Thursday, November 19, 2009

Backwards (on extended rear-facing)

We've been keeping Donovan's car seat rear-facing so far.  After reading up on how much safer it is, it became clear to both Zach and I that we really wanted to make sure D stayed rear-facing till he was at least 2yrs old, if not longer.

Over the past couple months I've noticed a funny thing.  We have a surprisingly high number of kids about D's age on our street that we've met recently, and I started looking at their cars and noticing that they all had their kids facing forwards.  And I'd see other kids about his age elsewhere, and notice them facing forwards.  Combine this with the fact that it's been getting a bit more tricky to get him into the car seat when facing backwards (and that he's started using the seat in front of him to push off when he doesn't want to be buckled in), and I've started thinking maybe we'd turn him around at his second birthday (February).

It's scary how easy it is to succumb to what "everyone else is doing."

Last night I mentioned to Zach how I was thinking we could turn him around at his birthday.  He did not agree.  So I did some more research (um, a 2 minute google search) and quickly found several sources, including the AAP, all strongly suggesting keeping young children rear-facing as long as possible (a few even addressing the rumor that extended rear-facing will mean higher risk of breaking a child's legs in a crash-- apparently there are no documented cases of this happening, ever).  I even found a photo gallery of kids 1-2 years and older in their rear-facing car seats.  I think it's what I needed to strengthen my resolve.

Luckily, D's car seat is big enough so he has plenty of room still.  His feet are touching the seat in front of him now, but he doesn't look uncomfortable at all.  He's WAY under the weight limit (he's 25lb, the limit on his seat is 35lb) and he still has plenty of room height-wise, too.

So, yeah.  I think we're gonna keep on keepin' on with the rear-facing.


  1. My good friend has a three-year-old daughter from Guatemala. She is a peanut and is well under the weight and size limits for her seat. I am surprised and horrified by the number of people, both friends and strangers who feel compelled to tell my friend that she should turn her daughter's seat around. She has taken to carrying a compilation of safety reports in her bag to cut off the barrage!

    Stick to your beliefs! We'd all be safer if only we could all travel in cars backwards in car seats.

  2. Glad to hear it! I count my blessings that R. didn't get hurt when I turned her around. I should have waited much longer to turn her forward; how young and ignorant I was.

  3. I think I'd have been more likely to have a car crash if I'd kept Angelina rear facing any longer. She hated it SO MUCH she always screamed and screamed in the car. Eventually I mostly got used to it, but it was very distracting. Once I moved her forward facing, she became a lot happier in the car and rarely screams, which means safer driving for mommy!

    (it's also why I wouldn't let her ride with anyone else, F & I had gotten to a point where we could mostly tune out her screaming while driving, but i didn't trust that anyone else wouldn't be too distracted and not focusing on the road.)

  4. Finn has also been rear-facing this whole time. He has just started kicking the seat when we put him in it so it keeps him from sitting down, we just have to use a little extra pressure to get him in :) I agree the benefits far outweigh the risks for extended rear-facing. Some people don't seem to get that kids are so pliable and can easily bend their legs so they are comfortable when ERFing!

  5. Thanks for linking me to this entry. It's helpful to see pictures of 'big kids' and how they look when rear facing - quite comfy, really.



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