Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | April 5, 2012

rear facing

I have a question for those of you with toddlers. At what point did you/will you turn your convertible car seat around? I swore I would keep Birdie rear facing as long as possible, but I think we might be nearing the end of that possible range. She is ridiculously tall (over 97th percentile) and is about 35 pounds. Her growth has to slow down at some point, doesn’t it? She is nearly off the charts!

Our Britax Boulevard car seat can be rear facing up to 40 pounds, so we have a few more pounds to go before the limit, but not a lot longer. I have started to think that we might switch her around when we install the baby seat base before the baby comes, and move her behind the driver’s seat so the infant seat can be behind the passenger seat. We have a Prius and I don’t think we could install a seat in the middle and the side, although if we could it would be nice to be able to fit another adult in the back seat if someone was visiting.

I know that they say that it doesn’t matter how long the kid’s legs are, they can fold them up and be comfortable far longer than we would think, but boy, her legs are long! She’s only 2 years and 4 months, but she is so much bigger than the average child her age. It is getting so difficult to get her buckled into the seat, especially being pregnant and large and less able to pick her up. Every time either she or I bonk our heads, getting her butt in the seat and her legs adjusted and the buckles buckled is like a complex puzzle. But at the same time, I feel so guilty about turning her around before we completely HAVE to by the weight limit. I was really against turning her seat around in the middle of icy winter, when it seems like accidents are more likely, because of slick weather conditions. Now that the weather is nicer, she’s getting closer to the upper weight limit, and we have the new baby coming, I am leaning towards turning her around in a month or two. Gosh, it’s sounding more and more like I am looking for permission and validation. I want her to be safe. I know rear facing is like 5 times safer in an accident. What are your opinions?



  1. you’re right, rear facing IS best, however, louise HATED facing backward and when she was one, against my better judgement, we switched her to forward facing. i swore i would keep her rear facing as long as i could too, but i didn’t. we have the same car seat as you.

  2. we actually have two carseats, one for my car (the britax) and a spare for my husband’s care so we don’t have to take mine out whenever we want to take my husband’s car somewhere, they both face forward.

  3. I turned Elizabeth’s Britax around when she was 1 and Caroline is approaching 1 and we’ll do the same. I know it’s safer rear facing but once the doctor says it is okay, I’m fine turning it around. Both my kids were off the charts for height too…

  4. J is still rear-facing at 23 months and doesn’t know any better. She is SHORT. So while backwards isn’t as easy or convenient for reaching her, it’s still doable. Her doctor’s opinion is to go backward as long as possible/at least 2 years of age. To be honest, most of her friends have long since flipped. It’s a lot about neck control. If Birdie isn’t complaining and it’s doable, I’d leave her. But she’s made it far longer than most and I don’t see any reason to feel guilty if you flip her now.

    (Long time reader, infrequent commenter, sorry to see like a random person swinging by!)

  5. so. i’m not very popular with my friends. 🙂 my kids are 31 months old and are still rear facing. but they are smaller. i think that they are about 35 inches tall and maybe 28 lbs. they haven’t expressed any interest in turing around, so i’m keeping them rear facing. we might switch them in the summer? i’m not sure. i’m hoping that it happens organically.

    they’re still in cribs and sleep sacks, too 🙂

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  7. What’s the current recommendation? Leave them rear facing until at least two and then for as long as you can after that, right? It sounds like you’ve done exactly that. Good job! You’re going to HAVE to turn her around when the baby comes, right? Do you think making a big change like that will upset her if you wait to do until the baby comes? I mean, will she perceive it as a negative change she had to make to adjust for her new sibling, or will she see it as a reward? I think your answer there tells you when the best time to do it is.

  8. We did it at Christmas. Peter was uncomfaortable AND bored. I felt awful looking at his squished legs. So he was mmm, 21 months.

  9. We turned Davie around at a year and she is SO much happier! I can’t see her as well without all the baby mirrors now, though. I miss that!

    I’m so happy for you all! A sweet baby boy on the way to join Birdie! I’m so glad telling everyone went so well on Birdie’s birthday!

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