Using a non-CMVSS certified seat in Canada is technically illegal. Buying a seat from US or Europe and have it shipped to Canada is perfectly legal. Customs might add on some fees and taxes but your seat will not be seized.
I would never turn my kids FF before age 4. I feel that age 4-5 is a good point to switch to FF. RF is far safer even at that age but kids are more develped so it's a good tradeoff.
We are very fortunate here to have seats which easily keep kids comfortably rear facing for a long time. Most seats last until age 4 and 55 lbs. Britax Multi Tech and Britax Two-Way easily last to age 5-6 and have 55 lbs weight limit as well
Happens occasionally since I'm Swedish and wife is Mexican. Some ask if they are adopted even though their skin is not very dark. I never felt questions like these were rude, more about being curious and doing small talk.
People around us are likely confused about our origins at times since our kids, 6.5 and 4, are already tri-lingual and we use all three languages between us.
Son is 6.5 and sits FF in a hbb which he loves. Daughter is 4 years 2 months and sits RF, sometimes FF in a hbb.
Cognitive ability associated with the necessary attention span to use a booster correctly does not even begin to develop until at least 4 years old.
This is obviously not correct. When using a high back booster it's important to have a good belt fit. Very small children might therefore not fit well at this age but it's unusual....
The Swedes are the only ones rear facing kids to age 4 or longer and our experiences are great, both for comfort and safety. If older kids were uncomfortable RF we would have big problems;-)
Most believe RF benefits disappear at age two but this is not true. The safety benefits after age 2 are huge although they slowly decrease with age. This has a lot to do with the ossification of bones like above poster mentioned. The ossification of bones continue to puberty. ...
Turning a child forward facing at 18 months is anything but safe. It's 500% less safe than rear facing. That we know for sure both from research and real life experiences. It's basically a terrible idea.
Good options have already been mentioned above. A comfortable car seat is of course important, toys, rear facing mirror, and more upright position take car of most problems.
Some kids have these stages when they are simply miserable regardless of circumstances....
A car seat in front with active airbag is a terrible idea. It's not safe. A car seat with deactivated airbag is just as safe, or safer if it's RF, than using the back seat. This has long ago been proven by research and real life experiences. You can read more about it here.
Kids love to ride in a bike seat and this is safe from around 1 year of age. We used two seats for our four bikes with easy quick release between them. That way we could use bike seat on high end mountain bikes, with easy riding, and also on the city bikes.
We would bike to day car or go for longer rides during weekend. Kids love it and even nap in the seats.
A bike trailer is fine but it's far heavier to pull and not comfortable on uneven terrain. Wearing a baby...
A few months is not going to make a difference. I agree with posters above saying it's great for kids to be familiar with water as infants. Regardless if they can swim or not. 500 kids drown each year in US, it's a great skill to have.
My daughter learned to swim at 3.5 and son at just over 6 years. Now, half a year later they are both very comfortable in the pool. I think a good age is when kids can follow some basic advice so somewhere between 2.5 and 6 years.
One parent and one language is the best solution. We are raising our kids tri-lingual and it's working great without any effort. I speak Swedish only with the kids, wife only Spanish (from Mexico), and I speak English with my wife. I speak Swedish, English, GErman and Spanish and wife speaks English, Spanish and Swedish.
Kids are now 4 and 6.5 and both speak all three languages. English is not as great as the other which is no issue since it's such and easy language...