Why I Will Keep My Kid Rear Facing

For As Long As Possible

The AAP (American Association of Pediatrics) has updated their car seat safety guidelines this year. You can read the full article here. The biggest takeaway is keeping your child rear-facing for as long as possible is the safest option.

Their logic is simple. In the rear facing position, kids are protected by the car seat’s hard shell in the event of a crash. Their head, neck, and spine have better support rear facing than forward facing. Once your kiddo is close to maxing out on your car seat manufacturer’s height and weight limit you can start to think about switching them to forward facing. This differs from their previous recommendation of keeping them rear facing until age 2.

If your 2 year old hasn’t maxed out on the manufacturer’s height and weight limit you should keep them rear facing.

There’s been a lot of discussion about this new recommendation. Especially from parents whose kids aren’t growing or gaining weight as fast as others, like mine. Do you keep your kiddo rear facing forever? Isn’t it nicer to have your kid forward facing so that you can comfort and talk to them? If my car seat manual says I can make my kid forward facing at 20 lbs shouldn’t you just make the switch?

Cue the eye rolls, but I worked hard for 9 months creating this perfect and amazing little girl. I work hard each day to ensure she’s healthy and happy. Why wouldn’t I keep her as safe as possible when traveling in our vehicle? For many of us cars are just a way to get from point A to B. We don’t stop to think about the fact that we’re strapping ourselves into a metal object and speeding down pavement at high speeds with others who may or may not be paying attention. When those who aren’t paying attention cross our path the results can be disastrous. I know that’s a morbid thought, but parenthood has made me realize there are so many things we take for granted.

If a rear facing car seat is going to better protect my kid until she reaches the height and weight recommendation then I’m going to keep doing it.

Should some miracle occur and this little pixie maxes out the height or weight recommendation before we feel comfortable moving her forward facing then we’ll have to think long and hard about making the change.

As parents we do our best to prepare. We read long into the night, speak to friends, family, and our kid’s pediatricians. There are long search histories in our browsers as we look for more and more information on how to raise healthy and happy kids. A minor inconvenience of keeping my daughter rear facing for longer than I thought could save her life. I won’t take a chance with her safety.

What are your thoughts on the new recommendations from the AAP?

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Jaki was a mom working in the HR field turned to stay at home mom for two years, turned back to working mom, back to stay at home mom. (Whew!) She now spends her days trying to be the best mother to her daughters, Madi (4/2017) and Gwen (5/2019), while squeezing in relationship time with her husband, Zane. Their 3 rescued pups complete the crazy family. Together they live right on the border of Austin & Pflugerville. She loves Harry Potter, sci-fi, hiking, reading, being a vegan foodie, traveling, learning more about the HR field, figuring out how to homeschool the Montessori way, and writing about her adventures. Check out her blog at https://medium.com/nerdy-together

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you. My oldest son is still rear facing at 4 because his Diono’s height and weight limits permit him to be that way. My husband thought i was over the top about this but I’m so glad that APA changed their recommendations! Win!

  2. My carseat is a Graco all in one that is supposed to last for 10 years. I’m a little confused by the weight ranges for both rear and forward-facing. Mine says forward-facing can actually start at 25 lbs. My kid has long legs and is definitely going to be tall, so I felt it made sense to face him forward already even though he’s 18 months. He seems to enjoy facing forward now. And i’m always confused on why one direction is better than the other becusae I feel it depends on if you get his from the front or back end in the event of an accident. It still doesn’t protect any better if you’re hit from the side, which i feel, would be the worst. With a car you have the front engine and front passengers to hopefully absorb some impact and I feel more people tend to hit from the back-end more than anything but it can sometimes do more damage to their front-end of their car vs the back-end of mine. But the side impact has almost zero proection from the car but the most protection from the actual carset.

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