Originally Posted by alittlesandy
This is a large car seat, not a convertible. It's a full-size car seat designed to hold a child up to 70 lbs. One of the top recommended car seats in Consumer Reports. However, the warning label on the car seat clear states, "Not designed to be used in a rear-facing position with a child over 20 lbs."
http://www.britaxusa.com/learning-center/car-seats-101/car-seat-basics (see the section on forward-facing only seats)
I assumed their recommendations are based on physics ;)
ETA: Of course, we bought our seat three years ago. At that time, we could not find a seat that would allow rear-facing after 20 pounds. Since the recommendations have changed, they DO make seats that will rear face up to 35 pounds. I was just pointing out that parents should check the warning label on their car seat to make sure they are using it in the manufacturer's recommended way.
Which seat do you have that says that? I think you are misreading it somehow, because that doesn't make sense.
3 years ago there were LOTS of convertible carseats that rearfaced to 30, 33, and 35lbs, and soon after ones that rearfaced even to 40lbs, and now 45lbs. 3 yrs ago most infant only seats also rearfaced to at least 22lbs and some more. Perhaps you were looking at the minimum weight limit for turning forward facing, instead of the maximum weight limit for rearfacing?
The AAP has been recomending extended rearfacing for a long time (at least sense 2002, which is more than 3yrs ago), the wording has just changed some recently and the 40 and 45lb rearfacing seats have come out.
Also, consumer reports don't have anything to do with safety stats, all carseats, when used correctly, are equally safe.
OP - My son will be 4.5yrs old in January, and he is still rearfacing. He will be rearfacing until he reaches the height or weight limit on his seat (45lbs, and he has about 5-6" of torso height to gain, he is a tiny kid!), so he will likely be rearfacing to the age of 6 or so. I'm a carseat tech and I've seen crash tests, that is enough to convince me to rearface him as long as I possibly can. He HATED the car until he was about 2, but I'd much rather have an unhappy kid than one thats been internally decapitated from forward facing too soon. Installing his seat more upright helped quite a bit, and we also limited car time to what was strictly nessisary (rode bikes or walked when we could!)