Monday, June 21, 2010

Let's pretend you're all car seat consultants

First a confession...

I have a thing where anything cited as "scientific" and "proven" and that quotes "statistics" is The Law for me :)

So those ads where they show the dirt disintegrating make me go out and buy whatever cleaning product it is.

Am I the only weirdo gullible-to-marketing junkie out there?

Now that my disclaimer/ confession is out of the way, let's talk car seats...

So they say your child must be rear-facing and therefore I'm a rear-facing Nazi (like the Noise Nazi)?

My babies used to SCREAM in the beginning and I was like "scream all you want, you'll be rear-facing and that's the end of it"

Some of you are thinking, "you are a terrible mother!" So sue me - this is one place where happily, I just don't care what people think! :)

I've seen two people that I know with non-rear facing car seats and they said, "but the babies cry when I put the seat the other way" and I said, "they'll get over it" LOL

Seriously, I'm a bit dramatic but as I say to the nanny, "I'd rather have a screaming child than a dead one" (about car seats, leaving baby unattended in baths, etc. ) and I am not about to have the guilt plus the dead child.

Okay, moving along.

Our current car seats say 0 - 15 kg but Connor is a tall boy and his legs are starting to look a bit squashed even though he's only 10.18 kg.

But squashed he will be until at least a year because I read somewhere they have to stay rear-facing until they're a year. (you saw the pic of Kendra in the previous post where I took the pic from the boot/ trunk)

Is this right?

What's the rule?

I'm asking for my dear friend, R, who has a BIG BOY. He is bigger than Kendra (okay, some of you are saying, isn't everyone? Ha ha ha) and he's only 6 months.

So she wants to move him to a forward-facing seat since he's squashed in the current baby seat.

Of course Google can tell you all sorts of things but I want to know from my car seat consultants (all of YOU), when do you move them around?

What if they're tall babies and look uncomfortable?

P.S. This question has just gone on my list for the paed at their one-year appt.


  1. Well now, here is something you and I definitely agree on! I also will not take the chance with Ava's safety and put her in a forward facing seat. She's also tall and her legs were dangling over the edge of her Snug & Safe so I bought a car seat, the Graco Gabrielle, which has a 5 Star Safety rating, reclinable positions, can be used till either 4 years of age or 18kg's and best of all, can be used forward facing or rear facing. She's quite happy in her rear facing seat, as long as she has a toy she's quite happy and content. I'll swing the seat forward facing when she's a year old and not before that.

  2. Oh I am a car seat nazi too. They will be in the right seat and face the right way. If my memory serves me right, it is 9kg and 1 year - the princess got turned around a month before her first birthday because her legs were squashed up and she was well over the weight. The boys -only after that.

  3. 9 kg sounds right which is 20 pounds.

    Google tells me in the US, it's the law to be rear-facing until you're 20 pounds and 1 year old

  4. Here in the US, the say no forward facing until one year AND 20 lbs. If you have your child forward facing before then and there is an accident, you cannot hold the car seat manufacturer liable for any car seat malfunction because you were not technically using the car seat correctly. Of course, most parents simply don't want their kids to get hurt in the first place but its just the point that the one year/20 lbs rule is very serious here.

    I do not know anyone who switched their kids before a year - maybe a couple who did it for "big" kids but right before their birthday, by a week or so. And honestly, many people I know are trying to keep their kids rear facing much longer - experts here are suggesting the new age be two years old and let your child's leg hang over the side or something.

  5. Saw a link to you from Saffy's blog...and I'm always interested in talking carseats.

    So, in the US (where I'm from) they have to be BOTH one year of age AND twenty pounds (9kgs?). I have a peanut of a little one who is 19 months and not yet 20 lbs. So, by law, while we were there, she was still rear facing.

    Had we stayed in the US (we didn't...we moved to Singapore 2 months ago) I would have kept her rear facing until at least two, and possibly longer. Her seat can be rear facing until 35 lbs.

    I do know some people who have normal sized kids (mine is in the 10th percentile for height) and they just taught them to sit criss-cross applesauce so they could stay rear facing. Problem solved.

    I now live in Singapore, which has car seat laws, but they don't apply to taxis. I can't haul around a car seat and a stroller, so we just buckle her into the seat in the middle. When there isn't a seatbelt that works, I keep her in my lap. And yes, that makes me terrible, but there it is.

  6. Marcia, check out the great information that Chantal assembled for the Multiples & More site a couple of months ago. The law here requires that children face to the rear until they are one year AND 20 pounds, but my understanding is that many experts recommend children face rear until they're two years old. Our girls don't know any different, and it's not like I've told them, "Hey, your friends are all facing forward these days!" - HA! We're going to keep them rear-facing as long as possible, hopefully until they're two. As to the "leg" controversy, I use the same line as you do, "I'd rather deal with a broken leg than a broken baby." :(

  7. A car seat nazi reporting: one year and 20 pounds - it's not an either or thing... it has to be both. I had one tiny kids but and she took forever to reach the right weight - tough!!! And I had one giant who at four thriving months reached the twenty pound mark... it was a real hassle trying to rent a rear facing car seat for a twenty pound four month old in the UK!!! Trust me on that, they cannot hold their heads before then... it just can't be done!!! And in this case safety before screaming... I don't expect my kids to suck it up much but in this case I do... pick your fights carefully!!!

  8. We absolutely agree on this. Melody and Jessica stayed rear-facing until age 2.5. Yes, that's years.

    I started to write up the explanation, but found a much better written article. Note that they point out that babies and toddlers tend to sit with folded legs when given the choice.

  9. Mine are still rear-facing and will be for quite a while. They don't know the difference, so they are staying that way for at least another 6-8 months. Plus, they aren't 20 lbs. yet, either.

    We did switch to their "big" carseats, even though the infant ones go up to 22lbs. They are definitely more comfortable and can see out the window, which makes me feel like they are enjoying the ride a little more. : )

  10. I agree with trying to keep them rear-facing as long as possible. Our boys are almost 13 months and they are still rear-facing. The rules here in the states are 1 year or 20 lbs, although I don't know if that is an AND instead of an or. The boys are both over 1 year, but only Tommy is over 20 lbs (not sure what that is in kg). Our car seats can handle up to 35 lbs rear-facing and I bought them that way, as our family grows big kids. But the boys are 9 week premies, so I just don't feel like they are ready yet. I may wait until they are 1 year adjusted and by then Liam should be over 20 lbs too. They can both hit the seat of the car with their feet, but they are by no means uncomfortable and they've never acted like being rear-facing was bothering them. They usually like to babble and then fall asleep.

  11. I didn't read through everyone else's comments, but here is what I've learned:

    Over here, the regulation is that you HAVE to keep a baby rear-facing until at least 1 year old AND 20 lbs (which 9kg is probably equivalent to). I think that's standard for every carseat company and most state laws. Many European countries have a law of rear-facing up to 2 years old, and I hear that we may be adapting the same laws here soon. So, in most cases, I think height doesn't really matter too much, even if their legs look cramped. Some people rear-face up to 4 years or so. How could that kid's legs possibly fit without sitting cross-legged?

    As for me, I was convinced as soon as I saw a video on youtube ( a baby (even past the age and weight requirement) is thrown forward in an accident and their spinal cord is stretched. If it snaps, it can cause internal decapitation. However, in the same accident, when rear-facing, the carseat absorbs the impact and the kid is barely affected.

    It convinced me to keep rear-facing past a year old. I don't have a set date for when I'll turn it around, but am in no hurry to do so.

    Josiah also doesn't really fuss, so I don't have that issue. If he cries when we put him in, it's because he is upset that we put him down and walked away, not because of the carseat itself.

  12. Thanks Marcia for dropping by! When it comes to safety I am not breaking any rules and all hail the authorities. So, our twins had to have their first birthday (and were over 20 ponds each) before they got their forward facing seats.

  13. Well I'm late to the party(and to tired to read all the above comments in detail) but was curious if you have thought about a 3-in-1 carseat? That is what we are thinking about investing in. The girls are starting to stretch their legs out against the seat backs when they sit now. I think if I get a 3-in-1 (which is the bigger car seat that can face forward or backwards and later the back come off to be a booster seat, 5-100 lbs) I can face it backward and they'll have some more leg room, then turn it when they are big enough. Having this will also take care of the booster seat later down the line!

  14. Okay, I don't have time to read all the other comments, and they might say exactly what I am about to say, but you really should keep them rear facing as long as possible. Henry is tall for his age and is still rear facing and hopefully will until he is two. It is just much much safer. In the US it is law that they have to sit backwards until their first birthday but it is recommended until their second. When he outgrew his infant carrier we just got a car seat that can go either way and has a high weight and height acceptance for rear facing. He has to bend his knees a little, but he is used to it and it is really fine. You are doing the right thing!

  15. You know that I'm a rear facing nut too right? I had to import a seat from the US to get what I needed. D's going to rear face until she's 100. Slightly kidding. Well, hopefully until 45lb anyway. Unless she gets too tall first.

    What I find unbelievable is people who think I'm MEAN (seriously WTF?!) for rear facing her - apparently she's missing the view :p

    Have you hung out at Or any of those other like minded places?

    And don't worry about C's legs. I've seen photos of 3-4 year olds RFing with their legs crossed. No problem apparently. That's what D's going to be doing too. Quite frankly I don't care. I just care about her spine.

  16. A month or so back, on of the groups on FB had this very same conversation. Seems there have very very recently been a recommendation by the pediatric hoopla people in charge that recommends not turning your baby around until AFTER they turn 2, and if you can fit one of the bigger style rear to front baby to booster seats into your car while rear facing - they said the longer the baby can stay rear facing, the better their chances of surviving in an accident.

    That said. Had my best friend and I had our 2 sons (both 4 at the time) facing backwards in her van when we were hit by a semi truck (we were turning onto the road I live on - less than 1/2 mile from home). I'm pretty sure the boys would not have walked away with very minor injuries, as the damage to the car would have been in their faces instead of behind their tall car booster and head rests.

    So, a car seat is much safer. But it doesn't mean bad things can't still happen to the little ones. :(

    As for us. We turned all of ours at EITHER 20 pounds or 1 year. Kendra was about 9 months old. Vannan was a few weeks past her 1st birthday and only 16 lbs. And I really don't remember what we did with Joel. Probably at a year old. But LaRue? I don't know. I've got a few more months to ponder the issue.

  17. Rear facing is the way to go. Have you seen the stats/videos out there on front facing children and how easily they can break their necks in an accident? They recommend leaving your child rear facing for as long as possible. Even if their legs are bent up. And really, most kids are not in their seats for that long on a daily basis. I saw a video where 3 and 4 year olds were still rear facing.

    For us it's 20 pounds and 1 year. My pediatrician says to use the guidelines for the particular car seat. I think BB will be rear facing until she is at least 16!!

  18. As everyone said in the U.S. they now recommend rear facing until 2 years old but ... there might be a time when it makes sense. In our nanny's car Ned's legs were super squished so I let her change him at 18 months. When we got our minivan fixed and Husband re-installed the car seats a couple of weeks ago he did so forward facing and they aren't yet 2 years old. I think you'll probably be ready earlier than 2 depending on the size of your kids but go with what makes sense. It is easier for them to be forward facing if you have a longer car trip.

  19. Just moved the girls into new Chelino car seats for 9kgs-36kgs. It is a forward facing chair and I am very happy with the safety features. They were SQUASHED beyond belief in their rear facing Peg car seats so the change was very necessary. I know others are going to frown upon the way I have gone (ie putting them in forward facing seats before a year) la vie! We have done our research and are happy with the decision we have made.

  20. Anonymous9:40 am

    Our car seats are from 9kgs upwards (got them through Discovery) and we turned them to face forwards when they were 9kgs. What a difference, no more screaming in the car!


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