A 2015 article by a major independent testing company made the recommendation to move from a rear facing only infant car seat to a rear facing convertible or multimode car seat sooner rather than later. Since a majority of newborns come home in a rear facing only car seat and then switch to a convertible
If you’ve spent any time on our Facebook group, you might know that we’re big fans of the Safety 1st Advance EX 65 Air + convertible car seat. Why? It has a 50 pound rear facing weight limit, making it the most reasonably priced convertible seat with a weight limit that high.
Rear facing is the safest way for kids to ride in the car, no doubt about it. Ideally, kids should ride rear facing until they are 3-4 years old. Most convertible car seats on the market now will easily fit the average 3-year-old rear facing, however, all seats are not created equal in terms of height room. A rear facing seat is generally outgrown when the child’s head is 1″ from the top of the shell or they reach a stated height limit (of course, there are exceptions to both these rules; it’s important to follow the instructions for your specific seat) so the height of the shell is an important number to take into consideration.
If you’re looking for just the facts about rear facing versus forward facing, you’ve come to the right place. There are multiple factors involved in this discussion; the unique physiology of a young toddler combined with the type of force in the most severe crashes adds up to the perfect storm that puts kids at significant risk if they are forward facing too early.
It’s hopefully common knowledge now that rear facing in the car is the safest way for toddlers to ride. As a child passenger safety technician, I’ve heard all the reasons that parents choose to forward face too early, and I’d like to provide some answers to those questions here. Hopefully, this guide will help keep your child rear facing as long as possible!