The new carseat guidelines

Can we talk about the new carseat guidelines in the US? The AAP just recommended keeping kids rear-facing until age 2. Before this, it was common for people to turn their kids front-facing at age 1, but the new guideline says rear-facing until age 2 is far safer.

Here's a link to the whole story.

Before we start talking about it, let's just go under the asuumption that OF COURSE all of us want to do what's safest for our kids.

Those of you in countries in which you've been keeping kids rear-facing for longer already, please weigh in on how the experience has worked for you.

My older son was always very big for his age (99th %ile for both height and weight). I'm not sure that when he was 2 there was a rear-facing careseat that he would physically have fit into. What would we have done?

I'm also dreading having to keep my younger one in a booster for years and years until he hits the 85 pound weight limit, which could be a long time for his lanky self.

Just logistically, this is going to be tough for some parents with kids who are at the extremes of size.

What is your car seat/booster seat experience?


180 thoughts on “The new carseat guidelines”

  1. I have to say that we had heard we should keep our little one rear-facing as long as possible, and yet we turned him around the second he turned one year. I was outraged to read in the NYT article on the new recommendations that parents generally turn their kids around because they view it as a “milestone”. Milestone! I turned my kid around because he screamed his head off every time we were in the car. We need to take long car trips, and couldn’t bear the screaming. Face-forward, no more screaming. Many many toddlers hate to be backwards; it makes them sick, among other things. While we will probably follow the new recommendations with #2, I just wanted to say that the issue isn’t convenience or not caring or whatever. (I know you all know that – I just need to vent w/r/t NYT.) I wonder what the danger level is of listening to your child scream bloody murder as a distractor. (I mean, how safe can it be to listen to a child scream? I cannot think when he’s screaming.)I feel you on the lanky kid issue. My #1 is short and light – he’ll clearly be in a booster until he hits puberty.
    I’m eager to hear recommendations from those who have car-seat-hating kids.

  2. My second son will be one on Thursday. We were so very much looking forward to turning him! He is in the 90+ percentile in height and weight, and maneuvering him into the car seat is getting harder and harder. My first was so much happier and comfortable when we turned him, and it made getting him in and out of the car a much more pleasant experience that we were happily anticipating turning number two this weekend. I knew that some recommended rear-facing for as long as possible, but I was going to happily ignore that. I can’t easily ignore these recommendations, so we will keep him read-facing for at least another year.@Erin, I had the same thought when I heard what the NYT assumed the reasoning was. Milestones? Not hardly. Has more to do with my back and my ears and my sanity.

  3. I always want someone to weigh the risks of >1 year-old facing foward against the risk of a driver distracted by her rear-facing, screaming child. My son HATED being rear-facing and fussed and screamed constantly. That’s not safe, either.

  4. Yeah I’m dreading leaving my son until 2 now. He HATES facing backwards! He’s 14 months and we’ve not turned him yet, but we were thinking about doing it soon. The sun is constantly in his eyes, and he doesn’t like not being able to see me. Now we have to endure nearly another year of misery in the car? 🙁 Of course I’ll do it because I want him to be safe, but it sure makes his and my life much more unpleasant.As for the booster seats, that I’m actually not convinced is the best reaction to the problem, but I suppose unless recommendations change in 8 years when my son gets older, I’ll try to follow it anyway. I’ve read that the boosters still don’t make the seatbelts right for kids. It seems like a better solution is needed from car manufacturers, though I don’t know if one will be forthcoming. I also can’t imagine asking a pre-teen to sit on a booster seat! I’m interested to hear from those of you with older kids about what that experience is like.

  5. I posted a link to new regulations on my Facebook page yesterday, only with a comment that my kids are still too small (at 18 months) to face forward by the old 20 lb guideline. I was rather shocked by the feedback I got, it all seemed very defensive.I’m making the best decision for my children, I hope everyone else will make the best decision based on the information and options they have available.
    I will say that by these standards my mother-in-law should still ride in a booster seat.
    I am wondering if years down the road this will seem overreactive or if we will feel about this like we do about putting babies to sleep on their backs.

  6. A.) I would invite the AAP to suggest a RF car seat that can be used that long in a mini cooper. Our average height 9-month-old’s toes are already grazing the seat. :/B.) we are also blessed with a baby that is happy to be in the car seat… For a maximum of 20 minutes. Unless he is tired, in which case it’s more like 5 minutes. Then: the screaming. Oh god the screaming. Driving back from a Yosemite trip when he was 5 months old was 3 hours of solid earsplitting screams. We went on vacation again when he was 8 months old hoping he would have chilled out… nope. By day 4 we had to decide either to not leave the hotel or just turn the damn seat around. Wenturned the seat and not a sound. It seemed to us that facing the seat forward was safer than trying to drive with the incredibly distracting upsetting screams. Now I guess we are just going to avoid car trips until he is a year. God help us if it was two years!

  7. Hmm, i should read the articles before posting. It looks like they’re saying “when you reach the height/weight limits of the seat,” which sounds reasonable.Still, I agree with all the others that it must be safer to have a forward-facing infant than one who screams his/her head off. We thankfully didn’t have that problem, but it sounds horrible.

  8. I don’t know where my daughter is in terms of %tile, but she exceeded the height (head sticking out over the seat) in her 30lb max rear-facing seat. We switched her to a front-facing seat a couple of weeks ago. She’s 22 months old. Recommendations notwithsanding, I’m not going to search for a rear-facing seat that will accommodate her height.

  9. I gotta admit, I had a big moment of “WTF” when I read about this yesterday. First, these are just recommendations, right? Whether individual states change their laws to be in accordance with these guidelines remains to be seen, but until they do, I don’t believe this is required.That said, I hope this doesn’t become another one of those things we use to judge other people…(“Oh, she must not love her kids because they’re not in a 5-point harness anymore…”)
    As for the rear-facing until 2, I’m still thinking WTF?! My son, now 5, was pretty average height for his age, but at a year, his legs were crunched up against the back seat. He hadn’t come close to the weight limit for his infant seat, but he was uncomfortable when rear-facing.
    Then he had a Britax, which I think is weight-rated up to about 60 lbs (which he is nowhere near), but his (not very long) limbs were sprawling out of that thing recently.
    So now he’s in a sturdy belt-positioning booster that has a head support and a LATCH. At 42″, the shoulder strap of the seat belt is in a proper position, he’s a lot more comfortable, and he loves the “grownup” seat belt. I have no plans to go back to a 5-point harness.

  10. My son is almost 22 months and still rear facing. He is average height, and yes, he bends his legs, but it is not the end of the world.I know I used to think he hated being rear facing, and he used to cry in the car a lot. If I had switched him foward facing when he outgrew his infant seat (safe up to 32 pounds, but his head became taller than the back of the seat), which was around 14-15 months, I would have thought that he liked forward facing more.
    The honest truth, however, is that he just became more OK with being in the car around that age. He stopped crying. He now loves the veiw from the rear window. So for those of you who say that your kid hates being rear facing, I would just try to wait it out. I think there is more of a developmental issue with car seat hating that coincidentally peaks and then resolves around the age that most people make the switch.
    Our only issue now is that it can be really hard to get him into the seat if he doesn’t want to. Pretty much I just have him crawl into it himself, so if an uncooperative mood strikes, it is almost impossible to wedge him in there…

  11. I was also annoyed with the “milestone” remark.My 18-month-old son is still rear facing. I really feel for him as he tries to crane his neck around to get the same view as his 3.5-year-old brother.
    Older brother, by the way, is a peanut and is still under the max rear-facing weight in his big convertible car seat. But there’s no way I’m turning him to face backwards. The revolt would be overwhelming.
    I do wonder, too, what to do about the fact that younger brother is very tall and thin for his age. He’s going to be folded up like a paper crane back there before he hits the weight limit. He’s going to stay rear facing, but we’re all going to hate it.

  12. Grrrr – lost a big post. In short: turned our twins around at about 18 months (they are 4yo now), when my daughter hit the 20 lb mark, because she regularly got carsick. Forward-facing + Benadryl (on pedi’s rec) eliminated vomiting. (Benadryl on its own, while she was rear-facing, was not enough.) I do not know for sure, but I imagine that there was some added risk of aspiration/choking if she vomited while in a rear-facing seat in a moving vehicle.As for car seat safety in general – sure, rear-facing is safer (arguably EVERYONE except the driver should be rear-facing), but it’s also important to use the seats correctly. I’m not just talking about installation. Two pretty common errors – shoulder straps emerging above shoulder level in a rear-facing seat (they should be just below shoulder level), and kids wearing puffy coats/snowsuits, or any highly compressible outer layer – can result in a dangerous amount of slack in the straps. Drives me nuts every time I hear a parent talk about how s/he can’t be bothered to put coats on/off each time they go in & out of the car, or they are worried about the kids being cold, or (BIG RED FLAG) they have to adjust the straps based on which coat the kid is wearing. I’ve pretty much given up on trying to change anyone’s mind, though.

  13. I had a tiny kid – we listened to the advice and didn’t turn her until she was both 1 and more than 20 pounds, which turned out to be more like 14 months than 12 – but jeez, I was so happy when I could turn her. I had originally planned to leave her rear-facing for as long as I could, but OMG, the screaming! The puking! She still gets carsick, at age 4 in a booster seat, but it was so much worse rear-facing (although I guess, because she wasn’t talking yet, I can’t be sure if she vomited from crying or if she was crying because she felt sick or what). I was so horribly distracted by the crying that I definitely felt that turning her was warranted, plus I had to frantically pull over more than once because she stopped crying abruptly after vomiting and I was afraid she’d choked on her own vomit. I hated not being able to see her easily, too. Anyway, I’m glad I’m not the only one fretting about this. I’m not particularly defensive about it: I have no doubt (I have NEVER had any doubt) that rear-facing is safer on its own, but there has to be some kind of formula that takes the screaming and vomiting into account, right? I guess I’ll just have to hope that if I ever get around to having my second, that he or she will be the laid-back baby I tried to order last time.

  14. My children are all tall (95th+ percentile) and were flipped at 1 year and I would do it again in a minute. I have no doubt that it is safer for a child to ride rear-facing. It would also be safer for an adult to ride rear-facing. Just because something is slightly statistically safer doesn’t mean it’s the best thing to do, for a variety of reasons. This rationale applies to every area of life, not just car seats. I appreciate the guidelines but the statistical increase in safety would not have been great enough to persuade me to keep my children rear-facing for a variety of important reasons.As for the booster rules, I think the height/weight limits are much more important than age limits, although the incremental amount of safety gained through booster seat usage is pretty slim after a certain point as well. Anecdotally, my 7 year old has to scrunch into her highly ranked Graco high-back booster because she’s too tall to sit up straight in it. I’m not sure what the actual value of the belt-positioning booster is if you’ve physically outgrown it, but she’s staying in til age 8 because that’s what the law requires.

  15. I also believe they should have done the rear-facing recommendation by height. I have very tall skinny kids, including one 15 month old who is 35.5 inches tall already snd was a screamer while rear-facing. We have flipped him forward already and as far as I am concerned he will be staying that way.I went looking for the seat height recommendations for rear-facing for his older Britax Boulevard and all they have published is a general height restriction of 49 inches which can’t possibly be right to rear-face. I am not against safety and have my similarly >99% 4 year old in a 5 point harnessed booster with a high height limit but the rear-facing recommendation doesn’t work for us as a family.
    I also really wonder about the theory that kids should stay in the backseat until 13. I know that I learned a lot about driving even as a younger kid just by watching. What is it going to be like for kids to come out of the back and get their learner’s permits 2 years later?

  16. I have lots and lots of opinions on this topic, but I won’t bother you all with them. However, I do want to say, that the reason they based the new guidelines by age is because of the way our bodies and bones develop and fuse together, not because it is a mythical milestone. Prior to the age of two, a baby/toddler’s head is grossly out of proportion to the rest of their body. So in the event of an accident, spinal and neck injuries are much more likely if facing forward. When you are rear facing, the seat absorbs the impact instead of the body.I had very large babies like Moxie (son 1 was 23″ at birth and 10 lbs.) and son 2 was almost as large. I was able to keep both rear facing for two years with a Britax Marathon. Yes, the legs are scrunched, but a broken leg is fixable, and truthfully, my boys didn’t love the car, but it didn’t change just because I turned them around.
    My point is, that the age guideline actually does matter when you think about the physiologally of a child’s developing body, and not just with convertible car seats. If your child outgrows the height/weight restrictions of a car seat (infant, convertible, or booster) before they reach these limits, there are plenty of seat available that have higher limits. Of course they cost a small fortune….

  17. I guess that is score one for my laziness. I had intended to switch my almost 2 year old’s seat at age one but the hassle of it made me wait. He is quite fine rear facing and loves to make funny faces at his brothers who sit in the back. We do have a car seat that can stay rear facing up to 35 pounds but I don’t think I will wait that long to change him, he would probably be 4 by then and his knees would be hitting his ears. I don’t think it is bad to wait if you can. If he was a screamer I would have quickly change his seat to forward facing.

  18. If I remember correctly from a conversation here, the rules in Europe are far stricter. 5-point harnesses until age 8, I think it was.We kept our son in a booster until last Summer (8.5 years old, but then he rebelled, because NONE of his friends are in boosters. I asked around and this is one time that he was right. Not one had been in a booster since age 6.

  19. I’m a CPST (child passenger safety technician, aka ‘carseat tech’) and honestly, I’m surprised the AskMoxie crowd didn’t already know this. It’s been a big push for a couple years now, and this group is one of the most educated and ‘into’ research into parenting that I know of.There are a lot of great newer convertibles on the market that accomodate larger kids (both height and weight-wise). And rear-facing convertibles don’t have to be as reclined for a older baby/toddler as they do for a newborn, so they take up less space front-to-back.
    Legs don’t matter in rear-facing. Kids fold them up, toss them over the sides, sit criss-cross, whatever. It’s not a comfort issue. And it’s definitely NOT a safety issue. Legs fly *UP* in a frontal accident (the most serious). Broken legs are a relatively common injury for forward facing kids, and virtually unheard of in rear-facing kiddos.

  20. I agree with Heather, and just a quick note for parents with very young children still…both my kids (with very different temperaments) happily rode rear facing until they were 3.25 years old, and we did short and long car trips frequently. It means a bit more patience getting them in and out, but they just fold their legs when they are in the seat.

  21. We’re keeping my 14 month rearfacing for now, since we hadn’t bothered to switch him yet, and I’d like to make it to 2 years. I know that we won’t, however, because #2 is due when this one turns 21 months and neither my husband or I can drive our cars if there are 2 rear-facing car seats installed in the back. (And I’m 5’2″ and drive a normal sized sedan.) The car seats may be nice and big to accommodate the kids, but the cars aren’t big enough for the seats.

  22. For those of you who were rankled by the “milestone” remark, I can see why. However, I personally know people who have viewed it as a milestone, or who switched their kids well before one year (one person at 6 months) because it was more convenient, so the remark isn’t totally unfounded (for SOME people).We kept our tall firstborn rear facing until just shy of his third birthday, when our third baby was born. Our car couldn’t accommodate three rear facing carseats, otherwise I would have kept him RF longer–he was completely content, and just sat cross-legged very comfortably. He also liked looking out the back windshield. Our tall 26 month old is RF in a Britax Boulevard, and we have no plans to turn her unless we have another baby and need to turn her or she outgrows the seat RF. For the small car people, I was shocked at how a convertible seat can fit RF in a small car. It can go at a more upright angle than an infant seat, so it actually gives you a little more room once you move to the convertible seat.
    For those who have cranky car riders, I’d encourage you to wait it out for a few months. I found that once my kids got a little over a year, they were much more content in the car when they were able to look at books or play with a small stuffed animal. They now entertain themselves by singing, talking to each other, and counting things outside, all of which couldn’t be done at 12 months to keep themselves happy.
    The carseat forum on is a good place to go for information and help finding a seat that will fit your car and your kid rear facing.

  23. The Britax car seats are convertible, with some of them going up from 5 to 35 pounds rear-facing and then turning around and going up to 65 pounds. They seem expensive until you realize that you will only have to buy one from the infant stage until the older age. I bought one and my son got used to being rear-facing. He did his share of screaming in the car, but I had read the stats and was willing to deal with it for safety reasons. I turned him around at 2 years old.

  24. Amen, @Erin: “I wonder what the danger level is of listening to your child scream bloody murder as a distractor. (I mean, how safe can it be to listen to a child scream? I cannot think when he’s screaming.)Amen, @ Lisa “Whether individual states change their laws to be in accordance with these guidelines remains to be seen, but until they do, I don’t believe this is required.” CORRECT! For Americans, our STATE LAW governs the rules of our roads including rules about carseat and booster usage. Last I checked, the AAP is not a lawmaking body. 😉
    If you bought an Alpha Omega carseat (including ones sold at Costco in ’08 or ’09), you’ve probably already heard about this recall:,-Maxi-Cosi,-and-Safety-1st-Child-Restraint-System-Center-Front-Adjuster-Recall
    Which reminds me of that chapter in “Superfreakonomics” wondering about the vaunted “good” that the carseats we pay so much for (and that seem to get recalled often/need replacing every few years as the kid grows) actually do? :
    Interesting reading – but obviously I’m not foolish enough to eschew carseats altogether (and anyway that’s NOT what the book chapter recommends). I mean, what parent these days could ever withstand the harsh public judgments that would ensue if their kid were just sitting in the backseat of a car in a plain old seatbelt!! Gasp!! So yes, my kids are still going to be in carseats until like forever, and I’m already saving up to buy replacements, and am mentally-preparing to have to follow up on future recall messages…

  25. I’m with you, Theresa. My third child was born 12 days after my twin daughters turned two, and my girls (being twins and small) were still well below the weight limits for rear-facing. My vehicle does not accommodate three properly-installed rear-facing infant seats — and I drive a Lincoln Navigator, which is a three-row SUV.I don’t feel especially unsafe with forward-facing seats, because the absolute danger is so very tiny. The rear-facing advocates suggest that rear-facing would prevent about 66 injuries a year, which is a ridiculously small number when we’re talking about a cohort of roughly 4 million children. I’m comfortable accepting that level of risk; in fact, I accept a higher one every time I put them in the car, regardless of seating direction.

  26. YES @ Mo. I know there is something about age having to do with body elasticity/floppiness/etc. but I am with you–throw out the age thing entirely.And YES at Anne. We bought the Britaxes because our first child was 32 lbs on his first birthday but was still clearly too floppy to turn around until past his first birthday. (Well, I thought he was too floppy, anyway. Feeling vindicated.) My younger son is 5.5years and just moved in to a booster seat from his Britax 5-point because rather unlike his brother, he just crossed the 40-lb. limit on the seat.
    As to the grannies who need boosters…so do I, and I use one. Alas, my hips that birthed those big boys don’t fit in to theirs, but I have a grownup one of my own. I am a stickler about proper-fitting seat belts and that includes for me.

  27. My kid was turned at 1 and is now nearly 7. My favorite way to keep her safe is not to drive (we’re lucky to live in a city with great transit) but the couple times a week she rides in a car she’s in a basic booster. She’s over 50 inches, so I suppose another couple years will do it.I think what rankles parents is when something new comes out that does have a real safety impact, but any objections about the also real hassles are dismissed because it’s about Safety and that should Always be your First Concern As A Parent. Instead of addressing concerns (like, for people who drive a lot, puking kids, etc.), the officials just capitalize it a little further – no, this is about SAFETY – and tell the parents they’re whiners or irresponsible. As someone said on another board I’m on yesterday, our children would be a hell of a lot safer if we had a speed limit of 25, but we don’t do that. So there actually are tradeoffs that are made between convenience and safety and it should be fair to talk about them. Moxie, thanks for your assumption in the original post and for making this a safe space.

  28. You know, my mom has been eager to turn my 21 month old forward facing ever since he turned one, and in looking for info for her to read a few months ago, everyone recommended rear facing until two, so I don’t think this is anything new or crazy.That said, we did just have to flip him forward facing because I’m expecting a baby any day, and we can’t fit two rear facing seats in our small car (well, not if we want to fit the driver, anyway). He’s very tall for his age, and he was scrunched up when he was rear facing, but eh, whatever … I will say that he seems much happier facing forward, though.

  29. The AAP also recommends breastfeeding to age six months (and WHO says until age two), right? But basically no feels pressured to follow that guideline. I guess I’m just not a rule follower. I turned by baby at one, even though I knew that two was the new recommendation. Oh…and I breastfed my first for over four years…

  30. The Dr. quoted in the article seems like real peach, huh? I’m pretty sure parents aren’t turning their kids around at age one because they think they are brilliant but because that is what the AAP recommended up until two days ago.While the data are very clear that rear-facing is the safest a lot people need to make compromises on what is best if that doesn’t work out for them. If you have two kids in a small car it is almost impossible to have a convertible seat rear-facing. Not everyone has the means to buy a bigger car just to keep their kids rear-facing. We’ll be keeping our 16 month old rear-facing as long as possible I can certainly imagine that we might turn it around before he reaches the weight limit of the seat.
    Parents are trying to the best they can. We live in Minnesota and don’t have an attached garage and there is no way in hell I am taking off the coats of a one and three year old in the middle of winter each time we get in and out of the car. I know that is what is safest, it’s a compromise I take full responsibility for.
    The data from the report are very interesting. First of all, 21% of kids were not restrained at all and were therefore eliminated from the study! I think a more effective public health message would be to keep your kids rear-facing as long as possible up to the weight limit of the seat but also, more importantly, all small children need to be in a car seat.

  31. We used Graco marathon and kept our son rear-facing until he was too big for the weight requirements, which was two and a bit. I was expecting a whole screaming fuss, but he was always perfectly happy to face backwards.

  32. My turned my daughter to forward facing when she outgrew the weight limit on her rear facing seat. She was 17 months and the limit on the seat was 30 lbs. So according to the guidelines my daughter should be forward facing, so it is about size somewhat, not just development. Also, the injury study is from 2007? I’d like to see the actual study, and see if there isn’t anything more recent. Seems like car seats have become even safer from 4 years ago.

  33. My daughter just turned 2 and is a little over 30 lbs and is still rear-facing. I bought a seat that can be rear-facing up to 45 lbs. She’s also tall, and yes, her feet hit the seat, but that’s OK.Personally, I don’t attribute her dislike of the car seat to it being rear-facing, I attribute it to her dislike of being strapped in to anything. She also doesn’t like getting in the stroller much anymore and that faces forward.
    I’m also glad they made this announcement because now I feel justified. It was annoying that people were asking me when my DD would “get” to be forward facing. In my mind it is a question of when she’ll “have to” be forward facing.

  34. I don’t think it’s just a matter of height and weight.Structurally, they are still so top heavy at 1 that a sudden stop is far more of a strain on the neck and body than it would be for a 2 year old.
    My first was off the charts (still is) for height, weight, and head circumference. She was, thankfully, quite happy to stay rear-facing until age two (when she was 38 inches and 36 pounds). She sat kind of cross-legged in her Marathon and didn’t seem to care that she *looked* rather scrunched!

  35. My daughter turns 7 months old this week. She’s seemed OK rear-facing to this point, but knowing her mother’s history of violent car sickness (one of my earliest memories is of making my parents pull over so I could lose my lunch on the side of the road), I’m wondering whether she’ll develop that as well. And how well rear-facing will go over if that happens.Also, we have a full-sized four-door sedan, and her Graco Snugride just barrrrrely fits when my 6’2″ husband is driving. This is not a small car — it’s a station-wagon-type vehicle. We may need to upgrade when she hits 20 lbs and moves up to a larger seat. I wonder how many other people that might affect.
    Also — a booster seat until 85 lbs?? I’m embarrassed to admit that that would have been 10th grade for me.

  36. I kept my daughter rear facing until about 20 months. I would have kept her rear facing longer, and she did not mind facing to the rear, but it just was not physically possible. She is off the chart for height and 50% for weight, so she is long string bean! Her legs are very long. Cross legged did not work and she got a tummy ache from being scrunched up.

  37. @Charisse: AMEN. Not only on the subject of Safety but all things to related to parenting, I wish people would stop using “convenience” as a dirty word.And you know unfortunately all that talk about The Children! And Their Safety! can get hysterical, and it can have the effect of making me tune out. If I can’t differentiate between the things that are really critical and the things that aren’t so much, I just end up doing what maybe we should all do anyway, which is use our Best Judgment. (Oh, and stop judging others.)

  38. My daughter has been off the charts for height since she was 6 months, and in between the 10th and 20th percentiles for weight since birth. (she’s 2.5 now) Our pediatrician told us that we should keep her rear-facing as long as we could, but not to force the issue; if she was really uncomfortable and therefore screaming her head off every time we were in the car (which she was at age 1, due to her legs being forced to be bent the entire ride,) that the distraction of her screaming was more of a risk than having her forward-facing. The day we flipped the carseat around was a milestone in our lives only because it was the first time we could drive anywhere in MONTHS without her screaming the whole time. I think that you have to balance the guidelines with what works for your family. Setting specific age or height or weight limits individually is ridiculous; you could have a 2 year old who is 37 inches tall and 20 lbs or a 2 year old who is 32 inches tall and 30 lbs. The height and weight, together, should be taken into consideration IMO.

  39. We were in Europe when our oldest (now 9 yrs) was a toddler and realized that they keep kids rear-facing much longer than was advised in the US at the time. I read up on the rationale and we decided to keep our younger kids rear-facing until they reached the max rear-facing weight/height for the seat (Britax Marathon). My kids actually preferred sitting cross-legged to having dangling legs with no foot rest (as happens when they face forward).So, it can be done, as others have mentioned, but I also agree that it needs to be a judgment call by the parents. I know it would be safest for my kids to stay in a 5-pt harness as long as possible, and you can buy huge seats that will accommodate them well into grade school. But, we carpool a ton and booster seats are just way easier for that. And my 4th grader would die of embarrassment if he had to ride in a 5-pt harness. He’s annoyed as it is that I still make him use a booster seat.
    Also, YES to those who have pointed out that ideally, even adults should be in a 5-pt. harness. Heck, the safest thing is to not get in the car at all! We all make safety trade-offs somewhere, and I think parents have a right to decide where that line is for their kids. Take the recommendations into account, of course, but make the call that works for your family.

  40. Its not a big deal for us. Our oldest is almost 4, and stayed rear facing until she was too tall, which was at about 18months, if I remember right. (For anyone not sure on this point- it is based on head position relative to the top of the carseat, not legs- frog legs or cross-legged is OK.) My youngest is almost 18 months, and still rides rear facing and will do so until she is too tall or too heavy for that.We’ve had no problems with this arrangement- which is of course not to judge anyone who has. Just to say to people with little babies who are thinking “oh great, another big issue to figure out my opinion on” that this may turn out to be a non-issue in your life.
    FWIW, we have Britax roundabouts in a Prius and a Mazda 5, and have had no space issues with space while rear facing, except for when my husband messes with the seats in the Mazda 5 to get his bike in the back. But that issue is really a marital “why can’t he put them back the way they were?” issue and not anything fundamental with the car seat.
    Amazingly, despite having a mother who gets so car sick that she sometimes has to drink a fizzy drink even if she is the driver on a windy road, neither kid has ever shown any signs of carsickness. So we’re lucky there. Don’t be jealous, though. We lost the genetic lottery on sleep and eating, so I guess the universe threw us a bone on travel ease.

  41. For booster readiness, there are tests you can do to assess whether they fit the seatbelts of the car properly (in addition to just height and weight).I will admit to (silently) judging the parent of a child we had a play-date with last weekend when she asked if I had moved my 3yr old into a booster yet. Um, no. Our state law says car seat until 4.

  42. Those of you who think you have too little room to continue rearfacing — you can install your car seat more upright. Convertibles in particular take up less room than infant seats. Try to find a CPST (currently certified, not just the local PD) to help you install your seat more upright. Check here for a CPST in your area: check out the forums at for installation help.
    I also had two chunky monkeys. I FF my oldest when he outgrew the weight limit at 28 months, then re-RF him again a few months later when I bought a seat with a higher limit (had bought it for FF, but was a bonus that it RF longer). He LOVED rear-facing, and still wishes he could at 4.5 years old, to match his little brother.
    Little brother HATED his infant seat, so I switched him to a convertible at 4 months, but he still went through a screaming phase later on. It’s normal. We made it through, and now at 18 months he rarely complains about the car seat.
    I can’t think of a time when my youngest sits to play withOUT his legs bent. Really — toddlers bend their legs ALL THE TIME. What’s different about doing it in the car? My older son complains that he can’t bend his legs; they just dangle now that he’s FF. His little brother is much more comfy!

  43. “[T]he AAP advises parents to keep their toddlers in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for their seat.” If I had literally followed this, I would have turned my son around at 4 months, as that is when he grew too tall for the baby bucket.He rode in a convertible seat until he got too tall for the rear facing configuration for that at 14 months or so.

  44. My 2.5 year old is off the charts tall (97% – wears 4T clothes) and above average weight. He is perfectly content rf’ing. When it became obvious that he was taking after my 6’3″ husband (and number 2 was on the way so I needed another seat anyway) I bought him a sunshine kids radian to keep him rf’ing until at least 3 (and as long as he tolerates afterwards, I would love to make it to 4). He has plenty of room for his legs – he crosses them, puts them on the seat back, or hangs them over the edge, is happy to look out the window, the back windshield or read his books.I think there are kids who inherently hate riding backwards but I think more hate it because their particular seat is uncomfortable or because they happen to be going through a car hating phase. Also, many people don’t know that older kids can sit up straighter than newborns – it’s actually safer, toddlers like it better because they can see more and of course, it saves lots of room for the front passengers.
    I live in the DC area which has horrible traffic and insane drivers. My car is new and pretty safe but I’d rather not take the chance that some texting teenage driver is on the road with me.
    Hopefully these new recommendations will accelerate development of new convertible seats that are safer, easier to install, and more comfortable for kids and parents.
    Re: 12 & under in the back seat – this is not a new warning – my 11 year old car had this on the passenger visor. Airbags save lives but they can also seriously damage immature skeletons. Everyone is safer in the back because you’re farther from the point of impact (very few deadly crashes are rearenders), why not keep your preteen in the back when it’s free to do so.

  45. Oh, and he’s 5 & a bit now and in the only five-point car seat we could find for a kid his size: the britax 85 something. (also, just realized I said Graco when I meant Britax in my last post.) All his friends are in boosters but he loves his “big seat” – I guess I just wanted to say that sometimes you get lucky and it’s easy.

  46. As a city-dweller, my child rarely rides in a car, but when she does, oh how she screams.But whatever, enough about me. Moxie, you asked about how things are done in other countries; I live in Japan where the enforcement of car seat rules is unbelievably lax. Most parents have car seats installed in their cars, but I rarely ever see children actually sitting in the seats. They’re bounding all over the car, jumping into parents’ laps, standing up, leaning out windows, etc. Not ideal from a vehicle safety point of view.
    Though this does speak to one of my pet thought-obsessions: North Americans (and I count myself amongst this group) are unhealthily hung-up on safety and are incredibly risk-adverse. And we are driving ourself nuts with avoiding danger at all costs. When my daughter was brand new, I was convinced that if I didn’t follow North American safety recommendations to the letter, some terrible fate would befall my child. This lead to me importing a crib from Canada at GREAT (and totally unnecessary) expense and trouble, because I could not stand the thought of my baby in a Japanese drop-sided crib. Horror of horrors. You have no idea how many hours (and dollars) I wasted fretting over this. But the safety guidelines told me…
    What I’m saying is its good to follow the guidelines. But its not good to give yourself a brain aneurysm over them. So, if your kid is one, and meets hight / wight requirements and screams bloody murder if she is turned backwards, I think the benefits of riding forward vastly outweigh the risks.

  47. You know, EVERYBODY is safer riding rear facing in a vehicle. I totally get why it’s better physically, but sometimes good living has to trump 100% safety. Developmentally, it’s better for the child to be able to see and interact with his environment. For parental sanity, it’s better to be able to have a child who is not complaining from being so restrained. Motion sickness is going to be a big issue too- what suffering that inflicts on a kid! It’s cruel! I hope people use their heads on this one. Rear-facing until it becomes uncomfortable and impractical for the child. Sometimes you have to live life and not be 100% safe.

  48. I am for rear-facing for as long as it is reasonable, and I think being reasonable includes whether you can drive without the toddler being a safety-impacting distraction. If turning the seat around sooner than later helps you be a more focused driver, that also makes sense to me.We made it 18 months rear-facing with our average-sized son. At 18 months, we did a cross-country move, and the only way I could think to keep him (our son) from being miserable the entire time was to turn the seat around so we could pass him toys, snacks etc.

  49. I’m very surprised at the volume of opposition to the change in recommendations (at this site and others). Am I alone in seeing both a contradiction and a correlation to the common practice of CIO in the US? On one hand, its the “cultural norm” to let your child cry himself to sleep, with pressure from half the neighborhood to do so or you’ll ruin your child. At the same time, the safety of a crying child in the car should be compromised so that he will stop crying/complaining. Perhaps what is common here isn’t the best case scenario for the child, but for the parents. . .(I have a rear-facing 30 month old who screams his head off when in the car seat; he hates the restraints, not the position, and I’ve compromised by making fewer car trips rather than change how he sits in the car itself).

  50. Data point – my child is 30 years old, so we did not have the regulations that are in place today.In my case, I had to turn her ‘front-facing’ at about 6 months. She was prone to motion sickness, and riding backwards made it worse. So, thinking about it logically, I considered the consequences of both:
    Back facing: Consequence = car-sick, with the potential of aspirating and choking; probability: 99+%
    Front facing: Consequence = more danger of injury in an accident.
    Probability: <5% (I would hope!)
    My conclusion, go with the odds and put her facing front!

  51. No time to read all comments now, just weighing in to say: my almost-4-yr old is still rear facing. If I cave every time my kid screams about doing something vastly safer/healthier, then I figure I’m not much of a parent. Both kids are used to it now. A little annoyance is worth it in the face of the stats on serious injury. Just my 2 little cents.

  52. I recently turned my 3rd child at around 14 months, for a variety of reasons, and have no regrets.But what really irks me is the recommendations for older kids. Boosters until 85 lbs and 4-9? Really? So we’re going to be keeping junior high school kids in booster seats? That seems like overkill, to me.
    Also — I see all over the place people giving vague references that “in Europe kids are rear-facing until ___ years old,” where that number varies. But I have yet to see any specific rules or guidelines from particular European countries. I’d be curious.

  53. My aunt has ten kids. I’m pretty sure she brought the youngest one (now 40) home in a cardboard box on the floor of her backseat. Comparatively speaking, I think we’re doing a great job for our kids – whether we turn them around when they’re 18 months or 2.5 years.

  54. data point: My 19mo is still rear-facing in a Britax Marathon and weighs about 25 lbs. We plan to keep her rear facing up to the seat’s specs, which is 35 lbs and something with height (which I’ll check on when we’re closer). She has never known any other way so she just does it.I think that ultimately we’re in a transition time. Those who didn’t know about the change in guideline and who have already turned their kids around cannot see themselves reversing this. Or their convertible seats are not made to rear-face to a higher weight. In a few years, I forsee more seats coming out that do support the higher weight RF, phaseout of those that don’t, and more awareness, so this will be much less of an issue.

  55. @kara “On one hand, its the “cultural norm” to let your child cry himself to sleep, with pressure from half the neighborhood to do so or you’ll ruin your child. At the same time, the safety of a crying child in the car should be compromised so that he will stop crying/complaining. Perhaps what is common here isn’t the best case scenario for the child, but for the parents. . .”Or perhaps being distracted by screaming in my own house is less dangerous than being distracted by screaming while also trying to drive. (My children’s phases of screaming in the car were pretty short, anyway, so it didn’t affect my decisions on when to turn them around, but I have a lot of sympathy for the dilemma of those who were affected.)

  56. My heart goes out to all you parents with a car seat hater of a babe.We decided to leave the car seat rear facing.
    I read this quote in an NPR story:
    “I think we’ve become immune to this. I think it happens so frequently and with such regularity that we’ve lost focus on how important it is. And I think we’ve become so reliant on cars to get us from Point A to Point B that we’ve sort of accepted it as the price of doing business,” Ben Hoffman, professor of pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
    Jack’s legs are a bit scrunched and he does cry a bit. Music makes it better- sometimes. I dunno. That quote spoke to me pretty hard.
    Good discussion… I’m learning a lot.

  57. Whenever this conversation comes up, there are people who claim that their children are in some of the higher percentiles and don’t fit into the rear facing seats at 1, 1.5 and 2 years of age. There are seats that rear face until 40 or 45 pounds and have a harness height of 16 3/4″ while rear facing. I can’t imagine many 12 or 18 month olds who fulfill these measurements. If you want to turn our child around for one reason or another, just say it. Don’t blame the seats.I see many people also saying that their children are x number of pounds. The weight of a child has far less to do with their readiness to be forward facing than the strength of their muscles and their ability to absorb the impact a crash would cause.
    It seems like people are going to do whatever they want regardless of the recommendations. I just wish they would own their decisions rather than using excuses.

  58. @kara, also CIO is a means to an end, when presumably the kid will stop crying and go to sleep happily. Most people (including us) have resorted to it after trying other things that were gentler but didn’t work (for our particular kid).If the kid screams every time she’s put in her car seat, that may not be a hump to get over, but an ongoing problem. My kid is not a car-screamer, so I don’t really know. It just raises my hackles when people insinuate that you’re putting your kid at risk by letting them cry themselves to sleep for three nights.
    Back to the issue at hand,we were going to switch our 13-month-old to front facing, but it’s been too damn cold to stand outside and re-install the seats. Now I’m going to wait.
    And for whoever said she lives in a cold place and has her kids in warm jackets, amen. Every single time I smash down my kids’ down jackets to get the belt fastened I think about how they’re not supposed to be wearing those puffy coats. But we have an unheated, unattached garage and many mornings it’s so cold that my fingers go numb inside my mittens on the steering wheel. They need to wear warm coats. If we’re going on a longer trip where the car will have time to get warm, and we’re going on the freeway so we’ll be traveling at higher speed, I put them in lightweight fleeces. That’s how the risk/convenience factors balance out for me.
    Like many other decisions, it comes down to what your tolerance is for PERCEIVED level of risk. I just don’t think we’re likely to be involved in a high speed crash going the mile to day care. I could be wrong, but that’s my calculation.

  59. @CB Or maybe people just don’t want to spend hundreds of additional dollars on a car seat that’s only going to get a few months of use? Most of those higher-weight rear facing seats are expensive, as well as being huge and a huge pain in the butt.

  60. Anyone care to weigh in on my earlier question? Do you think we are going to look back on turning a child around at 1 year the same way we view sleeping on their stomachs? Or not wearing seatbelts at all? Or is this just going to be seen as the same catagory as over-reacting/helicopter parenting?

  61. Wait wait wait wait wait. It’s OK for a kid to cross their legs in a rear-facing car seat??I had no idea. I thought that would be a compromised safety position.
    Is it just me that didn’t know this, because I don’t own a car and so there was no way I could get someone from the police to help me install it?
    Also, what about people who cannot afford to spend $300 on a car seat?? We’re also not allowed to buy or borrow used ones, either, according to the guidelines. It’s another way to set people up to fail, I think.

  62. Ugh, as if I didn’t have carseat troubles enough.DS is my little banana baby – tall and skinny. He outgrew (by height) his baby bucket at 6 months, so we installed the convertible RF (obviously). However, I drive a Ford Focus 2 door hatchback, and the convertible partially obstructed my view. I bought a Combi Cocorro which is just about the smallest convertible I could find, the downside being it will be outgrown sooner than a more conventional one. I’ll keep him RF in the Combi as long as I can, but if he outgrows it before 2 he’s going to have to go FF in our other convertible. I get that he will be less likely to be injured in an accident if he is RF but I will be MORE likely to HAVE an accident if he’s RF in a seat that blocks my view. (The same carseat FF doesn’t cause the obstruction.)
    I know ultimately the AAP is trying to keep kids safe but maybe they’d be better off to stick to important stuff like this… I already blew them off in regards to cosleeping and my homebirth, it’s hard not to tune them out now even though on this they have a valid point.

  63. Actually I have no idea if the AAP has an official position on homebirth, maybe that’s ACOG? I have a nonsleeping 8 month old and am on day 11 of the sinus infection from hell… tired… I just hope some small part of that made sense.

  64. @Moxie, if the seat is involved in a crash you’re not supposed to use it anymore; and they have “expiration dates” because the plastic begins to degrade.But I passed my Britax Roundabout (used for abt 4 yrs) to the sister of a friend when my younger one got too tall for it–she should be able to get 2 yrs out of it.
    How is it that people remember exactly when they turned their kids around? I vaguely remember that my daughter was close-to-but-under 2 (but people had been asking us for months if we had) and with my son I had done a lot more reading of the Car Seat Lady and left him until he was at least 2, maybe a few months after? (Probably in the summer when we went to visit my parents–he would have been 2y3m–reinstalling RF was a big pain compared to FF.)
    I agree with whoever said this was like the AAP’s recommendation for nursing until age 2. There is the ideal, the ultra in safety, the rainbow-and-stars poop; then there are the bajillion things that can potentially get in the way and trip you up, depending on your kid and your situation. Which isn’t to say that the information should be publicized to the maximum–and apparently the AAP policy statements and the NYT have better readership than the Car Seat Lady (why?? joking. sort of)–so that people who may turn the seat around at age 1 because it’s “just what you do” (with a big old glass of cow’s milk, etc, etc) pause and really think about their decision.

  65. “Which isn’t to say that the information should be publicized to the maximum”SHOULDN’T. Jeepers. My only excuse is that it’s 10pm here and I’ve been up since 5am.

  66. My sister weighed about 85 lbs. when she graduated high school! My daughter is similarly built and at age 7.5 just passed the 50lb mark and is not quite 4 feet tall. She was rear facing until she hit 20lbs. (about 20 mos. I believe). She will probably be in a booster for a lot longer than most of her peers.

  67. I’m sort of surprised at the opposition – not that there aren’t reasons to not follow the guidelines for individuals, but I don’t see the guidelines as unreasonable where rear-facing is concerned. It’s all about the size of the head vs. the body.My son rode rear-facing until he was almost 2 (he was and is a lightweight, but 65th percentile for height most of the time). He actually found it more comfortable for his legs (crossed, pushing the seat, over to one side) than the way they dangle forward-facing. (He keeps crossing them even now and he’s 5.)
    And yes Moxie, it’s safe – worst-case scenario is a broken leg, I guess, but as someone already said the way the forces work in most collisions it’s actually more likely FF.
    He does get carsick, but the first time he did he was forward facing. So I couldn’t win anyway. We’ll see how #2 goes.
    #1 is just shy of 40 lbs now, at 5 yrs old, so he’s still in a FF carseat. We could probably switch to a booster but we’re not in a rush. I actually feel nervous about the booster. I don’t think it’s half as much protection – no extra padding and no 5 pt harness.
    For the boosters, in Ontario I believe it’s age 8/80 lbs now. I don’t think kids get teased much – maybe if parents keep them in at 9 or 10. But before the law changed, they did.
    I highly recommend the Car Seat Lady:

  68. I’m glad to hear of the new recommendations.My son was RF until he was almost 3 in our tiny Toyota Matrix. That’s when DD was born and we couldn’t fit two RF car seats in the back and have enough room for the driver. My daughter’s now 2, and she’ll be left RF’ing until she outgrows the height of the seat (Britax Roundabout), so probably until she’s at least 3 as well.
    By the way, they both hate sitting in the car (and we actually just did a road trip, 5 hrs each way, where DD was crying for most of the trip when she wasn’t sleeping). But whenever I entertain the thought of turning DD around (mostly to placate the uninformed nagging of my mother or hubby), I have flashbacks of those youtube vids of crash test toddlers in the FF versus RF positions… no thanks, I’ll put up with the crying!!

  69. oh and Moxie btw… yes, it’s ok to criss-cross legs RF’ing.I wonder if you have any readers from Sweden that will chime in… I think the recommendation there is RF’ing until 4 yrs old… and Swedes in general are pretty tall people (at least the ones I know)!

  70. As for how we remember when we turned the kids around: we take an annual vacation and I turned the kids around for that the year after they were big enough so that I could read them books, pass them snacks, etc.Before that, on long trips, I used to sit in the back with them sometimes, and I could nurse a rear-facing infant while I was buckled in to the center position (The Sag, she is good for something).

  71. It is interesting.In 2003, the baby grew out of her baby-carrier car seat at about 4-5 months, so she went into a rear-facing convertible car seat. We kept her rear facing until the next time we had to take the car seat out anyway for something (cleaning out the car maybe?) She got switched around probably around 14 months.
    In 2008, we had a baby carrier car seat that was supposed to last until 95th percentile kids were 1 year old. So we had 2 bases and 1 car seat for 6 or 7 months, but it was too heavy to bring back and forth into the house/daycare anymore with the baby in it. So we used it in just one car and got a convertible seat for the other. Eventually I replaced the baby carrier with a convertible seat for my car and handed down the baby carrier to my SIL/nephew (who found herself expecting as soon as she got rid of her baby stuff). Our 2008 baby was smaller than our 2003 baby at the same age, so she didn’t make the 1 year/20lb threshhold anyway. So, she stayed rear facing until 15 months or so.
    My 8 year old has been ready to ditch her booster seat since age 5 or so. However, we’ve been letting the pediatrician be the bad guy on this, and so she’s asking about it at every well-visit.
    As for petite women and grandmas who seem like they might qualify for a booster – it’s true they might. There were commercials for Saturn, I think, a long time ago about the need for safety devices in cars to work (equally) well for 5’2 women and 6’4 men.

  72. Data point from the UK: I am the only person I know who still has their 15-month-old rear facing. He is still in his baby bucket seat. When I went into a shop to ask about the next stage carseats I was told they were all forward facing. Several Mums I know have been using these seats since ~9 months.We have been feeling like we should buy a new car seat since Christmas, but I just hadn’t had any time to properly research the options. DS legs are getting a bit scrunched (glad to know that’s ok!), but his head is still contained. The main problem is that his shoulders are getting too wide for the baby seat.
    Anyway, this week I have actually being doing research, talking to friends, reading reviews, agonising over which of two (HIGHLY recommended; forward-facing) seats to buy. Just today I finally said to DH “Right, that’s it. We are getting this one and I am not reading any more about the subject.” Curse you, internet!!!

  73. I agree about our society being completely obsessed w/ all things SAFETY. As a previous poster said, if we really want to keep our kids safe on the road, we would never get into a car at all. Or we would drive no faster than 25 mph. Or we would drive monster trucks w/ roll cages.At some point, you have to make the call about how far you’re going to go. I think there should be some room for convenience and common sense in the debate too. If kids are puking backwards, not worth it. If you live in a cold weather climate, removing kids’ coats to get in the car seats and putting them back on outside the car, is insane, especially w/ multiple kids. Etc. etc. etc.

  74. I was thrown out of a moving car after an accident when I was in elementary school.It sucked.
    I still have a disfiguring facial scar. I still have chronic physical repercussions. These are things that changed my personality when I was growing up and have impacted my adult life (not in positive ways).
    My parents were following the car seat and safety laws at the time. They were following them to the letter, which wasn’t difficult because at the time, there weren’t any laws regarding child restraints in cars. Hi, I’m old.
    My parents didn’t know any better.
    I do. You do. We all do.
    I would have rather vomited on myself, kissed my own knees constantly, screamed bloody murder, been effing miserable, you name it, every time I’d been in a car rather than go through glass and hit the ground.
    Most of the comments I see on posts and articles like this are pretty flip and fall along the lines of “Well, I/my parents did X, and we were all fine!”
    You don’t hear a lot of stories like mine because most people who break safety glass with their skull and then land head first on the ground don’t survive to tell the story.
    I was lucky.
    In an accident, I don’t want to have to find out whether my kids are lucky or unlucky. I don’t want to have to do what my mother did, which was search frantically in the dark for a bleeding, unconscious child.
    I want to do everything I can to keep them safe in the car.
    Car seat laws are minimum standards, and they’re always behind the current research and best recommendations.

  75. My oldest screamed every single time he was put in a carseat for the first trip home. I became immune.The ability to function in the presence of pissed-off screaming is one of my parenting talents.

  76. I am not a safety nut in most things, but my very tall 3.5yo is still rear-facing. She’s never known anything different. And her little brother will stay rear-facing just as long, or so I intend.She climbs in herself, and can rest her feet against the seat-back in front of her or cross her legs. This is in a Toyota Camry, not an SUV. Anyway, point being that it is possible and not uncomfortable.
    While I agree that our culture is overly risk-averse, and I am mostly a free-range type of parent, the difference in crash outcomes was compelling to me. (Plus it was easy–since we had to have a car seat anyway, I just made sure we got one that had high rear-facing limits.)
    If I had a child prone to car-sickness I can see making a different decision, but this still works for us.

  77. My son is 21 months old and still going strong rear facing. His car seat (which we have used since birth) will hold him rear facing until 40lbs if we so desire. It can be turned front facing once the child is 22lbs and 34 inches.Since he just hit 34 inches and 26lbs, we are considering turning him around after his second birthday. Maybe. It will really depend on how much larger he gets between now and then.
    I want to turn him around because it would make my life easier, but not at the expense of his. You know? If he’s well past the car seat guidelines for height and weight and well past age two, we’ll consider it then.

  78. @Akeeyu, I am so sorry you were hurt in a car accident as a child. Your post will help others reading Ask Moxie.”I don’t want to find out if my kid was lucky or unlucky,” you wrote. That sentence will stay with me for a long time.

  79. I have small small twin girls 2-5% height/weight at 4.5. I put them in lap boosters in my husbands car. Top rated and small. The girls love them and fit into them well. I just couldn’t justify spending another 200-300 each for seats that don’t fit into my husbands car. PLus, they are in the car 2x a week.My car, they are in convertibles still but will be growing out of them in about 6 months (for height). I will buy the frontier booster that I can use for the next 5 years as it goes from 5 point harness to lap belt booster.
    My thing is, so yeah, do I keep my kids in a booster til they drive? I mean they really, honestly, might not hit that weight til then…

  80. Watch this video that shows the dramatic difference between being rear-facing and forward-facing in a crash. It’s pretty clear to me that the child is MUCH safer rear-facing. My son is over two years old and will stay rear-facing in his seat until he outgrows it by height or weight (and I happily bought a 40 lbs rear-facing seat to keep him rf longer after he passed the 30 lb weight limit of his other convertible seat around 18 months).

  81. Oh, and google “Joel’s Journey” if you’d like to see a real-life example of the damage forward-facing too early can do. The child survived but his life has been seriously altered (and for those of you in the STates, I can’t even begin to imagine the hospital bills for the care he needed).

  82. Wow.This whole post blew my mind.
    I live in Melbourne, Australia, and I had never heard that other countries legislate to keep kids reward facing for so long. I am sure it is tricky and can image all the carsickness it causes. I thought that what we do here was pretty safe – I thought we had standards in line with the rest of the world.
    Here in Australia, the rules are that babies are reward facing until 6 months.
    Between 6 months and 4 years they can be EITHER rearward or forward facing in a car seat.
    Between 4 and 7 years they must be in a forward facing car seat or booster.
    I think most babies here are turned forward by the time they turn 1.
    My 8 and 10 year old (who are almost exactly the same weight/height) just recently came out of their boosters. My 5.5 year old is in highest rated booster available. She will be in it to about 10 years I imagine, like her older sister.
    Children must be 12 years old to sit in the front, because of the danger inherent to airbags if you are too short. It used to be 8 years before Airbags became the norm.
    I think there is merit to the argument that there has to be some balance between what is absolutely the safest, and what is the most practical.
    I don’t know where this leaves us here, I always had confidence in the relevant authorities regarding car seats, but I had never realised how different it was elsewhere.

  83. I can’t imagine turning my 3 and a half year old back to rear facing but I think it would have given me pause at turning him at a year if these new recs had come out back then.If nothing else, this discussion has made me look at how many short cars trips we take that are unnecessary that could wait or be turned into walking trips. I grew up in suburban America and getting in the car to go to the corner store or a friend’s house or even the school bus stop is just what we did. I am surprised at myself that I haven’t done a better job of breaking that habit knowing about environmental issues and now with the reminder of safety issues with car travel. (We have streetcars in our neighborhood. No seat belts. Is that bc they just don’t crash?)

  84. To be fair, it DOES say to change based on the weight/height limitations of your carseat, not solely on age. I believe the 2 year recommendation is just a guideline for when most kids outgrow the rearfacing capacities of carseats. Clearly some children will outgrow them sooner, some will be comfortable in them longer.

  85. I’d really like to see their data on why they think this is a valid recommendation. I too had a tall child who could not have fit crunched up. I really wonder if cars need to be redesigned in order to make this really feasible–as in make passenger seats rear-facing by default.I also think it would be a nightmare trying to keep the sun out of kids’ eyes with the longer rear-facing time. Younger kids might reliably sleep more in the car or tolerate a receiving blanket over the carseat, but not an older child. You can buy a sun shield for side windows but you really can’t shade the rear window effectively. We had some flimsy thing we tried and it impaired driver visibility at dawn and dusk. Nobody needs to keep moving a rear sun shield back and forth. Many states now disallow those window shading laminates. I’m sure this sounds like a petty concern, but travel with screaming kids is not fun…and nobody wants to put their child through that anyway.
    I’m glad I’m through with car seats, and I’m glad this is only a recommendation at this point and not the law.
    Many states have a booster seat law that is 8 years or 80 lbs, whichever comes first. DD didn’t want to stop using her booster at 80 lbs (though thin and small of butt) because it raised her up higher and made the seat belt more comfy. But then she grew and the seat didn’t accomodate her hips anymore so she asked to be done with it. I think they should make boosters that accomodate kids over 80-85 lbs. I know that in some cases though, the kids might still use them if not for feeling like they’re babyish. There has to be a good way to design them so they look like part of the car and not a baby chair. /end rant/

  86. This is something I’m super passionate about because I’ve found it troubling the US has so many safety regulations that do seem a bit crazy, but have been so lax on the car seats. I’ve known this for at least the 5 years I’ve had kids, and I’m sure it was out there before that, I actually find it surprising that it hasn’t been more common knowledge.The research has been there for a long time, and this should have come years sooner.
    We have Radian car seats that go up to 80 pounds and to me it’s just one of those things you deal with because it’s safer. I wear a seat belt every day, and most days it wouldn’t matter if I did or didn’t because I haven’t had an accident or needed to stop suddenly…but, it’s the one time that you DO need it.
    My in-laws traveled with a baby who slept on a mattress in the back of their car all the way from the mid-west to California 30 years ago. Nothing happened. But the truth is that it easily could have.
    I know it’s a pain and some kids hate it, but I think there are lots of ways to make the car more fun and compromising safety just doesn’t seem to be worth it.
    Sure, we can say we would be safer just to walk, or to drive slowly, and those are some things we can’t do (driving 1000 miles at 20 mph, probably not), but keeping our kids in a seat longer should not be put in the category of things that are trade offs to safety. You are in the car anyway and putting them in a seat for longer is worth the inconvenience.

  87. Has anyone re-flipped their child after some months of foward-facing to go rear-facing again? If so, how did that go? My son is 2.5 but nowhere near the 40lb rear-facing weight-limit for our Britax. Neither of my children are big fans of the car but riding facing forward did seem to help with the shrieking somewhat.To answer a previous poster’s question about will this be a non-issue like back sleeping for newborns…maybe? Cars are scary and dangerous and parents of course want their children to be as safe as possible, even if it is inconvenient. (babies sleep better on their stomachs, too, says the mother of one sadly stomach-preferring infant.) But on the other hand this reminds me a little of the helmets-for-sledding hysteria taking place on parenting message boards all winter. It’s nice to hear other posters wondering if the tone of this argument is scoldy-scoldy American-style Safety overkill. You know, at least partially.

  88. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for kids over one. Putting your kids in the car is the most dangerous thing you do, and you probably do it every day. Riding in a car doesn’t seem unsafe to us, but it is. If you are going to pick one thing to concerned with safety-wise, car safety is a smart one to pick.Most kids should be in boosters until about puberty. Before puberty, a kids’ hip bones are still malleable and can deform from the pressure of a seatbelt, allowing the belt to ride up onto the belly and crush the internal organs. It’s called seatbelt syndrome. It’s horrendous.
    A $40 Costco Scenera will fit most kids rearfacing to two or so. You really, really don’t need to spend that much money on a carseat.
    My daughter stayed rearfacing until almost 3.5 in a Toyota Camry which is not a huge car. That was mostly for safety, and partly because she didn’t lose her toys when she dropped them and she couldn’t kick my seat.

  89. I did a lot of research on this issue when my first was around one – I put a lot of trust in the car seat technicians who post on, and they were recommending RF for as long as possible long before this. What really convinced me was looking at some of the videos of RF vs. FF in crashes – you can find them on youtube And yes, if you are rear ended the opposite would happen, but looking at stats on crashes, forward crashes are more likely.We kept my first RF until 24 months, because our second was born at that point and like others we couldn’t fit two RF seats in the car and have my husband able to drive. Our second was RF until 26 months, when he hit the RF limit (Britax Boulevard, 33lbs). He’s 98% height, 90% weight, and was pefectly comfortable RF and would happily have stayed that way had our seat accomodated it. I did not know at the time that there were seats going RF until more than that. Maybe if we have a third we’ll get one of those.

  90. We turned our son around just after his first birthday, because his convertible seat was awful rear-facing (he outgrew the bucket at 6 months). It was installed correctly and was almost entirely upright and swung from side to side even with the LATCH properly installed, because it was just too big for our car. I was terrified for him to ride in it! We decided to turn it around, with the consideration that he’s held his head up AT BIRTH so his neck muscles must be pretty developed by one. Sure enough, the seat was totally safe and secure once we turned it around. As an added bonus, he loved being able to see and stretch out–but that’s not why we turned him.Our daughter outgrew the bucket seat at 15 months. She’s a little pixie compared to her brother. We just installed her convertible seat, rear-facing, and she loves it. She’s comfy and secure and she can gaze lovingly at her brother. (And we got a smaller seat this time so it FITS. Man do I feel dumb about that first seat.)

  91. Haven’t had time to read the comments yet, but here’s been our experience:-DS stayed rear facing until at least 18 months (even closer to 2 if I rememeber correctly)
    -He’s in the 50th % for height and 10th % for weight, so tall and skinny. That being said, I’ve basically had back issues since he was born (probably more from the crib, but the carseat situation doesn’t help either).
    -He was in the back-facing, bucket detachable seat at least until 15 mos, maybe 18? It’s foggy. Can’t remember. (kept him there as long as I could).
    -At about 15-18 mos we changed him to the Britax seat, but kept it rear facing until about 2 when it was just getting too awkward to put him in rear facing (and his legs were too long)
    For me, the bigger deal was trying to put DS, who was not walking yet, but heavy, in his rear facing Britax in a tiny car (Mini), in the winter. THAT killed my back. But as soon as we switched to a bigger (4 door) car, life got much easier…for this anyhow.
    So I am OK with the new guideline, but I empathize with people that have kids on the bigger end of the spectrum.

  92. S is still rear-facing at almost 18 months, for a number of reasons. For one, she’s small–in the lower 10% for weight. For another, we don’t have a car and rely on taxis and friends, so a bucket seat (35-pounder) is a MUST for me. The base is in my parents’ car (which we’re in the most), and I carry her in the bucket any other time.I don’t know what I’ll do when she has to forward-face. I can’t imagine lugging a big booster up the stairs to the ped’s while chasing a curious little girl around.
    And other taxi-takers out there? And what do you do to strap in accurately and quickly when every taxi is so different?? (Sorry for the aside!)

  93. @Erin “I wonder what the danger level is of listening to your child scream bloody murder as a distractor.” Heh. So true. And everything you wrote in response to @Charisse. ITA. (Hope those are the same Erins!)@Shanna “Drives me nuts every time I hear a parent talk about how s/he can’t be bothered to put coats on/off each time they go in & out of the car, or they are worried about the kids being cold” The thing is, it’s not always that simple. And just because a parent doesn’t put coats on/off each time in the car, it isn’t because they can’t be bothered. Where we are, it can be -40C with the windchill in the winter AND we have laws that you’re not allowed to let your car idle for more than 3 minutes. So, um, people without a garage (like us and many others in our city) are stuck between a rock and hard place. I can’t really put DS in the car without a coat. So I’m stuck with the only option I have, which is to buy DS down filled coats (so at least they have the ability to compress) and to pull that seatbelt tight like crazy so that there’s no slack whatsoever. I just can’t believe that considering the amount of people for whom this must be an issue that some car seat company hasn’t come up with a solution
    @Charisse, “I think what rankles parents is when something new comes out that does have a real safety impact, but any objections about the also real hassles are dismissed because it’s about Safety and that should Always be your First Concern As A Parent.” Well, I think you totally hit the underlying issue here. How is it that all this stuff always gets turned back on the parents?
    @Scantee, “Parents are trying to the best they can. We live in Minnesota and don’t have an attached garage and there is no way in hell I am taking off the coats of a one and three year old in the middle of winter each time we get in and out of the car. I know that is what is safest, it’s a compromise I take full responsibility for.” Right there with ya.

  94. Really, I’m flummoxed that more people (including many here) aren’t embracing these recommendations. And honestly I consider myself kind of slack in this regard; I’m pretty sure DS was FF by 2 or if not then, soon after. But while I do think we sometimes over-obsess about all-things-safety (you may take my earlier replies to the disaster preparedness post as evidence) I think @Brooke is exactly right on this one: If we’re going to focus on safety anywhere, cars (for most of us) are the place to do it.@Akeeyu: thank you for writing about your experience. I’m so sorry that happened to you.
    Honestly, if I can do nothing else as a parent I will be reasonably content if I can teach my kid always to wear a seatbelt, and that when it comes to automobiles, safety is more important than comfort. And, yes, part of that is obsessing (a bit) about this as him mom while he is little.
    The comments about screaming kids amuse me a bit. Mine went through a dreadful whinging-in-the-car phase at 3.5, when he’d been FF for a good bit. Would that it had been so easy as just to turn him around.

  95. I am actually really glad these recommendations are official now because it settles a long-standing argument I’ve had with my husband.I think he *is* one of those “milestone” parents because he’s been agitating to turn BabyT around for months, even though she’s perfectly happy to be rear-facing. I have no idea why he’s so interested in it, except that he thinks she’s squished (and she’s not), but another friend’s husband had the same view.
    So I win for now, and we can keep her rear-facing. We managed to fit a Britax Roundabout 50 in our tiny Audi A3, and still have room for a (short to average) person in the front seat. So I’m cool with this until she’s 2. And then we’ll see how it goes.

  96. Oh, and can I just say how jealous I am of those of you who got a full year (or more!) out of your baby bucket?? We had to switch BabyT to the rear-facing convertible at 6 months because of her chub. So no more blissful carseat sleeping :(@akeeyu, thanks, and sorry.

  97. trigger finger on the post button – sorry about that.For those whose kids HATE to be rearfacing because they can’t see you, try one of those mirrors that straps to the headrest/seat next to them (just make sure it’s very secure). Then you can see/make faces at your kid in the rearview mirror.

  98. @Alexicographer “safety is more important than comfort” is exactly what I was talking about above. It sounds unassailable in the abstract, but what we’re talking about here is how much incremental increase in safety is worth how much incremental decrease in comfort, which I believe is a fair conversation to have.For instance, this evening in the pounding pouring rain with a bad headcold coming on and a delayed bus that wasn’t coming for 25 minutes, I decided to take a cab home with Mouse. Since I don’t carry her booster seat with me she rode without one. (She’s not teeny, she’s nearly 7 and over 4 feet tall.) You could certainly argue that I made an irresponsible choice – clearly, absolute maximum safety would have meant waiting for that bus – and I’d respect it, but I think many people would have done what I did in the situation. I really think that too often saying “safety is more important than comfort” is an excuse not to take comfort or convenience into account at all, and I don’t think that’s fair. Those things do matter to people, and they experience them much more frequently than they experience the one in a million situation where the last incremental bit of safety is needed. That’s not saying we shouldn’t go for the safety, but people aren’t being crazy by thinking of the other stuff – it has a big impact. (Not meaning to pick on you, a number of people said similar things, yours was just closest to the comment box at this moment.)

  99. @Charisse, no, that’s fine (picking on me, I mean). Actually having posted what I did, I was thinking about our trip 2 years ago (when DS was a mere 2.5) to Europe, in which I didn’t pack a carseat (convenience). So DS rode once in a taxi in Rome (that got rearended, but fortunately just a tap), with just a lapbelt (safer than nothing — on average, as I understand it — but obviously not really appropriate for a toddler) and also in an older booster seat of a now-aged-out-of-same cousin that really wasn’t up to contemporary safety standards at all (the carseat, not the cousin!). So, sure, I’d probably have done the same thing you did *but* I would (and do) make a distinction between “this is an unusual/unanticipated situation and I’ll just scrape by/make the best of it” and “In my general, everyday life, I’m just not going to fool with X even though it’s noticeably safer and/or teaches important things to my kid (car safety matters).” On the latter, I am often astonished by people’s willingness not to buckle up “just for this trip” or whatever, and reminded, sadly, of a young woman in my community who died in a head-on collision (she was a backseat passenger) when she and a group of friends were horsing around and driving a short distance, and she wasn’t belted in. I want strapping that seatbelt in to be an absolute reflex for my son, as it is for me (but I have, occasionally, foregone a seatbelt myself when one was literally unavailable, so again, willing to make exceptions … but they are exceptions, and I do think that matters — I mean, not that the fact that it’s an exception guarantees nothing will happen, obviously that’s not true, but that safety-wise, there is an important distinction between, “I’ll generally focus on safety over convenience” and “I’m often willing to compromise and accept less safety for more convenience” when it comes to automobiles, even as I acknowledge that not riding in them at all would of course be safer than the alternatives).For you and other city-dwellers, this: looked interesting to me (I actually found it while trying to dig up some information about something relevant to this new recommendation, though I forget what and it wasn’t in response to Moxie’s blog) and I’m contemplating buying one for travel this summer (another Europe trip to see family, same basic problem as previously). Has anyone used one, and if so would they recommend it? It’s a bit difficult to unearth this info. on the Amazon (and similar) sites but it does appear to be approved in line with US car safety guidelines for the age/weight ratings it targets.

  100. Turning kids when they turn one is definitely seen as a milestone by many of my friends. I’m in Australia and while most people keep them rear facing until one, our recommendations are not as strict. I must admit that each of my children (3) have had more time rear facing than the next as I became more educated about the benefits. My youngest is 16 months and he will not be turned any time soon. He is very happy rear facing, can interact with his brothers as he faces them and even if he wasn’t I would still leave him rear facing. My almost four year old is in a 5 point harness and my five ear old in a full booster seat with a lap belt which is positioned correctly.

  101. @expatriababy – I live in France, and it is interesting to see how everyday risk-analysis is cultural. It amuses me to read “Europeans” lumped into a big category when seen from North America, because there’s tons of variation. People in France, in my experience, don’t seem to be more likely than Americans to put their child rear-facing beyond age 1. We didn’t keep our firstborn rear-facing for longer than that because he was one of those car-hating screamers until he could see out the window.For our second-born, currently 3 months, I’d like to get a new rear-facing car seat because I’m unhappy with the one we currently have. It’s tiny, so she’ll outgrow it quick, and I’m not happy with how it installs. Can anyone in Europe recommend one? And are there any Isofix rear-facing ones available these days (there weren’t when my son was a baby), or is that just structurally impossible?
    (To avoid hijacking the comments, anyone with any advice can leave a comment or e-mail me from my blog, linked below.)

  102. Another one here with a very small child. My daughter is almost 17 months and still hasn’t reached 18lbs! There is no way in heck we could have turned her when her peers were turned at the 20lbs mark, which was about ten months ago for most of them! We live in the UK but there’s been a lot of talk on the forums about extended RF, specifically keeping children RF until 4 which is the recommendation in Sweden. The research I saw said that in the event of a front end crash, RF kids were 500% less likely to be seriously injured. 500%! I know that a crash is very unlikely, and quite probably your kids will be just fine FF because you’ll never crash, but if you do they’d be much, much safer RF, that’s just fact.I realise that we were very lucky to be able to afford to pay the almost £500 for her ERF car seat (which we amost had to buy from Sweden, BTW, as there are very, very few places in the UK that sell them), a lot of people can’t, that’s understandable. But if you can I think it’s well worth it, especially if you drive often as we do. She also gets carsick sometimes, although we’ve never had choking, and she used to scream at around 1 year too. We changed her into her ERF and she was instantly happy because she was more comfy, upright and she could see out the back, so I think it isn’t necessarily the FF that improves the situation, but just the change of seat. I also worry about her legs, but if they can manage till four in Sweden then I’m sure we can too.They’ve been doing it since 1965!

  103. Moxie, A LOT of parents think that their rear-facing seats are unsafe when their kids’ feet touch the car seat. And a LOT of parents use infant seats where the base slides around on the car seat. And a LOT of parents use convertible seats where the straps have inches of wiggle room, or the chest plate is sitting on their kid’s tummy. It is really surprisingly difficult for smart, caring parents to get reliable information about car-seat use, and it’s no use saying “well, I found the information in five minutes on the internet” (I did) because if about half the parents whose cars I’ve seen have poorly installed/poorly used car seats, and half the parents of babies I knew thought that their kids couldn’t face backward once their legs were too long, then there is a problem, and it’s not helpful to say, it’s the parents’ problem.I turned my triplets to face forward at 15 months when the smallest hit 20 pounds for reasons of convenience, but I would leave them rear-facing as long as possible now, because the research on that is overwhelming. It’s just so much better for their necks and spines, it’s a no-brainer. But I have three 10-year olds now, and one of them isn’t 4’9″ yet, but we stopped using boosters when they hit age 8, and it didn’t worry me much, or at all.
    I do think that, if seat belts aren’t good for people under 4’9″ tall, then we need to change the belt design. Children and short adults and senior citizens who have lost inches in height make up a large enough percentage of car riders to justify the change.

  104. @themilliner – Yes, same Erin!@ Alexicographer: Even though I’m at one voice with Charisse in questioning the issue of incremental safety and the rhetoric of safety, I always lug the car seat to Europe on trips. On the last trip, I used it exactly twice (the trip to the airport and the trip back). It was a huge PITA, so I feel you there. You’ve probably looked into this, but I wanted to throw out there that you can rent car seats (and other baby gear) in major European cities. There might be a way of getting them to the airport or having relatives bring them(?). Anyway, it’s worth considering. (I also buy plane tickets for my “lap children” and use their car seats on the airplane because I personally don’t think holding them in my arms is safe – or comfortable.)
    @mom2boy, re: the street car – I know, right! It’s kind of funny that the standards for cars become more and more strict, but we don’t have seat belts or any kind of restraining devices for adults let alone kids on major public transportation. Babies on laps in airplanes and trains and buses and streetcars. I guess one is statistically a lot less likely to get into an accident on those modes of transport (or, in the case of airplanes, I think the logic is that very few people survive crashes no matter what). But it’s still interesting to me that these forms of transport are exempt from the What About the Children?!? conversation.

  105. Italian laws are pretty lacks re. car-safety in general. Seat belts have only become compulsary in the last 5 years or so (and only in the front seat). Motor bike helmets ditto.As far as car-seats for infants and children goes, rear-facing car seats are the norm for kids weighing up till 9 kilos (20 lbs), so in theory kids can be front facing long before their first birthdays. Boosters for kids weighing 15 kilos (33 lbs) to 150cms in height. DD (being in the 3%ile till 18 months) was still facing rear until 16 months, DS probably until around his first birthday, although I can’t precisely remember. DS (now 6) has been in a booster for 2 years or so, although when we go on long car trips I prefer to put him in the regular car seat for the extra neck protection it offers. DD (4) is still in a forward facing regular car-seat and until she is happy to stay there, I won’t be making any changes.
    Despite, what I consider, minimal car-safety laws, Italians still manage to flout the rules. I can’t begin to tell you just how many times I have seen kindergarten aged kids in the front seat (without a belt), babies travelling in their grandparents arms, the whole damn family in the front of the car. Not to mention kids on bikes without helmets. A cop stationed outside our kinder would make a killing in fines ( if they only gave a damn)!

  106. @Tina I have used and love the Safe Rider travel vest, it is a great solution for travel and for taxis, especially now that my daughter is old enough to not need her car seat on an airplane. I live in the city and don’t have a car, and while we use public transit most of the time it is wonderful that I can have the option not to when I need it. It is small enough and light enough that I can throw it in my back pack quite easily. I think for young kids (my daughter is 4 but squirmy) it has an advantage over a traditional booster of being attached to her, so she slide herself off it. (For longer car trips we use a car seat with a 5 point restraint). The Car Seat Lady has a section on her website about taxi and airplane travel that is handy for these issues. I know I am unusual in carrying the vest for taxi travel. But I do think car travel is the most dangerous thing we do regularly with our kids, and it is worth it. I kept my daughter rear facing for about 2 years and sort of regret flipping her even now. I do wish there were a larger debate about why cars are not made to be safe for riders of all ages.

  107. Having been an EMT for three years, leaving me enough gray hair for a lifetime, I caution anyone against the “it won’t happen to me” train of thought. Yes, yes, we rode in cars with no safety seats when we were young. But we also rode in better made vehicle, there were fewer accidents as well. And plenty of children did get hurt or killed in accidents, but we didn’t have the YouTube video to rpove it. The things that I saw scarred me, and I am THAT crazy Mom when it comes to carseats. try as I might, I find myslef judging others on it as well. I particularly love the “who can afford a 300 dollar carseat?” comment coming from the lips of a Mom wearing a nice outfit from Lands End or holding a 200 dollar purse. Ah, I’m working on it….I also live in Japan where the carseat laws are non-existent. The difference, however, is the driving. Accidents are rare here, particularly fatal ones. I agree that we should be doing more In the U.S. to ensure people drive safely, but really, that doesn’t seem likely. Convince people to drive reasonably?

  108. @Erin – I buy plane tickets for my “lap babies” too. And people think I’m nuts (or a spendthrift).I have always believed that people/kids were safer rear-facing and while statistics say that plane travel is the safest, I’m not buying it. When I was a very small girl, there was a plane crash that killed my grandfather and several other people. Only one person on the plane survived…the man who had been in the rear-facing seat.
    And I don’t buy that we’d all be safer if we walked everywhere. Pedestrians are killed frequently enough when stricken by cars that it’s just not that safe. Heck, I was out running wearing a lime green shirt, a reflective vest, and a blinking light (in the day time) and got touched by a car…not hit, just touched.

  109. I’m not arguing the research or the safety of it. My frustration – and yes it’s all about me- is that they are constantly changing these guidelines. My kids are 13, 11, and almost 8 and have been out of boosters and back in boosters a million times because the state keeps changing age and weight. I did let the oldest sit in the front seat at age 12 *horrors* because he was taller than me at that point. I figured if he wasn’t safe then none of us were because I probably shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

  110. DD is about to be 5 a few months ago a boy in her class was in a car accident. He was in a high backed booster. The parents got yelled at by nearly every doctor/nurse/medical professional they met for having him in a high backed booster that he met all requirements for. Poor think lost a foot of intestine and was in the hospital for 2 weeks and had his dog die. He wasn’t even released from the hospital until his parents could prove that they had a 5 pt harness seat for him. Out daughter is in a Sunshine Radian 65. If she fits in it until middle school then she will because she’s the only kid we’ve got.

  111. My Graco Nautilus (about $129 from amazon but price changes almost daily so keep an eye on it) does 5-point harnessing to 65-lbs (about 30 kgs). It’s forward facing only. After 65-lbs, it becomes a high-back booster to 100 lbs (it can also be used as a backless booster, but I don’t know why you’d do that if you could have a high-backed booster).There are user photos at amazon. There is a photo of it with 3 seats in the back seat of a car. There are photos with tips for installation and proper shoulder belt placement, etc. It has 818 reviews and an average of 4.5 stars.
    Graco (with whom I am not affiliated in any way) makes nice, mid-priced kids’ gear. You can get a SnugRide-35 for your baby bucket, which will work for over 2 years for most kids (though of course, you probably wouldn’t carry them around in it once they get so heavy), then you can switch to the Nautilus. Total price for both: about $300 total for 10 years of car seat safety. That’s less than $3 per month. Of course, you might need a spare base for a second car or even a second car seat, but these are just the costs associated with having kids and cars.

  112. @akeeyu: your experience gave me chills and helped strengthen my resolve to keep both of my kids in their car seat and booster for as long as possible. I’m sorry you had that experience, but so glad that you were lucky, and I thank you for sharing.

  113. Anyone have thoughts on where in the car to place the carseat? I have him behind the driver’s seat bc I’ve heard most accidents are on left turns hitting the passenger side. No idea where I picked up that tidbit.I did check and tighten his shoulder straps this morning…

  114. The rules in the UK about car seats are the same as @ Paola posted. Rear facing until 20 lbs so our daughter faced forwards from 9 months. She’s off the chart for height and is usually mistaken for a 4-5 year old at 3.I’ve damaged disks in my spine, mended since, manhandling my daughter and fortunately we don’t use a car seat every day. She can now get in and out herself but like @ the milliner it used to kill my back.
    We got a kiddy seat, made in Germany. It has a design that comes with an impact bar to deflect force from the neck and head that seems quite convincing. It’s won many awards.It is a very comfortable seat.
    It also lifts out easily and can be put from one car in another which is a plus. We use that when visiting out of London. But I cannot manage the seat and the daughter by myself.
    The UK laws are well upheld by police. There are exceptions to laws where you have a genuine emergency and no seat, more children than seats so the biggest one can ride without, although I don’t think the police would let you if they saw you. The main exceptions is taxis.
    If we take a taxi out of London, a regular car used as a taxi we bring the seat as we said. Alone I will take any slow bus combination and walk the final bit rather than put DD in a regular car with adult seat belts. In emergencies the ambulance comes like when she had her anaphylactic shock in the country.
    In London we use black cabs. They have a wheelchair space where I could put the stroller and hold on to it. Now DD is over three and cannot fit in any stroller so she sits on the adult seat. They’re safe, specially built vehicles, very strong, best drivers anywhere, very rarely crash. But it’s scary.
    You can order a black cab with a child seat I believe in advance, but you can’t hail one on the street.
    The answer to the question why do it is simple. Our little girl struggles to walk more than a mile without a rest. To get from where we live in the East end of London to the medical places in the West end means walking long distances and walking many, many stairs to get anywhere on time and she’s not able to do it.
    For a fun outing we take the Tube and then a bus and go to a cafe and break the journey up that way but it takes forever.
    Those Amazon safety harnesses look interesting but I have a hard time picturing actually using one.

  115. EmmaB, that’s how I feel about forward facing. The odds are low that I will 1) be in a serious accident and 2) the accident will be a front end accident that makes RF safer. I’ve been in 3 minor accidents in my life and they’ve all been rear end. Add to that the vast majority of our driving is in town at low speeds and I just didn’t see the absolute need to keep my daughter RF. I turned her around at 16 months and 20 lbs. I’ll consider keeping my next RF for longer, but it may be a recommendation I don’t follow.

  116. Thanks for this conversation everyone. I am on Spring Break and my plan for the day was to clean out my car which includes taking the two seats out to get the junk out from around them. I said to my husband last night that I was going to reinstall our sons seat (14 mos) forward facing. The only reason we hadn’t already was because I had been too lazy.Thanks to this discussion, I will put it back in rf FOR SURE! Two things changed my mind… the story about surviving an accident after being thrown from a vehicle and the link to the youtube video. Can’t argue with either of those.
    So, I will make a good decision and keep him rf as long as his seat will accommodate that (Britax Marathon so ~35lbs) – this will be a long time as my 3.5 y.o daughter is just barely 35 lbs and she was bigger at 14 mos than my son currently is. He could be 4 by the time he reaches that weight! We’ll see….

  117. Really enjoying hearing everyone’s thoughts on this. It’s funny, I had no plans to switch my 14 month old to forward facing–I was expecting to get to at least 18 months or more before doing it, but now I’m told I have to wait until 2 I’m all annoyed. Silly. :)But I will say getting my son in and out of the rear facing seat is difficult. He’s on the upper percentiles for weight and I’m tiny and have a bad back, so it’s getting harder every day. Trying to squeeze him in while twisting myself around may not last forever, and that in fact may lead to us switching the seat before he outgrows it. We’ll see.

  118. @Jen Take heart – you are really close to the day when you don’t have to lift him into the seat at all any more. In a few months, you will be able to tell him to climb in and he will do it like a little monkey. (Then, a few months after that, he will refuse to do it until you threaten to sit in his seat, then he will cry and scamper into it himself.)

  119. Does anyone else thin that maybe car manufacturers should just make safer backseats? Every stat I read says that car seats are almost universally improperly installed, you aren’t supposed to wear a coat with them (I live where it is 20 degrees below 0 much of the year, so f*ck that idea) and the age/height/weight range keeps going up, plus you now have to pay an arm and a leg AND replace it every few years.It just seems like we’re going about this safety thing in the most costly, illogical ways possible.

  120. They actually started making that suggestion when my daughter was 18 months old. My pediatrician told me that at her 18 mos appointment and actually looked at me like she expected me to turn her around again. I don’t think so!I understand that there is safety involved, I do. But my daughter was unhappy rear-facing and I was SO glad to get her front-facing.
    Sometimes, though, I think “how did any of us survive?” because there weren’t even laws about car seats when I was born (and I’m not that old). My mom held me in her arms on the way home from the hospital. I know they didn’t have air bags back then, either and that’s the main reason for a lot of these changes, but seriously?
    My 6 month old is huge. His little feet are already sticking out of his carrier seat and I’m saving up for a nice convertible seat that will allow him to be rear-facing until 40lbs or some such, but seriously.

  121. I’m in Finland, and I had to check what the rules here are. In short, we are required by law to keep our kids in a carseat until they are 135 cm tall (roughly 4.5 feet, I believe). The type of carseat is determined by the kid’s weight. As for which way to turn the carseat, no laws but a recommendation: to keep the child rear-faced for as long as possible but at least until 3 years of age. Based solely on what I’ve observed among friends, I’d guess most people change the direction of the seat to forward-facing at around 2 years of age.I honestly can’t remember at what point we changed the carseat for our son (currently aged 4, about 3’4’’ tall) to face the front, but I’d guess he was maybe 2.5 years old. He’s in a carseat like this: while his baby sister, aged 9 months, is still in a baby bucket which she is about to outgrow. We are planning to place her in her brother’s seat, rear-facing, and get him this seat: Don’t know if these seats correspond at all to what you have in the US! Sorry about the pages being in Finnish, just look at the pictures 🙂

  122. Why has no one brought up carpooling? When I was a kid we carpooled starting in nursery school–2 kids per seatbelt. Now I need 4 car/booster seats and three-row car to have a carpool of two families. The average carpool has to be in a mini-van. I understand the new regulations and do believe they are safer, but there are moments when it seems like it’s just another one of those things that makes the contemporary mom’s (yes, the mom, because she’s doing most of the driving in most families) life harder and harder.

  123. Regarding the bulky coat issue — you can put a child in a fleece jacket, put them in the carseat, cinch the belts on tight, and THEN tuck the down jacket around them (over the tight seatbelt).At 4.5, my daughter now automatically takes off her bulky coat when she gets in the car, puts on her seatbelt, and then puts the coat over her to keep her warm. I’d say it adds about…30 seconds to our journey. Once we park & I unfasten her seatbelt, it’s her job to put her coat back on before I open her door.

  124. @Celeste, my “safety over comfort” admonitions above notwithstanding, I do think carseats are probably among the most isolating aspects of modern culture for young parents (and yes, principally moms). I know I can’t stand to take my son out for more than one destination + one errand (i.e. a total of 3 ins-and-outs of the car: departure, destination, and side stop) so if we need to go to the park, the grocery store, and the post office, well, generally I’ll give one thing up. And that’s with just one kid. I’m fortunate in that I work and can often get what I errands I need to get done en route to/from or otherwise fit them into a childfree part of my week, but, ugh.(And, yes, as I say, I know this observation is totally in contradiction with my earlier comments or at least a serious downside to same, but hey, consistency’s overrated.)

  125. I was in a really scary, awful, nightmarish accident last month.We are all ok.
    I was really, really glad I’d imbibed the strict car seat rules from the internet already. So glad. Just do what they say you guys. Please try.
    *cries again*

  126. @Ab – Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind when S turns 3, the minimum age I found on their website. That seems WAY easier than lugging a seat around.I also echo whoever said car-seat installations should be easier. Anything involving babies–from car seats to cribs, playpens, bathtubs, you name it–are plastered with warnings, and I think manufacturers protect themselves with complicated car-seat systems instead of working on simple, safe installations.
    That said, the new base on our Graco Snugride 35 is the tightest I’ve ever been able to get any base. They have a new lock mechanism for a lap belt that keeps everything tightly in place–way easier than the tug-and-pull routine we normally have to go through when we change cars.

  127. @Mom2Boy, I think I read that the safest spot is in the middle (if you have that option) for the simple reason that it’s the farthest from the outside of the car.But Iike you, I think the next safest spot is behind the driver. From what I remember from drivers’ ed (a looong time ago) was that this is the safest spot as the driver will always (instinctively) swerve or move away from the impact.
    That being said, we have DS on the passenger side. Hello convenience. And well, DH thinks it’s the safest spot.
    And, oops, I stand corrected. Just went to google it as I was curious, and this is what the Car Seat Lady said:
    “Studies show that there is statistically no difference between the two sides – so pick whichever one is most convenient for you.”
    And she does confirm that the middle is safest.
    So I guess DH and I were both right. And well, you know, I took driver’s ed in the 80’s so…

  128. Mama Fuss,”Sometimes, though, I think “how did any of us survive?” because there weren’t even laws about car seats when I was born (and I’m not that old).”
    Logic dictates that those who didn’t survive aren’t around to talk about it on the Internet.
    As I mentioned previously upthread, I was thrown from a car during an accident at a young age. I very highly don’t recommend it.

  129. My son is three and still rear facing. He’s 34 lbs and almost 38″. Last summer, when he was nearing the weight limit on his Britax (35 lbs), I knew that I wanted him to stay rearfacing as long as possible. So, I got him a new car seat (Graco My Ride 65) for my birthday present. Now, he’s set to RF up to 40 lbs. He’s happy and safe, and I feel better.We went through the screaming demon & fighting the seat phases, but like most phases with little kids they went away after a while. For me, waiting it out is just part of my parenting style, I guess.
    And I think that the momma that has her own booster is AWESOME! People always throw that our there. “I’m 4’9″, do *I* need a booster?” Um, yeah, if you’re not fitting in the seat right.

  130. Big kids in boosters is no big deal. They all use them. The only people who think it might be “bad” or embarrassing are adults who don’t have kids that age/size. All the 9 and 10 yos I know (my older kid’s age) are in boosters.Little ones in rear-facing seats can fold their legs (loosely cross-legged sitting). It’s no bigger a deal than sitting with your knees bent in a “regular” seat in a car.
    You can’t use height/weight for when to turn front-facing because it’s not about height/weight. It’s about neck/back musculature, which develops with age. So keep them rear-facing as long as you can.
    If you don’t make a big deal out of it, your kids won’t.

  131. my son is still rear facing at age 2.5. he’s average as he’s in 50 percentile for height his last visit and around the same for weight. his legs are bent but he’s fine with it. we have a britax marathon and we’re going to forward face him when he reaches the max for weight/height rear facing. the person who convinced me to do this was a highway patrol officer who does the car seat inspection. no one from AAP. he said the most common accident is getting rear ended and if the child hasn’t reached close to the max for height and weight facing forward, the impact can severely hurt his neck/spine. and being a highway patrol guy he said he’s seen some tragic accidents with kids facing forwards when they haven’t reached the max. he also told me the reason he’s alive to tell me all this that convinced me. once he was in a high speed chase and he crashed into a median BACKWARDS and had he been facing forwards he wouldn’t be alive. i’ll face my son when he’s reached the weight limit.

  132. @mom2boy, the millinerGlad both sides are equally safe seeing I have one on each. Back in the days when I only had one, I found that if he was behind the passenger seat ( not the driver’s seat I mean) I was constantly being distracted looking round at him (is he vomiting, sleeping, why is he crying? type of thing). Behind me, less so, seeing I couldn’t see him if I turned anyway. So that settled it for me till DD came along and by that stage I didn’t need to keeping looking to see she wasn’t choking on vomit or anything.

  133. @the milliner – Thanks for googling it and coming back to reply.I am now totally freaked out and would like to put him in a rear facing car seat with its own roll bar.

  134. I’m really shocked to see all the anger about ERF by Moxie readers. And the insistence that we need bulky coats! On our children! (Especially considering that polar fleece is warmer and safer, but whatever.)@ akeeyu, thank you for sharing. I’m sorry you had to go through that, but at least it seems that your experience may change some parents’ views about keeping their children safe in vehicles.

  135. meredith i’m with you. i’m confused at the people comparing this recommendation to WHO recommendation for breast feeding. are you kidding? car accidents happen all the time and you’re safer flying in an airplane. child seat manufacturers don’t put weight limitations on seats b/c they just feel like it. there a reason. a BIG reason.people, have you ever been in an accident? it’s one of the most terrifying heart stopping trauma one will ever have. aside from the physical damage it does to an individual, it’s mentally scarring for a long time.
    for those worried about not knowing what your child is doing rear facing get a mirror to face them so you’ll be able to see them with your rear view mirror. the crying can be annoying (my child was colicky and cried for 8 months straight in his infant seat). crying is annoying and disruptive while driving but it can be somehow managed but life long injuries or death cannot be reversed.

  136. I kept my son (long and lanky) rear-facing until he hit the weight limit on his car seat, which also happened to coincide with his second birthday. There are now seats that go up to a higher limit. I will definitely seek those out if we should have a second child.Sitting with bent legs is much better than ending up with a broken neck.
    We found that putting a mirror in the seat next to him so he could see us and also see himself worked wonders. Plus lots of music.
    And O’s. We gave him lots of O’s to eat in the back.
    He did fine.

  137. Maybe everyone else is an above average driver.The very first time I drove on the highway after I had my first child (she was 6 weeks old), I drove into the back of a semi and then was rear ended by an SUV. My honda was totaled. Obviously at 6 weeks my daughter was in a rear facing car seat and thankfully she was fine (all of us drivers were braking madly and it wasn’t a _really_ high speed accident, but it was on the highway). I was deeply fatigued, but not fully aware of it (my thyroid was overactive, so I couldn’t get to sleep, but I was also euphoric in a somewhat deranged way).
    The point being, I don’t get to say, it won’t happen to me, because I’ve already been in a car accident with my child, I’ve already failed to protect her doing the most dangerous every day thing I do with her. Despite that I turned her around at about 20 months because I was having a second child. Reading this thread I realize that was a little irrational. I don’t think I’ll turn her back to rear facing, but I’ll keep my son facing back as long as it is feasible.

  138. Hmm….once again I see the cultural / geographical / situational assumptions inherent in a lot of these comments. That is most certainly NOT a criticism, just an acknowledgement that you in the USA have a very different set of circumstances than some of us in other countries.Here in Australia we have compulsory rear facing until 6 months, optional rear facing until 4 years, and in boosters until at least 7 years of age. That is uniform across the country, it is law, it is rigorously enforced and it is working. Every state and territory in Australia has enacted the same laws so that there is consistency across the country. The penalty for non-compliance is harsh – with some drivers losing their licences for having unrestrained children. It is very rare to see unrestrained children, and those that are unrestrained are generally reported by other horrified motorists.
    We don’t have extended rear facing for a number of reasons:
    car seats – most of the car seats are not designed to have bigger children rear facing. You can’t get them here.
    car seats again – most babies in Australia are restrained in capsules and then in rear facing convertibles. The baby buckets that were really popular in the USA when I lived there are pretty actively discouraged by the medical and child developement fraternity and by the physiotherapists in Australia. They tell us that they are only designed for use in a car, not for extended use and the risk to the development of the baby of using them as prams, as sleeping seats or to carry kids around is too high. They cite studies, but I wouldn’t have a clue as to what those studies are. Also, apparently, they cause too much parental injury. So, although the manufacturers are trying to get the buckets into Australia, they are not having great take-up.
    temperature – it is very hot in the summer months in Australia and even with an airconditioner on, babies who are rear facing can overheat very quickly as they are not getting the same airflow as other passengers. Yes, I know car design could change this but Australia and New Zealand only has a combined population of about 26 million and we are in no position to exercise much influence on car manufacturers.
    Market size – we have Australia /New Zealand design standards for car seats. They are different to USA and Europe. For example, top tethers are compulsory on all car seats, including rear facing ones and all seats must be secured by seat belts. This is because we are stuck in the middle of both the EU and US design standards (ISOFIX vs LATCH)
    Forgotten children – rear facing children and infants are much more likely to be forgotten in cars and die of exposure. The consequences of being left in a car in many places in Australia, even in winter are swift and deadly. There are many sad stories of forgotten infants in the USA.
    Size of cars – on the whole, we don’t have cars that are the same size as the USA.
    Price – car seats in Australia and New Zealand are VERY expensive – like $300 expensive.
    Where is the effort going to have the most effect – the biggest safety effect is in actually having children restrained in a well fitted, car seat that is appropriate for their size. The governments and road safety organisations in Australia are focussing on the basics. That is – get all children restrained in car seats and get those seats fitted correctly.
    There is no dispute about the benefits of having children rear facing for as long as possible. But, when you have to fight the road safety battle, you fight it where the most people will benefit.
    I kept my kids rear facing until about 18 months, then summer hit both times, and I turned them around to try and keep them cool. Those of you in the southern parts of the USA might understand what I’m taling about.
    Someone said earlier that child safety is a whole package. You can’t just look at one element of it in isolation. I think that is the reason that we have the child safety seat regimen that we do in Australia. In the USA, you have a whole different set of factors in play (bulky winter coats – never would have thought of that one!).
    Peace out!

  139. @paola, Yeah, the passenger side seat is kind of a double-sword kind of thing. You can check on them if you need to, hand them O’s or something. But of course, that’s the down-side too.

  140. Our 8-month old is in the 90th percentile for height — she’s going to be touching the back of the seat any day now, it seems. Yet she’s in the 50th percentile for weight, so I see a long, long stint of carseats and boosters for her until she reaches the weight limit. We live in a country where carseats are not mandatory but we’re trying to stick to US standards, for her safety and also so she’s used to it when we get back to the US. She’s already outgrown her first carseat and we were lucky to buy a larger, used one from another American family. I hope we can find one here that meets US requirements when she outgrows this next one.

  141. Stephanie,If you mean that her feet are going to be touching the back of the back seat soon, don’t worry about it.
    Kids are perfectly comfortable with their feet touching the seat, or sitting cross legged or whatever. If you think about all the ridiculous positions in which children sleep and play, you’ll feel better about them sitting mildly wadded up for car trips. 🙂
    You didn’t fail to protect her. You DID protect her by putting her in a safe car seat.

  142. Those with carsick kids.. try seabands. They may or may not work, but they’re like $2 and it can’t hurt to try.

  143. The comments here surprised me. A few kids here in the US turned before age one when every state requires rearfacing til that age.As for when to turn yes it’s a balancing ac but man it sounds like ease is taking the lead for lots of people here and that surprises me given how educated Moxie’s audience is. Sure folks who don’t drive a lot have other concerns but for those of us in suburban communities who don’t rely on transit, we can and should realize bad, terrible stuff happens to people in cars everyday and being a good driver isn’t enough to save you from someone else’s bad driving.
    My stats fir those googling. Only child, son born in July 08 when lots of sources were already touting rf til 2. I spent early 20s doing public education about car seat safety- it’s one of my passions. Got ds Graco bucket seat. He hated it and the car from the get go. Screaming liking wailing mess. Outgrew bucket by height at 6 months. Got britax roundabout. Chunky tall kid outgrew ability to rf in it at 12 months. Backup seat was Cosco Scenera, a $40 seat that was taller than britax. So he rf in it while I shopped for larger everyday seats since we need three for all day care options. Got him First Years True Fit. Huge seat with 35 lb rf weight limit. He rf in it until he was 27 months. He never liked the car. He needed company in the backseat. When I turned him he still had a pinch of room left to rf but inwas tired of the backseat. He’s now 32 months and 35 lbs and 40 inches tall. He’s outgrown the ability to rf in any of his seats. Yes a happier passenger but I know he’s less safe. Given how fast he grew I can’t justify getting more car seats as the only larger one that might work only goes to 40 lbs rf which would only get us a few months of use.
    In our circle we are absolutely the only people we know who ERf our kid. But I’m also known as the hovering worry wart. Most people we know also have more than one kid. My one kid took three years of infertility and a high risk pregnancy to get. He’s my one shot.
    And @akeeyu thank for sharing your painful story.

  144. I haven’t read all the comments, so sorry if this is redundant, but after watching the test dummy example on some website–rear vs. forward facing, if I could get a Swedish car seat to rear face to age 6 I’d do it….we kept the kids rear facing until they hit the weight limit on the seats. That said, we unwittingly had my son in a broken bucket seat–some little plastic piece broke off and apparently it was important–so–they are only as good as the installers at the end of the day. They were happier facing forward though.

  145. Chanel, that’s all fine and good unless the mother needs to drive somewhere by herself. I don’t know about you, but I often drive alone.

  146. To the person above who said that rear-facing makes injuries 500% less likely – this is mathematically impossible. 100% less likely=0%.

  147. Quite frankly I don’t understand why we keep extending age and weight requirements for children who travel in private vehicles while there are no seat belt and booster requirements on school buses.

  148. @Pepe – because deaths/injuries in school buses are much more rare than those in private vehicles, both absolutely and relatively. School buses move relatively slowly and physically are not very prone to accidents and injuries. Adding seat belts for kids would also increase the amount of time they spend in them (because it would take extra time to buckle them) and might increase their exposure to the possibility of accidents.

  149. I know I’m incredibly late to this commenting but here’s my $0.02:Our pediatrician told us in 2007, before the kid’s birth, that his rules were rear-facing until at least 2, crib until at least 3, and vaccinate. Everything else was open to discussion. Sounded good to us.
    Fast forward to us cramming a rear-facing convertible into a MINI Cooper… the space constraints of that car really clarified what we had to get, so we have Sunshine Kids Radian 80 seats, with 5-point harnesses through 80 pounds of weight. It’s a narrower, foldable, steel-framed seat that was basically the only LATCH convertible/booster that would fit in the MINI. Now I’m extra grateful to’ve had the thing so I could keep the piglet rear-facing until 2.25 years, when I personally couldn’t stand it anymore. It tipped back nicely to afford more leg room than I expected, and she just propped her feet to the side or climbed them up the back of the car’s seat until we turned her.
    Those seats have taken us through many rental cars, on two long airplane trips (I guess four airplanes, then), and will last us for ages. Had our ped not pressured us prenatally to shop for something we could live with so long–and had I not had such a small car–I don’t know if it would’ve worked. And yes, she’s of normal height at this point, though gangly/lanky will never be an appropriate way to describe my preschooler.
    It was actually easier for her to get into her seat when it was RF, too. Whatever.

  150. @Rosemary,Everyone’s probably moved on, but I wanted to thank you for your perspective from Oz. I think you articulate very clearly what many of us in the thread were trying to point out. IMO, the problem with the “safety first! think about the kids!” talk is that it often hides the fact that safety is complicated and there are many risk factors that need to be taken into consideration. (I’m pretty surprised to see posters criticizing others who live in places like MN for wanting their kids in down coats. I’m sorry, but at below zero, fleece is *not* warmer than down.) I especially like your point about the dangers of leaving kids in the car in rear facing seats/ forgetting them in the car. This is not a common phenomenon, but it does happen every year to the devastation of those parents (and if it happens to you in the wrong state, you might also get charged with murder).
    VERY interesting points about the buckets! I had a friend break her leg b/c of the bucket. It also serves as a great reminder that something that is considered perfectly safe and reasonable choice for transporting an infant is considered not a good idea and potentially dangerous in another.
    (Also, I would like to say, as gently as possible, to @Sarah that even those of us with more than one child, who did not experience infertility, think of our children as more precious than our own lives, no matter what kind of car seat they are in.)

  151. Just thought I’d come back and add that I’ve just purchased the safe rider vest mentioned elsewhere in this post and haven’t actually used it yet but have practiced getting my son into it and belted into a car with a seatbelt/shoulder belt. Here are my impressions: the vest seems well constructed and looks fairly comfortable. It’s made with a stiff padding (similar to closed cell foam) but covered with comfortable fabric. I’d guess it might be noticeably uncomfortable to wear in hot weather but otherwise will probably be OK. My son’s not hugely enthusiastic about it and will probably wear it only when I insist, i.e. for as little time as possible while getting from point a to point b.In the car (a Ford Taurus), we tried it on in the front seat just to get a sense of how easy it was to get “installed” (we won’t really use it there, of course, because of the airbag). I give it two-thumbs-up on ease of use; it was a cinch to get the seatbelt attached to the harness. My sense was that my (standard) shoulder belt was a bit on the high side for safety for my son, even routed through the harness, but probably still better than not using this. My son is 4 y.o., 38#, and 43 inches tall, so toward the small end of what this vest is designed for.
    This vest would definitely stash easily in a standard daypack or tote. It’s too large to go into a purse, at least the sort I carry. Overall I’m glad I bought it to have on hand for use on trips or in taxis, though it will definitely not replace our usual carseat in our regular vehicles.

  152. My son was big too (~90-95% for height since birth, and he was in the 90s for weight until he started walking) and we waited until about 19 months to turn him around, even though at the time it was legal to turn the seat forward at 12 months. Our seat’s a Radian 65 from Sunshine kids and he was fine for leg room even when we turned him, though they might have been a bit bent. If the guidelines at the time had said wait until age 2, I think it would have been worked.I also think there are tricks that may make riding in the car less objectionable to toddlers. On long drives one of us would be in the backseat with him, so he didn’t mind being rear-facing because he had someone to interact with face-to-face — I’m hoping for our next kid having an older sibling to interact with provides the same fun. I don’t really recommend this, but on a road trip when he was around a year I discovered that by contorting my torso we could both stay belted and he could nurse when the sippy cup wasn’t cutting it for dealing with ear preassure, so that was another point for rear facing.

  153. My daughter is now far happier travelling in the car now we have turned her around front facing at the age of one and a half. She likes the view. I personally don’t like travelling backwards either. If I use public transport I always make sure I face the way I’m travelling!

  154. HHH Yes, the design of national policy is important, how our economic development plans for the next five years, how the implementation, how to make our economy even faster. Are designed to advance our focus to invest money in what ways it should be carefully arranged.

  155. Beda owo choc „wyschnietego” liczby, i poprzednio zainkasowaniem wierzytelnosci warto takze zapoznac sie z ewaluacjami tych, ktorzy w tej chwili skorzystali sposrod danej oferty.Przedtem inwestor moze niemniej zazadac konstytuowania zabezpieczenia pozyczki.
    Czas pozyczki niekonfidencjonalnej na stale zadomowil sie w tym momencie w naszym pozyczkowym slowniku.
    Najswiezszego strategia wyjawiaja, iz w tym momencie o tyle o ile 10% obejsc pokojowych ma punkty sposrod obsluga swoich zlecen. Znaczy to, iz srednio co dziesiata rodzina nie jest w stanie udzwignac towaru stop od momentu nastepujacych pozyczek a kredytow.
    Ponizej dlonia zaciaganiu kredytow niejaka z w najwiekszym stopniu skrup nadto intensywnych o priorytecie przekazanego kredytodawcy trwa oprocentowanie jakiego pozostanie wsypane na zaciagany za posrednictwem nas kredyt.

  156. I am wondering how I might be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS feed which must do the trick! Have a great day!A week’s idea constructed the notion of at the least summering at the stream appear better than ever. Therefore, on the Sunday morning at the begining of Can whenever i estimated which will whatever self-respecting Maine caretaker might possibly be household enjoying the Scarlet Sox, As i termed Debt Dean plus revealed to your pet I had created attend my own pond area out of your Last associated with February or possibly even longer . . . thinking that any time details resolved to go when i wished, I’d personally get taking the fall and then wintry weather now there likewise.
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  157. Nierzadko rownie uwielbiamy zaciagac debety w cudzoziemskiej maksymy, zazwyczaj we frankach szwajcarskich, bytuje owo ogolnie propozycja biorac ostrozne, wierzytelnosc jest w takich przypadkach tanszy, atoli biorac przy wzmianke zeszle zawirowania monetarnego, lepiej stanowi rozciagly zaciagac takze placic stopniowo w walucie, w jakiej dostajemy oplate.Z niebiezacego motywu klienci parabankow z zapalem predestynuja sie na obsluge domowa.
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    Organizacji pozyczkowe przyznaly wobec tego, ze pora przeobrazic nie danine, aczkolwiek… terminologie!
    W krancu wzrastajace procent zacmia nasze niemonetarne dyspozycja i powstanie pelen powagi komplikacja.

  158. Cokolwiek odpowiedniej oczekiwalaby wypadek debetow w euro a jeszcze dzis w tej walucie nieco bankow uzycza kredytow.Od chwili w tym momencie ich splata zajmuje sie bank, w kto owo zaciagnelismy pozyczka konsolidacyjny.
    Regulacja antylichwiarska wlazlaby w obecnosc w 2006 roku , i jej gwoli byla zabezpieczenie kredytobiorcow przedtem zbywajacym oprocentowaniem kredytow bankowych i pozabankowych.
    Komplet bezspornie podlega od czasu specjalizacji, od biezacego, czym dana figura sie zaprzata, ktorych tematow, aparatow, projektow oraz perspektywie postuluje.
    Tak dlugo jak co pozostaja stad w cieniu niedrugich model pozyczek, wprawdzie – miejmy nadzieje – istnieje owo owszem temat wieku.
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  159. Co gorsza, komplet pokazuje na to, ze w niedalekiej przyszlosci bedzie jeszcze dogorywaj.Na eudajmonia z asysta przybywa nam stopa RRSO.
    Na plakatach zas ulotkach wydrukowanych przy uzyciu niniejszego na nieszczescie brakuje.
    Za dlug konweniuja solidarnie, co miesci, ze bank ma zarzadzenie dojrzewac przelomu debetu od wszystkiej sposrod jednostek w calosci czy tez w czesci az do kompletnego dogodzenia kredytu.
    Malo tego umowa dlugu gotowkowego jest od tych poprzednich z wiekszym natezeniem przezroczysta natomiast w wyzszym stopniu jaskrawa.
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  160. Niegdys nie bylo w samej rzeczy zmasowanej kampanii bankow reklamujacych wierzytelnosci gotowkowe. W telewizji wolno aktualnie dostrzec spotyPragmatycznie dosc nie jest.
    Dwa pierwsze danie polozenia uznaja nam zorientowac sie, co w tej chwili jest na zbycie tudziez tak jak mniej wiecej bedzie smakowac nas debet pozabankowa.
    Zadluzenie konsolidacyjny owo stosunkowo nowy artykul monetarny, aczkolwiek od czasu toz poczatku nasycalby sie potezna gloria.
    Tak aby moglo az do rzeczonego przybyc, nowy wspolkredytobiorca musi miec artyzm kredytowa.
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  161. Umow chociaz rowniez zwykle nie studiujemy…Nietrudno sie wskutek tego domyslic, iz istnieje ona najwazniejszym znakiem, pokojowkom do zestawienia dwoch przeroznych ofert pozyczkowych. TUDZIEz ostatecznie zapewnia, iz wierzytelnosci pozabankowe sa wartosciowe.
    Odkad tego frazeologizmu banki zaskoczylyby sie wycofywac z pozyczek w szwajcarskiej dewizy, a w ubieglym roku calkowicie ukonczono udzielanie debetow we frankach.
    Bank przekladal klientce, iz ze motywu na zastrzezenia niekompleksowego nie zdolalby takich informacji delegowac bezwarunkowo.
    Rozprawy nie udostepniaja podobnie portale posredniczace w transakcji – tak aby poniesc pozyczke na np. 5000 niezlocistych, przedtem nalezy wziac oraz wyrownac rachunki w zwrocie dwie mniejsze wierzytelnosci.
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  162. Decydujac sie na taka pozyczke, powinno sie wiec skonfrontowac podazy wielu fabryk -zaoszczedzic jest dozwolone w samej rzeczy wiele.Wierzytelnosci nietajnych, zas w normy inwestorow, ktorzy sa otwarci uzyczyc nam pieniadze, nalezy zabiegac w Necie. Dokad w detalach? W wielu miejscach. Na egzemplifikacja:
    Mimo to sa takze nierozne uslugi, gdy chocby bieg splaty ponownej stopy o parenascie dni, wewnatrz co materia zlotawa powinno sie bedzie odplacic sie.
    ORAZ nastepuje owo z fabule “Jak sie masz, grupo” – wschodza wydatki powiazane z poczatkiem roku pouczajacego
    Niestety, wprost przeciwnie w rodzaju.
    kredyty chwilówki

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