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?

KrazyKurls Sun 23-Jun-13 15:07:15

DD has just gone into hers today she is 11 months, but only 19 lbs.

Our seat goes up to 13 kg but most forward facing can be used from 9kg.

It is best to leave them rear facing for as long as you can but obviously not safe if he's too heavy.

CatInWellies Sun 23-Jun-13 15:11:55

Is he over the weight limit? Is his head over the top of the seat?

hellymelly Sun 23-Jun-13 15:13:53

Stay rear facing as long as you can. They far far safer. You shouldn't even be thinking of ff with such a young baby. Have a look at . My tall thin 8 year old only went ff last year, and my average height slim six year old is still rf. They both had the Britax two-way. I think it goes up to 25kg.

RobotElephant Sun 23-Jun-13 15:21:59

Keep him in the current car seat until he's over the weight limit or his head is over the top of the seat. Squished legs are fine.

There's a new maxi cosi that you can keep rear facing past this stage, and then change to forward facing, that might be worth a look.

hellymelly Sun 23-Jun-13 15:44:44

There is a reason why in Sweden (by law) children are rear facing until at least 4. It is to do with the ratio of the weight of the head compared with the body. Forward facing increases the risk of death in an accident for toddlers and babies. I think it should be law here too, to stay rf until 4.

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 23-Jun-13 15:49:51

As long as possible preferably!

I wouldn't personally put a child forward facing before a year, preferably 15-18 months. 25lbs is still well within the limit for the seat - 20lbs is the minimum for forward facing in the UK but the maximum weight limit will be 13kg or 28lbs and their weight gain slows down dramatically when they get to a year.

FF seats are more upright anyway so more likely to make his head loll, not less.

Marrow Sun 23-Jun-13 15:51:52

You don't need to worry about cramped legs. He has only outgrown the seat if he exceeds the weight limit or his head is over the top of the seat.

We put our DD in a fwd facing seat at 10 months. She is a very big girl, our reasons were:
- She literally didn't fit down into the rear facing seat (she was too wide for it)
- Her legs were pushing against the rear of the car seat, we were told she was supposed to keep her legs straight as much as possible as she was born with positional talipes on both feet (club foot due to being a big girl with long legs all squashed up inside me before she was born).
- We asked our HV & she said in the circumstances it was fine.

You don't have to buy a ff seat, you can get rf ones for older babies and kids. We have the britax 2 way elite. They are more expensive but IMO worth it. Kids heads are very heavy in comparison to their body and crashes can have really serious consequences because of that, for us it just wasn't worth the risk. Take a look at the rearfacing website a pp mentioned. They are harder to find but not impossible...

milkyman Sun 23-Jun-13 20:12:06

Thanks everyone - I didn't realise all this so def rethink. Robot Elephant - do u have link for new maxi cosy seat?

RobotBananas Sun 23-Jun-13 20:25:16

I'm trying to find it but I'm worried I've imagined it confused

I'll have another search.

RobotBananas Sun 23-Jun-13 20:28:11
RobotBananas Sun 23-Jun-13 20:29:07

(it might not be new btw, it's just new to me)

MousyMouse Sun 23-Jun-13 20:32:13

ideally until they start school...
not joking, extended rearfacing seats last that long.

your ds will be fine until his head reaches the edge of the headend of the seat. rearfacing is much much safer at hs age.

MissTriangle Sun 23-Jun-13 21:15:18

We have just put our DD2 into a forward facing car seat- she is now almost 2. We had her in an extended rear facing seat (a BeSafe izi combi). We only moved her into the new seat as she has become a master escape artist ... We bought a cybex pallas-fix from mamas and papas. It is fab- i would recommend either of these two seats for the next stage. However my DD1 was in her maxi cosy cabriofix until her first birthday and she was quite a chunk - so you may not need a new one just yet.

Belmo Fri 28-Jun-13 09:45:35

I had to put my dd forward facing at 10 months as she was 13kg and we couldn't afford a rear facing one. I really stressed about it at the time but it was fine and she finally stopped screaming in the car seat!

ComfortablyDumb Fri 28-Jun-13 10:13:38

My DC was very tall, but after reading a bit about it we stayed rearfacing (still rearfacing now at 2.5)

Have a look at really helpful website We got a Britax 2-way Elite. Expensive, but will last for ages.

estya Sun 30-Jun-13 22:55:09

I think the law is going to change so they have to start tear facing until 15 months old in the uk.

estya Sun 30-Jun-13 23:11:43

That was rubbish swyping, sorry. What I wanted say was:

I think the law is changing so they have to stay rear facing until 15 months in the uk.

AppleYumYum Sun 30-Jun-13 23:19:58

Never, rear facing until 4 with something like a Brica mega mirror, once you read the research you will understand. They are changing the law in the UK to 15 months rear facing this year, USA just changed law to rear facing until 2. Highly recommend the BeSafe iZi Kid.

RobotBananas Sun 30-Jun-13 23:25:19

Do you have any links about it changing in the UK, or when it will happen? Thanks

katykuns Mon 01-Jul-13 01:04:56

you'd think with the pressure to go rear facing they would make it affordable sad
we got a forward facing one but not beating myself up about it... especially as we go out in the car so little anyway.

hellymelly Mon 01-Jul-13 23:06:21

Maybe they will come down in price. I was really lucky in that my MIL bought ours, but if she hadn't I would have gone without anything to have one, they really are that much safer. And as it fitted DD1 until 7 and a half, and DD2 still has growing room in hers at 6, they have at least been good value that way.

mrscog Mon 01-Jul-13 23:14:07

My 16 mo DS still fits into his Maxi Cosi pebble! He's average height but quite skinny - he's about 10.5kg. At this rate I think he'll still be in it at 18months. Have also got an ERF seat for him as well once he outgrows the Pebble!

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.


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.

sesamechoc Mon 08-Jul-13 23:52:35

haven't read all thread but BMJ (british medical journal) published a big review about 4 years ago and the age to go forward facing is 4 years as is the law in sweeden and some other european countries. The reduction in injuries from accidents was significant. We bought a britax rear facing that was made for children to be backward facing until age 4

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