Talk of the Trains: Rear Facing

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rear Facing

Last year, the state of Georgia {and the Academy of American Pediatrics} announced that they were recommending that children stay rear facing until at least 2 years of age. 

This has been interesting to me as most friends that I know flip their child around their first birthday. Other kids who are tall and seem scrunched in their infant seat have also been flipped earlier with the parents attributing it to the fact that they are out of room in the seat. 

For me, its been frustrating as last year I was so excited about getting to turn little AM forward and then after all of this was announced in the spring, we opted to keep her rear facing as long as possible. Its like you hear about getting to flip them at age one and then you see everyone else still doing it and then its just that much more annoying when we decide not to do it.

It also makes me wonder who has their kids {under 2} still rear facing, who has flipped them and what was their reasoning for it?...maybe I am just looking for people to justify my want to turn her though I know we wont til she's two!

According to this article, "children under the age of two are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are rear-facing" and "riding rear-facing is five times safer than forward-facing." They say that kids scrunched up wont know the difference and that two is the new baseline. It also asks the question as to why are parents so eager to turn their car seats - and that was something that I had to ask myself. 

It mentioned that "parents are always looking for the next stage of development" and that was the same for me. I was excited about the flipping her around milestone. 

When we purchased AM's first car seat, we bought the Chicco Keyfit 30. We chose this one for multiple reasons, first and foremost being its safety ratings and secondly because many car seats go up to 22 lbs but this one went up to 30 lbs. We felt like this would give us the option of keeping her in it longer and not having to switch to a larger car seat earlier than we were ready to. Thankfully, when the change came in the recommendation, we were able to accommodate her in the infant seat we already had, so there was no rush to get a toddler seat. 

Now, although she is only around 24 lbs however, the time has finally come that her head is too tall on the Chicco and so we have been shopping for her toddler seat. In all honesty, our kid is short and skinny. Most babies will exceed the height requirements and have to move up WAY before the weight and we could have gone with the 22 lb one and it probably would have been fine. 

As we looked to buy a new seat, I borrowed a friends Consumer Reports log in and began the research on toddler car seats. I also took very scientific polls on Facebook and on Twitter to see what other mommy's out there were doing. From the beginning, Consumer Reports led me to the Britax car seats as my top few favorites, from safety to features. The Mom's on my social networks affirmed it when many of them said that they used Britax seats and were pleased with their choice. 

Last week, this little diddy arrived at our doorstep: 

Its the Britax Boulevard 70 Convertible Car Seat. AM was QUITE excited about her new package and had fun playing with the buckles, testing out the seat and climbing all over it! This weekend, CT3 installed it in my car and it too is rear facing!

The only thing really different about this one and the infant one is the place where we have it positioned in my car. We had the infant seat in the middle of the car. Obviously if you have multiple children, this is not an option for you but we did this because if I were to get in an accident and have side impact, it reduces the risk of the baby getting hurt {i.e. middle of the car and hopefully away from impact}. With this car seat being larger, it will have to go on the side, which is fact it will be much easier getting baby in and out than it was getting her into the middle! 

Anyway, this is a way long post about car seats but we are excited about her bigger seat that in 6 months or so we will talk about turning forward. It stinks to see her little legs squished and I hate that I cant turn her and see her sweet face, but that milestone can wait for now. Any other moms out there with kids over one who are still rear facing? I'd love to know that I am not the only one! 

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  1. We moved into the convertible a couple weeks ago, and I really dislike it. It's angled oddly, so that his head tips forward when he falls asleep. That being said, we're going to try and follow the recommendation, even if we have a big guy. He's not even a year, but I can plan, right? I saw a terrifying video a grandfather had made about his 18 month old grandson breaking his neck, so that has a lot to do with my decision.

  2. we actually turned Zoe around about 2 weeks before her first birthday... she just seemed ready for a bigger carseat, and with our car.. it wouldn't fit rear-facing. But, I can totally see your point about leaving her rear facing for a bit longer...

  3. I had the same concerns, but my pediatrician was actually the one that convinced me to turn Eli around - she said to put him in the middle and make sure the car seat has good protection around the head and he will be fine. Plus he was a VERY unhappy rider so I was desperate to fine something that would help in the car. :)

    But the statistics do freak me out a little bit!

  4. Bobby and I were actually just discussing this the other day. Alabama's law says you can turn them at age 1, but I knew the recommendation was 2. We are planning to leave Noah rear-facing as long as we can (even though we've already caught flack about it from Bobby's mom).

    He's been in a convertible seat since January. He was over 30" at his 9-month appointment, so we went ahead and bought a Britax Marathon (the height limit on his infant seat was 32").

    I think leaving rear-facing as long as possible is the best. I think at the point where the child is miserable every time he/she gets in the car because of being too cramped, then consider going ahead and turning the seat around. That's what we plan to do anyway.

  5. We kept Keira rear-facing until around 20 months. Our pediatrician just said to go as long as we could and would have been happy if as long as it was one year. We will probably try to go just as long with Ryan if she'll let us - we're upgrading to a convertible in just a few days (she'll be 10 months- we upgraded Keira at 13 months). I will say when we turned her forward facing, she could have cared less, so don't over analyze. They don't know any better (especially first borns!)

  6. Sam has been in a convertible for a long time now. I think we got one when he was 5-6 months. But, it's rear facing and I plan to keep it that way until he's two. It tilts back so he's not squished at all...yet :)

  7. Front or rear---it is nice to see that Anne Margaret really likes her new seat--and the cardboard box it came in!

  8. My daughter will be a year in a couple weeks and I'm not going to remind my husband that if he wanted to he could flip her seat. He feels like driving will be more fun for her and of course I'm more concerned about safety. She's tall so I'm not sure how long she'll comfortably stay rear facing though.

    We switched her to a convertible around 6 months because she hated the car seat from day 1 and we thought that might help (it didn't).


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