Rear Facing Car Seats - How Long Do You Plan on Keeping Your Child This Way?

Updated on November 15, 2011
✩.!. asks from Boulder, CO
16 answers

I apologize that I am asking, b/c I have seen in the past that it has been asked..

I was searching for a car seat this weekend for my peanut and was reading the consumer reviews as well. I was shocked to see so many posters saying the 3 and 4 year olds fit perfect REAR facing! I know that they are strongly suggesting 2 years now to be rear facing, but I was shocked to see an over abundance of posts saying older children being rear faced.

My peanut is 1 now, but only 18 lbs. She is still in her baby carrier, b/c she fits, but would like to switch to a bigger carset soon for her. I will continue to keep her rear facing, since she has not reached the weight portion yet (and also curious to see what the recommendations will turn into).

So, if you are currently in this situtaion, or in the past, or future (haha) - How long did you or do you plan on keeping your child rear facing?


BTW - we are going to get the Britax Marathon 70 for her.

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answers from Chicago on

My older daughter was rear-facing until she was 3 years and 3 months old because her car seat went up to 35 pounds rear-facing. We just put her forward facing a month or so ago. My younger daughter has the Britax Marathon 70 which goes up to 45 pounds rear-facing so she will probably be rear-facing until she is 4.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I have to ask what the demographics are that are saying this are. I remember in Florida seeing all the people of Cuban decent and other central American/south American having the kids still fitting 2 and 3 ts at 5 and 6 years old! My 6 year old fits. 6x to 7 in children's while my 3 year old fits a 5 t! The Asian kids here in Hawaii also do this. My kids kindergardener is actually taller than some 3 rd graders while my 3 year old is taller than 1 and 2nd graders. It is all about demographics!

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answers from Washington DC on

My DD is in the Marathon that was out before the 70s were produced. She'll be RF til 35lbs and FF to 65 or until that seat expires. Then we'll figure it out. She's never been FF except in a taxi on vacation and she does just fine figuring out her legs. Google and you can find 4 and 5 yr olds RF in seats. They dangle their legs or sit cross legged. It's really not as big a deal as you might think.

DD is 3. She climbs right into her seat and understands that she's little so she has a special seat and doesn't ask to be forward or in just a seatbelt. In fact, her toys often need to be belted in, too, but that depends on human passengers.

I think that the more people read about things like internal decapitation and manufacturers give us the seats we need, the more older children will be RF longer and/or in a 5 pt harness longer. I rather feel that we are in the middle of accepting the new idea/standards but everything will catch up in the end.

Somewhere around 12-18 mo. we moved DD to the first Marathon and then got the second when we were able to purchase. Keep an eye online for sales. Most include shipping. We are very happy with our Marathons. She was in a Keyfit 30 prior (which we also liked).

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Greensboro on

We still rear face my daughter who is almost 3 and (of course) my 10 month old. I plan on rear facing until they weigh so much that they have to turn around by the standards of the carseat. We have a My Ride so once they hit 40 lbs, they will be moved around (or 1 inch away from the top of the seat which neither is even close). Rear facing is SOOO much safer and honestly, since they have never FF, it's not like they miss it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

My son will easily make it to 2 rear facing.
He is 25lbs. now.
I plan to keep him RF until he gets close to the limits of the seat (BM70).

I feel like a broken record...but I'll say it again.
My DD (6) is very tall. When we are on long car rides she takes her shoes off and crosses her legs up on her seat because having them dangle is uncomfortable. Legs being crossed is not as big a issue as so many make it out to be. Google the pictures of all the happy older kids. :)

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My first DD was 2 1/2 when we turned her forward and she was perfectly fine rear facing. She's average height. She would just cross her legs, put them up on the seat, or hang them over each side. We only turned her forward bc we had 2nd DD and we couldn't fit her Britax Boulevard rear facing behind the driver seat in our Honda Odyssey. It was fine for me, but hubby could not drive that close to the steering wheel. (He's 6'1 ish). 2nd DD is still rear facing in Boulevard at 17 1/2 months. My 4 year old has climbed in her (2nd DD's) seat rear facing just playing around, and she still fits! It's safer rear facing for as long as you can. :)

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

We have the britax marathon and our kids were rear facing until they were well over two years old, and this was when they said age one! And my kids are super tall and big. Not sure I could get my four year old to turn backward again now but kudos to all of you who are keeping them that way as long as possible! :)

I can't seriously believe that with all the information out there some people think that ff is as safe as rf and having their legs injured! If you had whiplash from being hit from behind very hard, that same impact can snap a child's spine because theirs isn't as strong! It's like bending a pen vs a pencil. I understand there are some exceptions but most of the people who turn early have arguments that make no sense. Google extended rear facing, read about the kids who were injured or died from this, all of you, please!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I flipped DS around when he was 10mos. He was a NIGHTMARE in the car, and turning him around made a world of difference.

DD is 15mos, and she's still rear facing. I'll probably flip her in the next couple of months, as she gets too big for her convertible car seat.

There is no way she'll still be rear facing at 2!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

We just put my almost 19 lb 5.5 month old in her 'big girl' seat but it is obviously still rear facing. Since the suggestions have changed from 1 -2 yrs since my son was switched around (at 11 months I might add) I don't know how long she will be switched around. She is off the charts for height and I can't imagine having my kid have to sit cross legged in the back seat.

I think- just like most things with your kids- it has to be a personal choice!

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answers from San Antonio on

We turned DS#1 RF at 1 year and I just could not imagine him being comfortable RF at 2yo. A few years ago I had a bad car accident and was hit from behind very hard the the back of the back seat actually broke and folded foward. Had I had my DS at the time and RF his legs would have been crushed. I guess we will have to see when DS#2 arrives as to when he will get to FF but if he is as tall has his brother it will be sooner rather than later. Plus the way the seat fits in my vehicle there is no roon for their legs if RF and they would have to sit cross legged in the seat which I don't think would be 1) comfortable and 2) any safer than FF.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

My 7 month old is 24 lbs, and I recently bought an infant carrier seat that will hold him until 35 lbs. I plan to keep him in that (rear facing, of course) until he reaches that weight limit, at which time I will put him in a Britax Diplomat (rear facing) until he is 2. I will then turn him around.

My 4 yr old & 2 yr old both got turned around shortly after 1 yr. (It was just a few weeks before my 2 yr old turned 2 that they announced the extended guidelines).

I could TRY to put my older kids rear-facing, but the fact is that my oldest knows how to open his harness, and he'd take himself out (and I wouldn't be able to see him doing it--very unsafe.)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

With my first son I turned him forward facing at a year old. He met the height, age, weight requirements at that time. He's 4 now so it was a little bit ago. They recommended until 1 year old to keep them rear facing back then. Now I know they advise doing so until 2 years old. I know my son really needed to be forward facing when I turned him because his poor little legs had NO room! So I am curious to see your answers myself. I have an 8 month old now and am torn on when to do it as well.

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answers from Chicago on

With my first it was at 1, but with our 18 month old, is getting close to being turned around, because she screams if her legs are not comfortable and she is tall so she already crosses her legs.

If we go anywhere that takes more than 20 min, I turn it around. Thank goodness we tend not to drive long distances with the kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on

As long as we can, but at his 6 month check up our ped warned us that it may be tough to keep him rear-facing until 2, due to his height. He is a very tall baby, and if he continues to grow along this curve he is going to be tough to fit rear-facing well-before 2.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I'm in the same boat as Jenny S. I have a 4yr old who we turned around shortly after he turned 1. But I have no idea what we'll do with our 8mo old either. Both of them are little, so we'll see.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

We turned my son around at 18 months so that we could see him during along drive. He also didn't look that comfortable anymore.

I turned my daughter around at the same time, but that was back when they had the 20lb rule.

1 mom found this helpful
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