Rear Facing Until 4 Years Old, Really!

This is my fair warning that this post might rub someone the wrong way, it is bound to happen since what I’m going to write about is a bit on the controversial side. But here I go….

new car seat

Happy 2nd Birthday Abbey!

We have decided to keep Abbey in a rear facing car seat until she is 4 years old. WHAT? OMG! The Herron’s are cray-cray! Yes, it is true, we are cray-cray but even more so we are crazy about keeping our little girl safe. We were actually all set and sort of excited about going to purchase Abbey another car seat to replace the one she uses in my car (her infant seat that holds her up to 30 lbs) and fully expected to turn her facing forward as soon as she turns two (11 days). We are very happy with our current car seat which is a Britax Marathon 70-G3 and decided we would go ahead and purchase the same one. While at Buy Buy Baby I was talking to the nice man in the car seats and stroller department about our graduation to forward facing car seat time. He looked at me, looked at Abbey and asked, “how old is she?” I told him she would be two in 11 days and were happy to turn her car seat around basically patting myself on the back for being the parent who kept her rear facing this long. WHAAP! That was my slap across the face because he basically schooled me on when I should actually turn a toddler around to a  forward facing car seat, age FOUR.

Buy Buy Baby was previously recommending that forward facing was okay at age two then they changed their tune to recommend keeping toddlers rear facing as long as possible after age two to now recommending that you do not turn your toddler forward facing until the ripe old age of four. His explanation went something like, the bones in their body don’t oscillate until they turn four years old and basically it was better for them to potentially break bones in their legs in a car accident versus having internal decapitation in an accident. That was it! I was already sold on the same car seat we have now but I was basically yelling for George because we would be keeping Abbey rear facing until 4 years old. Then of course I needed to dive into the Interwebs and find other articles and opinions that backed what the Buy Buy Baby guy was saying. I actually found that the child breaking their legs while rear facing was simply untrue and it is MORE likely to occur if the child is forward facing. – BEST article I could find, hands down. – Pictures are cute in this one! – there is actually a Rear Facing campaign in the UK

I can’t wait to ask Abbey’s pediatrician to weigh in on this as well, George and I value Dr. Somsak’s opinion very much and typically look to her for these types of questions. Dr. Somsak, if you are out there and want to weigh in, please feel free to do so, otherwise we will see you in a few weeks 🙂 For now I did find a few articles that are at least great reference points. There is not much updated on the rule that went into effect in 2011 about staying rear facing until two but I did find a few. Hopefully this is helpful for those of you also looking for answers on what to do, this is not something to take lightly yet it is damn near impossible to get a straight answer. I’ll be the first to admit it, I was looking forward to forward facing car seat time. I drive a Mazda 3 and the passenger seat is literally up as far as it will go so that Abbey’s car seat fits behind it. What the hell am I going to do with two little ones rear facing in my back seat? Ummmm…. that is up for another discussion, I guess I need a new car?

I’ll leave you with this, a wise woman once told me (you know who you are), “You only get one shot when raising your kids” and this is that time when I need to think about keeping Abbey safe versus convenience for George and me.


6 thoughts on “Rear Facing Until 4 Years Old, Really!

  1. You’ve got my support. You get one shot. One. Not two. One. If you’re given the knowledge and then were to ignore it, how could you live with yourself if something happened. I’ll say it. People are stupid when it comes to car seats – booster seats and then no booster seat. They do the minimum required. I’ve has a draft on my blog for probably a year that I haven’t finished about how it’s 48″ before you’re kid is considered tall enough to not need a booster – but that’s just one of things to check – it’s certainly not age. You know I’m a fanatic about car seat safety. Couldn’t be more proud of you and George’s informed decisions.

    • it is hard to post because I know so many who jokingly make fun of me for having Abbey rear facing still. I swear that I’m not judging those who don’t agree but I just ask that they don’t judge me either. As my brother lovingly calls me, I know I am a safety sam 🙂

  2. I respect your decision. We turned M at 21 months after a lot of thought. E is still in her Marathon at almost 5 and I’m trying to decide when to switch her to a booster. She’s just about at 40 lbs. I have friends who put their kids in boosters at 32 lbs which is against the law in Ohio and they don’t care. As to the 48″ claim by your friend, in Ohio, the law to be OUT of a booster is 4 foot 9 inches tall, which is 57 inches, OR 9th birthday. The other thing people don’t pay attention to is expiration dates. I know we’ve got to do some rearranging because one of our seats is expiring this year (it belonged to a relative).

    • Wow girl, expiring car seats??? I thought I had a breakthrough moment with the rear facing scenario but I will certainly keep an eye out for the expiration date as well. Thank you for the tips. And on a side note, I can’t believe E is 5! Thank you for the comment.

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