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When did you change from rear facing to forward facing?

  • poll: At what age did you switch from rear facing to forward facing?
    <2 years : (14 votes)
    11 %
    2-2.5 years : (45 votes)
    37 %
    2.5-3 years : (25 votes)
    20 %
    3-3.5 years : (14 votes)
    11 %
    3.5-4 years : (11 votes)
    9 %
    4-4.5 years : (7 votes)
    6 %
    4.5-5 years : (4 votes)
    3 %
    >5 years : (2 votes)
    2 %
    We don't drive but I like polls! : (0 votes)
  1. Mrs. Champagne

    coconut / 8483 posts

    Just before he turned 3 we flipped ds. Dd is still RF at 20 months but she has been car sick a few times so if it keeps up we might have to flip her.

  2. Silva

    cantaloupe / 6017 posts

    about a month shy of 3. I was pregnant and driving a small sedan, and lifting her in and out was tweaking my back. we turned her and it was much easier for her to climb in herself/me to get her in.

  3. AngelicOne

    persimmon / 1050 posts

    DS is 3yrs 4m and still RF. His seat tops out at 40lbs, so we'll probably switch him when he reaches that, though I'd leave him RF longer if he had a different seat.

  4. rattles

    grapefruit / 4903 posts

    We flipped DD1 at 4.5 when we had LO3 and moved her to the back row of the minivan. DD2 is still happily rearfacing at 3.

  5. 808love

    pomelo / 5866 posts

    I remember when my mom was pushing to forward face DD earlier than I wanted to. I didn't listen and trusted my own mom instinct. A few years later, her friend's friend was in an accident with a car with a young child that was forward facing and she changed her tune abruptly, lecturing me about keeping young children rear facing. Oh goodness! Can't win with some people. They don't know until they know.

  6. Kemma

    grapefruit / 4291 posts

    We turned #1 just prior to her turning two and #2 just past two. We have Australian standard seats that have height markers and Australia has been slow to adopt extended rf’ing. Baby #3 will hopefully ref for much longer so I can fit all three kids across the back seat!

  7. Mrs. Microscope

    pear / 1788 posts

    At 2.5 P is still rear facing. We have a Britax Boulevard click connect, and we are following the manufacturer recommendations. There is a handy line on the seat to indicate shoulder height on when to flip her, since she isn't close to the weight limit for an early flip. She still has about an inch of torso height before we will flip her.

  8. 2PeasinaPod

    pomelo / 5524 posts

    DS1 was almost exactly 2 when we flipped him. At that time, the law was rear-facing until 1 and try to make it to 2. He's 5.5 now.

    DS2 was flipped a little after he turned 2. He wouldn't get into the car seat rearfacing. He would do stiff legs and it was virtually impossible to get him to sit in order to be buckled in safely. So we flipped him to be like big bro and he's much happier. He's 2.5 now.

    I noticed that the poll has most of the people say they flipped their kiddos between 2 - 2.5, but not many are commenting. Hoping my comment doesn't come with any shaming.

  9. catlady

    grapefruit / 4988 posts

    I didn't respond because we haven't yet but it will probably be within the next 6 months, I'd expect. My oldest is 4.5 and I can't really see her rear-facing as a kindergartner. That said, she's a peanut and we have a clek, so she could probably stay there past age 5 if we wanted. She still has at least 4 inches to go for the rear facing limit.

  10. codeitall

    clementine / 874 posts

    @mrsbubbletea: Your son He knows what's best!

    We did it right at 2. Actually, he was still rear-facing in one car for a couple months till we got around to reinstalling the carseat. It was such a pain... We'll see what happens with DD, she is a lot more vocal and hates car rides as it is.

    For us, the decision really came down to what makes 12 hour road trips easier With DS forward facing, it is sooo much easier to communicate with him when he gets into the pre-tantrum phase and try to head it off.

  11. psw27

    pomelo / 5220 posts

    We turned DS1 forward facing at 2 years 7 months. We would have kept him rear facing but unfortunately we couldn't fit our infant seat in the car unless he was forward facing behind the driver.

  12. MrsTal

    clementine / 901 posts

    DS1 is 3 years 1 month and still rear facing. Hoping to keep him that way as long as possible. Probably will have to turn him by the end of this year.

  13. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    @DesertDreams88: convertibles can be turned to FF. Maybe you’re thinking of boosters that are separate and cheaper?

  14. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    DS1 was switched a week or so before he turned 2. We got a new car and decided to just go ahead with FF. I didn’t have a great reason besides we were driving 2 hours one way every weekend and 2 hours back. I was always solo and it was challenging to get him what he needed all the time by myself when he was RF.
    DS2 is only a month old, but I will try to keep him RF longer. A huge motivator for me (besides safety) is that I do think RF looks comfier and makes for better car naps.

  15. catgirl

    nectarine / 2018 posts

    @SweetiePie: yes convertibles can forward face but if LO1 is already forward and LO2 needs a rear facing seat it can make sense to pass down the convertible and buy a combination seat for the older LO. Why buy another rear facing seat when you have one that can be used? A combination seat is a forward facing harness seat that transitions to a booster.

  16. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    @catgirl: I know all of that. I was replying to desertdreams as the way she worded it sounded like she didn’t know convertibles could be ff, but maybe wording was just off, or I read it wrong. Both of us have 4 week old baby’s (as of today!) so if one of us was wrong I’ll chalk it up to that.

  17. catgirl

    nectarine / 2018 posts

    @SweetiePie: congrats on LO2! I took it as she was going to forward face lo1 when lo2 outgrew the infant seat so she could pass the convertible down and buy a combination seat for lo1.

  18. DesertDreams88

    grapefruit / 4361 posts

    @SweetiePie: yep, I meant what @catgirl: said.
    And also now I remember that maybe 1 or 2 of our 3 cars (babysitter's car) can't fit a convertible RF behind the driver, so that's part of it too, so 1 kid will have to FF once the infant seat is outgrown.

  19. SweetiePie

    honeydew / 7463 posts

    @DesertDreams88: 🤪 haha ok so I’m the sleep deprived one

  20. QBbride

    pomegranate / 3192 posts

    My son was 3y8m when we switched him. My daughter is 2y9m and is still RFing. She’s only 22 lbs so I think she will be RF for a long time still! (My goal is age 4).

  21. ElbieKay

    pomegranate / 3231 posts

    A little after two. Two is the legal cutoff in my state. We might have gone longer but our son has always been huge for his age. (He was 47.5 lbs at his 4yo checkup last week!) I know the decision should really be based on developments milestones, not size, but he also looked so cramped with his legs halfway up the seat. We only drive on weekends so luckily he's not in the car every day.

    It is so much more fun to be in the car with him now that he is FF.

    I would not allow grandparent opinions to influence this decision. Well, I know a woman who is an MD/PhD and studies car seat and seatbelt safety for children. If she was my kid's grandma then I might factor in her opinion. But she's not even related to me!

    If the comments bother you, just ask your stepmother to stop commenting.

  22. ShootingStar

    coconut / 8472 posts

    We switched DS around 22 months. He had been screaming and screaming every car ride and fighting me about getting in his seat. We decided to turn him around and it all magically stopped. Turns out he gets horribly nauseous in the car. Once he could communicate better, he would tell every time we got on the highway that his tummy was hurting. I don’t regret switching him at all. And now at 4.5 he’s in a high back booster with just the seatbelt and it’s awesome. He’s big enough and he sits great in his seat and he just buckled himself.

    I’m not sure when we’ll front face DD. She fights a lot at getting in the car, but is fine once she’s in. Mostly. She’s 19 months and I’m guessing we’lol do it around 2 so that getting in the car can be less of a fight.

  23. AB810

    apricot / 370 posts

    Flipped #1 around 3.5. I would have RF longer but we had to rent a car that would only fit one carseat RF, and my son is younger, so we flipped my daughter. There was no going back.

    #2 is 2.5 and still RF. Will probably RF for at least another year.

  24. delight

    pomelo / 5326 posts

    We kept DD RF until just after her 3rd birthday. We ended up switched her FF when we installed the new car seat for the baby and moved hers to the other side. DS is 16 months and we have no plans on switching him at least for another year.

  25. mamabolt

    nectarine / 2797 posts

    We switched DD at just past 3.5, mostly because DS was about to arrive and we couldn’t get two seats RF in our cars. My mom and MIL were full of commentary on our decision but not their call! We hope to keep DS RF as least that long if not longer.

  26. lilyofthewest

    pear / 1697 posts

    LO will be 3 at the beginning of May and is still RF. If I ever get pregnant with a viable pregnancy, we'll probably have to switch one of our cars to front-facing if/when it gets too hard to lift him into the seat. He can climb up by himself in one car (can vs will may still be an issue...) but the way the seat fits in the other car makes climbing up very challenging.

  27. LindsayInNY

    bananas / 9229 posts

    We moved DD just after turning 2.5. We needed repairs on our car and had a rental for a week. I FF her car seat in the rental since it was January and I didn't want snowy/salty boots all over the rental seat. When we went back to our car, we just kept it that way.

  28. alphagam84

    persimmon / 1095 posts

    My daughter is 2.5 and still rear facing. Was planning to switch her in August at 2 years 9 months when we have another baby. We were in a bad car accident on Good Friday where we hydroplaned across 3 lanes of traffic and crashed into a huge cement wall going highway speeds. She only had a bloody lip from either biting her lip or her Fire hitting her in the face on impact. Not a scratch on her and absolutely no whiplash the next day. I guarantee she would've had nasty whiplash or worse had she been forward facing. It makes me rethink flipping her when the new baby comes.

  29. antigone

    coffee bean / 39 posts

    I suspect we’re going to have to FF DS when I have baby2 shortly. He’ll be right at 2 1/2. I don’t think the car seats will fit properly in my sedan otherwise.

    I’m dreading it. I really wanted to keep him RF as long as possible. Plus we were in a bad car accident a month ago, and since then, I’ve been fearful of driving. The thought of us being in another accident and him not RF terrifies me.

  30. Trailmix

    nectarine / 2152 posts

    Just shy of age 4 (and my daughter is in the upper 90 percentiles in both height and weight). Neither complained so we just kept them RFing until they outgrew the weight limits on their RFing car seats!

  31. MrsBrewer

    coconut / 8854 posts

    Just after DD turned 2.5. She was still under the limits and could technically be rear facing. But with winter, nasty snowy boots, plus its easier for her to climb up herself, now that I have another baby I'm lugging in too. It was time. And now she loves FF

  32. PurplePeony

    pomegranate / 3113 posts

    A couple weeks after her 4th birthday. We were traveling and she was too big to RF in the travel seat, and wasn’t happy about RFing when we got home. The other day she said she wanted to face backward again, though, so if she really means it I’d flip her back for a few more months. Maybe I’ll give it a try this weekend.

  33. californiadreams

    pomegranate / 3411 posts

    DS1 was 5 when we switched him. He was just barely at the height limit. DS2 is 2.5 currently and still RF. I think he may outgrow the height limit sooner than DS1 one dud though

  34. Foodnerd81

    wonderful cherry / 21504 posts

    @PurplePeony: my 4.5 year keeps saying she wants to face backwards again, but I think it’s just because her sister does and I told her she can’t (she’s in a conbo seat now).

    The responses on here are so different than my real life experience. I know at least as many people who switched before 2 and who waited, and probably 4, total, who didn’t switch until after 3. Now with a 4.5 year old a lot of her friends are already in high back boosters.


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