Rear Facing Extension

Updated on August 11, 2011
A.H. asks from Albany, OR
11 answers

I am genuinely curious. I thought about my daughter, 2 1/2 and she is front facing now, but I have read the extension of the rear-facing seats. How do you accommodate for their legs hanging over? Like my daughter's legs are over the seat quite a bit, her whole lower leg goes off the seat. Granted she is tall for her age, I just don't see how if their feet are over the car seats edge how to accommodate them b/c isn't the seat up against the back of the seat (it's been a while since I've had rear facing). I'm in no way saying the extension is silly, if my daughter wouldn't completely go nuts I'd contemplate turning her back around, I'm just curious about the leg/feet thing.

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So What Happened?

Thank you mommas
Thanks for the picture S B, my daughter lays like that in my bed sometimes lol I don't think that would last long in the car though
My daughter is one of those kids that loves to stretch her legs out. Every now and then she will cross her legs when she's sitting on someone's lap, but I could already see the huge struggle if she was rear facing haha. She loves hanging her legs off the seat and stretching out her legs on the couch, etc a majority of the time. I think she would let them hang off either side of the car seat though. I think me and her would both love her toys not falling on the floor when I'm driving and rushing to get the toy at a red light lol. Thanks for all the responses, I really was wondering about it and for some reason couldn't picture it.

Lol, It is funny to think what will be safe in 20 years :P 2fairyprincesses, I agree with the law thing. Honestly, at 4' 9" I think that's silly too b/c I would've been in a booster seat til I was about 15 years old. I know some adults that are 4' 9" now. I think that is strange to go take your road test for a driver's license in a booster seat haha.

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answers from Milwaukee on

reading all the comments about crossing legs and what not i just had to chuckle because i remember when i was a little girl i used to be yelled at for trying to "sit backwards in the car in case mommy gets into an accident" lol doesn't it make you wonder what will be considered "safe" twenty years from NOW?
is this an actual LAW? i know it's recommended that children stay in a booster until they are 4'9" or 80 lbs... my 7 year old still has her car seat but sometimes she does ride without one... and i don't know if i really want to do the whole rear facing til two thing for my youngest... if i don't have to i probably won't.

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answers from San Francisco on

This is from

"Won't my child be uncomfortable? Where do his legs go?

Many parents have the misconception that children are uncomfortable or at risk for leg injury by having their legs up on the vehicle seat or bent when kept rear-facing. These concepts are completely incorrect. First, children are more flexible than adults so what we perceive as uncomfortable is not for children. Think about how your child sits in everyday play. Do they sit with their legs straight out in front of them? When they sit on the couch, do they purposely sit so their legs dangle out over the edge? No. In real, everyday life, toddlers and preschoolers CHOSE to sit with their legs folded up - that IS comfort to them.

Second, there is not a single documented case of children's legs, hips, etc. breaking or being injured in a crash due to longer rear-facing. There are plenty of cases of head and neck injury in forward-facing children that could have been prevented if the child had remained rear-facing. However, even if a leg or hip were broken or injured, it can be fixed. A damaged spinal cord (from forward-facing too soon) cannot be repaired and subjects the child to lifelong disability or death."

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answers from Boston on

They just sit with their legs bent or crossed, which is how most little kids sit anyway (watch her on the floor or in a chair at the kitchen table and she's probably got one or both legs curled up). It was never an issue for my guys and they were rear-facing until age 2 or 3. I wondered that too but really, they are not uncomfortable.

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answers from Medford on

I wonder the same thing. Ive seen the reports about keeping them rear facing until 2, but my grand daughter at 1 was too long to fit in the seat without her knees up in her chest. She was so uncomfortable and pushed and kicked at the back of the seat. It would be almost impossible to get the buckles hooked too. I realize she was taller and heavier than most at 2. Im not sure it would have been possible for her to stay rear facing that long. Weve had a hard time making sure shes in the right seat now at 4. Shes 41 inches tall and weighs 45 pounds. She just turned 4 last weekend.

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answers from Atlanta on

They sit with their legs going up the seat back, crossed indian style, or hanging over the sides. My oldest sat RF-ing until 3.5 and he was able to vocalize his likes and dislikes (I find it funny when parents say my 1 year old didn't like it - since they can't express that yet). He enjoys sitting FF-ing because it makes him feel older, but he said RF-ing was much more comfortable because his feet weren't just hanging down and his toys didn't fall down on the floor.

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answers from Washington DC on

My DD has been RF since birth. She is 3 now and she just crosses her legs. She doesn't complain, and my kid would seriously complain if it bothered her. She gets a little more room in our van, but we've had the Marathon in the Saturn and the Mustang even and she's been fine. We even take long car trips. She just gets out when everybody else does to stretch her legs. No worse than my 6ft tall stepson needing to bend his knees when we've overpacked.

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answers from Boston on

Most kids just cross their legs.

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answers from Seattle on

We turned my daughters car seat around when she was about 1.5.
I think that the recommendation is only good if it is a match for your car and your child.
One of our seats was almost impossible to tighten the straps in the rear facing position, because you could barely reach the strap you had to pull on for it. I was never sure if she was strapped in properly, so turning it around was a big safety improvement in my opinion, since at least I could make sure she was properly secured. Improper use of the car seat is a much bigger hazard than turning it around earlier and can lead to severe injuries even in minor accidents.

In addition my child is long and lean and she was very uncomfortable with her knees basically up to her chin... I don't know about other moms but commuting for a hour every morning and afternoon in traffic with a wailing kid in the car who hates to be in her car seat does not make me a safer driver.

If you drive a roomy car and your child has shorter legs and is not so bothered by it, I think it's great - but unless they come up with a better design for car seats/cars (how about a backward facing backseat?) it just isn't for everyone. Just my opinion.

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answers from Dallas on

I was curious too, I have really tall nieces. Check out pictures in this link. One pictures a five year old rear facing. I was reminded by my pediatrician that bent legs are safe and no reason to turn a child forward facing. I know in Sweden, kids are kept rear facing until the age of five. I think you can get car seats there that are further back and allow more comfortable leg room (at least that what's the pictures I saw looked like).

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answers from Seattle on

My son will be 3 in a couple of weeks and he is still rear facing. We have reclined the back seat a little and he just sits there. I am looking at him now sitting in his chair and he is sitting with his knees up and his feet touching. He never complains about sitting rear facing.


answers from Eugene on

There are different car seats for different height and weight children. We must have gone through four or five per child. And, what fits one kid does not fit the next.
Car seats do save lives and cut down on injuries so we really must use them.

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