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Rear/forward facing car seats

(24 Posts)
Anditstartsagain Sun 12-Feb-17 20:10:19

Can someone give me some info about how long baby's legally need to rear face for, how long it's advisable to rear face for and how much safer it is?

Ds2 hates the car he screams until he's turning purple, choking on his saliva and has made himself sick. I avoid using the car as much as possible but we live in a village so for somethings we need the car. I'm wondering when I can turn him as I feel there is really a danger when I'm driving because I'm so worried about him. He will still cry forward facing but at least I can see him and know if he's choking or being sick I have a seat that swivels and have had to turn him twice in mid journey because I felt I couldn't carry on without seeing he was OK, at these times he has kept crying but not hysterically. I want to do the safest thing but I'm really scared I'm going to crash if I can't resolve this I've tried all sorts to stop him. He's generally a very happy chilled baby but hates when he can't see me.

Timetogrowup2016 Sun 12-Feb-17 20:37:20

Can u turn the air bag off and have him in the front ?
It's safest fo have them rear facing until 4 but I don't know how long u legally have to .

Anditstartsagain Sun 12-Feb-17 20:40:37

I did think of that it's so confusing trying to find the safest thing while being able to safely drive.

EpoxyResin Sun 12-Feb-17 20:44:33

You can get mirrors that are about the same size as the headrest on the back seat and Velcro around it. Then you can see a child in a rear facing seat as clearly as if they were forward facing by just glancing in your rear view mirror. I think that might be the better solution for you than forward facing prematurely. Admittedly I'm a strong advocate for extended rear facing, but none the less if your problem is visibility a mirror such as this would fix it.

AssassinatedBeauty Sun 12-Feb-17 20:44:59

How old is he?

EdenX Sun 12-Feb-17 20:45:21

Currently legally they must be rear facing until 9 months AND 9kg.
New seats have to keep them rear facing until at least 15 months.
Rear facing is always safer, but the younger they are the bigger the difference (due to the relative size of their head and strength of their spines) particularly for babies and toddlers.

dementedpixie Sun 12-Feb-17 20:45:51

If it is an isize seat then they are supposed to rear face until 15 months. If it is a weight based seat then they can legally go into a forward facing seat at 9kg although I would wait until they exceed the weight for an infant carrier which is normally 13kg. Which car seat do you have and how heavy/what age is your lo!

dementedpixie Sun 12-Feb-17 20:47:41

The older regulations don't specify a minimum age, only a minimum weight which is 9kg but of course you would need to take age and development into account too.

ToElleWithIt Sun 12-Feb-17 20:48:18

Agree with pp and get a mirror or put him in front seat with airbag disabled. If you need to turn around to see him, that's not exactly safe so I'm not sure that front facing would solve your problems.

FinallyMrsE Sun 12-Feb-17 20:51:35

I read this and could have written it word for word, I turned my now 3 year old round as soon a second she hit 9kg as it was just so awful and becoming dangerous.

She is now 3 and i am sorry to say it but she still hates the car, but is slightly less screamy than she used to be, but only marginally.

My now 17 month old is still rear facing and is perfectly happy, we have one of the mirrors someone mentioned upthread and they are very good if he is not ready to be forward facing.

I feel your pain

Anditstartsagain Sun 12-Feb-17 21:42:52

He's just turning 6 months and 8.6kg and has been sitting unaided for 4 weeks. I have a mirror but find it hard to get a proper look with him thrashing around looking mirror to mirror plus he kicks it off the right position. I have the joie spin 360 I have been using it about 3 weeks I hoped moving him into a more upright car seat where he could see out of the windows he would be happier but it's not made a huge difference. Am I legally allowed him in front if there is a free back seat? He is better when he can see me still crys but no turning purple and puking!

I'm so worried that I'm going to crash I also have a just turned 5 year old who tries to talk over the screaming it's so stressful I hate going anywhere now but the less I use the car the worse he is getting.

Heirhelp Sun 12-Feb-17 21:45:55

See this image

EdenX Sun 12-Feb-17 21:46:53

He's still quite a way off being able to forward face. There's no law against putting children in the front so long as they are in the right seat, and no airbag if rear facing.

umberellaonesie Sun 12-Feb-17 21:50:46

I would switch air bag off and have him beside you.
If he is going to continue to scream forward facing and distract you he is safer in front seat rear facing distracting you.

dementedpixie Sun 12-Feb-17 21:52:58

He is too young and light to forward face. You can use it in the front rear facing but only if the airbag is deactivated or there isn't one.

Anditstartsagain Sun 12-Feb-17 22:25:34

I will try the front seat thank you all.

BobbieDog Mon 13-Feb-17 07:48:43

Is the car seat isofix only? If it is then it can't go into the front seat.

I do think it's very dangerous driving with a baby that is screaming like that so I would put him in the front seat. I certainly wouldn't forward face at 6 months old. In march the new law is they have to be rear facing until 15 months anyway

dementedpixie Mon 13-Feb-17 08:03:10

The new law only applies to new iSize seats, not to seats that are manufactured under the old legislation so there will still be weight based seats that rear face until 13kg

Anditstartsagain Mon 13-Feb-17 08:35:39

It's weight based and isofix only. I know your something like 4 times more likely to crash while using a mobile phone I think I'm more distracted than I would be using a phone tbh I feel I'm in a position where I'm much more likely to crash and injure my children but if I forward face him if I do crash anyway he's so much less safe. I'm so worried about it I wonder if it's even worth not using the car anymore.

dementedpixie Mon 13-Feb-17 08:41:43

Some cars do have an isofix point in the front passenger seat

FlyingCat Mon 13-Feb-17 09:02:58

Baby Crash test dummies are far more likely to be damaged in forward facing seats than in rear facing.
In rear facing seats the front seat (with airbag switched off) is slightly less safe than the rear seat. However in the uk it is perfectly legal to use a rearfacing child seat w

FlyingCat Mon 13-Feb-17 09:08:54

On the front passenger seat provided the manufacturers instructions allow for this.

However as you have correctly noted, the risk of an accident when the parent is distracted are also much higher. Risk is a balance of likelihood and impact.

Mirrors may help for some children however they really only help the parent to see the child it is still very difficult for the child to see the parent.

Personally I chose to put the seat in the front unless driving with another adult who could sit with my daughter.

I stuck it out as long as possible in the rear facing seat but once she grew out of the baby seat at one year old I felt no guilt going to a forward facing seat.

Finally - all babies are different. Some will be fine rearfacing in the back, some will get used to it if you persevere, some will continue to scream to the extent you worry about them choking on their own vomit. Only you know your child and how best to balance the risk.

umberellaonesie Mon 13-Feb-17 09:11:15

If you feel unsafe driving with him in the car then I would only drive when necessary.

skankingpiglet Mon 13-Feb-17 09:49:22

I would put baby in the front. I have a van and a car, and when in the Transit van the baby is on the middle front seat next to me. She isn't a bad car traveller, but is still noticeably happier next to me. My only thought would be a rear-facing seat in the front (rather than an infant carrier) may block your view of your wing mirror. My older child had to go into a forward-facing seat at 14mo as a result of this in the van as, like the judgement on balancing risk you're having to make, it was safer to have her ff with good line of sight to the mirror, than rf but my view out dangerously reduced.

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