the switch to facing forward - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-14-2005, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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when did you turn your dc around? i mean obviously the minimum is 1 year & 20 pounds, but I know some people wait longer. My ds is 11 mos and 22 pounds (and 31-32 inches at least), and I just want to decide before his 1st b-day how long to keep im rear-facing, and be ready to explain to dh my reasons.

tia!!!
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Old 03-14-2005, 04:16 PM
 
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We waited until we could no longer get him into the car seat rear facing. For us, that was about 16 months.
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Old 03-14-2005, 05:33 PM
 
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My DS was rear-facing until he was 2.5 years and 32.5 lbs. His carseat (Britax Marathon) has a rf limit of 33 lbs, so we just kept him that way until we had no choice but to turn it around.

We'll do the same with DD.
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Old 03-14-2005, 06:11 PM
 
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Ds1 was around 18 months but I plan to wait as long as possible with ds2. Rear facing is SO much safer than forward facing. Please check out this link, especially the video of the crash testing, It is very compelling to keep your baby rear facing:

http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:36 AM
 
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Trishshack~ you posted this link once before when a poster asked a similar question. I wanted to let you know how extremely helpful it was to me Thanks for helping other mamas keep our babes safe
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Old 03-15-2005, 04:29 AM
 
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DD should probably still be rear facing. We used the infant seat until she was too long for it, at about a year. But our convertible seat always wobbled WAAY too much rear facing. I'd rather she be forward facing in a securely installed seat. Plus her legs were running out of anyplace to go. She's 18 1/2 lbs. w/out clothes/diaper.

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Old 03-15-2005, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone, and Trish that link was exactly what I need. I already forwarded it to my DH.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:31 PM
 
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Our son was 18 months before we turned him around. The only reason we did was because his feet hung off the end and were starting to get smooshed up against the back of the seat. Facing forward his feet can hang off and he loves being able to look out the front window now.
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:10 PM
 
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Our first ds's legs had no where to go as well. We turned him around at 20 pounds which I think he was about 6 months : . Now that I look back, it was to early even though the weight was okay. He was also VERY high needs and turning him around gave him something to look at instead of screaming the whole drive.

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Old 03-15-2005, 05:14 PM
 
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Yeah the requirements go together. The baby should be at least 12 months and 20 lbs not an either or thing. Of course some really light babies might not make that 20lbs until they are much older than one and so they might eventually get turned around before they hit the weight recommendation. But age 1 is really important as far as muscular and bone development so even a 25lb 8 month old shouldn't be facing forward.

I did plan to let DD face backwards longer but she hated it and pretty much screamed everywhere we went. My ped said it was better to have her forward facing and not screaming and distracting me and possibly leading to an accident (once she met the requirements for foward facing). She was much more calm facing forward. This was after her 1st birthday and she did weigh 24lbs. I definitely wouldn't have done it until she met both minimum requirements. Hopefully the next baby will be more peaceful in the car and will stay rear-facing longer. I also have a new ped so I'll see what she thinks as well.
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:58 PM
 
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We turned dd around at 20 months. Her legs were almost to the top of the backseat! :LOL She has very long legs and we thought she'd be more comfortable facing forward. She has a Britax Marathon, so according to the requirements she could still be riding rear-facing, and she's three years old! Ds also has a Marathon, and he will stay rearfacing until at least 18-20 months. Well, assuming he stays under the 33lb. limit until then. He already weighs 25lbs. and he's only 9 months. I expect his weight gain to slow down soon, though, so we should be ok.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:15 PM
 
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We turned dd around on her first bday. We did it out of desperation as well. We purchased a super nice convertible seat and discovered that it was horrible in my car when it was rear facing. She was so uncomfortable she screamed and it made her carsick. It was also so tall, it blocked my view of the road behind me completely. We had to put her back in her baby seat until a year, which she was hanging off like crazy by then. I then put her in forward facing in the convertible and it was great forward facing in my car. We found out a week or two after we turned her around that she was only 17lb4oz but we didn't have any other choice.
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Old 03-15-2005, 08:23 PM
 
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We will do it on Saturday the 26th, when she turns 1. It was like a rite of passage that way for ds, too. Both kiddos ran out of leg room and sat all cramped up long before they reached the right age or weight. Ds was 22 pounds at a year old, but I think dd will only be 19 at the most. I will still turn her; she needs the comfort
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:24 AM
 
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PLEASE, PLEASE please don't turn her around yet. Seats have a minmum weight for forward facing too. Go to a carseat check, have them adjust the recline of the seat, something to give her legs more room. But it is usually not an issue. My son crossed his legs in his Marathon when he was rearfacing, he was perfectly happy that way.

I really wish we had been allowed to have a carseat forum, rather than posts in every forum related to kids. The lack of correct information out there is just overwhelming and frustrating.
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:31 AM
 
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believed it was whichevercame first
dd 17 pounds,1 year old
ds1 20 pounds 10 months old

got somewhat smarter
ds2 24 pounds 16 months
ds3 28 pounds 23 months (thought he was heavier)
ds4 will be rear facing till the seat is no longer safe taht way. looks like 33-35 pounds. So anytime between the 2 and 3rd birthdays.


When I knew better, I did better and wished for even better as ds2's seat only went to 22 rear facing. I figure by 6 kids I will have this system down.
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:00 AM
 
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When my son is in a car (rarely), we still rearface him at 2 in a Britax. There have been threads in toddlers about why this is a great safety tactic, and how is benefits the baby. It is much safer.

Quote:
Rear-facing is the safest position the child can ride in. It is recommended that all children stay rear-facing beyond the minimal requirements of 1 year and 20 lbs, and not be turned forward-facing before they reach the maximum rear-facing limits of a convertible seat - either the maximum rear-facing weight limit or when the top of their head is within one inch of the top of the seat shell. While most parents are aware that they must keep their children rear-facing "until they are AT LEAST 1 year old AND 20 lbs", very few are told that there are significant safety benefits when a child remains rear-facing as long as the seat allows. For most children, rear-facing can and should continue well into the second year of life.
http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRearFacing.aspx (bold mine )

Also some excellent articles, and if you scroll down SCARY crash test footage of each kind. Worth a look see, especially for your husband if he balks at keeping your child RFing longer.

This site is really great and answers a lot of car seat questions.
My son never hated rearfacing as he never knew what forward facing was (well, he did do it 2 times before my mom knew he was backwards or nothing :LOL).

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Old 03-16-2005, 05:06 AM
 
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Mamas who are concerned about stability of a RFing convertible, PLEASE see a car seat tech. They can help you to install your seat properly so that this is not an issue. Once I was taught how, I could do it every time.

This site will list techs in your area

Also, the legs will not be crammed if you cross them Indian style. Like the child in my link, which after reading the thread trnrsmom also posted My son is LONG, and he sits in his Britax just fine with his legs crossed or knees bent.

The link has beneficial information why you should wait as long as possible.

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Old 03-16-2005, 07:37 AM
 
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can't I ask if any one knows why that forward facing seat in the vid isn't teethered in? I know my seats are in so tight when teethered that even my 250 pounds best friend cannot budge them even .5 inch any way not even forwards.
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:42 AM
 
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When we went to the fire station to have our britax installed in ourcar after dd turned one, I told the parametic that I wanted the car seat installed rear facing even though technically she was old enough and heavy enough to be forward facing. He said "good, that is the safest way". There was another thread somewhere here a while back that convinced me this would be best (THANK YOU), and the carseat person at the fire station whole heartedly agreed. My kid is pretty low key for the most part but if she is having a melt down and we are travelling as a family, DH drives and I sit in the back with her singing "where is Thumbkin" ad nauseum.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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my 7 month old is 21 pounds and 29.5 inches long. he is rear facing of course, but his feet smash up against the seat. i hate it. i can't wait till he is one so i can turn him around. he hates rear facing, well i think he does, or maybe he just hates the car all together.
now i have such guilt about wanting to turn him. we have a britax marathon

anyway.
what does a momma do? can y ou even know how i would beat myself up if i turned him at 1 and we had a crash and something happened to him.....
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:50 PM
 
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If your kids need something to look at, get aCarset Companion NAYY We've had one since my first was tiny and it has made such a difference in keeping . Kieran has been "talking" to me in it since 6 mo.

I have kids with very tall torsos so we had to turn Ben shortly after his 1st birthday; it was hard to ignore the top of his head peeking over the top of his Roundabout. Now they've changed the rules so they can stay rear facing until the tops of the ears are even with the top of the seat, so Kieran might not have to turn until closer to 18 mo, thank goodness. Turning Ben was so traumatic, I was terrified to drive anywhere for months.

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Old 03-16-2005, 02:24 PM
 
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Wow thanks for the great links! This is exactly what I needed to make an informed decision. I'm convinced now not to turn my long DD until I have to, and rubelin, that is an awesome mirror. The one we have is useless on our minvan seat. And since I am not going to turn her in three months, its going to be worth the expense
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:46 PM
 
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With my older son, the rec was that you could keep them rearfacing past the 1 yr and 20 lbs thing until the top of the head was within an inch of the top of the carseat. So we did that. (He has always been really tall, and I think he was ~18 mos, and it was a Britax Roundabout... at that point, I think he was ~30 lbs, and at least 33 or 34 inches talll.)

Don't worry about their legs not having somewhere to go. That should be the least of your concerns. Having them rearfacing is about protecting their heads/necks/backs/etc from really serious injuries.
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:08 PM
 
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DS is turning a year in 2 1/2 weeks and is 22-23 lbs. I'm glad I read this now!! I planned to turn him right at 1, but now I'm going to wait a least a few more months. He has no problems in his carseat now, so I'm sure he won't care. THANKS for the info. everybody!!
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:10 PM
 
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Rubelin...What a birth story!!!
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:14 PM
 
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But what about carsick babies?? It was awful for her to ride rear facing, she would throw up if the road was even a little curvy. I know what carsickeness is, I have been carsick my whole life and still get sick if I don't drive. At least when we turned her around she quit puking so much(almost never now). It makes me feel bad to read all that stuff about rear/vs/ forward facing, but I have her car seat installed within an inch of it's life. It is also tethered to my car frame, so it's not going to flip forward like that seat in the video. I just try to feel okay knowing it is installed properly and wont budge, not even when my 235 lb 6'4.5" dh tries to jerk it. What'sa momma to do?
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Old 03-16-2005, 03:18 PM
 
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We keep our kids rear-facing to at least 18 months. I sometimes have to fight DH about this. He likes to turn them forward-facing once they have reached the minimum because its easier to them in and out of the seats when they are forward-facing. We have Britax RoundAbouts. We are having a silent war about DD and her carseat. I'm about to get a Britax Marathon for her (DS#2 will get her RA). DH keeps bringing up "booster seats". I keep telling him she's safer in a Marathon, she is really petite at 4 years and I'd like her to be as safe as possible for as long as possible. I also caught him letting her sit in his backseat without any carseat (she just turned 4) last weekend. I finally told him "you will never forgive yourself if something happened to her because she wasn't in a carseat... and I'll guarantee that I won't ever forgive you either. Its an assine thing to risk." He got a little bit pissy but I think I make him stop and re-think.

YK there is a reason they are called "accidents" and not "on-purposes".

Now don't get me wrong, he is very concerned about safety. He did a lot of research on the safety of the carseats when I first told him I wanted to get a Britax for DD 3 years ago. He just gets weird little flights of fancy. :
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Old 03-16-2005, 09:55 PM
 
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As a car seat tech my FAVORITE interactions are with first time parents. By speaking to them early it sets them up with the correct information from the very beginning.

About the turning issue this is what I tell them:

Turning your child is NOT a milestone to be reached like crawling or walking. When you turn your child forward facing you are DECREASING their safety in the car. We would all be safer rear facing, but it would be difficult to drive that way!

One of the links on the site that has been mentioned in this thread already states:

"...very young children have immature vertebrae that are still partly made of cartilage. These are soft and will deform and/or separate under tension, leaving the spinal cord as the last link between the head and the torso. It is similar to pulling an electric cord from the socket by the cord instead of the plug and breaking the wires. This scenario is based on actual physiological measures. According to documented research, autopsy specimens of infant spines and ligaments allow for spinal column elongation of up to two inches, but the spinal cord ruptures if stretched more than 1/4 inch.

Real-world experience has also shown that a young child's skull can be literally ripped from her spine by the force of a crash. The body is being held in place, but the head is not. When a child is facing rearward, the head is cradled and moves in unison with the body, so that there is little or no relative motion that might pull on the connecting neck."


This is the link to the above quote... it's a great explanation of the science behind why a child should stay rear facing... so it may appeal to those dads that still need some convincing.

http://www.carseat.org/Technical/tec....htm#rearfacFF

I talk to parents about changing their mindset from "When CAN I turn my child?" to "When do I HAVE TO turn my child?"

This is also true when moving a child out of a 5pt harness into a booster seat. Rear facing is SAFER than forward facing and 5pt harnesses are SAFER than seat belts (in or out of a booster seat). We always want to keep a child as safe as possible for as long as we can. Switching from a booster seat to a PROPERLY FITTING seat belt has no decrease in safety.

I also heartily agree with the suggestion to GET YOUR CHILD'S CAR SEAT CHECKED by a CERTIFIED Child Passenger Safety Technician. The previous link will help you find one. If you call your local police or fire station and they say they check seats MAKE SURE they are certified... not all of them are.

FWIW, we turned my dd (now 3.5yo) around just at her 2nd birthday. She was riding in a Britax Advantage and a Fisher Price Safe Embrace and outgrew both of them by height waaaay before she hit the rear facing weight limits. Now she's outgrowing them by height forward facing and I'm not ready to put her in a booster seat yet so I am buying two new seats so she can stay harnessed longer.

It's hard to keep up w/ all the ins and outs of keeping our kids safe in cars. To become I tech I had to take a four day class ...all about seat belts, crash forces and car seats. But taking the class is just the beginning, keeping up w/ technology, new seats and new research is almost as import..sometimes more so.

Good luck...and if you need anymore info just give a yell.

Christine
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:20 AM
 
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We will RF DS (11 months, 20 lbs) as long as possible. We specifically chose his Marathon due to the high RF weight limit, and the ease of proper installation.

As for their legs touching the backseat...not a good reason to turn, IMO. I would rather have broken legs than a broken neck.
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Old 03-17-2005, 09:57 PM
 
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Christine, that little tidbit of info about what happens with the spine in a young child is exactly what kept me from turning Ben until we had to and what made me so freaked when we did. I have to say again that I am so grateful that they have upped the height limit for RFing, too, it just sucks to have a babe who is really tall when seated

t Bamamom, yep, it really was quite a birth Tell every pregnant momma you know about it, I am committed that we get back the right to birth breech babies!!

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