Originally Posted by katheek77
There's a big difference between eating soft cheese while pregnant, and turning an infant forward facing in a car seat.
What if DD isn't happy forward facing? What if she just doesn't like the car seat at ALL??? (I do know a child like this....HATES HATES HATES the car seat and screams the whole time - not real fun to ride with). Is that a free pass to no car seat, then?
It's not being uber-safety conscious. To me, uber-safety conscious is the parent who doesn't let their 10 year old play alone in the backyard without a parent watching or doesn't let a 12 year old use a steak knife at dinner. Not placing an infant, with a disproportionately top-heavy body and underdeveloped neck muscles in the position which is safest for them in the event that they are involved in a collision involving a ton or two of material at 40 miles per hour just seems incredibly irresponsible. Google "internal decapitation"
All fair points, but honestly, I think we all do what we're comfortable with, and sometimes make different decisions. I should note that I live in the city and *rarely* (maybe once every 2-3 weeks) use the car with DD. If I used the car often, I might try and keep her rear-facing longer. If, whenever I do decide to face her front (and I have no clue when we'll do this - most likely we'll wait till she's a year old, but it's at least possible I'd consider it around 10 or 11 months), she shows no obvious preference over rear facing, then I'd most likely switch it back to rear-facing for as long as she's under the weight limit.
My basic strategy is to avoid car crashes completely - I realize no one can guarantee that, especially since you can't control the driving of other people on the road. But I certainly feel like a less safe driver when DD is screaming her head off.
Perhaps I shouldn't have gone off on the uber-safety conscious tangent, since that's really a different issue (albeit one that's been on my mind). Certainly I don't think anyone who keeps their child rear-facing for two years is over-cautious. But I do think the fact that I don't often live in paranoia of the worst-case scenarios (child abduction, SIDS, fatal car or bus crashes) happening to me make me a little more likely to do things like tummy sleep, ride the bus with DD, etc. (and I realize, because someone will point it out, that car crashes are much more likely than the first two). Some people might find that irresponsible, but I'd like to think that I think carefully about the big things and generally keep DD in a very safe and loving environment, while also trying not to communicate a sense of fear about the world to her.