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When should you switch to the forward facing carseat?

My son turns 1 in July , he weighs 21lbs, he is even in the 75 percentile for his height. But Idk why but I feel like its still too soon.


Asked by jessran1218 at 8:17 PM on Jun. 26, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (21)
  • Because it is too soon! Your son's bones are not fused and not yet strong enough to withstand the forces of an accident if he is in the forward facing position... this doesn't happen until children are 4-5 years old!

    If you still have him in an infant seat, then look into Convertible Carseats. These can rearface and forward face so generally last a long time. Most convertibles rearface until at least 35lbs, and some can even go up to 45lbs! (these are awesome for kids who weigh more, but are still under 4 years old). Also the convertible should have a 5 pt harness (most do!!) and can be used to forward face until 65lbs (some can even go up to 80lbs!!).

    We currently have a 30lb 3 year old and a 24lb 2 year old. Both of them rear face. We have two The First Years True Fit Convertible Carseat, and think they are awesome!!!

    Answer by wendy46121 at 8:28 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Rear-facing is the safest position the child can ride in. It is strongly recommended that all children stay rear-facing beyond the minimum requirements of 1 year and 20 lbs. Children should not be turned forward-facing until they reach the maximum rear-facing limits of a convertible seat (that allows rear-facing to at least 30 lbs). These limits are either the maximum rear-facing weight limit or when the top of their head is within one inch of the top of the seat shell, whichever comes first. While most parents are aware that they must keep their children rear-facing "until they are AT LEAST 1 year old AND 20 lbs", very few are told that there are significant safety benefits when a child remains rear-facing as long as the seat allows. For most children, rear-facing can and should continue well into the second year of life.

    Answer by TwinkleC at 8:34 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • The minimum is 1 year and 20lbs. The AAP reccomends RF to at LEAST 2 and 30lbs, if not longer. I have a 4.5 year old who is 39in and 30lbs and she is still RF. What seat is your son in now?

    Answer by MommyBoha at 8:19 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • My opinion? When your LO outgrows the RF limits :)

    However, by law, you're allowed to at 1 year AND 20lbs.

    If you feel like it's too soon, trust your mommy instincts!!

    Answer by milfalicious08 at 8:21 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • I turned my son around at 1 1/2 years old. I plan on doing the same with my daughter. By the time my son reached that age, he was well over the weight and height recommendations.

    Answer by xxlilmomma09 at 8:24 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Those are legal guidelines for the EARLIEST that you can switch him around. However, there's nothing saying you HAVE to turn him around. It's just whatever you and your LO feel comfortable with.

    Answer by renea20 at 8:28 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • Another Excellent one is going to be the Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL (it can rearface to 45lbs and harness to 80lbs) .

    (ran out of space, sorry)

    When you say rearfacing seat, do you mean the infant seat, or... a convertible?? If so which brand do you use, I can help you figure out the limits of that particular seat.

    Answer by wendy46121 at 8:29 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • keep him rear facing as long as you can pending weight restrictions for your car seat. You can upgrade to forward/rear facing seats that typically will hold his weight longer in rear facing (like i did with my DD). and switch it after he reaches the weight limit for rear facing. It is MUCH safer..

    if you youtube or research rear facing vs forward facing you'll feel a ton better keeping him rear facing.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 8:38 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • My sons are 2 and 4 and still rear facing in Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL's they are 31 and 36lbs. Their seats rear face until 45lbs. They both still have plenty of growing room. It is best to rear face as long as possible. 1 year is too soon. The AAP now recommends waiting until atleast 2 years and 30lbs. Forward facing is a step down in safety.

    Answer by laciD at 8:42 PM on Jun. 26, 2010

  • The national standard is 1 year AND at least 20 pounds. However, you don't HAVE to turn him around. You can continue to keep him rear-facing for as long as he is comfortable.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:19 PM on Jun. 26, 2010