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How long should a baby be in a rear facing car seat?


Asked by lmt_mom2010 at 9:29 PM on Aug. 19, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 17 (3,325 Credits)
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Answers (19)
  • Currently, the legal requirements are to be rear facing until 12 months AND 20 lbs. Many experts recommend keeping your child rear facing for as long as the car seat allows. My son is 3, between 25 and 30 lbs, and still rear facing. And comfortable. It's best to do some research on this, to understand why rear facing as long as possible is safer.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 10:28 AM on Aug. 20, 2010

  • Legally, one year AND 20 pounds. Although the new recomendation is to keep them rear facing until at least 2 years, longer if you can.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 9:35 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I saw a carseat that rearfaces until 45lbs. I would go with that one. It has a 5 point harness. And I would rear face until they didn't fit that seat. Not going by the minimum.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 9:43 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • AT LEAST 1 year AND 20 lbs. The AAP recommends rear-facing until 2 years. Rear-facing is proven safer than forward-facing, though, so the safest bet would be to keep them rear-facing until they reach the upper limits of the carseat (which is usually 35 lbs for most seats).

    Answer by DragonRiderMD at 9:49 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • By law, you cannot turn your baby around until he is at least one year old AND weighs at least 20 pounds. It's safest to leave them rear-facing as long as possible beyond that.

    Your number one priority as a parent is your kids' safety, NOT their comfort. If you find a seat that's comfortable and also safe, then that's great, and definitely desirable. But the legal guidelines are there for a reason. Before a child is a certain AGE (not weight), their bones, specifically their vertebrae, are not strong enough to counter the impact from a wreck; by turning them around to forward-face before that time, you risk their health and their lives (think internal decapitation) in the event of a collision.

    Answer by Anonymum at 10:55 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • legally it's 1 year old AND 20 lbs.
    If the kid is more than 20 lbs but not a year old yet, still has to be rear facing.
    If the child is 1 year old but not 20 lbs yet, still has to be rear facing

    Answer by DarkFaery131 at 9:55 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • Watch these crash test videos to see why its important to rear face as long as possible.

    Those who turn infants around because you think they are "too miserable" are stupid and reckless and understand nothing about crash physics on bodies that small. .In fact, the minimum law was made for those people! Better bored than paralyzed or dead. The argument that we are alive despite not being harnessed is asinine. The reason why those of us who are over 30 are still alive even though we weren't in car seats or belted is simply a matter of luck that we weren't in a car crash. Had we been in a wreck, we likely wouldn't be writing to tell the tale according to survival statistics.

    The new recs are a minimum of 2 years 30 lbs, the laws just haven't caught up yet.

    Answer by amileegirl at 11:10 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I bet on the overall you're gonna hear a few different opinions but our pediatrician goes by 20 pounds and one year as well. However, I think the longer you can keep them RF (comfortably) the safer because if you get in an accident their body isn't going to shift in the same manner it would FF.

    Answer by firenicecream at 9:43 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • well legally its 1 year and 20 ibs but i went to a carseat clinic the other day and they asked me to turn my 14 month olds car seat back around because hers is reversable and they want them to stay rear facing till 2 now. the carseat i baught for the baby that is on the way goes up to 35ibs and is rear facing only so they are changing things.

    Answer by cassie_m at 9:54 PM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • 1 year and 20 lbs. They have to be both. Then make sure your car seat has the right weight for your front facing seat. Some are tricky.

    Answer by sassy_brizzy at 10:39 PM on Aug. 19, 2010