When do u turn the baby seat to face forward in the car?

Tiffany - posted on 01/13/2010 ( 190 moms have responded )

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my daughter is four months old and can hold her head very well. shes 8 kilograms. i dont have the seat instructions to tell me when to turn the seat around so it sits up facing the front. any advice?

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Margie - posted on 01/14/2010

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Not taken as nasty, but again it is safer to leave them rear facing in the event of an accident regardless of what the law says.

Margie - posted on 01/14/2010

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In Us, my daughter just had her 13 month old to the doctor yesterday and was told to keep her rear facing. It's reallly a safety issue. They are a lot safer if left rear facing as long as possible.

Peita - posted on 01/14/2010

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Hi all, I just wanted to say that if you read all posts after this question, you would realise that the lady who wrote the question lives in AUSTRALIA!!!!!!!!!! It is interesting to know what other countries do, but please don't expect us to follow your laws and regulations or put us down for doing what our laws say! This isn't meant to be a nasty post, just a reminder that different countries have different laws!

Jaime - posted on 01/14/2010

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if your in newzeland (and im sure australia as well) it goes on weight and hight of the child usually bot 1 yr maybe 1 1/2 years

Laurie - posted on 01/14/2010

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Babies should be 20 pounds before turning them forward in their carseat. Oh, just saw someone below posted that! I used to work for company that sold carseats! :)

Kayla - posted on 01/14/2010

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I waited until my son was well over 20 lbs, and over a year old. Which is the instructions that came with my car seat. Hope this helped!

Darcy - posted on 01/14/2010

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My pediatrician (in the US) says one year AND 20 lbs to turn seat around, not one year or 20 lbs.

Peita - posted on 01/14/2010

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The instructions on our Australian car seat say 6 months or 8 kg! It does not say if they are 8 kg, you have to wait till they are 6 months still and it does not say if they are 6 months, you have to wait until they are 8 kg's, so I guess there is a grey area! I would suggest ringing KIDSAFE if you are in Australia, they have all safety regulations reguarding car seats, I think all rear facing seats have the same restrictions! Don't forget that the new Australian car seat laws are set to come in March if they are approved!

Heather - posted on 01/14/2010

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I did daycare and went thru a carseat safety course, and the police offer suggested rear face as long as possible, (most carseats say 1 yr as a CYA policy) but as long as thier legs arent in the way keep rear facing. less likely for neck or abdomen injury

Fran - posted on 01/14/2010

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in the states it is 1 year and 20 pounds before you can go FF. however, there are paramedics who recommend you keep the car seat RF until 18 months even if their legs are scrunched. if you are ever unsure of the right thing to do, contact your local police station/sheriff's department. they will let you know the laws and the sheriff dept.s in the states usually hold a car seat check point once a month. you can look it up online for your local sheriff's times.

[deleted account]

Just wondering which car seat you have that allows RF to 55 lbs. The last I knew, and I'm a nationally certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, the Graco My Ride 65 went to 40 lbs. RF and that is the highest-weight RF seat available in the U.S.

Koko - posted on 01/14/2010

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Check with CHP or fire station near by. It is a State Law.
You get fine if your baby isn't strapped right.

Ailsa - posted on 01/14/2010

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I would say get a new car seat with the instructions, too save confusion when I had my babies they faced the rear of the car in the baby capsule

Becky - posted on 01/14/2010

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Every seat is different. Go online and you can get the instructions from the manufacturer to make sure you have the right information.

Amanda - posted on 01/14/2010

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Your child can not go forward facing until they are 1 year old and 20pounds. don't switch a rear facing seat unless it is a convertible seat that does go from rear facing to forward facing. you should be able to find more information on your seating by visiting the manufacturer's website.

Theresa - posted on 01/14/2010

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Dana said "Don't listen to manufacturer, they just make seats, not policy." You also need to follow the manufacturer guidelines. They may not make policy, but they do test the seats. The guidelines they put on there are saying that they have not been tested for weights above or below, therefore they don't know what would happen in an accident. You have to follow your laws first, but never go past the manufacturers guide lines either. If the baby's weight exceeds the max for the car seat, but is not enough to meat the laws requirement you need to buy a bigger car seat. Look up the laws were you live. The law is the minimum legal height/weight/age. However that does not mean you have to switch when they reach that, you can keep them rear facing longer. It is safer. Once your child has reached the laws minimums it is your choice.

Valerie - posted on 01/14/2010

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I just heard research that said that children are I think it was 45% safer facing backward than forward until they are two. I always thought that it was one, but have kept the little girl I am babysitting rearfacing and she is fifteen months

Karri - posted on 01/14/2010

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Your Not supposed to sit them in a front facing baby seat until they are 1yo. There are reports out there that say 1yo is still too young, and if u are in a crash they do not have the strength to hold there head up and could get very hurt. My son was 1yo before i started using a forward facing baby seat.

Robyn - posted on 01/14/2010

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my baby's doc says one year no and at least 20lbs. apparently it has something to with whiplash.

Sarah - posted on 01/14/2010

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The law in the US is 1year AND 20lbs. However, no matter where you live, rear-facing is exponentially safer! My son is almost 17 months old and is still rear-facing. He'll continue to be rear-facing until he is 35lbs (the rear-facing weight limit on his carseat). If you're undecided, check out some carseat crash test videos on YouTube. Scary stuff.

Dana - posted on 01/14/2010

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Yes, turn it back around. She's too young to be turned around. In the US the laws are changing to extend it past one year up to two yrs. Don't listen to manufacturer, they just make seats, not policy.

Tabatha - posted on 01/14/2010

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Definitely check with the laws in each state, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed it's beliefs that children should be rear facing at 1year AND 22lbs to they should stay rear facing until they max out the weight limit and get ready to transistion to a booster. There is so much research supporting that it is safer to keep them rear facing as long as possible. Even if their legs are too long. It is better in an accident to risk a broken leg than death from internal decapitation and a broken neck. My child is 17 months old and still rear facing and my friends 4 year old is still rear facing. I encourage you to do all the research that you can on the subject.

Flora - posted on 01/14/2010

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Depends on the seat. My daughter turned the seat when her boy was 9 months.
I would advise to wait a bit longer.

Michelle - posted on 01/14/2010

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I would call the Department of transportation and ask the question. Most civilized states will help and guide you. If your state has a mandatory law stating the one year old or weight requirement - you should follow it for the safety of your child.

Marsha - posted on 01/14/2010

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usually at 1yr old or 20lbs ,ck your state on seatbelt laws ,they have a list about car seats and boosters seats

Stacie - posted on 01/14/2010

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The laws in Canada are also 20 lbs or one year, but I would recomend that you leave your child backward facing until they are no longer withing the weight range of the backward facing seat. there is less chance of neck damage in an accident if your child is sitting backwards

Joanne - posted on 01/14/2010

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you should wait until they are one year old. It is safer for them to be rear facing so why rush

Dawn - posted on 01/14/2010

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As late as possible - it's MUCH safer to have her facing away from the front of the car.



dxx

Adrienne - posted on 01/14/2010

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I know you know by now the weight is 20lbs and age 1 year old. I dont care wehre you live its a good idea to do it for at least this long. This isnt to say that once they are 20lbs they can be foward .....must be both. I am a pediatric nurse and find that people are so excited to turn them around so they can see them while driving that they do it early. I myself wanted to but knew the safety risks were to high.

Caroline - posted on 01/14/2010

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I'm in the UK and I've tended to keep mine in rear facing as long as they will tolerate it, but then I take them into a fully reclined, breast strapped, forward facing that has really good head support. I feel they are safe in this from about 9 months, but I stretch it if I can! Definately NOT at 4 months - legs touching the back of the car seat are not going to bother your baby - in fact little babies love to kick against something - it's good for their muscle development :D

[deleted account]

Most state's have laws that don't allow you to turn your baby around until they are AT LEAST 1 year old AND at least 20 lbs. The safest thing you can do is keep them rear-facing until they reach the upper rear-facing weight limit of the seat, in most cases with convertible seats, that's anywhere from 30-40 lbs., depending on which model of seat you have. Babies' spinal cords are not strong enough to withstand the force of being forward-facing in a crash, so the longer you can keep them rear-facing, which provides a lot more head/neck/back protection by cradling them and protecting their vitals than forward-facing, the safer they will be.

Connie - posted on 01/14/2010

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My recommendation would be to follow the info on most car seats: when the baby is 1 year of age, or weighs 20 pounds. Best of luck!

Linda - posted on 01/14/2010

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You should really talk to your Pediatrician. My thing is, do NOT face her forward until she past her 12 month milestone AND weighs over 20 lbs. But still, do ask your Pediatrician, they know best, sometimes, you also take into account the length of your baby too.

Autumn - posted on 01/14/2010

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Both of my kids went forward-facing at around 10-11 months. I had giant children so they exceeded the weight limit fairly early. I do think 4 months is a bit early though.

Katherine - posted on 01/14/2010

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That is VERY interesting that laws are so different in other countries. Not just a tad, but major. Maybe car accident stats? Wonder what criteria they go by.

Melissa - posted on 01/14/2010

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Just be sure your bub is strong enough to cope with any sudden braking, this means that her neck is strong enough to be supported by the her car seat. If in doubt then wait a bit longer. Not all bubs are ready at recomended ages, according to instructions. it really is an individual bub thing. trust your gut feeling.

Mel - posted on 01/14/2010

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well my answer was to Tiffany specifcally when I said whenever she wants as her child was 8 kilos. Its not like I run around telling people with new babies to forward face lol. It does say 6 months and yes nowadays it is 6 months and 8 kilos.

Jodi - posted on 01/14/2010

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Thanks Melissa, very helpful. So its not really "whenever you want", because it does specify at least 6 months. Thanks for the extra information :P

Mel - posted on 01/14/2010

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I dont normaly go on the net looking for info but fiance checked my emails and decided to :)

Mel - posted on 01/14/2010

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Toddler Restraints
Suitable for children from:

Minimum 8kg in weight
Good head control
At least six to nine months of age
Suitable for children up to:

18kg in weight
Eye level in line with the top of the back of the restraint
Approximately four years of age
Use either:

A convertible restraint - forward facing
A combination restraint - with in-built harness
A toddler restraint

A summary of the proposed changes are:

•Children up to 6 months must be in rear facing restraint
•Children up to 4 years must be in a restraint with an internal 5 point harness
•Children 4 to 7 years must be in booster seat
•Children under 4 not permitted in front seat & under 7 not permitted in front seat unless all rear seats are occupied by children less than 4yrs
•There will be exemptions for children outside weight / size guidelines for existing restraints

This is the laws in Wesern Australia

Rebecca - posted on 01/14/2010

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In the uk you can buy the next stage carseat (forward facing ones) that also go rear facing I got my son one of these as his feet were pushed up against the seat and he looked uncomftable. He had alot more room rear facing in this one as the seat is so much bigger. I have just turned him round he is 11 months old.

Johnny - posted on 01/14/2010

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I'm not sure what the rush would be to turn them around? Because they aren't enjoying the scenery? Because their legs are a bit squished? As many previous posters have noted, turning a child front facing before the legal requirements and safety recommendations puts a baby at serious risk of internal decapitation and other life threatening injuries. What inconvenience could possibly be so great that it is worth the risk to a babies life?

To the OP, you have received some fantastic advise and recommendations by many other posters. Please try to ignore those that do not have your child's best interests at heart and wish you to endanger your little darling by turning her too soon.

Jodi - posted on 01/14/2010

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For those who are unsure of the KG to LB conversion, the 9KG specified in our most recent laws is 19.8LB. So almost 20lb anyway. So the age may be a way off in Australia, but the weight isn't so different :). I guess it has just allowed for the fact that heavier babies may reach that weight earlier.

For instance, my son was HUGE at that age, and he reached the 8kg that was law when he was a baby before he was 6 months old (I think he was about 4 months), so the 6 months was the guideline I used. My daughter didn't reach that weight until she was much older, so I used her wieght as the guideline.

Amie - posted on 01/13/2010

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Canada's laws:

RF is 22 lbs at least. They recommend longer though so long as baby fits correctly in the seat since bigger RF seats can be bought now and are proven safer.

Once they are in FF though the seat must not be more than 10 years old if buying used and have never been in a crash. If one is it is recommended to replace it right away since the seat may be compromised. Car seats here also come with the UAS (Universal Anchorage System) tethers. The top tether strap MUST be used to anchor the back of the FF seat to the vehicle's seat. If a vehicle does not have the anchor to attach the tether you should contact a dealership to install one.

Booster seats are moved onto when they are about 4 and a half years old and close 40 lbs. It is best to shop around to find the proper booster for child (belt should come across chest and over legs) and your vehicle.

To get out of a booster seat a child must be either 9 years old, 80 lbs. or 4 ft. 9 in. tall. When one of those criteria are met they can be moved out of a booster into the vehicle seat.

This is all current information as of September 14, 2009 and can be found on the Transport Canada website. Interesting how different it is in different countries though isn't it?

Bonnie - posted on 01/13/2010

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we changed it when my son was 20 pounds. thats the law, they cannot be in afront facing car seat until they are 20 pounds and can hold up their nown head. in canada

Florencia - posted on 01/13/2010

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I live in Ohio and i know that the laws have changed a little. There are classes you can take on how to properly fasten your car seat in your car. I know that you should be able to go to the police station or fire station or hospital and someone will be able to show you. A lot of people actually put their babies in the wrong size car seats or strap them in the wrong way ect. simply from lack of knowledge, myself included. Did u know the shoulder straps are supposed to be behind and below your babies shoulders? I know on the car seats it should tell you weight and age or you can call your local police station, or your pediatrician and I'm sure they would be able to tell you. I wanted to make something clear though i see a few others posting but a lot times its simply over looked, it is BOTH AGE AND WEIGHT like i think her in Ohio it is 1year old AND 22lbs. Not just if they 1 you can forward face or if they're 22lbs you can forward face. If they are not at least 22lbs AND a year old then it is against the law to have them forward facing. Either way I hope for all of us moms the safety of our babies comes before what is more of a convenience for us.

Jodi - posted on 01/13/2010

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Melissa, my daughter has always been around the 3rd percentile in her weight, so using low weight as an excuse for moving a child early is bullshit. Taylah is almost 5 and still in a 5 point harness (she is still only around 15kg), and I kept her in the rear facing capsule (which is what they were back then, and 8kg was the guideline for those things) until she was about 10 months old, because she was only 8.5kg at 12 months. The laws are merely a basic minimum guideline. As a mother you need to assess the safest option for your baby, but safe is not "whenever you want".

Anyway, just to clarify, the law is 9kg, not 6-8kg as you stated. I put a link to the laws in NT. That extra 1kg can make a huge difference.

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