Car seat safety is big news this week, with the AAP recommending that babies under 2 remain rear-facing, that kids stay in 5 pt harnesses longer, and that children under 13 always use the backseat.

One thing I’ve noticed in the discussions around this is that some people are confused about the rear-facing thing (in particular) — they are not recommending that children stay in infant carrier/bucket style seats, but that they use a convertible seat, one that can be faced forward after the child is big enough.

In our family, we’ve been following these guidelines for a few years — our almost 5 year old rear faced until the limit of the seat, at 2.5 (in a convertible seat, we don’t use the bucket style at all) and then when her sister came along, the baby took over the convertible seats, and we put the big kid in a seat that has a 5 point harness, but doesn’t look ‘babyish.’  And for those who think forward-facing is easier, in our case, it wasn’t that great a switch — her view was worse (we have a station wagon) and suddenly, she could kick our seats!

If  you are looking for more info, google ‘extended rear facing‘ and you’ll find lots of answers to your questions. For us, it was a simple decision — it wasn’t an inconvenience, and it gave us peace of mind. And our front seatbacks were a LOT cleaner back then.

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