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To keep my toddler rear-facing?

(70 Posts)
Chocolateheaven123 Thu 07-Mar-19 15:33:34

I have a little boy who turned 2 quite recently. As he's getting older, I've started having more comments about him being rear- facing. And quite honestly, it's starting to annoy the fuck out of me. Now my son is quite tall for his age and has a sturdy frame, so well above the weight minimum, which is why I think people are struggling to understand why he's not forward facing yet.

The people are making comments are mostly relatives, some who have young children themselves and turned them FF as soon as they could.

I don't care what people do as they deem it appropriate as parents to do it. However, I don't for MY child. Thing is, he's absolutely fine RF. He doesn't whinge at all, and seems very comfortable like it, plus he loves nosing out the back window grin

Me and his dad both agree this is what we feel comfortable with currently. We've done a lot of research into extended rear facing, and have decided as parents to carry on with this as we feel it's safer in the event of an accident. If he became upset or uncomfortable to the point of distraction, then we'd re-evaluate.

I don't discuss this decision with anyone, or query when people turn their babies the second they turn 9 months or at the weight limit. It's up to them, I leave them to it. And yet, I'm having so many comments on it lately regarding my son, such as:
"He's heavy/tall enough to face the front now"
"Ahh poor little Jonny (not his name), he's stuck facing the back"
"Ahh poor little Johnny can't see anything"
"ahh poor little Jonny can't see mum/dad"
"he's probably bored out of his mind"
"You can't interact with him that way"

And so on. It's really starting to irritate me. However, I also feel at a loss of what to say because they people are mostly relatives and I don't want to say anything that would indicate I judge their choice to turn their kids, if that makes sense.

I have a friend whos child is still RF (a little younger than mine) and she also has the same at times.

It's making me feel like I'm being cruel to DS, but he's HAPPY as he is at the moment. He actually drags me to the car sometimes as he wants to go for a ride grin we will obviously turn him eventually but right now, are more comfortable this way.

AIBU or just over sensitive about this? Any suggestions of replies I can give next time someone comments?

JohnLapsleyParlabane Thu 07-Mar-19 15:36:59

YANBU but you're likely to get stick on here for it too. My DD is 3.5 and we are planning to keep her RF till 25kg (probably about 5 or 6). Our responses are usually "This is our choice to make. We have made it. And now let's change the subject"
And when people have carried on we go straight to "I'd rather she was bored than dead"

JohnLapsleyParlabane Thu 07-Mar-19 15:41:18

Lifted from

Since 1965 all Swedish children have been travelling rear facing in the car until they are at least four years old, and the results speak for themselves. Here in the UK about 200 children are seriously injured in car accidents every year and a further 21 are killed. On Sweden's roads deaths and serious injuries in children under five have been virtually eliminated.
Between 1992 and June 1997, only nine properly restrained rear facing children died in car crashes in Sweden, and all of these were involved in catastrophic crashes with few or no other survivors. Between July 2006 and November 2007 not one child under the age of six died in Sweden due to a car accident. And their car seats continue to achieve the same fantastic survival rates, year after year. Unless a car catches fire, is crushed by a lorry or cut in half by a tree, children in rear facing car seats simply don't die in car accidents in Sweden

Crockof Thu 07-Mar-19 15:41:22

Tell them to fuck off. In the event of an accident rear facing is much safer, mine were five when became ff and were in a high back Booster until they were 150cm. Caar accidents are a massive killer of young people I did everything to keep them safe.

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 07-Mar-19 15:42:43

Of course YANBU. You're not being over sensitive. People for some reason take it as a criticism if they have a forward facing seat.

I wouldn't get into a conversation with people making such idiotic comments. I'd just say well, that's our decision and I don't want to discuss it.

Tolleshunt Thu 07-Mar-19 15:42:58

My nearly four year old is still rear-facing, and will remain so until she has reached the weight at which risk declines for forward facing. This may be some time yet, as she is light for her age, though quite tall.

People are likely feeling like your choices are a reflection on theirs, and so feel the need to belittle you and your choices to avoid feeling uncomfortable about their own.

I just say something like: 'we're happier keeping her rear-facing for the present'. And stuff like 'it won't kill her to be bored for a while', and 'learning that we sometimes have to do things we don't want to do is a very useful life-skill'.

You know you are doing the right thing, so be confident in your decision, and learn to allow other people's opinions to roll off you like the proverbial water off the duck's back. So what if they think you made the wrong decision? Remember that saying about opinions being like arseholes? Channel that now!

Haworthia Thu 07-Mar-19 15:43:43

Well, personally, I find those who are evangelical about RF just a little bit too preachy and virtuous. It’s just a car seat - do what you feel is best.

I rather think that the benefits, although they exist, are exaggerated <cough>just like breastfeeding<cough>

I mean, it’s a vast oversimplification to equate not rear facing with certain death 🤷‍♀️

flyings0l0 Thu 07-Mar-19 15:45:12

you would be very unreasonable to put a 2 year old FF. just ignore the comments. what you are doing is far saver then turning the seat around!

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 07-Mar-19 15:45:35

Good job no one equates not having a rear facing seat as certain death!

MuddyMoose Thu 07-Mar-19 15:45:57

Your child. Your choice. Don't let other peoples opinions get to you. As long as your child is safe & happy, that's all that matters (coming from a mum of FF 2 year old).

This is just a general question - where do their legs go? Just crossed like when they sit on the floor playing? I'm actually generally interested smile

Choccyhobnob Thu 07-Mar-19 15:47:14

As above, I luckily don't get any comments. My 3 year old is little so people never say he's too big but the rare times I have had the comment "shouldn't you turn them round when they get to 12 months?" my answer has been "No. The minimum age is 15 months, it's recommended for as long as possible and we're keeping him RF until there's a reason not to".

I think in your position I would keep it short and firm. "'We've done the research, we've made our choice, he's happy, let's change the subject". Hopefully they'll get bored of commenting.

Tolleshunt Thu 07-Mar-19 15:49:30

I don't see where the OP has been preachy or evangelical, Haworthia? If you choose not to believe the stats or experts, that is a matter for you and your child. OP feels otherwise, and would like help to deal with the sticky beaks around her who feel her choices are a commentary on hers.

Choccyhobnob Thu 07-Mar-19 15:50:11

muddymoose This is just a general question - where do their legs go?

Just up the back seat, or cross legs/froggy legs!

Tolleshunt Thu 07-Mar-19 15:50:53

Commentary on THEIRS, even!

LLOE7 Thu 07-Mar-19 15:52:02

My ds is 4 in June and is RF. He is in a car seat that RF until 18kg at the moment so will be getting him a seat which RF until 25kg too.
Your family members don't seem to be bothered about making comments that suggest you are doing wrong with your parenting decisions, so I wouldn't worry about possibly offending them when you justify your own (correct) choices.

HighestMountains Thu 07-Mar-19 15:52:10

People are likely feeling like your choices are a reflection on theirs, and so feel the need to belittle you and your choices to avoid feeling uncomfortable about their own.

This exactly. I think it's indefensible not to rear face as long as possible tbh, what could be more important than your child's safety confused

QueenOfCatan Thu 07-Mar-19 15:52:44

Yanbu. I've been known to tell people who really bug me about it that I prefer my child not to be internally decapitated if some twat hit us, but usually stick to a firm "it is the safest way for a child to travel so she'll stay rear facing as long as I can keep her that way." and then refuse to continue the conversation.

My mil is the worst for it, claimed that she had dh in the foot well of her car despite seats being a legal requirement when he was born hmm I don't see her anymore (for other reasons) but she keeps bugging dh because she wants to buy a booster seat so that she can take our 2yo out in the car and he's saying no, apparently I'm being unreasonable about that (nevermind that he is hot on erf too, it's all my 'fault')

Mmmhmmm Thu 07-Mar-19 15:58:39

Our next stage carseat will be a RF til 4 seat, sod what anyone else thinks.

If all your child's ever known is RF then it's not like thet even know they're supposedly "missing out" on anything anyway.

hellonewjob Thu 07-Mar-19 15:59:44

I genuinely didn't realise that you were supposed to keep the child RF so long until I seen threads on here about it.

I need a new car seat for DD who is 10 months and will choose to keep her RF after seeing the stats. Can anyone recommend a car seat? I can't get my head round where her legs go grin

mindutopia Thu 07-Mar-19 16:01:50

My eldest was rear facing until she was 4.5 (just before she started school). Younger one will be as well. They fit just fine RF as long as you have a properly fitted seat. And they see much better as well out the back.

Stroan Thu 07-Mar-19 16:04:35

As with almost all aspects of parenting, doing something differently makes people feel judged.

I desperately wanted to keep DD RF as long as possible but got all sorts of comments about where her legs wild go and not being able to see. She could see perfectly fine, she didn't actually drive the car so had no need to see.out the front.

Unfortunately she started being extremely sick every time we went in the car so we turned her round and it stopped. Made it to about 2y8mo.

NoParticularPattern Thu 07-Mar-19 16:04:58

YANBU. For some reason people seem to take other people’s choices as some sort of negative commentary on their own. My daughter is a bit of a giant but she’ll rear face until she outgrows her 25kg seat. The benefits aren’t overblown or made up, there’s plenty of evidence out there for anyone who cares to look for it!

LaurieMarlow Thu 07-Mar-19 16:05:39

Ignore the twatty comments. They're safer rear facing. DS was rear facing until 4.

I don't understand why you wouldn't do everything you could to ensure your child's safety, but there you go. There are a lot of strange people in the world.

BitOfAKerfuffle Thu 07-Mar-19 16:05:58

I get the same OP. DD will be 3 soon and is still rear facing although shes small for her age. shes perfectly happy and will remain rearfacing until she outgrows the seat and at the rate she is growing she will be 5 or 6 by then. i won't be guided by other peoples opinions to reduce my child's safety.

SprogletsMum Thu 07-Mar-19 16:07:38

Yanbu. I really wanted to keep my almost 2 year old rear facing until he was ready for a high back booster but he figured out that if he locked his legs onto the back of the seat it was physically impossible for me to get him into his seat hmm So I had to turn him around because doing that wrestle 50 million times a day was driving me crazy.

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