Carseat - Facing Forward or Backward?

Some of the parenting boards assert that it’s safer for a child to sit in a rear-facing car seat up through age 4! I know that the rule is both 20 lbs. and 1 year of age (which my ped didn’t realize!). It wouldn’t be surprising if it was a good idea to face rear as long as possible - but frankly I’m skeptical about everything posted by the dipsquats on other boards.

Here’s a site that offers some information, no idea how credible they are

Ignore asshats. American Acad. of Peds declares the 1 year AND 20lbs rule. You are right.

Also, try finding a backward facing seat that could physically work for someone the size of a 4 year old. Just not possible, given car seat depths and other size constraints.

I think in this case, inkleberry, the asshats might be right. The American Academy of Pediatrics statement found here states “at least” one year or 20 pounds, and further that “If a car safety seat accommodates children rear facing to higher weights, for optimal protection, the child should remain rear facing until reaching the maximum weight for the car safety seat, as long as the top of the head is below the top of the seat back.”

I haven’t seen car seats in more than 10 years, so I don’t know what they’ll accommodate weight-wise, but it does seem as the the AAP is agreeing that children should be placed rear-facing as long as the car seat safely holds their weight rear-facing. Checking the manual or the manufacturer’s website should give you that information.

I have yet to see a rear facing that holds a kid above 30 lbs. If your 4 year old is 30lbs or under, you have bigger issues to worry about.

My son is 8 weeks and already about 12 lbs. His rear facing only holds kids to 20 lbs. So we will have to find another rear facing one in a few months to hold him until he is 1 year old. Hopefully he will not exceed 30lbs before he is a year old. Otherwise, we are very very screwed, both in terms of car seats and our ability to carry him. Thus, I’m thinking of getting a little goat to cart him around. We need more pet goats in this world, says I.

The problem isn’t so much one of weight as it is of space - it’s not much after 1 year of age that a kid’s legs dangle below the edge of the carseat; trying to put them rearfacing would mean having their legs bunched up. Maybe nominally safer in the case of an accident, but not at all practical.

As much as I figured. And prolly more comfortable too.

There’s a lot of people that do keep their kids rearfacing 'til 3 or 4. The kids sit cross-legged and seem comfy. The car seat in question is the Britax.

Actually, there are a number of “convertable” seats that face both front and rear - I moved my son to a “convertable” when he was four months old (he’d reached the height limit of his bucket seat, and was nearing the weight limit).

I know it seems as though babyberry is going to pass the 30 pound mark by a year, but I promise, the growth does slow up a bit. I expected the same thing, but one Wolfie got walking, the growth started happening height-wise. He’s just a bit under 30 pounds and has remained there since his first birthday. Born 9 pounds 7 oz and in 3-6mo clothes within a couple of weeks.

As for rearfacing longer, it is safer, I’ll look for the sites with the cites - most kids I know who rearface past one year just sit cross legged - they can bend and stay that way, unlike me who would probably lose circulation and be violently carsick. If they were uncomfortable they’d be crying, screaming, fighting the seat the entire time (not just on the way in and out, which could be attributed to general toddlerness).

Wouldn’t rear-facing be safest for any age? It would reduce whiplash injuries, since in the case of a front end collision the rider would be forced into their seat. IIRC there have been studies supporting this, but most people (me included) feel uncomfortable facing backwards during travel.

I was wondering about carsickness, myself. Although, when I think on it, I used to ride in all sorts of crazy positions, including lying across the seat or flipping myself upside down and kicking at the back window while my head dangled off the edge of the seat. And somehow, I managed to do it all while wearing a seatbelt. It’s really a miracle I’m alive. And I was never carsick, even when reading that way. Nowadays, I have to stop the car to look at a map or it’s oogies and headaches.