When Maddie Grace was a baby I heard people talk about extended rear facing car seats, but I had lots of friends who turned their babies forward facing after their first birthdays and I didn’t think anything of it. Some were tall, some got car sick, there was always a reason why they turned them forward facing before their second birthday. In fact, I attempted to turn Maddie Grace forward facing when she was around 18 months old. She was terrible in the car, like she screamed the entire time she was in the car, and I thought maybe it would make it easier for us on a road trip if she was facing forward. Wrong. She was even worse. I turned her back around immediately. But I just didn’t know, or maybe I didn’t understand, the importance of keeping children in a rear facing car seat a child until she reaches the height or weight limits of her seat before she gets turned around again.
Now I have sweet baby Tripp who is over the age of one and just like his sister a terror in the car. But this time around I’ve learned the importance of extended rear-facing and that it’s not worth facing him forward just because he might cry less. In fact if he’s like his sister that’s not going to help the crying anyways. I use the Chicco Fit2 Infant and Toddler Car Seat with him that transitions from an infant seat to a toddler seat, both rear-facing, and it’s worked great for us. This makes it so much easier to keep him in a rear facing car seat until at least two, and hopefully longer like his sister has!
I’m so thrilled to be partnering with Chicco to promote their TurnAfter2 campaign which is celebrating the everyday milestone of a rear facing car seat! Chicco conducted a study showing that many parents are uncomfortable talking to other parents about the benefits of a rear facing car seat despite thinking that other parents are letting their kids face forward too soon. So why wait to turn your child around?
Safety. Yeah there aren’t really many points to list on this topic. Because really it all boils down to keeping your child as safe as possible. Babies and young toddlers have disproportionately large heads, and very weak neck bones. This is a terrible combination when combined with the whiplash that they can encounter if in a wreck facing forward. Children riding in a rear facing car seat are five times safer in the event of a crash, and that stat alone should convince you it’s better to keep them in a rear facing car seat until at least the age of two. Turning kids forward facing before the age of two can result in unnecessary injuries and fatalities.
You don’t want to break the law. Yes, several states now have made it illegal to have a child under the age of two forward-facing. Depending on where you live, to forward face your child before the age of 2 could be breaking the law and come with a fine if caught. So don’t do it.
As I mentioned above the Chicco Fit2 has been a lifesaver this time around. It can fit a tiny newborn, and be easily removed from the base and moved inside when baby is sleeping. But where most infant seats are quickly outgrown, this car seat transitions into a toddler seat as well, all without taking up any additional space in the car. And yes, say your toddler falls asleep in the seat you can still take it out and bring it in with you. But the toddler position offers more seated height, so your child is more upright and has more leg room. The infant position is designed for 0-12 months and the toddler position is designed for 9-24 months, or up to 35 pounds. The Chicco Fit2 has the same easy to install technology of the Chicco KeyFit 30 and is compatible with Chicco strollers. At $279.99, it’s a great value! The Chicco Fit2 is exclusively available in stores and online from Babies “R” Us.
So join me on the TurnAfter2 campaign and get out there and share with other parents the dangers of turning a kid forward facing before the age of 2. Share images of your children riding in their rear facingcar seat on social media with #TurnAfter2!