When do you face the carseat forward? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I realize that the carseat specialists say to keep them rear-facing as long as possible. However, my 15 month old looks uncomfortable. His legs are bent awkwardly and he seems unhappy with the setup he has back there.
When did you/or when will you turn the carseat forward?
Is it really that dangerous to turn a 15 month old facing forward?

What are your thoughts and experiences?

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#2 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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in ontario we turn forward at 21 pounds and 12 months
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#3 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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You are sure to get a lot of responses to this!
My 17 month old is rear facing at 30 lbs. The next time we go in to have his seat installed (need to get straps repositioned next month probably) I am going to have them turn it, I think. I was planning to wait until 32 lbs, my seat goes to 33 rear facing. I guess I don't know if the weight includes clothing?

Anyway, no matter how uncomfortable it looks rear facing is much safer than forward facing. Even if your kid gets big enough a rear facing seat might cause a broken leg it is that vs. possible head/spinal injury. I'm sure others will have links for you.
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#4 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:17 PM
 
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Rear facing is MUCH safer. Bent legs are not uncomfortable for little ones.

My dd is 3yrs old and still rear facing. I would not face a 15 mo old forward as long as they can sit RF within the limits of their seat.

-Angela
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#5 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by carla72 View Post
in ontario we turn forward at 21 pounds and 12 months
Very dangerous! Please do some reading and research and consider rear facing for longer.

-Angela
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#6 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:20 PM
 
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DS is 23 months and 30 lbs. He's still rear-facing. He is TALL and just sits cross-legged or sticks his legs up or out so they go straight. He has 3 more lbs to gain for the RF limit on his seat and he's staying till he hits that limit.
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#7 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:23 PM
 
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Wow. DS is forward facing- he's 18 months and 30 pounds. He's in the middle seat, FWIW. Sounds like I need to reconsider. It's hard to give up the notion of easily passing back crackers or pointing out school busses when he's upset...
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#8 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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Anyone know if the weigh limit is with or with out clothes? I would guess with out but I don't know for sure...
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#9 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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I just switched my boys around to be forward facing (right before their second bday). They never seemed uncomfortable as far as their legs (I have one ds who hates straps, but that is still true facing forward).
I think the safest thing to do is to leave them rearfacing until the limit of your seat's weight allowance (mine was 30lbs and when I checked my boys weight they were 25 and 33, so I switched them both). I know of a lot of kids with my longer legs than my ds's and they just figured out ways to cross them, or bend them and seemed fine.
I think its the development of the neck and spine that is the concern, that the motion in an accident has much more support rear facing.

The downside to forward facing for us now is that the seats are so upright that they have trouble sleeping (we used to always plan our drives during nap time), but of course now they can see the "world around them" and have a lot of fun seeing things (not to mention seeing us easier - but we had mirrors on their seat backs before so they could see us).

I know that singleton parents complain also that it bothers their kids to be facing backwards and not seeing them, so in that way I probably had it easier since there were two of them facing the same way, they could see each other, etc, it never occurred to them that it was "the wrong way"

Here is a link with lots of good info:
http://www.car-safety.org/

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#10 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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We switched at 17 months and 30lbs. That was the rf limit on our seat. He's 33lbs now at 21 months.

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#11 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:37 PM
 
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The problem with forward facing (for all kids) is that their heads are out of proportion to the rest of their bodies, so they've got little necks and big heads. The younger the child, the bigger the head in proportion to the body.

Now, imagine a child in a forward facing seat during a frontal/frontal offset collision (which are statistically the most common). The heavy head flies forward under the force of impact with nothing to stop it. It pulls on the spinal column, stretching it, and yanks on the top of the spinal cord - right where the neck attaches to the base of the skull.

What you potentially end up with (depending on the crash and the child) is severe spinal injury, paralysis, internal decapitation or death. A spinal column and the spinal cord can only stretch so much....

Compare that to rear facing. A child's head, neck, and spinal column are cushioned against the back of the seat in a collision. The seat cradles them, so to speak. The most that happens is that a child may break his/her leg (though this has never been recorded as happening to a RF child).

Borrowing the quote from another woman on a different board:

Broken leg - cast it. Broken neck - casket.

That all said, my dd is 3.5 years old, 29 pounds, and still rear facing. Our seats go up to 33 pounds rear facing so hopefully she'll get to at least age 4 this way. In Sweden children rearface to age 5. Don't worry about their legs/feet.
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#12 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pbjmama View Post
Anyone know if the weigh limit is with or with out clothes? I would guess with out but I don't know for sure...
With- exactly how they will be in the seat.

-Angela
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#13 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 01:50 PM
 
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yes, it really is dangerous to turn a 15 month old.

I have these websites bookmarked. I refer to them, and forward them, often.

http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRearFacing.aspx
http://www.car-safety.org/rearface.html
http://www.car-seat.org/
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#14 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 02:16 PM
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Yes, it is VERY dangerous.


To the PP who said, "We turn them forward facing at 21 lbs and 12 months in Ontario."...you are mistaken. That is the legal MINIMUM. NOT when you should turn them. You need to keep them rearfacing to the limits of your seat...30 lbs in Canada.
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#15 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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DD is 14 months, ~24 lbs and is still rear-facing, she will remain that way as long as she can. 3 year old DS is forward facing because he has outgrown the rear-facing weight limit on his seat.

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#16 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 02:34 PM
 
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Their legs are fine! I tell parents to think about the difference between sitting up right on a kitchen chair and sitting in a recliner. Which is more comfortable? I frequently tuck my legs up under me when sitting in my office chair, on my couch, etc. FFing young toddlers legs dangle with no where to put them. My DD still complains (3 1/2 and 35lbs) about her legs falling asleep now that she is FFing. And the weight is WITH clothing, just as they would be in the car seat. Heading into cooler weather (hard to say as it is 90 today in Mich.!) please remember not to put bulky coats under car seat straps.

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#17 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 02:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
With- exactly how they will be in the seat.

-Angela
Thanks. That is what I thought, although I typed it backwards in my post! I guess I am going to have to switch my guy to forward soon. Boo.
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#18 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:08 PM
 
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We're going to have to turn soon, due to height. She's 2 1/3.

If she screamed for every journey then I would have considered turning somewhat earlier, but not at 12 months (when she did hate the car seat).

Quote:
I tell parents to think about the difference between sitting up right on a kitchen chair and sitting in a recliner. Which is more comfortable? I frequently tuck my legs up under me when sitting in my office chair, on my couch, etc. FFing young toddlers legs dangle with no where to put them. My DD still complains (3 1/2 and 35lbs) about her legs falling asleep now that she is FFing.
This is so true!

Quote:
It's hard to give up the notion of easily passing back crackers or pointing out school busses when he's upset...
It's easier to pass stuff when they're RFing because they're so close. I don't even need to turn around to do it.
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#19 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:14 PM
 
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I wanted to leave my 17 month old RFing alot longer but he hit the weight limit this month so i turned him.. I planned on him being rfing past 2 years old.. everyone said oh he'll slow down growing after he turns 1 but he has gained about a pound a month every month now.. little chunker

I'd keep the baby rear facing as long as he/she is within the height/weight range

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#20 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:18 PM
 
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Still rear-facing here going on 22 months and around 28lbs. Hope to stay this way until limit of seat which is 33lbs.

Let them sleep in the middle, Let them be little
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#21 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Very dangerous! Please do some reading and research and consider rear facing for longer.

-Angela
It really depends on the seat. I am in Ontario as well and my seat goes rear facing until 22 lbs and that is it. Mind you my DD was under 22 lbs until she was 2. The law here says you can FF them at 12 mos as long as they weigh 20 lbs.

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#22 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:30 PM
 
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It really depends on the seat. I am in Ontario as well and my seat goes rear facing until 22 lbs and that is it. Mind you my DD was under 22 lbs until she was 2. The law here says you can FF them at 12 mos as long as they weigh 20 lbs.
The physics of rear facing being safer don't depend on the seat. Rear facing is safer. To my knowledge there are currently no convertible seats on the market that rf to less than 30lbs. (I realize there were infant seats in the past that didn't- but convertibles that only rf to 22 lbs? It's been awhile...)

The law is not strong enough.

-Angela
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#23 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
Yes, it is VERY dangerous.


To the PP who said, "We turn them forward facing at 21 lbs and 12 months in Ontario."...you are mistaken. That is the legal MINIMUM. NOT when you should turn them. You need to keep them rearfacing to the limits of your seat...30 lbs in Canada.
What seat in Canada has a weight limit of 30 LBS rear facing? Mine only goes up to 22lbs.

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#24 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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yeah that. And in most parts in europe, you'd be hard pressed to find a legal car seat whose weight limit supports rear facing past SIX months.

I'm torn over whether or not people should be made to feel guilty for that, esp given a slough of factors (social, economical, financial, etc). Even cultural, since I have been picked on for being too fanatic about things like that (as a N. American in Europe). I'm also curious as to whether or not infant deaths or injuries are significantly higher in places where i live (aka, Germany and Switzerland) because of the lack of rear-facing options.
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#25 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alegna View Post
The physics of rear facing being safer don't depend on the seat. Rear facing is safer. To my knowledge there are currently no convertible seats on the market that rf to less than 30lbs. (I realize there were infant seats in the past that didn't- but convertibles that only rf to 22 lbs? It's been awhile...)

The law is not strong enough.

-Angela
I kept my DD RF until she hit the 22lbs but DS will be at the weight limit at an earlier age than she was. DD was almost 2 DS is 11 mos and 20 lbs. I would like to keep him RF but my seat says up to 22lbs rear facing.

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#26 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:40 PM
 
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I kept my DD RF until she hit the 22lbs but DS will be at the weight limit at an earlier age than she was. DD was almost 2 DS is 11 mos and 20 lbs. I would like to keep him RF but my seat says up to 22lbs rear facing.
What seat is this?

IMO the best choices in Canada are the Marathon and the Radian.

-Angela
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#27 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:42 PM
 
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DS(4) is forward facing and has only been ff for about 3-4 months lol.. Hes about 38 lb now and was 35 when we switched him (weights with clothes). He would kick his legs up on the back of the seat or go indian style with his legs bent. He actually liked rear facing better lol..


DD(2) is 29 months and is forward facing but only because she has been choking on her own saliva A LOT while teething getting her molars and has been having to sit up to keep from doing so.. Also I have a hard time getting her buckled in the back row of the mini van while hugely pregnant and her being rf so I often times cant see if its tight enough and stuff.. which isnt good so Im going to keep her ff for now.. may change once new baby is here. Shes about 30 lb anyways.. Our seat holds up to 34 rf.

DS(1) is almost 17 months and weighs about 24 lb or so? something like that.. anyways, hes still RF and will be for a very long time
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#28 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:46 PM
 
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Our seat holds up to 34 rf.
Which seat? I've heard of 33lb rf limits and 35lb rf limits, but never 34

-Angela
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#29 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:46 PM
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It really depends on the seat. I am in Ontario as well and my seat goes rear facing until 22 lbs and that is it. Mind you my DD was under 22 lbs until she was 2. The law here says you can FF them at 12 mos as long as they weigh 20 lbs.
What seat do you have? I'm very concerned based on this that it's expired.
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#30 of 70 Old 10-08-2007, 03:46 PM
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What seat in Canada has a weight limit of 30 LBS rear facing? Mine only goes up to 22lbs.
All of them.
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