When is it time for a forward facing car seat??

Rebecca - posted on 09/13/2011 ( 101 moms have responded )

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My daughters infant car seat has a weight limit of 20 lbs. So she grew out of it a couple weeks ago, but i dont drive so the only time she's ever in a car is when she goes out with her nana which is only once every couple months. The 3 in 1 car seats are very expensive (around $200-$400 maybe more) so i think it would be a waste of money because she will barely use it.
She sits up on her own and is very sturdy when she does so.
do you think that she will be ready for a forward facing car seat?

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Tiffany - posted on 09/21/2011

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The money is worth the safety.
Driving with nana once a month doesnt make her more safe in a car. Personal opinio - I'd spend the money and get the rear facing seat up to 40lbs, and then you have it to pass down to new children, sell or whatever once she's over that weight. The 20lbs front facing thing we do here in north america is a werird phenomenon. No where else in the world turns thier children forward until they're closer to age 4. The chance of a broken neck in a forward facing car is something like 95% higher than in a rear facing. Think about it.

Miriam - posted on 09/20/2011

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defenetly check with your state. my oldest is 9 and 5 foot tall, i stoped using a booster when he was 6 and maybe 4' 7" or so because there are grown ups driving that are that height :+) he always wore a seat belt and it fit him fine so that was good, plus my husband who is a police officer said it was not against the law. he also said that on a wreck(the many he has worked) it all depends on how it happens and the car you drive which is safer if facing forward or backward . So pray before you leave your house and be safe! :+0

[deleted account]

I would look up laws in your area.... however 20 lbs is still small to have her foward facing. There are car seats that are adjustable and can be switched from rear facing to foward facing and go all the way from birth up to booster seat. They are pricey but worth it considering the recommendation now is for kids to be in a booster until they are 4' 11" which is for most children around 7-9 years of age.

Melissa - posted on 09/20/2011

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That is true, just because you have a big baby doesn't mean he/she is able to support their head weight. My sister-in-law was telling me that one of her mom's grandchildren weighs 24lbs and is only 4 months! There is no way that, that baby could possibly hold his head up and have control of his muscles to be in a face-forward seat. You have to know your baby and what your baby is capable of, although you think you will never get in an accident, you don't know when it can happen. It's about safety, oppose to what you (the parent) would rather have. Also, check the state's requirements, because I am pretty sure all states do have them and then they have recommendations.

[deleted account]

It's more about their neck muscles/bones developing (so they don't break their neck/have internal decapititation and die...) than anything.... and that comes w/ age more than size.

Melissa - posted on 09/20/2011

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The law in TX is 1 & 22lbs, but sometimes that isn't feasible. Now they are recommending 30lbs which is around 2 and sometimes 3. I personally switched my son to a front-facing car seat at 11 months. They do have the rear-facing, front-facing car seats at Walmart for pretty decent prices. We got our front-facing for about $60, but I saw the dual ones for about $85-$100 and up (of course).

Miriam - posted on 09/20/2011

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Our twins are 8 months old and we just changed them to a bigger car seat this weekend. they were in the infant baby seat (bucket seat) we bought them a car seat that's from 5lbs to 100lbs. they are still rear facing though. they are also tall and about 20lbs each so their feet and head was out of their bucket seat already which is more dangerous than anything! When my oldest son who is nine now turned 1 I changed him to facing the front. it all depends on the weight and height of the child we are also tall and our kids as well. I live in TX. I know the law used to be 20, I think the pedi. recomended 30, but My husband,s a police officer as well and he didnt see a problem with it. my son was maybe 25-27lbs when he was 1. I plan on doing the same with my twins. but yes even if its once in a while that your daughter goes out she needs a proper fitting chair!!

Brittni - posted on 09/19/2011

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Do research online sometimes you can find car seats cheap like on ebay or get coupons by ordering it online through some stores. But I said the same thing about convertible car seats being so expensive but we ended up getting one anyway because it will save you money if you find the right deal. You wont ever have to buy another seat if you do research.

Monica - posted on 09/19/2011

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Juli- we live in Tennessee. The law was passed about a month ago. Because one reason was parents were turning them face forward before they were ready amongst other situations. Something like this you should not google and hopefully most parents know that. You need to call your local police department. My dad is the chief of police and he is the first one to know the correct answer. I wish you the best

Chandra - posted on 09/18/2011

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I have 4 close friends who have children and yes they were all in wrecks. 2 were actually in 2 of course all at different times but their children were front facing. One hit a pole doing about 50mph after being almost take out on the highway by another car who went from the inside lane straight to the off ramp. Her son was fine nothing wrong she however had some internal bleeding from her seatbelt and had to stay in the hospitol for 2.5 weeks. One of them had just changed her 13 month old daughter who weighed 19lbs that very morning and she was Tboned coming home later that evening. In the last 2 months Ive had 2 different friends get rear ended both cars were total but their children were just fine --Ones daughter is about 11 months but weighs 24lbs. The others son is 14months but weighs 20lbs. I thought I included my wreck in my last post but must not have. When I was making a left turn on a green arrow when my back end of a 2000 dodge neon was struck by a driving who was driving a Van We were spun completly around before my front end bounced off a light pole My car was total. My back axel snapped like a twig. My son was in a front facing car seat---this was in Feb so he was 27months and 29lbs. I had severe bruising from the seatbelt and was slammed around pretty good cause we struck the pole about a foot from my driver side door. I jammed up my knee and fracture my left hip. I have had to do PT several time and have surgery on my knee. I only have trouble with my hip and knee a every now and again and I just go back in for some PT sessions. My son actually was laughing as they were taking me out and the paramedic said he was a lil upset and kept asking for me but then about 5mins later was making facing and being goofy which is totally my son. IDK if keeping our children in the middle of the back seat helps or not but thats another fact that is common among my friends and I. There are 5 cases where our child were in a frontfacing carseat and were better than us moms Which is something all of laugh about. Like I have said No one knows how anything will for sure happen we all take risks I guess by just breathing. I have my faith however I dont just rely on the GOD will save me attitude I take in information that I recieved from people who I trust and feel know what they are talking about. No one should judge how another parent chooses to handle situations where children arent being abused, neglected, or not taken care of. We all make different parenting choices and thats just fine. What someone else feels and thinks and works for them doesnt mean that will work for me. I only tell people what I have done with my child and then expect them to do what they feel is best for them with they have heard from different sources. I dont want someone to do something just because I say thats what I did. You have your soap box issues and I have mine both differ but thats just fine as long as we do what we feel is what our child(ren) need.

[deleted account]

"All of my close friends that I know and whose children Ive seen from infants up have all changed to front facing at around 1 none of their children were ever injuried."

Were they ever in accidents after turning their children forward facing? If they were then that's wonderful that their children are fine. If not, then you can't say they weren't injured, they were just lucky enough to not be in an accident.

Chandra - posted on 09/18/2011

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Well I went with what my doctor suggested all of the doctors in the office all say the same thing. This isnt just what Ive been told by my doctor. Other people I know who have doctors different than my sons. Also my family's friend also told me that changing him to a frontfacing was just find because he had reached the weight limit and had great head control. I dont see how all these different people could all be wrong according to what you are saying. These are doctors and a person who helps install and properly secure children into carseats. We as parents seek advice and decide what we (indivdually) do with our children. My son is now almost 3 so its really not an issue anymore for him. But although laws are changing in different places at different times they arent all the same and dont all support the evidence you support. I made my decision and theres nothing I can do now. All of my close friends that I know and whose children Ive seen from infants up have all changed to front facing at around 1 none of their children were ever injuried.

Her daughter isnt really living the life she should have been..shes on a feeding tube has seizures in a wheel chair has around the clock care She isnt the happy 4 year old she should be. No one other than GOD knows if being rear or front facing would make a difference in her case or any other. My friend says that her mother wishes she would have turned her around but No One knows if that would have mattered or not or if it would have been worse or not. No one knows exactly for sure whats going to happen to a person. Seatbelts have not only saved lives but have also taken lives. Everyone take information and decides whats best for them and theirs thats all that matter.

Julie - posted on 09/18/2011

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Apparently there is a language barier here because when I read the post talking about a infant car seat. I assumed we were talking about an infant car seat that's why I asked where the law was that you had to be 2

[deleted account]

"By the time my daughter was 8 months it was physically impossible to have her in a rear facing seat."

This is what you said. There are many convertible seats that can keep your child rear facing much longer than an infant bucket seat.

[deleted account]

I'm aware that's why a convertible seat is the best choice. That way they can stay rear facing much longer. This is the link I was talking about:
http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/RFAlbum...
If you click each picture you can see how the child is sitting. They are all much older toddlers/children. The oldest is almost 6 and was just then getting ready to go forward facing.

Julie - posted on 09/18/2011

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I'm not quite sure how tall you and your husband are but we are all over 6 ft tall. With some relatives that are at least 7 foot so yes my daughter is very tall

[deleted account]

Julie, if my 2 year old (and much older children in the link earlier in the thread) can ride rear facing then there's no way it's physically impossible for an 8 month old in a convertible seat. Feet touching the seat is fine and when their legs get longer they simply bend them.

Jessica - posted on 09/18/2011

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Contact your local fire department. They know all of your state and local carseat laws and if you need the help in purchasing one they can point you in the right direction.

Julie - posted on 09/18/2011

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When and where did they pass a law that your child has to be 2 to have a forward facing car seat? My children have always been off the chart in height. By the time my daughter was 8 months it was physically impossible to have her in a rear facing seat. There are car seats that are under $100. More exspensive doesn't mean better. Exceeding the weight limit on the car seats are a saftey issue.

Monica - posted on 09/18/2011

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Also there are a lot of car seats that are not expensive and are very safe. Graco is rated up at the top. And will last for years so you get your money's worth without having to buy one every year

Monica - posted on 09/18/2011

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They recently passed a law. Your child has to be at least 20 pounds and 2 years old. It used to be when they turned 1, but not anymore.

Samantha - posted on 09/18/2011

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Ontario's new law will be 1 year, 22lbs and walking unassisted as of January 1st 2012. In fact that will be the law right across Canada.



Its 5 Times safeR to have children under the age of 2 rear-facing to the limits of their seats. This is largely due to the child's bone structure not being able to properly support a their head and neck in a collision. So in a rear-facing seat, they are cradled in the seat, and the forces are distributed over the whole seat, rather than just the harness straps.



I would encourage you to google extended rear-facing, and especially check out http://www.joelsjourney.org/



Samantha

- CRST

Krista - posted on 09/18/2011

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The thing is, Chandra...it's not just about head control.

Little kids' heads take up a huge percentage of their total body weight.

Adults have stronger necks and (proportionally) smaller heads than little kids do.

So when you have a toddler who is front-facing, and they're in a collision, that heavy head is flying forward, wrenching on that tiny little neck. And in some cases, it does actually result in the head detaching from the spine.

I realize that your friend's child was injured, and I'm very sorry that happened. But it doesn't change the fact that this child is still alive. If she had been front-facing, she might not have been.

Based on the information that we have, rear-facing IS considerably safer. So that is what I'm going to go by.

Chandra - posted on 09/17/2011

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I was actually wrong we moved him front facing at 1yr cause it was a birthday present I got the time wrong but as you can see from my post I said "with or without his wintercoat" This is part of what I posted earlier **My son 10months but his upper body is so thick that with or without his winter coat at the time we couldnt get the carseat buckled and when we did it was way to tight.** What I should have said was towards the end even without his winter coat the straps were to tight. The rearfacing only went to 20lbs and he was already 23 at the time I bought one of the 3 in 1 convertible car seats that goes from 20lbs up to I think 50lbs but I could be wrong cause Ive always figured by the time he gets that big I will buy a different newer one anyway cause its already getting beat up one of the arm rests is broken and the snack tray doesnt always want to stay on and the covering is getting really worn out.

I understand that you have all these statistics but not every situation is reported I actually have a friends whose cousins child was in a rear facing carseat 2yrs ago and was in an accident where she was rear ended and then 2 more cars got caught in the pile up. Her child ended up with brain damage cause from swelling and bleeding I also dont know exactly what she suffered but I do know its related to her brain but she also a broken leg and arm. She is now almost 4 and has disabilities that she got from the accident. She was in an accident where is was rearended which isnt always the case in most wrecks even in a rearfacing carseat injuries worse than breaking a leg.

Im always thinking about my sons safety and I make sure to check how is carseat is fitting at least once a month and especially after I wash it. At almost 3 he still sits in the middle of the backseat. I was not just looking at the law aspect but also what his doctor recommended I brought him in his infant carseat and showed his doctor what the issue was he said that it being to tight was a great concern and that with his head control it would be just fine to switch him to a front facing carseat. I took the carseat and CJ to a family friend who helps put on the events where they show you how to properly install your carseat and also make sure the child is secured in right.

Krista - posted on 09/17/2011

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Another good way to deal with the winter coat issue is to take them out to the car with their coat on, put them in the car seat, unzip their coat and fasten the car seat buckles over their chest, and then zip the coat up OVER the car seat straps.

So the kid would look like this image: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__YRGsbAvXcI/TP...

And then you zip up the coat, and presto! Nice and toasty, but properly secured.

My kid just turned two, and he's a lunk: 3 ft tall and 32lbs already. But his car seat rear-faces to 40 lbs, and I am NOT front-facing him until then. His knees bend just fine, and it's not like he knows any differently, so he doesn't complain about being rear-facing. That's why I'm always baffled about these parents who say that their 4-month old just likes front-facing better. I always want to ask, "And precisely WHY did you give them the opportunity to figure that out?"

[deleted account]

Totally Sara. I admit that my twin girls were forward facing about a week before their first bday, but I just didn't think much about safety at the time. My son, on the other hand, as I've said many times was rearfacing til 3.25. I don't know how big some of these forward facing babies are, but are they all bigger than 31 pounds and 3 feet (approximately)? Following the law is the bare minimum, but safety is the first concern and the law is currently lacking on that.

[deleted account]

Eeeeek, wow. K, first of all, heavy winter coats MUST be removed when they are strapped into their seats. If you live in an area that's really cold then have a blanket out in the car to put over them after they are stapped. In the winter we start the car so it warms, take her out with a coat on and put her in the car, take the coat off then strap her in and put a blanket over her. You cannot tighten the straps properly if they have a big, bulky coat on. This could cause them to be ejected from the seat in a crash.



Again, there have been no reported cases of children breaking their legs from being rear facing, but there have been many of older toddlers (not just infants) breaking their NECKS from being forward facing. I'm not sure what this "more than breaking the legs" could be that's worse than internal decapitation/death from being forward facing. Being rear facing is the safest way to ride. And if you look at the link I posted there is an almost 6 year old rear facing. There's no way your 9 month, 12 month, 18 month, etc. child is bigger than that 6 year old.



Do your reseach. Not just on when to forward face, but how to properly strap them in the seat. The straps should be tightened so that you can't pinch any excess of the strap at their shoulder, the chest clip should be at armpit level and no bulky coats.



Sorry for the bluntness, but this is an issue that I (and every parent) should take very seriously.

Rebecca - posted on 09/16/2011

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Thank you for all the advice girls :) i found a really nice one at walmart for $90 and it is a 2 in 1. and yes in ontario the law is 1yr OR 20 lbs so i wasnt sure what i should do because my daughter is 22 lbs and very tall but she is only 6 months old.

Becki - posted on 09/16/2011

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Thank you Chandra...unfortunately my doctor is a new mom herself so she's all about following all the rules. My son's 10 months and doesn't quite fit in the rearfacing seat just because he's huge. As soon as I have money to get a convertible one he'll be going front facing.

Chandra - posted on 09/15/2011

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Oh and his Doctor said the reason it was 1yr or 20lbs was cause you could have a 1yr who was under 20lbs or a baby who was 20lbs or more but not 1yr.

Chandra - posted on 09/15/2011

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I talked to my childs Doctor cause I had always heard 1yrs old AND 20lbs but he told me its 1yr OR 20lbs My son 10months but his upper body is so thick that with or without his winter coat at the time we couldnt get the carseat buckled and when we did it was way to tight His doctor said that since he had great head control it would be fine to put him frontfacing but I also didnt really have another choice anyways cause he didnt fit in the rearfacing anymore. I always say ask your doc or law enforcement. Every child is different My niece had to go frontfacing because she was so long even with her legs crossed they hung over to much. A friend of mine thats a cop and also her doc said that she should be frontfacing cause she could do more than just break her legs.

Darci - posted on 09/15/2011

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It has always been 1 or 22 pounds here in Utah where I live. They now have recently changed the law here in utah to age 2. Cant be in forward facing till 2, that is crazy I doubt anyone is gonna really follow that. It has been one year or 22 pounds forever and now all of the sudden 2 years old, crazy. Although I know many moms that just had big kids and put them forward facing much earlier then one. My nephew for example has been forward facing since 9 months. He just was too tall and heavy for his car seat at 9 months he was 26 pounds so they had to put him to forward facing. We have the chico key fit infant car seat that goes up to 30 pounds. My son fit in it heighth wise till he was 18 months he is now 2 1/2 and if I was going strictly by weight he could still fit in it he is only 27 pounds and it goes up to 30 but he obviously is too tall by now. We moved him to forward facing at about 15 months. I had a forward facing car seat in my car since I am with him the most and drive him the most. We put the infant one in my husbands car till my son turned 17-18ish months. Since he still fit in it and my husband hardly ever needed to drive him. My husband now has a forward facing one in his car for him when he drives him. So everyone Im sure does it just when their kid out grows their infant car seat I think if your baby is at least 9 months or so she will be fine in a front facing car seat. You could always check if babies r us is having any sales on their 3 in 1 car seats. I have noticed sometimes they will put the modles on sale. The car seats they have out to look at the store, the ones out of their boxes. They are just as good as the ones in the box they havent been used and are equally as good but since they have been sitting on the shelf as the model they cant sell it for full price so check and see if they have one of those on sale.

Liz - posted on 09/15/2011

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I was going to remind you of the same thing Cindy just did, don't go to the US to buy a seat! I was about to do it with my first daughter 4 years ago before I did some research online and quickly learned I'm not allowed to!

Wal-Mart here in Ontario sells the Cosco Scenera carseat for around $70-$90 (I have 3 of them!) and my 3.5 year old daughter is still in hers and she will be until she is old enough to be out of a high back booster (around age 5 to 6). She weighed the 22lbs needed to face forward in Ontario at 6 months but I did not turn her around until she was 14 months old because of the safety factor! You will get at least another 5 years of use from a 3-in-1 seat!

Cindy - posted on 09/15/2011

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It looks like you are in Ontario. I am as well. Here it is required by law to be rear facing until at least 20 lbs but recommended until age 1. Some other provinces have to be rear facing until 1 by law. http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/faq/saf...
I have The First Years True Fit Convertible Car Seat with is on sale right now at Toys R Us for $99. http://www.toysrus.ca/product/index.jsp?...
There are plenty of rear facing car seats available around the $100 mark, especially when they are on sale. Your child will be using the seat until around age 4, older if you get one that converts to a booster as well. I think it's worth $100 for that much use. Also there are many convertible rear facing car seats that are priced about the same as only forward facing ones. Also, in case you don't know it's illegal to use a seat bought in the US in Canada. It sucks because they are generally cheaper there! $110 fine and 2 demerit points for not using the proper seat.

[deleted account]

Way too young. Get a Cosco Scenera. They are cheap and should last you a while. I think in every state it is illegal to have an infant under 1 year forward-facing.

Janice - posted on 09/15/2011

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I'm not sure where your from but my convertible car seat only cost 50$ at Target. I actually did turn my 18 mo. old 21lb daughter forward facing at that time, but I could use it rear facing up to 40lbs.
A child no-matter their weight still does not have strong enough neck muscles to live through an accident forward facing, which is why the recommendation is at least one year but as long as possible. All my friends switched their childs at 1 year but I chose to keep my daughter rear facing through the winter.

[deleted account]

Legs bend and fold just fine though.... better a broken leg (which there are no documented cases of) than a broken neck (which there ARE documented cases of...). ;)

[deleted account]

Not just head room. I'm talking leg room...a child with their knees at their ears doesnt need to be rearfacing lol

[deleted account]

@ Teresa- yep, that's the general rule of thumb that most manufacturers adhere to!

If anyone out there is looking for a good RF seat for a tall kiddo check out the Radian line- they're great seats for tall kids with high weight limits too.

[deleted account]

That's true, but as long as there is at least one inch of hard shell higher than their head.... they should be good. ;) At least I 'think' that's what it was....

[deleted account]

Dont forget rear facing you also need to take in a childs height when they are over the age one 1-2. My daughter is 4 and only weighs 27lbs so she could still be rearfacing but there is no way with her height that would work!

[deleted account]

Brianna, it's recommended to be rear facing til the age of 2, but there is absolutely nothing wrong w/ rear facing til older if they are w/in the weight/height limits of the seat. Adults would be safer if we could rear face. My son's seat can rear face til 35 pounds and since he was 31 pounds at 3.... no reason for him NOT to be rear facing til that age. He could probably still be rear facing, but since I didn't know when he'd hit 35 pounds.... I didn't want to risk rear facing him after that weight.

[deleted account]

It's against the law to FF before age 1, no matter your daughters weight. In addition to that, the AAP is now recommending that kids remain rearfacing until at least age 2. Rearfacing is 5 times safer, forward facing too early puts them in danger of internal decapitation.
http://aapnews.aappublications.org/conte...

If price is a factor (and I totally understand that!) there are plenty of reasonably priced seats that will keep her safe for years to come.
The Cosco Scenera from Target can RF or FF to 40 lbs and can be purchased for only $50 (less when it's on sale)
http://www.target.com/p/Cosco-Scenera-40...
This Britax is on sale for only $109- RF to 35, FF to 50
http://www.target.com/p/Britax-Roundabou...
The My Ride 65 is also a great option- RF to 40, FF to 65,
Here is a girly one for $129, though I've seen them as low as $109
http://www.amazon.com/Graco-Ride-Convert...

I hope one of those options helps and you're able to keep your baby girl safe without breaking the bank :)

Brianna - posted on 09/14/2011

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i dont think they are supposed to be in a backwards facing seats after the age of 2. my daughter was been in a forward facing seat since she was 12 months old

[deleted account]

How old is she? It's best to rear face for as long as possible. I bought my son his current seat (convertible seat) when he was about 9 months old. It was the only seat available where I am at the time that rear faced past 20-22 pounds. It was around $200 and he rear faced in it til 3.25 years old (3 months ago). Now he's forward facing in it and will be for quite a while. $200 (or even more) is not too much for a seat that they can use for 4-5 years. Please consider keeping her rear facing for as long as possible. Even if she's only in a vehicle once every couple of months.... it only takes one accident.

[deleted account]

There are afforable convertible seats. It looks like your daughter is 6 months old (if your profile is correct) so she is definitely too young. Shop around and look for sales. Rear facing is the safest way for baby to be regardless of how rarely she's in the car.

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