1% needed NO correction to how they came into the checkup.

Seats should have 1 inch or less movement at the path of the seat belt or latch. Forward facing seats NEED to be tethered (tether comes out at top of seat in US seats). Most seats have a wt limit for use with latch- then must be changed to installation with a seat belt. If you have a smaller, older child, even a backless booster will appropriately position the lap/shoulder belt without the child in a "baby" seat. My 8 1/2 granddaughter is still in a booster, as she is very tiny (50 pounds), & will remain in one for now. On the other hand, my newest grandson is already over 16 pounds & is 4 mos. on 7/3. We'll soon be looking for high wt limit convertible seat for him.

Hope that info helps a bit...sorry for the LONG length! :-)

Jamie - posted on 07/02/2010

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I thought this site was meant to help people with questions they have and to find out what other parents are doing with their children? This is only the 2nd post I have ever looked at on COM and it is the 2nd post the everyone was argueing over this issue!! The post started out fine but then everyone started to get big headed and what they think is all that matters!! Everyone has their own opinions and their own way in raising their children and I don't think it is appropriate for you to come onto a site like this and preach to others on what you THINK is right or wrong... I myself will turn my daughter around at a year and I don't think there is anything wrong with that, just like I don't think there is anything wrong with keeping your child rear facing for however long you want!! I am SO sick and tired of all these 'perfect moms' out there preaching to women about breastfeeding, cloth diapering and extend rear-facing car seating... honestly I don't care what the rest of you are going to do. As mothers we will all do what we think is right for our child and don't need someone else making us feel like crap because its not what is 'supposed' to be done or its not 'right'!!

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Susan - posted on 07/04/2010

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Wow, things change a lot over the years. My daughter's just 8 and the law was 1 yr and 20 lbs. Nobody I knew at the time would have thought about keeping them rear-facing longer than that. At 1 yr, she was about 18 lbs so I kept her rf for a couple more months. I know it's safer, but I hated not being able to see her (we didn't have the mirrors that they have now to see a rf child and she was born at 4 lbs 5 oz). I can't imagine her being rf until 55 lbs. She's just now about 55 lbs.

Angela - posted on 07/04/2010

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I kept my son RF until he hit the weight limit for his seat. He was closer to 2.

Amanda - posted on 07/04/2010

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I noticed posts about not being able to afford the next size up car seat for babies that are reaching the height/weight limit of the current seat. For those of you that are having financial issues, contact your local DHS or police department if in the U.S. Countrywide there are programs to hand out free or low-cost seats to those that need it. The biggest piece of advice I have is ~ don't be ashamed that you can't afford the next size and need help, if you feel embarrased for an hour that is worth having an appropriate car seat for your child!

Also, pay attention to not only how "good" the car seat is, but how to correctly install them. Most towns have car seat safety checks through the summer or you can call the police department or DHS and find out where to go to have it checked. I went within the last month and found out my RECARO seat wasn't installed as well as it could be. Even my top-of-the-line-as-safe-as-can-be seat wasn't "as safe as could be" because it wasn't properly installed. It took over and hour to install my seat correctly and the officer pointed out all the RF and FF features so that when we do turn my dd around at 2 I can install it correctly.

We need to focus on correct installation just as much as RF or FF!!!

Jennifer - posted on 07/04/2010

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The law in my state actually says simply, "children should be buckled and in their car seat in the back." My child is 10 months old and a BIG boy (25 1/2 lbs. at his 9 month appointment). His legs were scrunched up rear facing. We already moved him to forward facting prior to his 1st birthday because he is so big. He is 100% happier to be able to see us and to be able to stretch his legs. I think that if your carseat is installed properly, that is what is important. Every child is different and you have to evaluate that in your decision making.

Christine - posted on 07/04/2010

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My son is very light weight and stayed rear facing until 18 months. The problem was he was barely 20 lbs but he was too tall for the rear facing position. He as about 32 inches. If you are going to be rear facing you need to consider the height as well not just the weight. I had take off his shoes and crisscross his legs for him to be comfortable. He was so happy when I got him a froward facing car seat. He could stretch his legs.

Jennifer - posted on 07/04/2010

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The problem we had with rear-facing our son's car seat was his SIZE. Before he was even a year old his feet were crunched up against the seat. I actually turned him around a couple weeks before his first birthday because he was so uncomfortable. What options do you have when that's the case?

Sherri - posted on 07/04/2010

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I think it is different in countries that don't have rear facing seats for larger babies. I think this is a very new concept because 4 yrs ago when my youngest was born here in the US seats that are available now didn't exist. Hopefully all countries will start to have seats available that are rear facing for larger babies/toddlers. My son is 4 and is front facing in a 5 pt harness and will not be in much longer due to the straps being at the very end with no room left. I will now be looking into getting a larger seat versus putting him into a booster seat due to the information that I now know.

Kelly - posted on 07/04/2010

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I left my son rearward facing as long as possible. But what do you do when your 4mth old is 10kgs and even the biggest seats available only cater for babies up to 10kgs. My son is now 8mths old and only 3kgs and 4cms smaller than his 2 yr old cousin (who is also big for his age). These seats do get to the point were it is more dangerous for them to be in them tyhan it is for them to be out of them.

Pamela - posted on 07/03/2010

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I'm seeing words being thrown around like
internal decapitation
spinal damage
brain damage
death

Are people trying to scare each other? Maybe.
Should we be scared? Definitely.

Like most other mothers I look forward to many things,
like my daughter walking properly,
toilet training,
going off to school,
telling me she loves me.
One day I want to dance at her wedding.
I will not put these things in jeopardy so I can see her face better when driving, and because her feet are going to touch the back of the seat.

With serious spinal damage, my daughter might never walk,
and I could possibly still be changing her nappies 15 years from now.
With serious brain damage she might never talk,
and would not get on the school bus with her cousins to join them at big school.
And if, in a much much worse scenario, if my daughter died because I turned her around too soon and was unlucky enough to have that serious accident, there would be no wedding for me to dance at.
There would be no future that I care to imagine at all.

I’m not a betting woman.
My 11month old is rearward facing, and will remain that way for as long as I can find a car seat that rear faces her safely.
She is far too precious to gamble with.


By all means you should follow the law in your area.
But sometimes the law can be confusingly worded.

For example in NSW, Australia, the RTA websites states that babies up to six months must be secured in a rearward facing restraint, and from six months to under four years must be secured in either a rear or forward facing restraint.

I believe this information is so misleading as to be dangerous at best, and criminally negligent at worst.
Children should remain rearward facing until at least one year of age.
Recent research shows that children should remain rearward facing until age two if practical.

The crushing forces to children’s brain and body in a crash or sudden stop, even at low speeds, can cause severe injuries or death.

Six months is simply too young to face forward.

However some mothers are facing their children forward form six months, I believe in part, because the RTA implicitly states this is acceptable. Clearly it is not.

I strongly believe the RTA should reconsider the wording on their site.

In addition I think the NSW government, the Australian government, and the RTA and other state based road authorities should publicly recommend that babies should remain rearward facing until at least 1 to 2 years of age.

It is not unreasonable to change the laws in relation to this matter.

As such I have contacted my local member of parliament, the RTA, and the relevant ministers and shared my concerns.



I want to make it very clear that I’m not trying to attack any individuals here, or belittle anyone for their choices.

Put it this way: In the past mothers have fed their babies watered down condensed milk,
given cotton balls soaked in brandy or whisky when teething,
carried babies on their laps in cars,
smoked and drank during pregnancy and many other things we now know are not safe.
Did this make them bad mothers?
No! It just means they were doing the best they could with the information they had at the time.
Most modern mothers do not do these things, as science and medicine has warned us of the possible risks to our precious children.
Some still do, but may not have all the relevant information.

I honestly believe that there are many instances where ‘mother knows best’.
But when you are being told that something is bad for your child, it is irresponsible and dangerous to ignore that information.
Of course you should always do your own research too.

I quite liked this website, as I found it relevant to myself as an Australian:
http://www.caradvice.com.au/58898/child-...


I understand that this issue is a divisive one.
It shouldn’t be.
It should be solely about the safety and best interests of children.


On a related topic, keep as few lose item in your car as possible, as unsecured objects flying around in a collision can cause serious injury to yourself and your loved ones (this includes dogs, etc. Even small objects can become dangerous projectiles in an accident).


Hope you've all enjoyed your weekend! Sorry about the long post, but its stuff I've said before, and will probably say again! lol

Lauralee - posted on 07/03/2010

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I will keep my daughter rear facing as long as possible. With the graco my ride it is 40lbs & since I have a 25lb 8 month old baby I am glad the weight limit is higher. Why turn them around when we know is is safer to keep them rear facing as long as possible.

Annamarie - posted on 07/03/2010

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My daughter just turned 2 and she is still happily rear facing in a True Fit Premier. She will stay that way until she hits the limits of the seat. I'm certain she'll make it to at least 3, but I'm hoping for 4.

Leilani - posted on 07/03/2010

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My LO is 1yr and 24lbs and I plan to RF as long as possible. We have a Radian XTSL that can RF up to 45lbs, so if we can do it until then we will. I have read as many articles/research as I have found and believe it's the best thing to do.

Ivy - posted on 07/03/2010

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I have two girls. My 3yrold is 30lbs Rearfacing in a Radian XTSL. and my 15Mold is Rearfacing in a Britax Boulevard. They will be rearfacing until the max of their car seat. I think my oldest will hit that about 5yrs by her growth now.

Melissa - posted on 07/03/2010

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I'm in the US. We kept our kids rear facing for as long as we were able. Just because it's safer for them. One child exceeded the weight limit; the other got too long to fit even remotely comfortably.

Dawn - posted on 07/03/2010

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Since some have brought up boosters as well, my older children have/will stay in a booster until a seat belt fits them correctly, around 4 ft 9 in. This just happened for my 9 year old, and the way it is looking my 8 year old will take his driver's test in a booster! LOL I don't care what their friends do, or what they want. At least they are alive and well to hate me for it. Which actually they don't mind riding in one. When they ask why (or when thier friends ask why) I say it's because I love them and I want them safe. Sometimes I think if your kids are unhappy it's a sign you're being a good parent :)

Dawn - posted on 07/03/2010

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My son is 18 months old and still rear facing, and will be for awhile. We changed him from a carrier seat to another that can stay rear facing until 35 lbs. It is the safest way for him to ride, and his safety comes first, period. Most children like to sit with their leg crossed anyway, this is how he will sit when his legs become longer. It is not uncomfortable at all.

Naomi - posted on 07/03/2010

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my daughter is 28 pounds and 33 inches. she is scrunched sitting backwards so I turned her around a while ago.

Pearl - posted on 07/03/2010

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My little boy is still in rear facing at 14 months and 24 lbs (11kg) and is in a rear to forward convertible seat. We want to keep him rear facing as long as possible but his legs are getting a bit long.

Sarah - posted on 07/03/2010

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I kept mine rear facing until 18 months because he was little. I not only did it by weight but by his height, and he is all legs. His legs started falling asleep and all he would do was scream and cry and it just wasnt worth it anymore. A lot of injurgies also result in being installed wrong. Whenever I move a carseat it has to be inspected by the fire/police department. While I do value his life, I cannot imagine him still rearfacing, for one thing he is to tall for the convertible seat and the screaming from pain was heart braking

Marie - posted on 07/03/2010

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Please keep in mind, no matter how long your baby is, their neck & spine cannot deal with the amount of force exerted in a crash if forward facing too soon. NEVER do this before the bare minimum of one yr and 20 lbs. As a tech, I cannot (for liability reasons and many others) let a baby leave a safety check forward facing if baby is not at the minimums. If the parents choose to turn seat around on their own when they get home, I can't control that, of course. Think physics: wt X speed = force. !0 lb baby in a 20 mph crash= 200 lbs of force on baby. Mostly to the head and neck. Remember the spinal column can stretch way more than the spinal cord, but picture attaching a 200 or 300 or 400 lb wt to your child's head & imagine what could happen. Graphic, sorry-- but it's reality. My experience as an RN in the ER really impacted me. :-(

Heather - posted on 07/03/2010

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My daughter is 25 mo and 24.5 lb and still rear facing. She doesn't mind because she doesn't know any different! We'll probably turn her around in December (at 2.5 years) when baby #2 comes, but only because her seat won't fit rear facing behind our seats.

[deleted account]

Your child should be turned front-facing at the 30, 33 or 35 pound rear-facing limit, or if the top of their head is within an inch of the top of the shell. As others have said, I would much rather have my daughter break her legs in an accident because she's rear facing than her neck because she's forward facing too early. She's almost 2 1/2 and was 34" tall at her 2 yr well child visit. She has plenty of room for her legs.

More info can be found here:
http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrea...

Jerrilynn - posted on 07/03/2010

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My daughter was in her infant rear carrier car seat until she hit the height limit (32 inches) at about 20 months. We bought a bigger seat that allows rear facing until 35 lbs (she's 26 months and about 24 lbs so that might be when she is in kindergarten ) and then forward facing until 40.

Theresa - posted on 07/03/2010

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wow thanks i was just looking up yesterday about car seats and when i should take my son out of the one i have him in. if i would have gone with my friend it would have been way early. she put her kid in a front facing toddle like seat at 1 year. i didnt get it but i didnt wanna do that my self. My lil man is 4m thanks.

Jamie - posted on 07/03/2010

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Ok, I answered my own question after reading further down the list of replies. There were other comments about legs. lol! I guess it is just a matter of following the guidelines, and after they are met it depends on your own child/vehicle.

Jamie - posted on 07/03/2010

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I think people are forgetting about length. Couldn't the child's legs get too long to sit rear-facing? If there is an accident, they could break their legs. Just a thought...

Sue - posted on 07/03/2010

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My son is very tall for his age, so he was in forward facing from 9 months, as he was getting too cramped in his rear facing seat. all depends on the size/weight of the child really. They recommend they stay in them as long as possible though.

Stacey - posted on 07/03/2010

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I plan to keep our baby RF as long as possible. She'll be one in about 2 weeks but she's only 18.5lbs so we have a ways to go anyway. We got the Snugride 32 so that she could stay RF longer. That and my son was 24+lbs by 6 months and too big for his carrier before he could even sit so we had to buy a bigger one..we were trying to avoid having to do that with her with the Snugride..go figure she's opposite of him.

Jody - posted on 07/03/2010

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Haven't had a chance to read all the posts but if no one else has mentioned it, please remember - IF YOUR CAR SEAT WAS IN THE CAR AT THE TIME OF AN ACCIDENT, IT MUST BE REPLACED IMMEDIATELY. Destroy it and buy a new one - in most instances insurance companies will cover the cost of this as it is a cost incurred as a result of the accident but you will have to ask - they won't offer it. So nice to see so many people passionate about their childrens' safety - great job!

Marie - posted on 07/03/2010

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Carrie-- most states have a "minimum" law. (Sadly, some states have ignored addressing kid's safety). The 20 pounds AND 1 yr has been the generally accepted minimum, but I haven't heard of any that address height except for some that state how tall a child should be before using a set belt only. You make a good point, though. As a Certified Tech, we often point out to parents the need for the next stage seat because of the baby's length. With alot of the new higher wt. limit infant seats nowadays, (30-32lbs) many babies get uncomfortable due to the length, & are nowhere near the wt. limit. Many parents are aware of the wt. guidelines on their infant seat, but not the length. I've found that those babies usually love to move to the RF convertible.
BTW, anyone aware of the safest position in the back seat? If you have only one seat, it's the middle of the back seat, to give more protection from a side impact. Have a lovely Saturday!

Aoife - posted on 07/03/2010

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My 1 yr old, 24lb dd and 26 month old 29lb son are both still rear facing, and will be until they reach the 35lb limit on their seats. They're both perfectly happy rear facing and can see out the window just fine

Carrie - posted on 07/03/2010

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But isn't there also a height requirement too? My son is only 11 months and is 25lbs and 31 inches. I don't plan on turning him forward anytime soon, but I thought there was something in there about height as well?

[deleted account]

I kept my LO rear facing until she was almost 2. With a new baby on the way we had to have one be forward facing to be able to get the older kids to the backseat in my van. She never minded rear facing and I'm glad we kept her that way as long as we did. The new baby will likely rear face til he/she is 3 because we won't need the space this time.

Jodi - posted on 07/03/2010

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Wow, I went by the 1 yr and 20lb standards and still held off for a while. I thought I was stretching it out when I switched him to a forward facing seat when he was about 14 months. I didn't realize that so many hold off even longer, and I have not heard of any new standards or I would have kept him rear facing longer.

Kyra - posted on 07/03/2010

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My son is 22 months, about 26 lbs and quite happily still rear facing. I plan on leaving him that way for a while! I will say that I have had several people comment that he is too old to be RF'ing and that I need to turn him around, whatever, he's safer that way!

[deleted account]

My daughter is almost 2 1/2 and she is still rear-facing. She will be until she reaches the limits on her car seat.

I get comments a lot about "shouldn't I have already turned her around" and I just tell them it's safer to have her rear-facing. They usually don't say anything after that. I know a couple of people who have turned their 8-9 month olds forward facing!

Jolene - posted on 07/03/2010

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I kept my boys rear facing until a few weeks ago. They are 3 years 3 months and 30 lbs. They were perfectly content rear facing.

[deleted account]

I need to make another comment after reading some of the others. Most seat belts if pulled quickly will lock and if pulled slow will not lock. This is so as adults we can move around and get comfortable. However, when you put a carseat in a vehicle you need to pull the seat belt all the way out and this will automatically lock it. This way you put your car seat in and push the seat to the point where it won't move because it will be locked in place.

[deleted account]

They issue other than weight is not the head height but leg length. If a child's legs are bunching or they can push the back of the actual car's seat then they need to be rotated around as long as their weight is their too. If they are not meeting weight limit, but have reached length a new rear facing seat should be purchased.

Becki - posted on 07/03/2010

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I just found a very informative article about rear vs front facing car seats. Personally, I feel that as long as folks are following the laws in their state, we should not pass judgment on them. Just like most parenting choices, they are just that...choices. http://www.childrestraintsafety.com/rear...

[deleted account]

Our daughter is 22mo, 27-ish lbs, still rear-facing, and is fine with it. We'll rear face as long as possible. :o)

Angel - posted on 07/02/2010

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My son is 18 months, 25 pounds. I bought a rearfacing to 35 pounds specifically so my son could stay rearfacing longer.

Marie - posted on 07/02/2010

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Sherri, you have a good point. You should always check with the manufacturer to make sure how long a seat can be used. The toll free number should be on the seat. Some seats have "date of use" on them now. It may still look like a great seat, but repetitive use and pull on the harness straps, plus temperature fluctuations can deteriorate the strength of the straps, break down padding, etc. For example, I currently live in Las Vegas. Our extreme heat can be really tough and weaken harness straps, for one thing. We suggest 5-6 yrs, unless the seat maker says sooner. Another thing to consider is the constant improvement of padding, materials, etc. Just think to seats you may have seen even 5 yrs ago- now we have stuff like memory foam padding, side head impact protection in many seats that makes the seats even more safe. But it does seem sad to trash them at times--especially when we do that to almost new seats that have been in a moderate to severe crash.

[deleted account]

I just turned my daughter around this week. She is 21 months and 20 lbs. She was starting to scream and scream when she was put in her backwards car seat. She loves the front facing one. If she hadn't been flipping out so much I would have left her backward longer.

Sherri - posted on 07/02/2010

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I can not see throwing a perfectly good car seat away after 5yrs. That makes NO sense to me.

Marie - posted on 07/02/2010

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Ok, I have to add one more thing! :-) PLEASE make sure your child's harness straps are snug. Harness is designed to keep him down and snug in the seat for protection. You should not be able to "pinch up" any excess slack on the harness. And many of you mentioned how your child got uncomfortable in the infant seat as they neared the wt or ht limit. I have found most kids prefer to move to the convertible seat then. Rear face until the wt or ht limit of the convertible, then forward face. Your convertible seat will get the most use-- many yrs. All US seats must have wt/ ht limits, etc on a decal on the seat. Most seats also "expire" after 5-6 years after manufacture.

Sherri - posted on 07/02/2010

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My pediatrician is now recommending to stay RF to at least 3 yrs. I just went in, in May for my son's 4 yr check up and they are giving out papers with the these new recommended guidelines.

Kimberly - posted on 07/02/2010

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I agree that RF is so much safer. My daughter was over two before we changed her to forward facing. She never cared. I had moms tell me that they switched their children because "they were emotionally ready". I don't think they are "emotionally ready" until I tell her she is ready. I am the mom and she don't have to like it, she just has to do it. Moms use to look at us funny when I was still putting her in RF, but I felt good about it and she was safer.

Brittany - posted on 07/02/2010

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I would also like to add....there are many people (some family members of mine...& others) who think that just because children are rear facing they can't see out the windows. First of all, my son at 22 months points out airplanes, trees & birds while I'm driving which he wouldn't be able to do if he couldn't see out of the windows. Second of all, how much more can a child see forward facing when they still look at the back of a seat (instead of being the back seat it ends up being the back of a front seat) with just as much access to windows? Just thought I'd add this. :)

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