Forward facing carseats

Rebecca - posted on 12/14/2010 ( 28 moms have responded )

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My little girl is 16 months and only 17 and a 1/2 lbs and i was thinking about putting her forward facing. What are you thoughts?

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Lindsay - posted on 12/20/2010

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The absolute bare minimum is 20 pounds in the US. The AAP now states that children need to rearface atleast to their 2nd birthday. My daughter didn't hit 20 pounds til she was 18 months. She is now 27 months and just recently went forward facing, but I am considering turning her back to rf for the winter. If you want confirmation of this new info go to www.car-seat.org that is a car seat safety site run by CPST's they can answer all of your questions.

Bri - posted on 12/20/2010

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Bri Adkins posted exactly what I was going to post! Please watch those videos and they will clearly illustrate why rear facing is so important! My daughter is almost 2 and is still rear facing and she will be until she reaches 35 pounds (or the height limit, which is probably what will happen first).

Christine - posted on 12/29/2010

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NO WAY!!! It's over 20lbs. My daughter was 20 months old before she went forward at 21 lbs. Since our daughter was so light my doctor made sure at her 12 month appt that we waited until she was 21 lbs before we turned her...She was 18 1/2 at her 18 month and he told us weight 3 to 4 months and to weigh her first. I know it's a pain when they don't fit. We had to buy new car seats, but we bought the convertible ones so they could go forward or backwards, it gave her more room.

Kristin - posted on 12/28/2010

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The law everywhere in the US is one year AND 20 pounds. Wait. Rear facing is safer. In an impact the force from their head moving is moved into the seat rather than whipping forward and jostling their brain and torquing their necks.

I kept both of my older boys rear facing until they were 18 months and would not tolerate it any longer (meaning I didn't want to listen to the shrieking anymore). They were also small and didn't hit 20 Lbs until about 15 to 18 months.

[deleted account]

I live in Canada where the law states you must be 1 year and 20 lbs to go forward facing. They recommend keeping rear-facing as long as possible though. I saw someone post that they had put their 3 year old into a booster seat at 35lbs. The law in Canada for booster seats is 4 yrs old, 40 inches and 40 lbs. My son is almost six and still in his 5 point harness as is my 4 year old daughter. Rear facing is the safest and 5 point harness for as long as possible is also the best. This is not something that should be rushed. I don't know where you are from, but those are the laws where I come from and we have car seat checks by the police on a regular basis to check to compliance of laws and whether the seats are properly installed. By the way, both my kids are quite small as well. My son wasn't 20 pounds until he was 22 months so I understand how you feel. Hope that helps and good luck making your decision...

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Crystal - posted on 12/30/2010

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Even though she is 16 months she is not big enough the law in il is that they are atleast 20lbs even if there 1yr they need to face backward till 2olbs my youngest is 16 months and 21lbs i turned her around but now regret it and plan on turning rf again atleast through the winter and she gains a few more pounds a grows a couple more inches they are safer backwards you should definetly keep her rf for a while longer

Alice - posted on 12/28/2010

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I switched my daughter to forward facing in our convertible seat at ~ 30 lbs when she had just turned 4. This was my choice for her because I have always read that rear-facing is safer. Never once have I heard otherwise. My recomendation would be for you to have your child rear-facing as long as possible.

Ellen - posted on 12/24/2010

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The law states over 1 year AND 20 pounds. I would wait until she is 20 pounds, this would be the safest choice. My daughter was tiny too, she was backwards until she was almost 2 years old!

Krista - posted on 12/24/2010

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Yes, I believe that throughout the U.S., the regulation says that they have to have reached 1 year old AND 20 lbs. So if she's over a year old but isn't 20 lbs yet, then legally, you have to wait until she is.

Christine - posted on 12/23/2010

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Check the regulations for your state. I waited until my daughter hit the 20 lb mark at 14 months...I believe that most say to keep them rear facing as long as possible b/c that is the safest position.

Sharon - posted on 12/23/2010

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The longer you can keep them rear facing, the better! But if you have to switch, I believe they must be 20 pounds! We had to turn our son around since we couldn't sit in the front passenger seat with it rear facing. After nearly two years of being in the backseat, I decided it was time to be up front with my Hubby.

JENNIFER - posted on 12/21/2010

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Children are aloud to sit is forward facing car seat after they reach the 1st birthday

Danielle - posted on 12/20/2010

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Most forward facing carseats recommend your child be either a certain weight or a certain length to switch. If she meets the length requirements I'd be okay with switching her but if she doesn't meet either the weight or length requirements, keep her in a rear facing seat. Better to be safe than sorry. Although I do understand wanting to switch your child around. It's always nice being able to see them when you look behind you.

Erin - posted on 12/18/2010

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My son is 14 months old. And has been in the forward facing carseat since he was 12 months old... I think it sould be ok.... Most forward facing is 15lbs facing forward... But that is by new Zealand standards....

Bri - posted on 12/17/2010

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1. Every state has a minimum weight and often height requirement for rear vs. forward facing. This is a MINIMUM! The only maximum in place is the limitations of the car seats manufacturers specifications.

There are a number of expert websites (transportation safety administration, etc) that clarify the point Katie originally posted on and someone else corrected. A child in a rear facing seat whose legs extend beyond the car seat and therefore are perhaps touching the back of the vehicle seat are actually not likely to incur injury because of the physics of accidents/momentum/force. And an injured leg is repairable whereas death is not.

Take a few minutes and watch some of these videos- I’ve added a few notes of thought…. Then maybe you will understand that taking the time and making the effort can mean the difference between life and death for your child. Other videos that I didn’t include were one that emphasize the importance of everyone else being buckled up- how good is it to have Alice buckled if others in the car aren’t bucked and go flying in an accident… that car seat isn’t designed to protect from flying adult bodies.

3. We turned our first forward facing after a year because the recommendation at that time was 1 yr and we didn't know better. The recommendation has since been updated to rearfacing till age 2 and I have read up from many european countries where children stay rearfacing up to age 3 (weight/height permitting). Since our 4 yr old is forward facing and has been for 3 years, we did at least buy her a big girl car seat that will keep her in a 5 point harness till 65#. Safe is always best.

4. Regardless of your choice to RF or FF, the most important key is correct installation of the seat, correct installation of child IN the seat.

Here are some car seat videos for reference, might influence your decision:
http://www.oeamtc.at/netautor/html_seite...

Krista - posted on 12/17/2010

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Teresa's correct.

Think about the weight of a child's head in comparison to their body. Proportionally, they have really big heads. So you've got this big, heavy noggin on top of this little noodle neck. (Heck, think about how many adults get bad whiplash in car accidents, and those are strong adult necks with a proportionally smaller head, right?)

Children who are front-facing too early have sometimes been in accidents and been internally decapitated. Basically, their skull becomes unattached from their spine. Some die from it. Others are paralyzed from the neck down for life. Best case scenario is surgery followed by months of physical therapy.

What's a broken leg compared to that?

Keep your daughter rear-facing for as long as possible. I bought the Graco MyRide 65 car seat, which allows them to stay rear-facing up to 40lbs, and I have every intention of keeping him rear-facing until then, even if it means his knees are up around his ears.

Katie - posted on 12/17/2010

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Haha, it's funny that you mentioned that about my post. I've been feeling funny about that comment ever since I posted it. A friend (of a friend, actually) told me that her doctor really got angry with her by having her little one in a car seat with her legs dangling over the end and that she should have more sense and blah blah blah. I, personally never understood the big deal, that's why we have knees, right? Anyway, I should know better than to pass out second hand information. Thanks for calling me on it. :)

[deleted account]

Katie, actually it isn't dangerous for their legs to be crumpled up. And even if they WERE to break a leg (as far as I know there are no documented cases of this), a broken leg is nothing compared to what COULD happen if they are forward facing too soon.

Heather - posted on 12/16/2010

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look at the law in your state. I live in RI and it is they have to be 1 AND 20lbs before facing forward. That being said it is safer to stay backwards so i kept my kids backwards till they were close to 2 (and they were both big...they both weighed 20lbs by 5 months old so were well over that by their 1st birthday) (my 31/2 yr old will often still sit backwards becasue i have a britax backwards in my car all the time for extra kids who are smaller and the straps adjust up easily and he likes to sit backwards so he can whenever he wants) I say keep her backwards for quite awhile longer to keep her safer. I also believe that you should always ayre on the side of safety. My oldest is now 7 and still in a 5pt harness carseat not even a booster. He is old enough and heavy enough by law to be in a booster but i like to keep him safe.

Katie - posted on 12/16/2010

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I was told that as long as a baby could rise to a stand from sitting with no support, not holding anything, then the spine was sufficiently developed for a forward facing seat. That being said, I would still wait until she was at least 20lbs, as long as her legs aren't all crumpled up as that's dangerous too.

Rachel - posted on 12/16/2010

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It is safer for her to stay in a rear facing seat as long as possible. They make convertible carseats with higher weight limits than infant seats. If I could have known all that I know now I would still have my daughter rear facing and she is going to be 3 in feb and she is only 27 lbs and her seat can go up to 35 lbs rear facing. But I turned her around at about 18 months and I can't get her to go back.

Stina - posted on 12/15/2010

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like someone said above..in most states they have to be at least one year and weigh a certain amount...so i would definitely check the seat belt/car seat laws to find out what they recommend...but rear facing is definitely the safest for as long as possible...if their leggies get too long try to cross em indian style and make it fun with toys and stuff

Nikkole - posted on 12/15/2010

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My son was switched at 12months he has always been on the tall side and his poor legs were going up the seat and he was the right weight so we switched we just switched to the booster seat he is 3 and weighs 32 pounds

Meghan - posted on 12/14/2010

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Where I live the states they have to be at least a year and at least 20 lbs. You mite want to look into your areas law.

[deleted account]

I'll just tell you that my son is 2 years 8 months and 30 pounds.... and is still rearfacing. That should tell you what my thoughts are. ;) He'll probably be getting too big to rear face w/in the next few months and I HATE the thought of having him forward facing. Rear is SO much safer.

Suzanne - posted on 12/14/2010

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There is no need to rush turning her car seat around since rear facing is the safest position for a child during an accident. Like the other moms said, 20 pounds is the mimimum weight for facing forward in a car seat. Although the minimum weight is 20 pounds, our doctor strongly recommended keeping our son rear facing as long as possible-- ideally until age 2. We ended up turning his car seat around when he was 19 months old.

Nicole - posted on 12/14/2010

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The longer you can keep her backwards the better but I also believe they have to be at least 20lbs before they can be facing forward. Check with the forward facing seat(most have a minimum weight) and confirm with your doctor.

Nichole - posted on 12/14/2010

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I think they are suppose to wiegh at least 20 lbs. As tiny as she is, I keep her backwards. My son I switched at 12 months, but he was 27 pounds/33inches.

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