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If you don’t know how passionate I am about car seat safety, than you haven’t been a TCDR follower for long! For the past year or so guidelines have encouraged rear-facing until the age of two (or until the weight or height limits are reached in larger toddlers) as it more evenly distributes impact on a young child, but the last time the AAP published their previous policy was in 2002 where the recommendation for forward-facing was “12 months and at least 20 lbs.”. As a result most families (like ours) transitioned their children to forward-facing around their child’s first birthday rather than waiting until they reached the maximum rear-facing height or weight limits of their specific car seat.
My daughter had a broken collar bone in our severe auto accident and my husband pointed out as we were chatting about the latest update on this recommendation, that she may not have if this policy had been published or clarified when she was an infant. I don’t remember even hearing the newer recommendation until after my daughter was about 18 months old (so almost 6 months after the auto accident). She was a large infant and toddler for her age, so I know we would have exceeded the height or weight maximum for rear-facing before the age of 2, but we may have gotten a good 18 months out of it.
It’s strange to think of her rear-facing for that long as they seem so grown up by that point, but hopefully my kiddos will be able to entertain each other in the back since my son should still be able to see her in the backseat. Most people I know have turned their kiddos around at age 1, but we need to do our part to spread the work to other families and mamas about the new policy so that age two becomes the common practice.