until what age do you keep your child rear-facing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a just-out-of-curiosity question...
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#2 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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My goal is at least 4 years old.

I made it to 4 years and 1 month before my daughter outgrew her seats rear-facing. My son will outgrow the convertibles he currently rides in at about 2.5 years old, and I will buy new seats as needed to keep him rear-facing closer to age 4. I wouldn't buy a seat for a kid over age 4, though.
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#3 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:11 PM
 
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I agree with the previous poster. My minimum age is four unless there are absolutely no seats on the market to accommodate the child (for instance if I had a 46 pound 3 year old). I can't imagine it because my 3 year old is more than 10 pounds lighter than that, but just for arguments sake

I am currently buying new seats as needed for my 3 year old to keep him rearfacing. Once he is four (next August) I will not buy him another seat to keep him rearfacing longer but I will rearface to maximum height and weight allowed on the seat. If that means he is rearfacing at 5 or 6 that is fine by me

I think my younger son is the one I'm going to have a harder time with. It depends on how his growth curve changes as he grows but my first son was big early (over 18 pounds at 4 months, and 20 pounds at 5 months) but then slowed considerably in the second half of his first year and was just under 22 pounds at a year.

My younger son still hasn't slowed and is already almost 26 pounds and he's 9.5 months. So we'll see what happens with him but yes, my goal is four at least for all of my kids.

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#4 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:19 PM
 
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At least 4, that is the absolute minimum. But our two 6 yo. was rear-facing until 5.5 yo. And the 4 yo. is still rear-facing and probably also will until 5-5.5 yo. They outgrow the seats height here, not weight limits. My 6 yo. are still not at the weight limit. (We have high weight limits here, 55 lbs. is the highest, many seats have that.)

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#5 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Don't bigger kids object to having their legs all squished up? I can't imagine my almost 4 year old being happy with that though she still fits into her car seat just fine.
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#6 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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4. After that, I would not buy a seat just for the purpose of ERF. Before 4, I'd buy as many seats as necessary to keep him/her RF. Although, size isn't an issue for us- my almost 7yo could still RF by both height and weight in her current seat.

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#7 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caedmyn View Post
Don't bigger kids object to having their legs all squished up? I can't imagine my almost 4 year old being happy with that though she still fits into her car seat just fine.
My son has had way more complaints about leg comfort the very few times he's been forward facing in someone elses car. When they are rear facing they put their legs in the position they normally sit in (crossed legged or legs up or however is comfortable... they do find a position that is comfortable ). Forward facing their legs dangle more which can (and does for my son) make them fall asleep and be uncomfortable (or else they sit cross legged which they can do more easily rear facing).

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#8 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caedmyn View Post
Don't bigger kids object to having their legs all squished up? I can't imagine my almost 4 year old being happy with that though she still fits into her car seat just fine.
No, actually most kids prefer it if given the chance. Dangling legs often fall asleep and kids are very flexible, so sit comfortably cross legged or with their legs up on the seat.

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#9 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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With the new one due any day now, I'll probably aim for rear-facing until 2, maybe 3. No longer than 3.
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#10 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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My oldest rear faced to 2.5 when he reached the limits on his convertible.

My younger two are more fortunate and will both be able to rear face to 4 years.

There is a substantial risk to having a child under four in a forward facing seat.

Children as a general rule do not 'complain' about being rear facing unless of course their parents give them the idea Regardless, it's a serious safety issue.

I wouldn't let my kids stick butter knives in electrical outlets if they complained about not being allowed to.

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#11 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 07:51 PM
 
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I go with until they reach the limits of their seats. I can't afford to buy new seats all the time just to keep them RFing (had to do it with ds because he was a tall skinny little guy who outgrew the Marathon at 20months and 18lbs and it was expensive!)

We have a True Fit now (the seat I bought after the Marathon) and I expect the new baby will stay RFing for a long time.

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#12 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 08:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maedze View Post
There is a substantial risk to having a child under four in a forward facing seat.
Do you have some links to support that? Thanks!

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#13 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 08:15 PM
 
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How did an 18# child outgrow a Marathon RFing?

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#14 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 08:27 PM
 
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I am thinking at least age three or until my daughter outgrows her Boulevard rear facing. At this point she is 2 1/2 years old and only 26lbs and 35in tall so I think she will fit until at least age 3...possibly age 4. I personally would not buy a new seat for my child to rear face longer unless they were under the age of 2 1/2 or 3.
I do plan to keep my children in a 5 point harness until at least age 6-7 though and would probably buy a new seat to accommodate that if needed...though it would probably be a convertible to booster combo.
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#15 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 08:29 PM
 
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Do you have some links to support that? Thanks!
Yes. Which one would you like?

The AAP recommendation to keep children rear facing as long as the convertible allows, recommending that manufacturers design seats that keep kids rear facing to the fourth birthday?

The CHOP study showing a 500% decrease in safety for kids 12-23 months in forward facing seats, with no reason to suggest the number decreases after the second birthday?

The research showing that until the child's spine ossifies, which usually occurs around four, the child is at significantly increased risk of internal decapitation in a forward facing accident?

The abundance of statistical evidence from Sweden, where keeping children rear facing to four is the standard of practice from the early 60s. Their rate of child death is nearly zero, whereas it is the leading killer in the US and countries where rear facing is not as emphasized?

The official recommendation of the DOT/NHTSA/SafeKids to keep children rear facing for as long as possible?

Or you could google.

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#16 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 08:34 PM
 
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4 years is my goal. Though if ds2 hits 40lbs before then, he'll have to go ffing. The radian doesn't work rfing for him in my vehicle, so there will be no other options at that point.

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#17 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 08:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
How did an 18# child outgrow a Marathon RFing?
He has a freakishly long torso and just doesn't gain weight. His head was within an inch of the top (and yes, I know I was measuring it right.)

ETA: He also outgrew the Roundabout (his first seat) at 13 months by height when he weighed in at a whopping 16lbs.

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#18 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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Thanks for clarifying.

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#19 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 09:36 PM
 
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Out of curiosity, what do they do after they are no longer RF if they are 4 or older? 5 pt ff'ing harness? Booster? And what age do y'all recommend keeping them in a booster or 5 pt harness after their RF'ing days are over?

Sorry for all the questions, I've always wondered!

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#20 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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Not sure at this point. Three or four.

DS2 is currently in a Keyfit30, and we hope to keep him in it until he is a year or even a bit more. When he outgrows it, he will need DS1s Boulevard. DS1 will then be a little over three, and I am unsure of whether to get him a new RF seat at that point or just go over to a harnessed seat that converts to a booster. We'll see, but we probably will just go for the larger FF seat.
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#21 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post
Out of curiosity, what do they do after they are no longer RF if they are 4 or older? 5 pt ff'ing harness? Booster? And what age do y'all recommend keeping them in a booster or 5 pt harness after their RF'ing days are over?

Sorry for all the questions, I've always wondered!
Very few kids can safely go from a RF seat to a belt-positioning-booster. If they can, it's not inherently unsafe -- it's just not likely to work.

Kids can safely use boosters when they are at least four years old, at least forty pounds*, and are developmentally able to remain properly seated for the entire trip. A very very few 4yos are able to do this, some 5yos can, many 6yos can, and most 7yos can. This means that most kids will need to use a FFing harnessed seat between RFing and boostering.

* The weight is the most flexible part of this criteria, and it's kind of a sliding scale. Most techs would be okay with a 34# 7yo in a booster; very few would be okay with a 34# child in a booster the day after her fourth birthday.

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#22 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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chickabiddy/maedze, would you be okay w/a 35lb 7yo in a monterrey? dd turns 7 on jan 25 and tips the scale at 35 (35.5 on a good day )

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#23 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 09:52 PM
 
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Ds is 3yo3m & has tons of room to continue rf in his truefit. I thought id ff him @ 3 but changed my mind I really think he will make it till 4 height & weight wise. Of course my 17m is still rf as well They dont complain at all!

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#24 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post
Out of curiosity, what do they do after they are no longer RF if they are 4 or older? 5 pt ff'ing harness? Booster? And what age do y'all recommend keeping them in a booster or 5 pt harness after their RF'ing days are over?
The recommendation in at least the two scandinavian countrys that are on the world top for keeping kids RF the longest (sweden and norway), are boosters after RF-ing. The kids are 4-5-6 years old by then, and can sit properly in boosters. This recommendation is also there because they believe that in 5 pt harness FF-ing, the neck of a child will be under extreme pressure during an impact, the head will be thrown forward, the rest of the body being held back. And their necks can simply snap. It makes sense too, because in a 5 pt harness, their bodys stay completely still, held by the barness, and all the strain of the impact is put on the neck. Those are some major forces. But in a booster with the seat belt, the impact is more spread over the whole body, bc the seat belt moves a little, allowing the upper body to also take some of the impact, not just the neck.
So here, it's RF-ing, and then booster.
I go by the studies and statistics of these countrys because they are obviously leading in car seat safety for kids. Their mortality rate for kids in cars are extremely low, nothing compared to the US for instance where it's the number one killer of kids.
(We live in scandinavia now, and can use the seats here that RF kids up to 4-5-6 yo.)

And, someone asked if the kids wont complain about having to RF because of their legs. And no, they don't. They sit very comfortable with legs crossed or up in another comfortable position. It's when they are turned FF and still too young to reach the floor of the car they complain bc their legs dangle and fall asleep. Kids are very flexible, not like adults at all, and will be comfortable RF-ing as long as their parents don't tell them it's uncomfortable, or just think it is and turn them bc it looks like it is (without the kids complaining at all).

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#25 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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chickabiddy (and 3b), would you be okay w/a 35lb 7yo in a monterrey? dd turns 7 on jan 25 and tips the scale at 35 (35.5 on a good day )
I would be okay with a 35# 7yo in a belt-positioning booster if it fit the child properly. IME/IMO, the Monterey does not fit smaller children very well -- I don't think I've seen a good fit on a <40# child yet. All kids are shaped differently, though, and if yours actually does fit nicely in the seat, then yeah, I'd be okay with it.

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#26 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 10:38 PM
 
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yeah, i'm not thrilled w/the fit. gonna try a vivo. maturity is definately there, though.

eta- the vivo's test numbers were less than impressive crap.

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#27 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 10:54 PM
 
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we turned DD at 3 yrs 3 months when she outgrew the RFing limits of her BLVD. At the time I really considered getting her a 40 lb radian, but in the end decided not to.
The next kid will get a radian XTSL so she'll be RFing for a looooonnnggg time!

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#28 of 64 Old 11-25-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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We love our Vivo My son rear faced to the max weight limit of his seat at 2 and 9 months. Earlier than I would have liked... Buying a new seat was not in our abilities at that time, and I felt comfortable with our decision to turn him in a properly installed, top tethered seat. I encourage parents to follow the AAP recommendations of rear facing to the maximum weight limit of their convertible seat. I work with mostly very low-income families, who's maximum weight limit is the 35lb Scenera that we provide. The reality is simply that the longest you can rear-face the best.

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#29 of 64 Old 11-26-2009, 12:00 AM
 
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My goal is to keep DD RF until she is 4. She's pretty big though, so I'm not positive we'll make it in the TrueFit. We're TTC another babe, so we'll probably get a higher limit convertible for her and pass down the TrueFit. We'll see what's on the market when we actually get pregnant.

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#30 of 64 Old 11-26-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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For as long as their car seats would allow.
We could not afford to import Britax marathons in from the states... we didn't even have a car until three years ago, so unfortunately we were not able to get the best of the best - but we did the best with what we had available to us. Our kids turned at 3 and 2.5 respectively.

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