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I'm asking this here because I'm interested in what gd'ers have to say- including TCS'ers and UP'ers.<br><br>
So my ds is almost 15 mos and weighs 25 lbs. We still have him rearfacing (for those who don't know, even though you CAN turn a child front facing at 1yr and 20 lbs, those are minimums, and children are safer rf'ing as long as they are under the maximums for a specific seat- in our case, that's 30 lbs and less than 1 inch from the top).<br>
He doesn't like car trips much, and we take a trip to see my mom and grandma about once a month. My mom lives 1.5 hours away, and my grandma is 1 hour farther (my mom's is RIGHT on the way, so we always stop there). He loves being there, and the first part of the trip isn't bad usually, but every time we get in the car after that, it gets worse and worse- well, the worst it gets is crying when I put him in his seat, and that's not often. I usually take him out, and wait a bit and try again. Sometimes he'll fuss a bit during the ride. It's not that bad for him, and he really loves to be with them, and he has a great time while we're there. So I don't think that NOT going is a great option, kwim? We stay for a couple days, then come back home.<br>
Short trips are never a problem- he doesn't mind them at all.<br>
I should add that every time we go (since there's so much time in between) I think it's going to be better than the last time- since it starts out ok. kwim? When he was younger and absolutely HATED car trips, we didn't go anywhere in a car for months.<br><br>
So here's my question- I'm thinking about turning the car front facing, hoping that it will make trips more enjoyable for him. But I'm also concerned that it's less safe than rear facing. But then again, is it really safer to have a rf'ing unhappy child, possibly distracting me? AND I really care about his happiness too.<br><br>
So, what have you all done, or what would you do, in the same situation?<br><br>
Curious as to what you all think.<br><br>
Becky
 

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Wow... that's my story exactly...<br><br>
We live 1-1.5 hours away from grandparents and we go visit them once a week. Alex hated his infant car seat and wasn't a big fan of his rear-facing "big boy" seat. I actually turned it forward at 11.5 months <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/blush.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="blush"> because I went on a road trip with him in a friends van, and he put the car seat in forward by mistake. Rather than correcting him, I figured one ride would be fine. It was night and day and we started forward facing him that weekend. He was over the weight minimum and the height miminum and I justified the 2 weeks pre-first birthday by saying "well, he was two weeks overdue..." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> We still have our meltdowns and Alex is great at arching his back when I try to do him up, but it's definitely better.<br><br>
I do think you'll find a huge difference when your baby can actually watch you drive and see out the window. Also, for long trips (i.e. not to the grocery store) I sit in the back seat with him while DH drives. It's cramped but we can read books and talk about the scenery we pass. He loves Raffi... so that's been a godsend as well. "Baby Beluga" does the trick every time.<br><br>
Good luck!<br><br>
Laura
 

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I remember that turning DS's seat forward around 12 mo made all the difference. He's enjoyed car rides, even long ones, ever since. These days, when we tell him it's time to get in the car, he gets excited and runs for the door.
 

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While rear facing IS always safer. Keeping your legs crossed for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours can be uncomfortable and bad for circulation.<br>
I know that my kids really got uncomfortable being rear facing once they were tall enough it was impossible to ever straighten their legs. I also know that I couldnt stand that for a minute. I have restless legs and I have absolutely zero tolerance for my legs bening confined and I am pretty sure one of my dd's has it too.<br>
That said, yes rear facing is safer. but your dc IS 15 months old and 25 lbs. And I dont think forward facing is dangerous, just less safe. So maybe you have a mini-van and not a volvo. Yes the volvo is safest but that doesnt make the minivan a box of death. Same is true with carseats.<br>
As a compromise I would turn his seat for only trips out of town. Then turn it back for everyday use.<br>
Joline
 

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Well, you're already contemplating what I was going to suggest. Yes, rf is infinitely safer, but how much safer is it when you're being distracted? Personally, I think having a concentrating, calm driver with a ff child is much safer than a distracted, frantic driver with a rf child. It's safer for the passengers, but also safer for the other cars on the road.<br><br>
Yes, rf until the upper limit of the seat is the best scenario, but realistically, it's not feasible for every family in every situation. It can be a hard decision weighing the pros and cons with so many things to consider!<br><br>
Try turning him forward facing for one of the trips. If he's infinitely happier, I'd suggest leaving it that way. (And I'm someone who kept my DS rf until he was 2 1/2, so I'm not taking it lightly! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> )<br><br>
Good luck whatever you decide. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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I faced this too, and I made up my mind that turning her around was the right thing to do. She was miserably unhappy, and fought getting in the seat so much. It was a hard decision for me to make, because I KNEW that rear-facing was so much safer, but I was having to pull over constantly on the side of busy highways to calm her down, and that didn't strike me was exactly safe either. Turning her around made a big difference-- she enjoys the ride so much more now that she can see me and see out the window, and her legs aren't all squashed.<br><br>
I am well aware that there are others who will strenuously disagree with me, but I decided it was best for us.<br><br>
DD is 14 months, BTW, and just over 24 pounds estimated. She still had a long way to go toward the limits for rear-facing in our seat.
 

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Gonna throw this out there....Is it possible he is getting nauseated? Like car sick? I would have at that age ina rearfacing car seat, and it would have progressed exactly like you said, at first I would have been fine, but as the trip got longer the worse I would feel. Turning him around may help that too. Being able to see out the front window and to know where I am going would have made a huge difference.<br><br>
Just a thought.
 

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Until we turned DD's car seat around at around 15-16 mos we had to sing, "Once there was a silly old ant" over and over or else she would cry. Once we sang it for almost 2 hours while heading down the shore. IT was torture for everyone. AS soon as we turned her she was totally happy and I never had to sing that ant song again!!
 

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Ask yourself this. If you were to have an accident, and your child got severly injurd and recieved permanent damages, or died, due to the forces the spine is put under when ff. Injuries that would have been prevented if the child was bf. Would you forgive yourself? This may be harsh, but it is always something you have to take into consideration. Accidents happen, even if you are as careful as can be.<br><br>
I take it on these trips you go with your DH. Have you tried having one of you sitting in the back to help entertain the the kid? And if you go alone, have you considered having him in the front seat, and to disable the airbag there? I know the recomendation in the us is to have kids in the back, but when traveling alone, you are less likely to get distracted with the kid in the front. But again, that is only an option if there is no airbag there, or if it can be disabled.<br><br>
I don't think fussing will stop no matter what direction he's facing. One hour sitting still is a long time. Perhaps you can put in an additional short stop on the way, just to let everyone get some fresh air and move about.<br><br>
As for car sickness. It is the motion that causes it, and looking where you're going doesn't necessarily do anything. Besides, in the back seat, he won't see much anyway. For me, the only thing that helps, is either eating car sickness pills, or driving myself.
 

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I'm planning to stick with rear-facing and continue my post as the entertainment committee during long trips. We have the Alpha Omega seat. I haven't been thrilled with it, to say the least. Simon is close to 36 inches tall now, which is the listed maximum height. I'm thinking of getting a Britax Marathon to keep him rear-facing for as long as possible. It seems to be so much safer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmmm. As far as being carsick, that's a good question. Dp is kinda sorta carsick. He HATES to not be driving (which works for me, cuz I prefer NOT to drive <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ) And I do think I remember him saying that the back seat is worse than the front seat. Ds's unhappiness does seem to get worse as we go (he'll sleep for a while, then wake up, and play for a bit, then get restless). But after the first part of the trip, sometimes he gets upset even just getting into his seat. But it still could be related. Hmmm.... I'll think about that.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I was having to pull over constantly on the side of busy highways to calm her down, and that didn't strike me was exactly safe either.</td>
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exactly. It's not an exact trade as far as safety goes. There are a lot of things to consider when you try to decide which is the safest way to go.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Anka</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ask yourself this. If you were to have an accident, and your child got severly injurd and recieved permanent damages, or died, due to the forces the spine is put under when ff. Injuries that would have been prevented if the child was bf. Would you forgive yourself? This may be harsh, but it is always something you have to take into consideration. Accidents happen, even if you are as careful as can be.</div>
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Yeah, I've thought about that a lot. I don't really have an answer yet- that's why he's still rfing. But I've also had this thought- If I'm distracted (even though I don't reach back or anything) when he's fussing rf'ing, and that might make us more likely to get in a wreck, then he'd be safer ff'ing and NOT getting into a wreck. kwim? So I also have to consider how I'd feel about getting into a wreck with him rf'ing, and how I'd feel about if it were related to me being distracted by an unhappy kid.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I take it on these trips you go with your DH. Have you tried having one of you sitting in the back to help entertain the the kid? And if you go alone, have you considered having him in the front seat, and to disable the airbag there? I know the recomendation in the us is to have kids in the back, but when traveling alone, you are less likely to get distracted with the kid in the front. But again, that is only an option if there is no airbag there, or if it can be disabled.</td>
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Nope, dp doesn't go- he has to stay and work <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> lol. When we are both in the car, I do sit in the back if ds is unhappy.<br>
I had considered putting him in the front seat, actually. But only for a minute because I figured it wasn't safe. I guess I hadn't really thought about it recently because I figured it was safer to be ff'ing in the back seat than rf'ing in the front seat. Do you have any links about putting kids rf'ing in the front seat? I think we could get the air bag disabled- not positive though.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I don't think fussing will stop no matter what direction he's facing. One hour sitting still is a long time. Perhaps you can put in an additional short stop on the way, just to let everyone get some fresh air and move about.</td>
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I've tried additional stops, and he gets unhappy as soon as I go to put him back in. And a lot of the time he'll sleep until we're maybe 15 minutes away from our stop. So my thought is that *maybe* he'll stay happy until we get there, and then we can be done with riding. But then if he gets unhappy, I have to choose between just getting there and playing and being happy, or stopping and being happier for a few minutes, then putting him BACK in the seat- which he does NOT want to do at that point.<br>
If that worked, I'd be all for it!! lol<br><br>
I think that during our next long trip, I'll try him ff'ing. If he's a ton happier, then I'll maybe leave him ff'ing for long trips, and try to keep him rf'ing for shorter trips.<br>
Although I'm now interested in info on putting him rf'ing in the front seat- would that be safer? At first thought, it seems like it wouldn't be safer, but I don't have any good reason to think that, I don't think.<br><br>
Thanks all for your opinions <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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My daughter barely made it to one year before she'd outgrown her seat's ability to be front-facing. We turned her seat around on her first birthday and she stopped fussing. I'm happy with that decision.<br><br>
I would think the back seat ff would be safer than the front seat rf. The front seat is much much much more dangerous than the back seat, and car seats protect children either ff or rf, it's a matter of degree at that point but they're pretty safe regardless of which way the seat is facing.
 

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I'll see if I can find anything on BF in the front seat in english. I know there is research done here in sweden, and that in crash tests done here there are indications that BF in the front seat is acctually slightly safer in a frontal collision then being in the back seat. The greater protection of being in the middle in the back seat only plays in in side collisions, which aren't as common as frontals.<br><br>
However, in Sweden the recomendation is to have the kid BF in the front seat more because of the fact that the driver has better control/contact with the kid in that position, because the kid can see the parents face, and because of the possibility to allow for more legroom.<br><br>
I don't have any numbers dividing between back or front seat, but the protection efficiency when BF is 90-95%, whereas for FF is 50-60%. Again, these are numbers refering to Sweden, where most kids are seated in the front until they either have a sibling (which is then put in the front) or outgrows rearfacing.<br><br>
Additionally, it can be noted that most current seats on the market here are certified to be used up until 55lbs BF in the front seat, but only 40 lbs in the back.
 

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we take a trip from ny to va (8-12 hours depending on kids and traffic) about once a month. my 29 month old is rear facing for day to day driving and most of the trip. when we are about 1/2 way there or if he gets really upset about the drive, we offer to turn him around. he thinks of it as a special treat, and it makes the trip a lot more enjoyable for him. maybe you could switch him half way and see if he likes it any better?<br><br>
or maybe try french fries. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> thats another road-trip-only treat for us.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Anka</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Ask yourself this. If you were to have an accident, and your child got severly injurd and recieved permanent damages, or died, due to the forces the spine is put under when ff. Injuries that would have been prevented if the child was bf. Would you forgive yourself? This may be harsh, but it is always something you have to take into consideration. Accidents happen, even if you are as careful as can be.</div>
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Maybe you could research this and see how much difference there actually is. Like Joline said, you're not going to go out and buy the safest car on the market just because you're a parent. Or maybe you are, but then you've got more money that I <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
Anyway, I think that while having your child ff may be more risky, the chances of even having an accident are still pretty slim. As someone who gets carsick, I would second that riding backwards definitely makes it worse. I would turn him around.
 

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Ok, I've spent some time googling. I have found NOTHING that would support that rear facing in the front seat should be less safe then front facing in the back seat. The increased dangers with sitting in the front seat seems to either br related to air bags (which MUST be disabled or removed when having a a rear facing restraint in the front seat) or from hitting the dash board or other part of the vehicle structure, which when rear facing would mostly apply in side collisions. And then you should also keep in mind that frontals are more common.<br><br>
I reiterate from my last post: Rear facing gives a 90-95% protection, forward facing 50-60% protection. These numbers are from a swedish insurance company that base their research on acctual accidents. The same company did a crash test study to see if there was any difference in safety between rear facing in front seat or rear facing in back seat and found that in frontal collisions, the front seat is marginally safer.<br><br>
I'll see if I can call them and get any pointers to a study in english that confirms or refutes this.
 

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That's interesting and I'm going to try and look into it, because most safety technicians and oh, basically everyone here tells you that the front seat is not safe. One of the reasons I turned my son's seat around as soon as he was one year and at the weight limit was because I had heard that it was dangerous for them to have their legs crossed that way in an accident. I guess broken legs don't hold a candle to dying, but in less serious accidents it was supposed to be a quick way to injure the legs. It could be that that's not even true. I didn't confirm it. I haven't researched this beyond reading the car and carseat manuals. I'm just surprised that so many keep it rear-facing for so long. I wasn't aware that it was safer once they were getting huge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Hazelnut</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One of the reasons I turned my son's seat around as soon as he was one year and at the weight limit was because I had heard that it was dangerous for them to have their legs crossed that way in an accident.</div>
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Here's some info about rear facing and legs bent <a href="http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRearFacing.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.cpsafety.com/articles/StayRearFacing.aspx</a><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">...there is not a single documented case of children's legs, hips, etc. breaking or being injured in a crash due to longer rear-facing.</td>
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I'm still looking for back seat vs front seat info- thanks Anka, Now I have an even harder decision. lol<br><br>
eta: I've found this so far <a href="http://www.car-safety.org/faq.html" target="_blank">http://www.car-safety.org/faq.html</a>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Q45: Can I put my carseat in the front seat of my vehicle?<br><br>
Airbags can be deadly to infants in rear-facing carseats, and to children 12 and under using the seatbelts. The front seat is generally not recommended for children 12 and under. The airbag MUST be disabled if you must use a rear-facing child seat in the front. Some vehicles without a rear seat, especially pickup trucks, have an on/off switch for this purpose. If a child must ride in the front, you should also move the front seat as far back as it will go. <b>Please only consider a front seat if no other option is available</b>.<br><br>
Nothing comparing rfing in front and ff'ing in back. Still looking....</td>
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couple of thoughts...does your baby have toys or something to look at? Could he be bored? Is there a mirror so he can see you?<br><br>
Have you tried starting your trip at the crack of dawn (like 2 hours before he wakes up)? Then maybe he would sleep till you get there.<br><br>
V.
 

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Thanks for the link, Deva. I had that website bookmarked, but I guess I didn't actually read it too well. So how long do some of you actually keep it rear-facing? My son got so big so fast. I wonder why the safety seat technician dude didn't mention that. I was under the impression that it was just safer to turn it once the kid got bigger. Are certain seats more conducive to this? We have the Evenflo, but I have to buy another convertible seat eventually for my second.
 
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