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how do you know when to turn forward facing?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

i hope this isn't really a super dumb question.  i feel like i am the only person i know still rear facing my kid at this age..  she's 22 mos and at the top of her height percentile (no idea the number at the moment) and is pretty frogged up rear facing.  so how do you know when it's time?

post #2 of 25
I would think most on here turn when the child no longer fits rf. Most here have carseats that go to a decent weight (~45) so it's usually when the child outgrows the current seat by height.

In mdc world, 22m is still very young for ff. Most would probably say too young to ff.

My dd is 20m and rf. No plans to ff. Though I was willing to ff if needed to fit in a car, but we ended up renting a minivan and now have enough room to rf.
post #3 of 25

What chel said but I will say some of us have additional factors that have to be considered. We turned ds at 2. He was 1lb away from the seat's limit & yes we could have gotten another seat to keep him rfing longer but keeping him rfing was REALLY hard for us with our vehicle & our own heights - it just was not working well. With the addition of this one we would most definitely be forced to turn ds as there is no conceivable way to rf two in our vehicle considering the height of dh & I.


IDEALLY you keep them rfing as long as you can.

post #4 of 25
My rule is when my child outgrows the seat RF they turn around.
post #5 of 25

I'm not turning ds until he outgrows every rearfacing seat I can get in the U.S.    He is 4yrs, 2months, and just under 30lbs, and has a super short torso,  so it will be a while.  

post #6 of 25

I personally would buy another seat to keep a child RF when they are younger than two or three.  My son RF until four.  I think three is the earliest I would forward face, but only if I had a child who outgrew a readily available convertible with a 40lb RF limit and a decent torso height.  At four, I gave kiddo the choice.  He wibbled and I flipped his seat back and forth frequently until he hit the RF height and weight limits on his seat nearly simultaneously.


post #7 of 25

I recently went to a car seat safety presentation by a state rep.  She said the current recommendation is to RF until age two.  However, the height recommendations trump the age recommendation.  Once you have only an inch of hard shell over the head, you should FF as long as you meet the weight requirement and as long as you are at least a year.


Our LO is 17 months, 28 pounds, and 33 inches.  We still RF and people think we're nuts. 

post #8 of 25

What seat do you have now?  As long as she has more than 1" of hard shell over her head and is within the weight limit, she's fine.  Legs being froggy-style doesn't matter.

post #9 of 25

Another vote for rearfacing. We have a radian xtsl and my 3 year old is rearfaced in it. He is getting close to 1 inch of hard shell left though, I don't think he will make it to 4 years rearfacing.

post #10 of 25

The absolute bear minimum to turn a child ffing should be 2.  Before 2 I would buy a new seat to keep my LO rfing.  But, rfing is always safer, so keep them rfing until they outgrow the rfing weight or height limit for their seat.

post #11 of 25

I agree, the bare minimum should be 2. I turned my kids at about 14 months because I didn't know any better. One had outgrown the rf height wise (he has an insanely long torso), and one was close weightwise. If I'd known then what I know now, I would have bought seats that kept them rf longer.


You can think of it this way:  tiny-animated.gif = 2 years (i.e. "bear" minimum)



post #12 of 25

DD1 is also very tall for her  age. I had her in the complete air RF until 3 weeks ago (3.25 years).  She was still ok weight and height for the seat, but it was time for our family.

I am planning on DD2 RFing until at least 3 years as well.

post #13 of 25

I knew it was time to turn around when DS2 reached the RF limits of his carseat.  he was 6.5 years old when he finally hit 40 lbs.  I will do the same with DD.  With DS1  was quite ignorant of carseat safety so when he hit 20 lbs I turned him around because that i what the doctors told me to do (this was in 2000)

post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 

we have a britax roundabout 55, one of the new ones.. i have read on here about those having lower height limits, but i honestly think they've redone that seat -- dd has LOTS of room between her head and the top.  on their website description, it says that it can rf up to 40 pounds and the height limit is the same for rf and ff?  up to 46 inches either way...does that seem like i am misinterpreting?  what i thought that meant when we bought it is different than what i've seen other mdc people say...

post #15 of 25

She can stay RF until she has less than one inch of shell above her head, so quite some time.  It's listed on page 6 of the manual.  I believe that manufacturers HAVE to put a written numerical limit in there, even though seats are outgrown RF when there is less than an inch of shell and FF when the tops of the ears pass the top of the shell.  They could put that their absolute limit is six feet tall, but the seat is still outgrown at those physical milestones.

post #16 of 25
ds was 3 years and 5 months when we turned him, he was 34.2 i think, and i wasnt sure when wed get to the doc to weigh him again.... it turns out he was barely 35.1 four months later, lol... he just turned 4, and at his appt was 33.9, and im considering turning him back. at this point though, im fairly comfortable with him forward facing, and would take his opinion into consideration. i personally wouldnt turn before 3 if at all possible
post #17 of 25

Mine turned FF right around his 3rd birthday. He was still well under the weight limit and continued to ride RF sometimes in his sister's seat, but not all the time. He had the option starting at 3 to ride FF. He will be 4 in December and is still only 31 lbs....my kids are just skinny. My dd is like 20 lbs and will be RF until she is at least 3, also. But with a new baby coming I'm glad I have one FF kid because 3 RF would be hellish I think. And, after 3 I'm comfortable with FF. For other people's kids I usually speak up if they have a kid under 2 already turned. After 2 I figure it's just their call. 2 is my bare, bare minimum. But I think 3 or 3.5 would be ideal. My kids have ridden in a variety of carseats and I can honestly say leg room has never been an issue unless the seat wasn't put in right, or the driver was being a jerk and refused to scoot the front seat up, making the carseat an uncomfortable angle. Kids cross their legs anyway and now my FF ds kicks the seat in front of him, takes off his shoes and then can't reach them and freaks out, etc.

post #18 of 25

I turned my oldest at 12 months, 21 lb because I did not know better.  My second (DD) stayed RF till she was past 4 (about 4y3m).  She still could technically ride RF now in her Britax Decathlon and she is now 6 and in first grade!  She is tiny for her age...like 32 lb and maybe 42 inches.  We turned her when we did because the baby came along, and we had to do 3 across, and this was the best fit.  My youngest is 21 months and RF now in her Radian XTSL.  She too is pretty little (19 lb and 29 inches), and I am guessing will RF till at least 4 also.  Right now with the XTSL she has tons of room for her feet...even stretched straight out, her feet barely touch the back of the seat.  So my answer for our family would be either limits of the seat (NOT an issue, lol) or at least 4 years old.  Now I am struggling with when to move my older DD to a booster...she is definitely old enough at 6, but still I worry about submarining due to her size (plus if I use a 5 pt harness on her, it is harder to bug baby sister :wink).

post #19 of 25

I agree with the as long as they fit, but at very, very least 3 years of age IMO. You guys are lucky that now the convertible seats have a high RF weight limit. When my youngest, now almost 12, was still in a car seat, the weight limit was 33 lbs, but as he was a lightweight we made it RF until he was a month shy of his fourth birthday. He loved sitting RF, and used to sit cross legged in his seat, he was a great back-up camera/warning device as well. These were the days before I had such a thing!

post #20 of 25

I agree with the PP, 2 years is the bare limit, which you should be able to do easily with the seat you have.


DD will be 3 in February, and I might be turning her FF after that, even though she should be able to RF much longer in her seat.  Basically, its a physical convenience factor.  She fights the seat.  She has sensory issues that contribute to this, but of course it is not negotiable.  I'll be 30+ weeks pg by then, and its becoming a PITA to force her into the seat with a limited amount of space.  Yesterday she kicked me in the cheek so hard I thought for sure I'd have a black eye.... Basically it's just getting to that point for us.  But I want to make it through the icy/snowy season, so I'm going to hold off as long as possible.  In the absence of a reason to turn your LO, I wouldn't do it. 


Funny a PP mentioned about being the only one RFing--we've lived here for almost 6 months and I've never seen anyone else RF a toddler.  When I lived in Austin, TX, I occasionally saw it, but it was rare.  And it was in the 16-22 month range, not older.  I dunno.  headscratch.gif

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