Car Seat Position - Rockwall,TX

Updated on July 26, 2010
S.K. asks from Rockwall, TX
14 answers

Hey I'm not sure when I should start facing my babies carseat to the front. My baby is 9 months old and about 20 pounds, she's quite long so her feet touch the seat of the car when she's in her carseat facing the rear. Does this change go by age, height, or weight? Thanks.

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answers from St. Cloud on

They must be 20 # AND at least 1 year of age. You can leave them rear facing even longer if you chose.

If she's past the length or weight restrictions on her infant car seat though, then switch her to a convertible car seat that can be rear facing.

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answers from Indianapolis on

OK, first, as far as I know, every state has made it law that the baby has to be 20 pounds AND 12 months. However, the new recommendation (both the AAP and from the safety administration) is that you leave the baby rear-facing until she is too tall (most seats this is when the top of the head is within one inch of the top of the seat) or out-grows the weight limit (most convertible car seats have a limit of 35-40 pounds).
Here's what the AAP says: Overall, children under the age of 2 are 75% less likely to die or experience a serious injury when they ride in a rear-facing car seat...With rear-facing weight limits on convertible car seats up to 35 pounds, most toddlers should be able to stay rear-facing until at least age two. If the toddler is larger, the best option is to keep your little one rear-facing to the limits of the car seat. Rear-facing car seats are outgrown by the weight limit, or when there is less than an inch of shell above baby's head. A toddler's legs hanging over the car seat edge do not play into outgrowing the car seat at all. "
And now most states are looking at changing the laws to 2-years-old. It doesn't matter if her feet touch the seat, my 2.5-year-old is still rear-facing because he's short and only around 26 pounds! His feet touch the seat when he stretches them out, but most the time he just folds them as if he were sitting on the floor! He's perfectly comfortable and doesn't care that his brother faces the other way:)
If you're skeptical watch these couple videos about the safety of turning a 12-month-old forward. They really have found that it's not as safe as staying rear-facing:( In the UK it's law that kids are rear-facing until between 3 & 4! But they have better seats than we do.
This is the true story of a child that was in an accident after being turned around at 12 months (don't worry, I'm not posting a story about a baby dying).
And this is just a general video about car seat safety including crash-test videos I think are worth watching.

The odds of severe injury to a forward-facing child 12-23 months old is FIVE TIMES that of a child that is rear-facing. Weight has NOTHING to do with how safe they are, only time develops the spine and muscles enough to make it safe to turn them around - and that is not at 12 months of age.

PLEASE, even if you don't want to follow the newer safety guidelines, at least follow the law and wait another 3 months. But know that if you turn your child around, she is NOT as safe as she could be.

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answers from Seattle on

There's no problem for a child's feet to touch the back of the seat. Please do not turn her forward facing until the new recommendation of at least 2 years. If you turn her now you will be putting her in extreme danger. By weight she can still stay in her infant seat and there's no need to move her onto another seat due to length unless there's less than an inch above her head. If you would like more information check out they are extremely knowledgeable and can help you out tremendously. Look at as well for more information. Whatever you do don't turn her forward-facing at this age.

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answers from Provo on

It is recomemded to keep babies rear facing till they out weigh the limit on rear facing. My son is 9 months, 28 lbs and most defiantly touching the back of the seat. He doesn't seem to mind. He in fact likes to kick the seat.
At 9 months an infants neck still isn't strong to with stand a crash forward facing. If you watch this video it will show you all that you need to know. Please don't forward face. Legally you can't too. The minimum is 20lbs and 1 year, so if your caught you can get slapped with child endangerment charge. My brother did. . . he wasn't to happy about that.

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answers from Dallas on

The law is 1 yr and 20 lbs (not or).

We kept our daughter facing backwards as long as possible - until she was 16 mos and it was hard to put her in. She never minded her feet touching or legs being bent. Don't be too eager to turn her around - back facing is the safest position for anyone is a car - we adults face forward because we have to see the road. What really convinced me to leave her backwards facing is the knowledge that each incremental step in carseats is a step towards being less safe in the car. They grow up too fast anyway, why push it?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

The law says 1 year and 20lbs. We just left the hospital with our newborn though and the car seat consultant there said they really recommend keeping them rear-facing as long as possible because it is just safer for them. There neck and muscles are still developing, and the rear facing seat just keeps them more protected in an accident. We kept our first baby backwards until she turned two. She was little and didn't meet the 20lb weight rule until then, but we still probably would have kept her rear facing past one, just for safety. Your baby doesn't know any different than facing backwards, so they don't care.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Everyone is pretty much already saying this but I'm going to reiterate. The old rule was that they must be one year old AND 20 lbs. The current recommendation is to keep them rear facing as long as possible.
We kept my daughter rear facing until 2 years. Her legs were a little scrunched but probably just as uncomfortable as they are dangling when she's forward facing. Check with the weight recommendations on your carseat. We switched to a Britax Marathon at around one year but still installed it rear facing.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

The law states the baby has to be 1 year old AND at least 20 pounds. However, you can (and should - in my opinion) go longer than that. I kept my twin boys rear facing until 26 months! Once they grew out of the infant car seat, we got a car seat that accommodates rear facing until 35 pounds. Lots of people made fun of me, and tried to get me to turn them forward....They made comments about their legs being squished....but it is what worked for us. They didn't know any different (no older sibs) and it's what we were comfortable with. Once they turned around, they loved it, but for me, the wait was worth it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

No problem if the feet touch the back of the seat , the legs can overhang as much as they want , to know if a child has outgrown a seat is if the head is taller than the back of the seat. Anyway to go forward facing the child has to be at least 20lb , 1 yr old and be able to sit up unaided. For now I would keep her rear facing as this is the safest way for her to travel , although the experts now reccommend keeping a child rear facing until 2 yrs old , I know this is not always possible , just hold off until she turns 1 , it's only 3 months away.



answers from Dallas on

I have a chart and says Birth to at least one year old and more then 20 pounds and less then 35 pounds Rear Facing convertible designed for hearvier infants. Upt to 35 pounds rear facing only Harness straps are at or below shoulder level, Do not place infants in the front seat with active air bags.

Toddlers 1 yr more then 20 pounds up to approximately 40 pounds , convertible or forward facing seat harness, Foward straps should be at or above shoulder level-check manual

5 point harness provide the best protection

More then 40 pounds ages 4-8 unless 4'9" tall
Belt positioning boosterHigh back or no back

Forward facing
Belt -positioniini booster seats are used with lap/ shoulder belt combination only

Make sure the lap belt portion fits low and tight to avoid abdominal injuries.

I got this taking a transportation class for my day care. Also says children 12 and under are safest with properly restrained in the rear seat.
G. W



answers from Dallas on

In Texas, a child may face foward at 1 year AND 20 lbs.



answers from Dallas on

My pediatrician said one year AND 20 lbs.



answers from Dallas on

Our pedi said 2 yrs or 30 lbs. We switched at 18 months because of long legs. Perhaps a larger carseat would help with leg room.



answers from Dallas on

As everyone said the it is 1 year onad 20 pounds. Make sure if she is 20 pounds that you have put her in a rear facing seat that has a higher weight limit. Most of the infant seats have a 20 pound weight limit.

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