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When did you switch to forward facing?

27 replies

Mandrake91 · 23/11/2019 15:15

Hello, I have an isize car seat and my ds is approaching 15months and I was just wondering if I should turn him front facing at 15 months or keep waiting and when did you switch?

OP posts:
JohnLapsleyParlabane · 23/11/2019 15:19

I haven't yet. DD is 4 and 17kg so we will decide soon if we'll get a 25kg rear facing seat, or turn her.

areyouafraidofthedark · 23/11/2019 15:20

My DD's approaching 4 and been forward facing since September. I did it earlier with my boys.

Pearofwisdom · 23/11/2019 15:21

4yrs old as it is much safer to be rear facing until then

welshweasel · 23/11/2019 15:21

DS nearly 4 and rear facing still. Can’t see us turning him forward any time soon.

welshweasel · 23/11/2019 15:22

It’s a massive step down in terms of safety to turn them forwards so unless there is a very good reason then I would keep rear facing for as long as possible. Kids know no different.

MyDcAreMarvel · 23/11/2019 15:24

Five, I would never ever consider putting a 15 month old forward facing.

MintTeaLady · 23/11/2019 15:26

I don’t plan to forward face DS until he is at least 4. Have a look into extended rear facing OP and you’ll see the facts about safety.

LimaOscarLima · 23/11/2019 15:30

I can't imagine putting a 15 month old forward facing 😧
Ds is 4 in a few months and still rear facing, he's petite and only 13kg so could potentially still be rear facing until he's 6 according to his red book chart 😂 I'll probably turn him forward facing sometime when he's 5 though

Sparrowlegs248 · 23/11/2019 15:32

Ds1 when he was 4 yrs 3 months. Even then it made me nervous. Ds2 still rear facing at 2yrs 8 months.

Mandrake91 · 23/11/2019 15:34

Wonderful thank you so much for all your responses. I have only read the gov website and saw it said about 15 months but thought I had read an article about someone who kept them rear facing and was wondering at what kind of age people turned them round. Thanks for your help 😊

OP posts:
dietcokemum · 23/11/2019 15:39

Age 4. 15 months is way too early.

Mandrake91 · 23/11/2019 15:42

@minttealady thanks for telling me what to look into. I just searched extended rear facing and read the science.... Will definitely be keeping rear facing

OP posts:
AndAgainAgain · 23/11/2019 15:45

Mine have all turned around as they started school, aged almost 5 years. They still used the rear facing seats for long/evening journeys go a year or so after that (so much safer, and an much easier to sleep in without a lolling head), but for school runs they faced forwards for my ease.

stargirl1701 · 23/11/2019 15:49

DD1 was 4 years 11 months and DD2 was 5 years and 4 months. Both now in Group 1/2/3 HBB which should last until 12.

BertieBotts · 28/11/2019 21:39

Keep him rear facing as long as you can :) 15 months is just the minimum. Which seat do you have, and how heavy/tall is he roughly?

I have a 15 month old too and my aim is at least 3. If we have another baby who will need the seat before he's completely out of it but he's over 3 I'll probably get him a forward facing one. If DC3 needs the 360 seat when DC2 is not yet 3, I'll get him another rear facing one, probably up to 25kg. DH will probably think I've gone mad :o but I don't really care.

If no other child needs the seat before DC2 grows out of it I'll probably continue to use it rear facing until he's too big for the seat, unless he complains about it. But among kids who are old enough to express a preference, a lot of them say they prefer rear facing because it's nice to have somewhere to rest your legs, rather than having them dangling. The only time children prefer forward facing, if they've been ERF to an older age

DC1 was forward facing from 18 months because I had no other option at the time, but I would have liked to have rear faced him to 2. That was 10 years ago, so you can see I've increased my aim :o

Generally the info you need to know about RF:

  • FF seats reduce injury by around 60%, which when compared with no car seats/the vehicle seat belt - is fantastic.

  • However, RF seats reduce injury by around 90% - which is much, much better. If you have the choice to RF, you absolutely should. This is true for every age group, and extremely well documented, as well as being basic physics, to spread the force of the impact over a larger area (the seat shell/whole spine, rather than a very small section of the spine in the neck, as a forward facing seat does). It's why the crew seats on aeroplanes face the rear, it's why astronauts face rear for rocket launches and landings.

  • When you look at passenger death/injury stats across Europe taken from a time when most people turned their babies forward at about 8-9 months, there is a spike in deaths among babies of around a year old. This is because younger babies are rear facing so are protected better, and older children are not at quite as much risk from forward facing. This is a huge part of why the law now makes it illegal to turn babies forward facing before 15 months as an absolute minimum.

  • However this is still part of a harm reduction strategy; you just prevent the largest number of deaths by setting the age here, it doesn't reduce them to the lowest number they could be. Supposedly, car seat manufacturers lobbied for the age to be set as low as possible, as forward facing seats are cheaper to produce (I don't know if this is true).

  • In Sweden, where the national recommendation is to rear face until at least age 4-5, around 88% of one year olds and 82% of two year olds are still rear facing, most people turn their children forward facing between their third and fourth birthday with the most common ages to turn being around 3y3m and 3y9m. Sweden has the best record for child passenger fatalities in the world. Young children very rarely die in car accidents in Sweden unless the car accident is so severe that no car seat could have helped them survive.

  • Everyone can rear face for longer :) The simplest way to maximise rear facing time is to use your infant carrier until it is totally outgrown, which is later than most people think. You can use it until either the weight limit is reached, the baby's head pokes out the top or the standing height limit is reached if it's an i-size seat. You can often use a baby seat until around 18m-2y.

  • Of course, you may prefer to move to a larger seat designed for older children. If you purchase a rear-facing seat for use after the infant carrier you don't need to max out the baby seat, unless you want to. You should only do that if you're moving to a forward facing seat. For stage 2, you can get seats which rear face to 13kg/87cm, which won't get you any more weight than an infant carrier but might gain you some time height wise and happiness/comfort wise - likely until they outgrow age 18-24 months in clothing; to 18kg/105cm, which will get you until your child is about growing out of age 3-4 clothing; or to 25kg, which last children about until they outgrow age 6-7 clothing. Clothing size is a very rough metric, but should give you an idea - as parents often know how quickly their children move through clothing sizes and how early/late they move up to the next age band.

  • The cheapest ERF seat is the Joie Tilt which can rear face up to 18kg and costs £70 RRP but is often reduced to £60-65 - I saw it at £50 this Black Friday. So ERF doesn't have to be out of reach financially.
BertieBotts · 28/11/2019 21:41

Lima just for the record, I reckon your DS could probably rear face until age 9 in a 25kg seat :) Not saying you should, but if you had the urge to!

pastabest · 28/11/2019 21:47

I've just turned my 3 year old round.

I had hoped to keep her rear facing until at least 4 but I physically can't lift her into the seat rear facing anymore in small parking spaces and she can't climb in when it's rear facing as it's too high. I have a high car as I have to pass through a ford on a daily basis and need good clearance.

Forward facing she can stand in the footwell and hop in herself. My 18 month old is still rear facing and will be until the same happens.

Autumntoowet · 28/11/2019 21:48

Not yet, DC not yet 3
I hope I can do another year

Melinda76 · 28/11/2019 21:57

I've just bought an extended rear facing seat for my almost 4 year old. I plan to keep her rear facing for as long as possible hopefully until 6 or 7 years old.

gonewiththerain · 28/11/2019 22:04

18 months he kept escaping from the rear facing seat, it was getting dangerous. The forward facing seats I chose had very good safety ratings by which and we could leave the house again.

butterry · 28/11/2019 22:20

I have a nearly 6 year old still rear facing

FloreanFortescue · 28/11/2019 22:30

DD is 4 in January and around 18kg. She's in the Axkid minikid so won't be FF for a couple of years. She has recently started FF in granny's car as she's safe to do that now but that's a 5 minute trundle once a week.

smeerf · 28/11/2019 22:40

I had to forward face at 18m due to a combination of factors:
Horrible car sickness (completely disappeared when we switched).
My disabled mother wasn't able to get him in/out of the rear facing seat anymore. He's the size of a 3 year old so it is difficult.
I don't know many parents IRL that rear face after 2 (only one I think) so very different to Mumsnet.

teaandbiscuitsforme · 29/11/2019 18:26

My 4.5 yr old and almost 3 year old rear face. My DD uses a HBB when she is collected by an after school club so she has to FF then but she doesn't question her RF seat in our cars.

EmrysAtticus · 25/01/2020 07:37

DS outgrew his 18kg rear facing seat a month before turning 4. We did consider keeping him rear facing in one up to 25kg but he was very unhappy about that so we went with the Joie Bold so we can at least harness until 25kg.

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