Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the importance of rear facing


Since Gracie has turned one we have been asked numerous times when we are going to turn her forward facing in her car seat. Well first off, she was barely 19lbs at her one year appointment, so for that reason alone we have kept her rear facing. But I have also been doing a lot of research on the benefits of extended rear facing and am convinced that this is the safest option for Gracie. In fact the AAP recommends leaving your child rear facing until the limits of the car seat (our car seat can rear face until 33 lbs).

What is surprising to most moms is that the benefit of turning your little one forward facing has nothing to do with what they weigh. A lot of moms think because they have a "big" one year old, that its safer to turn them around, which is not really true. It has way more to do with how the spinal cord has fused, which develops with age, not weight, meaning Charlie at 26lbs and 1 year was no safer being forward facing then Gracie at 19lbs and 1 year.

Another, non safety related reason I am keeping Gracie rear facing is she is totally entertained by Charlie since he is forward facing (but still harnessed). They sing and talk to each other. He hands her toys and her paci. It works really well for us!

I read an awesome article that goes into more depth on all of this here.

Lastly I will leave you with a video that really convinced me that Gracie will not be forward facing anytime soon! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about all this, has it changed your thoughts on the subject at all?

Forward Facing Crash Test





Rear Facing Crash Test

10 comments:

hannah said...

Thanks for the great info! We just went to my son's 1-year well check yesterday and I was ready to turn his carseat around. After this information, I think I will be waiting.

Jon and Melissa said...

I got to your blog through Kimberly Evers. Can I say you are awesome...I love it. There is al ot of stuff you do that I do here in TN. People may think I am a freak but my kids health and safety is very important. I wish there were more mamas like us. Where do you live?

Jon and Melissa said...

BTW I kept my son now 3 yrs RF till he was 15 1/2 months. By that point I could not wrestle him any longer in the seat b/c he was tall. He would arch and push and scream. I was glad to keep him RF that long. W/ my DD who turned 1 on 4/21. She is only 18 lbs so I can't even go FF. So I am glad that she will be RF for awhile. I may put something similar on my blog about FR. If you don't mind.

charlie&gracie said...

Hannah- glad this information helped you!

Melissa- Kimberly and my sister in law are really good friends and that is how I met her. My husband is from Knoxville, but we live in Marietta now. You should email me, maybe we could meet up sometime when I come in town. All of our girls are close in age (lucy, gracie and your daughter!). Gracie turned one on the 26th of March! You can email me at stephanie dot swanson at monkeemoos dot com.

Aron said...

We also kept Clara Beth rear facing until she was 17 months. I wish peds put this more "out there". I think most people turn their babies around because they don't know that they don't have to and don't know the risks. Thanks!

Creative Mama said...

I too didn’t know much about this when my son, now 5 was a babe. But now that I know more, my daughter will continue to be RF well after her 1st birthday. She turns 1 next week! Thanks for the great info!

workout mommy said...

I turned my first around way too early (b/c I also thought it was just the weight)....now I know better with my second. Thanks!

lamamanaturale said...

My son just turned one...I had no idea! A huge difference. Thanks for the great info.

Jon and Melissa said...

Iwant to post something on my blog about this. How do I add that lil picture at the top that says "my toddler rides rear facing" and the links to the videos. some of this blog stuff is new to me.

Jenna said...

this was such a great post/video and we will NOT be turning our 10 month old forward facing any time soon either. it also helped us decide which toddler seat to buy for our 3 1/2 year old. so thank you for your info. totally made me cry by the way. ;)