Rear-facing Until Age 2? - Sachse,TX

Updated on April 11, 2011
S.H. asks from Sachse, TX
16 answers

I know the latest recommendation is to keep little ones rear-facing in their carseats until age 2. However, my kids are very tall. At 8 months, my daughter's legs are already bent. By the time she is two, her knees will be up at her chest. That seems like it would be pretty uncomfortable. Is this a realistic recommendation and is it safe for their legs to be bent like that? Thanks ladies!

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answers from Dallas on

Here's a few articles about that, my niece has always been very tall. Her mother sent me this stuff (she kept her rear facing until she was 2 and a half and I made a comment about her being squished). In Sweden, kids are rear facing until age 4.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Yes, and yes. 2 is the bare minimum.
You can see images here:

Adding - None of my 4 kids who are over a year have complained (5th is still an infant). People should seriously read up about the force car accidents have on children's skeletal systems.

6 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

Both my guys were rear-facing past their second birthdays, and they just crossed their legs in the seat. They didn't mind at all, and it was nice that dropped toys usually didn't wind up in the floorboard like they do once they're forward-facing. Plus, they can't kick your seat back when they're rear-facing.

And yes, their legs are safe that way. The main concern in an accident is their neck- look up "internal decapitation" for the medical and technical reasons why rear-facing is so much safer for infants and toddlers.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Yes the recommendation is realistic, even for leggy kids. Better a broken leg (which rarely happens, their little bones are like rubber at this point) than a broken neck or spine. It's not uncomfortable for them at all, and she won't grow as much as you think she will anyway. I turned my oldest around at 11 months old (a million years ago) because I thought that because he was as big as a 1 year old, it was fine. I shudder to think of how stupid I was back then and I'm glad that I didn't get into any accidents when he was that small. My younger kids were all rear-facing until AT LEAST age 2. My youngest was, I think, closer to 3 or over 3 when we turned him.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Lake Charles on

No way! Our pediatrician gave us permission to switch ours around at 8-9 months.. there's NO WAY she would have even fit, much less she hated staring at the back of the seat. Just think, when we were kids we were riding in the front seat at age 5! I can't imagine having them rear facing is even safe past a year old.. good luck!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I urge you to follow the recommendations. My husband is a fire captain and EMT, we both know bad things can happen to kids. What is the harm in being safe? there is plenty of research out there that shows kids perfectly happy rear facing.

I am sure those 1 year olds that now will get turned back around may have an adjustment period but our job as parent to keep them safe outways their annoyance for a couple car rides.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

The article I read at AAP in regards to this said that the legs being too long is not a concern in terms of safety. My son always scruches his legs up in his carseat anyways. We turned my son around at about 18 months and I would have kept him rear facing longer if my mom and husband hadn't teamed up together to insist that he needed to be turned around. He's now two so that' water under the bridge. I'm not budging on rear facing for future children. It's safer and there's no sense taking chances.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Keep her rear facing, even if she is tall. Keeping children rear facing reduces their chances of getting certain spinal cord injuries if you have an accident, even a minor one.

Also, your daughter will not keep growing at her current rate so she may not end up as tall as you think.

In any case, I would rather my baby have to crunch her legs up a little (she is 15 months) than have a spinal injury.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My youngest is 15 months and faces forward now. He is still in a five point harness and it secure. I feel safe with the way the set-up is in my car. Pluse now I can see him clearly.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Check out the "common sense exemptions".......For some children it is not safe to place them this way. Especially the exceptionally tall. I totally understand you, my kids were/are both giants.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

It will work for some but not for others.
It's a recommendation not a law.
If you can do it and your child fits and it works for you - go ahead and follow it.
But if you can't then switch.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

I understand where they are coming from, but growing up, I don't know if I was ever rear-facing, and certainly wasn't in a booster past age 4 or 5. I'm not saying that our children shouldn't be protected (my son is 4 and still in a 5 point harness convertible car seat), but I think sometimes we forget that for years now kids have been forward facing at 1 year old, and most of them have turned out just fine. We were in a pretty bad wreck when my son was a little over two. He was forward facing and had a very mild case of whip lash (mine was actually much worse than his). It helped me realize that your collision would have to be life threatening to really cause any horrible damage, and if it was that bad, it probably doesn't matter which way the child is facing.

It might help some to keep them rear facing longer, but honestly, when is enough enough? (I see moms with 4 year olds still rear facing...seriously? Are you also going to be the mom that keeps them in the back seat until they get their driver's permit?)

P.S. I saw that your hubby is in emergency response...ask him what he sees out in the field and if it is worth it. Obviously, he hasn't seen it all, but I'm sure he has heard stories...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Ask your husband who I'm sure has seen his fair share of children in accidents. (I looked at your profile)
A lot of kids just have their child sit cross legged so that their legs aren't pushing against the seat.
My son would still be rear facing, but has reached the limits on his seat while rear facing and I didn't have any money to buy a new higher weight limit seat. He's super tall for his age and obviously very large. Always has been in the upper percentile on everything!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I honestly dont think its realistic! Like you said there are some children that are really tall for their age and what are they supposed to do? Sit there with their legs all crunched up like that? Doesnt seem safe to me. I think its a judge by your own opinion thing or your feeling. I turned my son around at age 1 because he is over 20lbs, and the age one which is the law. He is a taller child too, and he is so much happier now that he is turned around, its like a whole nother child in the car with me! Lol. I just dont think he was comfortable with his legs and all, so I felt for us this was necissary. So go with how you feel! If your child is over 20lbs and a year old then do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I know the recommendations are rear facing until 2 but my son almost had his knees to his forehead at 18 months. He cried a lot and I really wanted to see what was going on with him. We changed him around at 18 months. My friend took her son in for his 1 year check just recently and was able to turn him around.



answers from St. Louis on

From what I actually read it's not like when you hear "at least one years old AND 20lbs." It's more like use it rear-facing past one years old and 20lbs until they reach the maximum weight/height limites for the convertible carseat they are in, all the way to age 2. So if they reach the limits before that, you can turn it around, but if they are 20 months and still haven't reached the limit, then keep it rear facing till they reach it or they turn 2. Most convertible car seats, when rear facing, can go up to 35 lbs. Also, her legs may be bent, but it's not like she knows any differently when riding in a car, so I'm sure she'll figure out how to get comfortable.

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