Monday, March 18, 2013

We're Really at the End of Our Extended Rear Facing Journey, and We Mean It This Time

More than a year ago, I wrote about how P. was almost at the end of her rear facing journey - as in, nearing the point where we'd turn her car seat from rear facing to forward facing. That assessment was a little premature, I guess, since we only finally just switched her car seat - a Britax Marathon Classic - from rear facing to forward facing yesterday.

Britax Marathon Classic

You may be thinking, wait, what? P. is four! How on earth could she still have been riding rear facing all this time?

Well, she was still under the weight and height limits for the Britax Marathon Classic, which has a higher height limit that many other Britax seats. We wanted to get as close to the rf'ing weight limit as we could before turning her seat around. For all the folks out there wondering just what we did with her lovely legs, she'd sit cross-legged or throw up her legs on the back seat like a gymnast stretching out. She never complained about having to turn her head one way versus the other to look out the window.

And it was just safer. Rear facing really is safer. I promise. Don't believe me? Google internal decapitation and get back to me. Consider that Bo's head at four months is nearly as big as P.'s head at four years and you can see why positioning car seats to minimize head momentum is so important for little ones.

Of course, at four, P. has mostly grown into her head. So while rear facing would still be safer - it'd be safer for grownups, too, though it'd be tough to drive - we're going with the guidelines for her seat.

switching from rear facing to forward facing

And she was naturally pretty pleased when we told her that she was now sitting big girl style. Mostly pleased that she could now kick the seat back in front of her, which we promptly informed her is a no-no - much to her disappointment.

If you're thinking about making the switch and you're wondering why we waited so long to transition P.'s car seat from rear facing to forward facing, I lay it all out here. Full disclosure: I'm a huge advocate for extended rear facing.

When did your kids make the switch? Did you turn 'em as soon as you could or wait until the last possible moment like us?

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  1. I remember when I was rear-facing my grandchild, and the day we got to put her "big Girl" style in a forward facing carseat. She loved it and was so happy. Especially since she could call out "green light" or "red Light" whichever the case may be. My own little backseat driver. Followed you from SITS. Have a blessed day!

    1. Oh, what a fun idea for something to do on those longer rides :) Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Oh, so I probably shouldn't tell you that I flipped my kids around on each of their first bithdays?

    1. Well there's not much I can do about it now, huh? ;)

  3. We ERF'd too! Neither one got turned around before three :)

  4. You must have read my mind because we were just discussing this the other day. When Juliet gets measured at her 1-year checkup, I suspect she'll be close to the height/weight rear-facing limit on her carseat. That said, she has yet to fuss about sitting that way, and usually entertains herself with her mirror or the toys strung across the handle of the seat, or she simply falls asleep.

    I don't see any point in switching yet, especially when it's not bothering anyone.

    1. That brings up an interesting point... the guidelines now suggest rf'ing until age 2, but parent who bought seats before those recommendations came out are outta luck. Newer seats have much higher rf'ing weight/height limits, but not everyone can run out and grab new car seats whenever the mood strikes.


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