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Readers Respond: How Long Did/Will Your Child's Car Seat Stay Rear-Facing? Why?

Responses: 145


From the article: Rear-Facing Car Seats
Most car seat safety advocates recommend that toddlers stay rear-facing in their car seats until they reach the rear-facing limits of the seat. New research shows that toddlers are more than 5 times safer in the car if they stay rear-facing until age two! Are you a believer in extended rear-facing? When did you, or will you, turn your baby's car seat around? Why? Share Your Reasons

Did you consider....

It seems to me, the safer option to AVOID an accident is to make the child comfortable and properly install the car seat.
—Guest Don

Worried for my daughter

We FF my daughter when she turned two, but reading all these things that can happen is scaring me into changing my daughter back to RF again! I had no ideal that having them in a heavy jacket can compromise the car seat harness! That really opened my eyes.
—Guest Stacey

RF as long as possible

I plan on keeping my son rear-facing as long as possible. My niece switched her daughter to a high-backed booster seat at 9 months! I tried to convince her how unsafe it is but she won't listen at all. I just hope and pray that they're never in an accident.
—Guest reetmay

27 Mo and going strong!

I have fought tooth and nail to keep my baby rear facing. At 27 mo, 28lbs and 36 in we are still RFing in a Britax Advocate. We will be until he hits the height weight limits of his seat. You cannot argue with fact, and fact is that RFing until age 4 is 500x safer. Broken leg=cast it. Broken neck=casket.
—Guest JamesonsMama

As long as possible

My little boy is 3 years old, 36 in. and 31 lbs. He is still rear facing in our Diono Radian and he'll stay that way until 45 lbs or 44 inches, the limit for his seat. I'm guessing at least another year or two. Anything that makes my kid 500% safer is something I like. Also, I think his legs are more comfortable folded than dangling with no support like they would be forward facing.
—Guest RNMama

Ask a Brain Surgeon

If it is easier to correct injury to the head, neck and spine or injury to the feet and legs. The purpose for rear-facing in a car seat is to protect and support the head and spine, the hardest things to fix. Injury to the feet and legs in a rear-facing car seat are rare, and fixable. Rear-face your child as long as you can. If you could drive rear-facing you would be safer too. Most crashes happen within 5 miles of your house, don't think it can't happen to you and your child.
—Guest Jim

You've got to be kidding

I have a 9 month old and plan on keeping her rear facing until she is 2. However, 45 lbs. is a little extreme. I have a 7 year old that doesn't weigh 45 lbs. yet. From what a lot of you are saying he should still be rear facing. That just seems crazy to me.


Wow way too much panic over here!!! We turned our LO car seat to FF when she was 7 months. Give me a break with letting your babe ride in a RF till 3.5 or 4. I mean SERIOUSLY?! Editor's note: Not only is it dangerous to turn a 7-month-old forward-facing, it is illegal in some states.
—Guest aNnoyed

Untill she outgrows the chair

My gues is somewhere around 4,5 yrs or when she outgrows the biggest chair we can find. Absolutely not before 4yrs if we can avoid it!
—Guest xyz

Excuses, excuses, excuses...

In the majority of the posts all I see are excuses as to why you would disregard what has proven to be safest for children. Would you let your 2 yr old run their own bath? Play in the middle of the street? Jump into a swimming pool without knowing how to swim? If you answered no to these, why would you then put them into a risky situation going 30, 50, 75 mph? A child relies on the adults in their life to keep them safe & protected. We do not pick and choose the day of our crashes so my job as a responsible parent is to protect my child to the best of my ability! If you are not ready for that responsibility, you shouldn't be a parent! My almost 5 yr old is still RF by HER choice. At 4.5 yrs old, we tried FF & she complained it was uncomfortable. Luckily, her seat goes to 45 lbs RF & she still has 2 in in height (42 lbs, 43 in tall). Stop letting infant & toddlers make the decisions on what is safe for them & step up to the basic parental responsibilities you took on!
—Guest rachelann920

Turning 3 and still RF

Statistically, I know that car accidents are the number one killer of little kids in Canada. Therefore, the chances of my little guy being seriously hurt in a car accident is greater than on the playground. I don't helicopter parent; I do, however, assess risk and probability, and my son will be RF until he turns 45 pounds (the limit of the seat).
—Guest Lorien

Personal choices

I dont think people should take this conversation personally about whether or not someone else thinks you are a bad parent or have a weird methodology for switching your childs seat and instead use common sense. Everyone that is a parent is allowed to make the decision they feel is best for their family and their lifestyle that is part of being an adult and parent and should not have to justify it to anyone other than themselves. I hope that for those that take a critic recommendation to the extreme follow this in all situations with their child. A rear facing car seat til 4, I am assuming those children are not allowed to ride bikes or motorized toys, and live a life with full body pads to make sure they cannot get hurt in any situation. At age five they can go to school and at age 4 are still being treated like an infant. Its your lifestyle but how kids are treated at a young age shapes them into who they are as adults. Our parents raised us without all the rules they have no
—Guest Wyoming Mom


It shouldn't matter about legs dangling or propped up on the back of the seat. The point in rear facing is that it protects the baby's spine better RF. My LO will be rear facing up until the limit on her convertible carseat, which should last well beyond two. Broken legs, uncomfortable legs, etc. can be fixed far more easily than an injured spine.
—Guest G's mom

You make me laugh little

Pelvic damage from rear facing!! Hahahahahahaha ok il stop now No wait.... Hahhahaha..... Did your friend leave her baby rear facing for hours and hours on end?
—Guest Yogabbagabba

Still rear-facing at 2 years

My almost 2 year old son is still rear faced in his car seat & he's only 23 lbs. He has a luxurious Britax seat that has side-impact cushions & is made to accommodate a 40 lb child & tilts lower to the back, so that he has more leg room. I drive a Toyota corolla (which is small in size), but my son is so comfy & snug, plus the car only allows for baby seats to be strapped in the middle of the back seats, so it's extra safe. If he's content, so am I, especially knowing he's more safe. This is how he'll stay until he's really reached the limit in size.
—Guest Tanya

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How Long Did/Will Your Child's Car Seat Stay Rear-Facing? Why?

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