Back when I was born in 1979, car seats will still optional but my parents went out and bought what was apparently, at the time, a pretty high tech car seat. Check me out at a few weeks old, with my stache-sportin' dad:
Compare that to P. at a few weeks - or maybe months, hard to tell with preemies - sitting in her Chicco KeyFit 30 (which we bought because at the time it was the only non-specialty seat we could easily get that accommodated babies under 5 lbs.):
And then take a look at the set up we have going as of this past winter, with Bo in the KeyFit and P. finally forward facing:
What's interesting is that my own infant seat seems a lot more like the Marathon in terms of design than it is like the KeyFit - there's the metal bars, for one thing. I wish it was still in a garage somewhere so I could take a look!
As for whether Bo will make it to four in a rear facing car seat, who knows. But considering he's gaining weight while dropping percentiles, I have to wonder if he'll end up being tiny like P. How tiny? Considering our state's fairly strict car seat guidelines, I figure she'll probably be sitting in a booster, once she outgrows her Britax that is, until she leaves for college.
How long did you keep your babies rear facing? When you were a baby, did you ride around on your parents' laps or in a car seat?