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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are going on a family vacation next week. The drive will be about 5 hours up and 5 hours back (several days later), this includes time for many pit stops. Right now, it is a major struggle to get dd2 in her car seat.
We will be touring the Cabot Trail. I brought up the idea that we might consider moving dd2, 18 months, forward facing in he car seat (Alpha Omega) for the trip, but it kinda feels like a poor justification. She is 32.5" and just over 20 lbs I think. She's got good head and neck strength, she has been walking since 9 months.
We moved dd1 around when she was 18 months as well, as she was 33" and we were sure she'd grow soon to be 36" (the seat's upper limit). Also, we had cleaned out the car and we had to put the seat back in anyway.

Is this a really bad idea? One plus is that it will mean we can hook up the tether. It will also probably make our trip much more smooth, and we will all be happier I am sure.

Ok, before I submit this I had better put on some flame-retardant gear, just in case....
:
 

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no flames


It's true she would get to see more I think.

But are you expecting her to sleep alot? rear racing is more sleep inducing because of the recline.
 

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We finally turned our DD right on the day we started our cross country drive.

It was the best thing ever - she could interact with us and was quite happy. It held off her nap a bit longer than usual that day, but not for crying, she just did not want to miss anything.

I think it's a great time, will make your drive easier and she will still sleep...no sweet beab can fight the yummy motion night-night moster of the car!
 

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We just went on a long trip and we turned our dd (14 months) before we left. She loved being forward facing and slept fine. We were totally for her staying rear-facing and she didn't really have a problem with it but our secondary reason for moving her was the conflicts between herself and ds. When she was rear-facing she was right beside ds. She would throw stuff at him or hit him and he would get frustrated and eventually hit back or throw something back at her. Then there would be crying and screaming
: It made travelling quite stressful at times. Her seat wouldn't fit rear-facing behind the driver or passenger seat. So forward-facing she went.
 

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Yup - we turned our little one around at 18 months for her first cross-country vacation trip too. I think it's a totally good enough reason to do it - we were really glad because she had a fantastic time.

Have a nice trip!
 

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you might give it a trial run to see if it actually makes her happy before you go. i just turned my 3yo because he hit the weight limit and he hates it. his feet go numb from hanging and he has nothing to rest them on. he is also more upright so his head tends to tip forward when he is sleepy.

personally i wouldn't turn a child until atleast 2 unless i had to. it's not about how strong she is or really even how big she is (unless she has outgrown her seat) it's about how strong her neck is, and that's something that just comes with age. RF protects her neck and spinal cord a lot better than FF.

can you sit with her? does she like that any better?

if it really does make her a lot happier, and you think it would help with the trip, do what you need to do. but turn her back around when you get home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the positive replies are a pleasant surprise! DH wants to do it right before the trip, so that when we get up to leave in the morning, it's an exciting novelty.
I was wondering about turning her around when we get back...
As far as sleep, our driving will all be day time, so she may nap some, but not all the way. And it may also help prevent conflict with her sister... I can't sit in the back. Well, I can do it for short drives, but you pretty much have to wedge in sideways and may not be able to have a belt on. We have an Accent. So it's not something I would do for the long trip.

Thanks everyone! I think we will probably do it!
 

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Ok - I'll be the lone voice of dissent - I wouldn't do it. Rearfacing is safer, period. It's not an comfort thing, it's a size and physical ability thing. Try new toys, songs, a small snack or water, my boys like to pass a ball back and forth (3yo is rearfacing as he is now 34 pounds - 11 mo is obviously still rearfacing).

Sorry, but I don't think it's a good idea.
 

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I wouldn't do it either. I might consider it if she got really carsick or something like that, but otherwise, no way. AND it sounds like she BARELY meets the requirements as far as weight. Nope. No way. No how. MUCH safer rear facing.

-Angela
 

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I'm not going to flame but I am going to ask you to really think about it. The reason for extended rfing is to keep them as safe as possible. Now you're going on a road trip so theoretically, since you will be on the road for many hours a day, you are at a higher risk of getting into an accident. So why would you want to turn her now? It just seems like an odd justification to me. Did you know that children under the age of 2 are 4 times more likely to die in a crash if they are ffing? Just food for thought.
 

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We just flipped our 15 month old for exactly the same reason (I'm jealous of the Cabot trail trip by the way... I went a few years ago and it was beautiful. My brother and sister in law are there right now!)

It made a big difference to our DD to be forward facing. We actually were in an accident on our trip though not a big one (we were rear ended by a transport that was going almost the same speed it caused a lot of damage to the trunk of our car but it didn't feel like much and our daughter was just fine in her seat.

That being said, our DD is definately over 20 lbs (she's been 22-23 lbs for quite some time) I keep meaning to flip her back to rear facing and just haven't done it yet.

(and yes we still needed the new toys, new snacks and 8 million other distraction techniques. Our daughter isn't the best of travellers.)
 

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I agree with testing it out first to see if she really likes it better.

Yes, rear facing is safer....we would ALL be safer that way, in fact. But that's just not possible. Real life is not 100% safe.

NHTSA says a rear-facing seat is 71% safer than no restraint at all, and a front-facing seat is 54% safer. So there's a 17% difference there. If that's too much for you, don't turn her around. (And I don't really know how they get those numbers, either...I will try to find out though!)

We had planned to keep DD1 rearfacing until she hit the weight limit, but we turned her at about 20 months for a long trip. Front facing is not UNsafe....just less safe. It's your decision whether you feel the benefits outweigh the risks.
 

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We just debated this last week. We had a 6 hour drive each way and were only taking dd#3(17 months). (Dh had a meeting and we left the older girls with my sister). We really thought about it, because she HATES riding by herself, but after much thought and consideration we decided not too. I just can't take the risk, esp since most of the drive was on the freeway at 75-80 mph. She is just over 20 lbs and even just a fast braking could cause her to lunge forward at that speed. We left early in the morning and she did really good for the first 4 hours. She slept and played. We stopped just as she was getting fussy and grabbed a fast food sandwich and hung out at a park for about 30 min then got back in the truck. She did good for about an hour and a half and was not happy for the last 30 min, but we just sang and played and dealt with it. We did the same thing on the way home. I brought some snacks that she doesn't usually get and some toy cars that belong to her sister that she doesn't usually get to play with.

So, I would not do it, but HTH
. I know how hard traveling is, we have to drive 1.5-2 hours to go shopping, town, anything and dd#2 is NOT a good traveler!
 
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