Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rear Facing Car Seats: Then and Now!

In this family, we're fans of extended rear facing. P. sat backward in her Britax Marathon Classic in our Kia until she turned four - at which point she was still just shy of the rear facing weight limit, but we thought it would be nice if she could talk to her rear facing brother. I never actually imagined we'd rear face her for four years, but it's safer. It really is. Not that I'm going to call anyone out for being an early turner - you do what you have to do - but statistically, it is safer. End of story.

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:

1979 car seat

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.):

chicco keyfit 30 - preemie car seats

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:

rear facing car seats - front facing car seats

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?


  1. Our giant boy has us going through car seats faster than I thought possible. He'd outgrown the Keyfit 30 at 7 months, and he was well above the height limit for rear-facing in the Cocorro well before age 2. He's forward-facing in a Britax Boulevard before his 3rd birthday, but he still sits cross-legged more often than not. Luckily, his sister doesn't share his super stature and she'll stay in the infant seat as long as is humanly possible.

    1. The Cocorro seats look cute, but I've heard they're relatively tiny. True?

  2. I was born in 1979 also, and we have photos of both me and my brother (1983) in our blue plastic bucket-like car seat with black vinyl interior. I remember it being sticky.

    1. Sounds awesomely retro! You should scan one!


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