Car seats - when to go to forward facing?

(51 Posts)
milkyman Sun 23-Jun-13 14:58:08

We are off on a 3hr car journey soon and our DS with be 8.5mths. He has a backward facing car seat but it seems too small for him - he is a long baby and weighs approx. 25ilbs. I asked in mothercare and they reckon he has some time left it it but I am concerned that it causes his head to drop forward when asleep (it's a graco car seat).

Would it be wirth us getting a forward facing one and any suggestions as to which one?

babySophieRose Tue 02-Jul-13 09:42:16

We changed to forward facing car seat at around 9 months,as the backwards facing car seat was getting too small.

there is a new joie stages seat which is pretty affordable and rf til £18k then ff. I think it looks really good - it is available in babies r us - was ~£100. make sure you get the new one if you go for it - the old was only til 13kg rf.

Seb101 Wed 03-Jul-13 18:01:27

I put my baby in forward facing at 9 months; I really don't like the rear facing ones. Baby gets bored because they can't see anything! Much prefer forward facing ones. My lo much happier in it.

stargirl1701 Wed 03-Jul-13 18:03:14

Ideally, at 4 years old.

MortifiedAdams Wed 03-Jul-13 18:07:47

Seb and ofcourse boredom takes precident over safety every time.

hmm

kellestar Wed 03-Jul-13 18:11:32

My 2.6 yo DD has just hit 9.1kg so still fits in the britax infant carrier her brother currently uses, he is 5.7kg at 9 weeks. She is in a britax first class plus RF.

Will be looking at the Joie when I get a chance to get into Brizzle!

It's rubbish about them not seeing much RF, when FF they see a similar view... The back of a seat!

Alanna1 Wed 03-Jul-13 19:00:02

Where's the best/cheapest place to buy a rear facing seat for an older child?

Vakant Wed 03-Jul-13 19:16:06

Shocked that someone would compromise their child's safety because they are bored rear facing.

My daughter is 2.1 and is still in her infant rear facing as she is only 11.5kg and it is fine up to 13kg. Her head is nearing the top though so we will change it soon, but it will still be rear facing. She does get bored, but it's better than being dead.

amyboo Thu 04-Jul-13 07:45:53

It's not law to stay rear-facing till age 4 in Sweden, just common practice. I have Swedish friends in Gothenburg who use forward facing for their 4 and 2 year olds, and it's certainly not against the law....

Seb101 Thu 04-Jul-13 09:03:46

I am certainly not compromising her safety. And am not putting boredom over safety.
I think this is ott. Forward facing seats are safe! Maybe not quite as safe, possibly; I've not seen this research or advice! But forward facing is perfectly safe. Otherwise they wouldn't be sold. Saying they might change rules in 3 months, 3 years, 3 decades! is fair enough. But they haven't changed rules now. The advice isn't standard now.
Years ago they used to advice putting baby rice in baby bottle to fill them up!! Now strongly not advised! Advice changes!
But, please don't be so rude as to to suggest I'm putting my child in danger by putting her in a fantastic forward facing car seat.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 04-Jul-13 09:16:28

I'm not against forward facing seats, certainly, any seat is better than no seat and a good branded seat like a Britax is better than a cheaply produced nania seat or similar.

However... your argument is sort of moot. They advised baby rice in bottles years ago but it wasn't any safer years ago than it is now. The reason they advise against it is because they know now - just because they didn't know then that it was dangerous, doesn't mean that it was safe.

Did you know that the requirements for a car seat to meet EU regulations and allow it to be sold are a single crash test, head on, at 30mph? Of course, some brands test their seats over and above this and some independent companies such as Which? do extra testing as well (I believe Which? also test at 40mph AND they do a side test) - some of the seats sold which have passed the legal requirement at 30mph gain a "Don't buy" result from Which? because they fail these only slightly higher tests.

I am guessing (sobering thought) that the reason they don't crash test car seats any higher is because in higher speed crashes it's increasingly likely that nobody in the car would stand a chance. But perhaps in the future, they will, and nobody would even think of buying a car seat which wasn't crash tested under 50mph or something.

hellymelly Thu 04-Jul-13 09:49:08

When I was in Sweden with my toddler I was told that children have to be rf until 4. (although I imagine weight may scupper that?) And our first rf seat had to be shipped from Sweden as Britax only made it for the scandinavian market. But anyway, the stats are the thing, and the stats are clear, Sweden has a far lower rate of infant death in car crashes.
I agree with Yonibotts ,do your research on how the seat was tested, go for a make that has passed the most stringent. If you have a Volvo, they do their own seat for the Swedish market, may be worth a look. Our Volvo was too old to fit the seat, it needs isofix I think.

Vakant Thu 04-Jul-13 19:56:05

Forward facing isn't "perfectly safe" actually, especially for a nine month old. If you bothered to read the research then you would perhaps change your opinion.

Florin Thu 04-Jul-13 20:11:27

We went for an extended rear facing seat, once we read the research we just couldn't buy forward facing. It was expensive but we saved up for it and sold stuff on eBay to pay for it. We have the be safe izi seat and our son loves it. He is a massive baby, he turned 1 a week ago but is already in age 2-3 clothes. The great thing about going to an extended rear facing is we changed him to his new car seat at 8.5 months as he was rather cramped so it meant he could have more space without worrying about his going forward facing too early. People who say they will be bored in rear facing seats to be honest are talking crap, my son loves his seat as he can see out the window and loves watching the world go by, he just sees backwards rather than forwards.

Seb101 Thu 04-Jul-13 21:54:11

Vakant; completely disagree. Forward facing seats have passed strict safety tests to be sold in the uk. That's good enough for me.
Criky if we started Internet researching every decision we make as parents we'd worry to death, and constantly be on Internet. So being bothered to research isn't the issue.

Seb101 Thu 04-Jul-13 21:56:05

Florin; I said MY child was bored in rear facing seat and much happier in forward facing. That's not talking crap; that's telling you MY experience of MY child. She perfected forward facing; simple.

hellymelly Thu 04-Jul-13 22:29:07

Seb, Vakant is right. The tests seats undergo are not all that stringent. FF seats are not anywhere near as safe for babies or toddlers. They are better than no seat at all, but that is hardly reassuring. The weight of a baby or toddler's head in proportion to their bodies means they are very vulnerable when sitting forward facing. Even adults are safer rear facing actually (well, except the driver...) but the body to head weight ratio is not as pronounced as children get older. The law will change in this country I am sure, as the evidence is so clear. If you actually read up on it you would prefer a bored baby to a vulnerable one. Oh and my dds at 7 and 5 were not bored rf, so I can't imagine it is really an issue.
RF seats are pretty expensive, that is the big problem, but as more parents demand them then hopefully price will go down a bit.

Vakant Fri 05-Jul-13 12:18:54

They don't have strict safety tests. They only legally have to test up to 30mph. That doesn't seem particularly strict to me, I would imagine if the tests were done at 70mph too a lot of the seats wouldn't pass.

The research is clear, rear facing is much safer, up to four times safer. You admit you haven't read the research, how can you even have an opinion without the full facts. You are making an assumption that just because something is for sale it's ok, forward facing are fit for purpose in a crash upto 30mph only.

MortifiedAdams Fri 05-Jul-13 12:31:39

And how many people only ever drive up to 30mph? I live in a built up, urban, area, and even I drive legally over 30mph for probably 70% of the time. That means that if I put my baby in a ff seat, for 70% of the time she would be in a seat that hasnt even been tested to see if it is suitable for that purpose.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 05-Jul-13 12:36:14

Well even cars/adult seatbelts aren't tested at 70mph, so no I expect they wouldn't pass. The highest safety test is the Euro NCAP testing which is 40mph.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 05-Jul-13 12:38:48

From the NCAP site:

Accident research shows that carrying out frontal impacts at 64km/h (40mph) covers a large proportion of the serious and fatal accidents which occur. Even if the maximum speed limit is 120 km/h, few accidents occur at such speeds and where they do, it is beyond current capabilities to provide protection for the car's occupants.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 05-Jul-13 12:39:39

Worth noting that rear facing seats haven't been tested past 30/40mph either.

Oriunda Fri 05-Jul-13 20:27:15

I've got the Besafe IziCombo isofix. RF but can FF using seatbelt. My DS is happy RF and I plan to keep him RF as long as I can I agonised over decision but the expense is totally justified by the safety stats.

PenelopeLane Sun 07-Jul-13 09:05:56

In NZ advice is to go rear facing until the children are 2, for the safety measures noted above. For that reason though I think rear facing seats are comparatively cheaper - my DS's will be fine RF until he is 16 kg. He's not bored as he doesn't know any different (is 21 months)

We have the BeSafe IziCombi isoFiX, and small child here loves it as can see a lot due to the seat height. We will keep to RF for as long as possible.

It's worth saying though, after much research, we chose an RF because we do a lot of dual-carriageway/motorway driving and the area we're in tends to have cars shooting out of side roads. RF is up to five times safer than FF in such collision types.
If, however, you do a lot more urban/city driving (where a rear-ender is more likely), then there's little difference between the FF/RF other than cost.

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