How Long Did Your Child Rear Face For?

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My daughter hated being in the back seat as a baby. Well, she mainly just hated being alone and facing the back of the car seat where she couldn’t see anyone was torture for her. She would scream and cry the entire car trip because she was lonely. When she was finally big enough to front face, it was a happy day for everyone in the car.

We did wait awhile though.

I wanted to be sure that it would be safe for her to turn around, and I took many things into consideration before making the switch. In the end, we purchased a top of the line car seat and decided that the lack of distracting screaming and crying would benefit everyone.

I was thankful to have all of the knowledge and quality car seats available to me, and up until a few days ago, I took it for granted that I had this information.

While there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that rear facing is safest for babies and toddlers (up to age 4 – a fact I just learned!), not all parents are provided with clear information about rear facing their children.

In the UK, there is a limited, inconsistent and confusing information provided on rear facing car seats. And the car seats themselves are hard to come by. Researched commissioned by Motors.co.uk revealed that over half of UK parents (52% of those interviewed) would buy a rear facing car seat and keep their kids rear facing longer if the seats were readily available.

I am very surprised to learn that the UK has not been more proactive on this front. While they have banned many unhealthy foods and chemical substances, it is surprising that they have not provided their country with more information and resources for keeping their children safe while in the car.

What are your thoughts on rear facing?

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  1. 1
    Monique ( says:

    My daughters used rear-facing seats for as long as the law required, which was 1 year. It’s my understanding that the requirement is now 2 years, so if I were to have babies under that age, that’s how long they would remain rear-facing. It might be inconvenient, but safety is my primary consideration.
    Monique ( recently posted..Still getting ready, but stuck…My Profile

    • 1.1
      Jessie says:

      I think the law is now 2 years (or it will be by 2013), but I am not sure. Both of my kids turned around shortly after 1 year and 20 lbs (which was the requirement at the time)… I’m not sure if they raised the weight requirement with the age…

      • 1.1.1
        Monique ( says:

        You know what, now that you mention the weight requirement – I just remembered. Neither of my girls was anywhere near 20 lbs at age 1. They didn’t even make it by age 2. Now I’m not too sure that I turned them around at 1, since they wouldn’t have weighed enough.

        I can’t think of anything that I did before the recommended age, but I also now feel like I may not have kept them rear-facing all the way to 20 lbs. I do remember talking to their pediatrician, but I don’t remember the conversation. Ugh! This is going to bug me because I can’t remember.
        Monique ( recently posted..Still getting ready, but stuck…My Profile

  2. 2
    Missy L says:

    My kids are on the small side so I rear-faced them as long as possible. My first two children rear-faced til around age 3. My youngest is still RF at age 2.5. I want to do everything in my power to stack the odds in my kids’ favor in the event of an accident. Even if it’s just a few percent safer it’s worth it to me. That said, my kids were all happy as could be rear-facing. Screaming kids would definitely be a distraction!

  3. 3
    Jodi J says:

    We turned my oldest son forward facing on his 4th birthday, he was almost 40 lbs and pushing the rearfacing limits of his carseat. My 32 month old son is still rearfacing and will remain that way at least until his 4th birthday (he’s much smaller than my oldest was and I’ll let him stay rearfacing longer if he wants to).

  4. 4
    Amy Bailey says:

    My daughter is nearly 3 and still rear facing and will keep rear facing till she reaches the max limits of the seat either weight or height. I bet this will be a good year or 2 yet. I would never dream to turn my child before then. My heart hurts for the child so little I see facing forward. They have no much of a chance in a serious accident. For me its about safety and I could care less about convenience over my child’s life. Seems extremely selfish if people forward face for this reason.

  5. 5

    I gave birth to healthy (read larger) babies. My smallest was 7.3 lbs and the largest 10.5 lbs so they reached the weight requirement before a year old. However, rear facing laws were 1 year or so many lbs and I switched them at a year. I was always happy to get them out of those heavy carrier carseats and into one that stayed in the car so I didn’t worry too much as long as I was following the laws. I know when my oldest was 2.5 years old I totalled my car with him in it. He came out unscathed other than a full five point harness bruise on his torso, so I personally believe if the carseat is installed properly then they SHOULD be safe during a wreck. However, if they were to change the laws I would obey them.
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  6. 6

    Thank you so much for this post! Our daughter screams in the car from the start of the ride until we get to where ever it is that we are going. As soon as she sees one of us she calms down immediately but has to recover from the awful screaming fit – which usually takes a long time. One of can often keep her calm if we ride in the backseat, but there are times I have/want to go somewhere without my husband (since he goes to work every day) or vice versa. It is so hard to concentrate on driving with a baby screaming in the backseat. We have both checked every inch of the car seat to see if she’s being pinched or squeezed wrong, but have found nothing. We scoured the internet to see if there are defects in our car seat that would cause her pain. Again, we’re empty handed. It is also a key note that she loves riding in the car seat – strapped in – in the stroller. But we think that’s because she is looking right at us or at least can look at us at any time she wants, plus we aren’t in the car. I don’t think any parent knows how awful this feels or how distracting it is to drive unless it happens to them. There is a large part of me that feels like I am torturing her by going places. Some people have said she’ll grow out of it, but it’s been 5 months – her whole life so far, and it hasn’t gotten any better. All that has happened is that we are hesitant to go anywhere with her by ourselves.

    I recently had the opportunity to show a couple of family members how bad it is to ride with her in the car (we have no family nearby, they were here visiting). They couldn’t believe how upset our daughter got. They tried to help us with solutions such as putting photos up for our daughter to look at or a bigger mirror so she could see us, but nothing has helped. Whenever I have tried talking to parents about this they all just say how much their kids loved the car. Well, ours doesn’t. I am counting down the days to when we can front face her. I have asked the pediatrician and the response was that some kids just don’t like the car and that we have to wait to front face her. I am concerned about her safety if an accident were to happen so I want to wait until it is safe for her. But how safe is it for any of us riding in the car if the driver is distracted by her screaming and causes an accident?

    It makes me feel a little better knowing that another person has gone through this. Of course, we are months and months away from being able to front face her and that is only if the laws aren’t changed again before she meets the requirements. In which case we may just turn her early.
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