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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DD is almost 10 months old and I am so tempted to turn her carseat around early. She does so horribly in the car, screaming and freaking out, even on short trips. With my son we turned him forward facing at 11 months and the change was amazing. I feel like I am trapped in the house because I can't stand to hear her cry. My MIL is having surgery next week and was really wanting us to bring the kids to visit them this weekend but its a 5 hour drive. Last time we went (beginning of August) she screamed the whole way. I was thinking maybe if she was forward facing she'd fare better. When does everyone else turn them forward facing?
 

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DS is 12 months and I haven't turned him around. He was miserable in the car until around 9 months old. Someone here posted a link that showed what would happen in an accident with a forward facing seat. Basically, there is a chance the spinal cord will snap. Scary stuff. Not worth risking it.<br><br>
What I ended up doing for long car trips was leaving very very early in the morning so ds would sleep the whole time. We're talking up and out at 4 am. In the same vein plan car trips around nap time so there's a better chance of the munchkin sleeping.
 

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People around Mothering are really "strict" on following the rules about supposed car seat saftey, so you are likely to get flamed for even thinking about turning her seat around. Though I really have to wonder how many really practice what they preach?<br><br>
All that said I have turned our dd seat around early and it did make the world of differance in being able to go any where.<br><br>
Doning my flame proof suit...
 

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That's what we do..plan most car trips around nap time.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">People around Mothering are really "strict" on following the rules about supposed car seat saftey, so you are likely to get flamed for even thinking about turning her seat around. Though I really have to wonder how many really practice what they preach?</td>
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I believe that well informed parents make choices that are safer for their children. I'm not flaming anyone and my ds rear faced until 15 months.<br><br>
Before you seriously consider forward facing early please look at the following page, more specifically WATCH the crash test footage and see if you are willing to take a chance of that happening to your child. A child turned early can be perfectly safe in a minor accident but are you willing to risk something major happening because their seat was forward faced too soon? Please watch the footage and decide if you are willing to risk what it shows happening to your child or not:<br><br><a href="http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/stayrearfacing.aspx</a>
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"> I practice what I preach. DS is rear-facing and will be until he hits the rear-facing weight limit. He also has hated the carseat from day 1. I have gone through agonies listening to him scream, and also felt trapped in the house. He's been much better since we moved from the baby bucket to the Britax Marathon, but on long trips...watch out.<br><br>
We have a mirror on the headrest in back so I can see him in the rearview mirror and talk and sing to him that way, if I'm driving by myself. If I'm with dh, he drives and I sit in the back with ds to keep him company.<br><br>
It is just not worth the risk of putting him forward-facing too soon. I can handle a crying baby, I can't handle a dead one.
 

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I've been tempted but I won't do it. Dd is very close to the weight limit at 19 lbs and 4 oz and 10 months old today. Her feet are touching the seat back but I will keep her rear facing until at least 12 months and 20 pounds. I'll do it for longer if I can get away with it. She is not a very good traveler either. I try to plan trips around her naps also. 12yo dd is a good play mate but sometimes even that doesnt work out. It's especially hard when I;m by myself with her. SOmetimes I don't go out or cut my errands short or only go short distances.
 

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dd is 10 mos old and we have turned her around since she hates the car. i figure that she is big enough (24 pounds) and very strong, she had good head control as an infant and is very storng from bieng carried in the sling 24/7. especially when you compare her to a "mainstream" baby who has spent all thier waking time in a "bucket" or a swing! i am surprised those poor babes can even have any neck musclulature at all!<br><br>
well that's my rational... guess i will put on my flame proof vest also <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I understand why many are adamant about keeping their dc rear-facing for as long as possible - clearly the crash-tests demonstrate that it's safer. I think, though, that you have to weigh how much risk you are willing to take in your particular circumstances.<br><br>
DD never traveled well. In fact, she was miserable. She would scream with tears streaming, red-face, all out extreme distress at being in the car. I am usually driving in-town (not on the freeway), so my speed as well as those around me is usually around 35 mph. I know in a collision this is still not "safe."<br><br>
I already drove while singing, with toys only for the car, all the usual things. I did time trips so that she would be sleeping, but that was only 1 way, and I limited my driving to what was really necessary. DD was already 20 lbs, so we turned her at 11.5 months.<br><br>
As long as you educate yourself on the risks, I think you have to do what you are comfortable doing. IMO, as the mama of a girl that really couldn't tolerate the car, that may mean turning the seat early.
 

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ok sooooo.... I am thinking I'll leave Riley rear facing for at least another 6 mos. (she is on the small size anyway at being 1 year on the 12th. she weighs only 18.5 lbs.) And seeing how she Doesn't mind the car, We are buying her a new one (hopefully tonight) and I will install it rear facing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Bummer though... FYI I could not t the video feed to work to show the forward facing accident demo. (the other 2 worked -rear ones) But I'll take that as a hint <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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On the forward-facing crash, the kid was not properly strapped in - there was far too much leeway in the straps and the chest thing was not pushed up high enough. Also, the carseat was not tethered which greatly increased the movement of the seat.<br>
On the rear-facing crash, the dummy's head is actually tethered to the back of the seat of the car as well as the carseat being tethered, preventing a lot of movement of the head and upper body that would actually happen, and that kid doesn't have a chest strap on at all.<br><br>
Secondly, "more safe" gets to be slightly meaningless with the numbers of incidents that are being looked at in the statistics shown. The chances of being seriously injured in an automobile accident are very small when a child is restrained properly. The difference between kinds of proper restraints is minimal.<br><br>
If a child is openly screaming every time he/she is made to ride in a car, it is torture to force him to stay rear-facing when past the legal limit for age and weight. I cannot imagine a loving parent making their child scream (not talking about occasional whimpering and crying in the car; I'm talking about kids who actually hate and despise riding in the car backwards) for such a minor "risk". Absolutely, any decent parent should have the best carseat they can get, should have it securely attached, should have the straps tightened properly, etc. and should keep it rear facing until the child has developed strong spine and neck control. But after that to force a miserable child to wait for an arbitrary weight or age seems cruel. To me it it would be like refusing a child food when they are starving simply because it might make them choke and offering them only water instead - ok, they are a little less likely to choke on water but it's not what they want/need.
 

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Never, not one time, ever have I even considered that. We have friends who let their kids ride in the tiny infant seat until their heads are over the top then turn them around early, and that just make me want to retch. I can't imagine how terrible a mom would feel if something happened b/c their baby was facing the wrong way. Of course those same parents don't wear their seatbelts either.<br><br>
My DS is 13 months and he's still facing backward. He was a fussy car baby until we got him a big convertible carseat. He likes it much better now.<br><br>
DH asked me a couple days ago when we'd turn him forward. I told him that until DS is 20lbs, he's not to ask that question again. It terrifies me that something might happen to him b/c I turned him before his body is ready. I would NEVER EVER consider it, and I encourage you to wait.<br><br>
I think you need to wait. Try a bigger seat if you haven't moved your child, but do NOT turn that baby around.
 

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Accidents happen. I was in one yesterday <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> Luckily both vehicles were only going about 15 MPH, but our truck still has about $4,000 worth of damage. I am so glad that I had taken the time yesterday morning to readjust DDs car seat straps and make sure everything was tight before leaving. No one was hurt, but it just happens so quickly. A girl pulled right out in front of me, and I just could not stop in time. It was her fault, but what matters is that we are all okay.<br><br>
What you do is your decision. If you feel that your DD is as safe facing forward, or has reached the weight limit, then do what you want. Just please remember that accidents DO happen! And even if you are not at fault, you can still be hurt. If I were you, I would look for an alternative. Find some new toy to put in DDs seat, or maybe go at nap time, or even leave at bedtime! If you or your dh can stay awake that long.<br><br>
Have a safe trip!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We have gone at naptime, bedtime, used toys, say beside her, stopped often. It truly does not make a difference. I can't even take my son to Gymboree (45 minutes away) without her screaming horribly. i am not talking unhappy I am talking terrified. She hyperventilates and cries until she gags and vomits. She truly feels abandoned, I can tell. She is going through extreme separation anxiety right now. I can not stand to put her through that torture and think that doing that is worse than the slight risk of an accident in the next two months. That said I think I'll be turning her. My instincts as a mother say that it is more damaging to her soul to have to scream like that than the potential risk. Thanks for all the input!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Heavenly</i><br><b>I can not stand to put her through that torture and think that doing that is worse than the slight risk of an accident in the next two months. That said I think I'll be turning her. My instincts as a mother say that it is more damaging to her soul to have to scream like that than the potential risk. Thanks for all the input!</b></td>
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I'm sorry, but I have to be quite frank here. I'm not trying to flame you or anyone, but I am a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician and if I didn't say anything, I'd be in the wrong. Would you rather have your child cry in the car or be dead? Would you rather have your child cry in the car or have a broken neck and many other serious injuries? I'm sorry, but I'd much rather my ds scream his head off than take a chance with his life and wellbeing.<br><br>
Believe me, I know what it's like to hear your child screaming at the top of their lungs. My ds had colic til 5 months old and was/is still very high need. I've listened to more crying than most moms of 3 or more children do. I know it's not fun to hear your baby cry in the car, BTDT! But think of the risk you take with your babies life by turning them forward facing too early. There is nothing that will tell you that your childs spinal cord is strong enough to withstand a crash when forward facing. It doesnt matter how much your child weighs, when your child started walking, whether your child could hold their head up at birth. The recommendation for 12 months AND 20 lbs is the earliest you could/should turn your child forward facing. Most experts agree that children should remain rearfacing past that recommendation, including the AAP. A child should remain rear-facing past 1 yr AND 20 lbs until they're at the weight and/or height limit of a convertible seat that goes to 30 or more lbs.<br><br>
Please read this article before turning your child forward facing prior to 1 yr AND 20 lbs.<br><br>
Child Safety Seats: Rear-Face<br>
Until at Least One Year<br><br>
By Kathleen Weber, Director, Child Passenger Protection Research Program,<br>
University of Michigan Medical School<br><br><br><br>
There are many misunderstandings and misconceptions about the crash environment that lead even the best intentioned parent or pediatrician to believe a child is "safe" facing forward when she/he is still very young. These come from obsolete ideas and advice that may still appear in older pamphlets and pediatric literature but that have been updated in recent years. The most prevalent misunderstanding is the idea that muscle strength and control have anything to do with whether it is reasonable to face a child forward and subject his/her neck to the extreme forces pulling the head away from the body in a frontal crash.<br><br><br>
When a car hits something else at, say, 25 to 30 mph, it will come to a stop at a deceleration rate of about 20 or 25 G. But, due to the time lag between when the vehicle stops and the occupants eventually do, the head of a forward-facing adult or child may experience as much as 60 or 70 G. Even strong neck muscles of military volunteers cannot make a difference in such an environment. Rather it is the rigidity of the BONES in the neck, in combination with the connecting ligaments, that determines whether the spine will hold together and the spinal cord will remain intact within the confines of the vertebral column.<br><br><br>
This works for adults, but very young children have immature and incompletely ossified bones that are soft and will deform and/or separate under tension, leaving the spinal cord as the last link between the head and the torso. Have you ever pulled an electric cord from the socket by the cord instead of the plug and broken the wires? Same problem.<br><br><br>
This scenario is based on actual physiological measures. According to Huelke et al,1 "In autopsy specimens the elastic infantile vertebral bodies and ligaments allow for column elongation of up to two inches, but the spinal cord ruptures if stretched more than 1/4 inch."<br><br><br>
Real accident experience has also shown that a young child's skull can be literally ripped from its spine by the force of a crash. Yes, 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.<br><br><br>
Another aspect of the facing-direction issue that is often overlooked is the additional benefit a child gains in a side impact. Crash testing and field experience have both shown that the head of a child facing rearward is captured by the child restraint shell in side and frontal-oblique crashes, while that of a forward-facing child is thrown forward, around, and often outside the confines of the side wings. This can make the difference between a serious or fatal head injury and not.<br><br><br>
There are no magical or visible signals to tell us, parents, or pediatricians when the risk of facing forward in a crash is sufficiently low to warrant the change, and, when a parent drives around for months or years without a serious crash, the positive feedback that the system they have chosen "works" is very difficult to overcome. When in doubt, however, it's always better to keep the child facing rearward.<br><br><br>
In the research and accident review I [Kathleen Weber] did a few years ago,2 the data seemed to break at about 12 months between severe consequences and more moderate consequences for the admittedly rare events of injury to young children facing forward that we were able to identify. One year old is also a nice benchmark, and the shift to that benchmark in the last few years has kept many kids in a safer environment longer and has probably saved some lives, some kids from paralysis, and some parents from terrible grief.<br><br><br>
As a side comment, some convertible child restraints indicate in their instructions that a child should face forward when his/her feet touch the vehicle seatback, or alternately when the legs must be bent. This prohibition is not justified by any accident experience or any laboratory evidence, and we are hoping that these instructions will soon be revised. The only physical limit on rear-facing use is when the child's head approaches the top of the restraint shell. At this point, she/he should be moved to a rear-facing convertible restraint, or, if the child is already using one, to its forward-facing configuration.<br><br><br>
Parents and pediatricians need to know what the real reasons for the push for extended rear facing are, in order to be able to make an informed judgment. Perhaps this will help spread the word.<br><br><br><br><br>
1. Huelke DF et. al. Car crashes and non-head impact cervical spine injuries in infants and children. Society of Automotive Engineers, Warrendale, Pennsylvania, 1992. SAE 920562<br>
2. Weber K et. al. Investigation of dummy response and restraint configuration factors associated with upper spinal cord injury in a forward-facing child restraint. In Child Occupant Protection, SP-986. Society of Automotive Engineers, Warrendale, Pennsylvania, 1993. SAE 933101<br><br><br>
Reprinted with permission from the author.<br>
SBS U.S.A. version<br><br><br><br>
Other works by author:
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by momdotcom</i><br><b>If a child is openly screaming every time he/she is made to ride in a car, it is torture to force him to stay rear-facing when past the legal limit for age and weight. I cannot imagine a loving parent making their child scream (not talking about occasional whimpering and crying in the car; I'm talking about kids who actually hate and despise riding in the car backwards) for such a minor "risk". Absolutely, any decent parent should have the best carseat they can get, should have it securely attached, should have the straps tightened properly, etc. and should keep it rear facing until the child has developed strong spine and neck control. But after that to force a miserable child to wait for an arbitrary weight or age seems cruel. To me it it would be like refusing a child food when they are starving simply because it might make them choke and offering them only water instead - ok, they are a little less likely to choke on water but it's not what they want/need.</b></td>
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A loving parent absolutely should keep their child rearfacing until the earliest recommended requirement (12 months AND 20 lbs) whether that child cries during car rides or not. It could be the difference between life and death for that child. I'd much rather have a live screaming child than a dead one. It does not matter if you have the best, highest recommended carseat out there, if your child is younger than 1 yr and less than 20 lbs, that seat is not going to stop your childs spinal cord from being severed in a crash while forward facing. This is not a matter of some bumps and bruises, were talking <b>decapitation</b> here! I can't imagine how anyone could think it cruel to do whatever you need to do to insure your childs safety.
 

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Just a question-- what about when the child is much larger at 1 year? My DS is only 3 months, and hates the carseat...now before anyone gets upset, I'm not even thinking of turning him until a year, but at 3 months, he already weighs 16.5 pounds. I imagine that at a year he'll be well over 20. Does that make a difference in spinal cord strength and development?
 

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After having read what I could find about rear versus forward I found that rear facing is only safer in a head on accident. There are statistically more head ons.<br><br>
There is about a 20 % differance in safety between rear and forward.<br><br>
Car seats themselves arent all that safe. I talked to a gal tell about all the leg muscle damage her granddaughter is having because of of a car seat she was in during an accident.<br><br>
I think car seats really do need to be made with more padding for safety and for the childs comfort. How do they expect a child to want to seat in one of those things if they are as hard a a rock?<br><br>
I think parents ought to make the decision as to when to turn the child around. Some feel more comfortable waiting and othes believe its best for the child not to scream bloody murder everytime they are forced in to their seat.<br><br>
We live in a low population area so I felt/feel safe turning my girls seat around earliy for their comfort and happiness and for the sake of our ears.<br><br>
To each their own.
 

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I would NOT turn my child around early.<br><br>
The risk is not worth taking!<br><br>
Here in Norway its not allowed to turn the seat around until child is 10 months and 20 lbs. But its recommended to keep them rearfacing as long as possible, preferebly until 3 years or more.<br><br>
I turned DS a few months ago, when he turned 2 years old. I would have loved to wait even longer, but his feet was so long that he couldn`t sit rearfacing any longer. (Maybe if we had another car...)<br><br>
Listening to yor child crying is terrible. But I would rather hear my son cry then not hear him at all.
 

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Sophie is 22 pounds, 35" tall and 16 months old and still rear facing. I fully plan to keep her rear facing to the limits of the seat which is 33 pounds. If she is 4 years old and rear facing so be it<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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