Carseat Excuses That Don’t Hold Water

Another rearfacing post?  YES another rearfacing post!

Over the years, I have heard every reason in the book to justify turning children forward-facing before a year.  I totally get some people “dont know” about how much safer rearfacing is.  I acknowledge that unless you know better you cannot do better–so if you’re going to whine and complain to me about how this post is “mean” and I offended you please know I am not talking to YOU (but please do go read my other carseat posts ;)).

I am talking to the parent who KNOWS better but uses ridiculous excuses for turning their child forward-facing KNOWING it’s safer to rearface.

1. My child is too big

Really?  Are you REALLY going to tell me YOUR child is too big to rear face?  So, you mean to tell me that YOUR 10, 11, or 12 -month-old is LARGER then my 6.5 year old who can comfortably rearface?  I get it, my kids are smaller then the average bear.  But there is no way for any infant or 1-year-old to be larger then my nearly 7 year old.  It’s just not going to happen.  If your excuse to turn your child forward-facing at a year is that “they are too big,” you better find a different one.  Or better yet, turn your child back around.

2. I cannot afford those big fancy seats that extended rearface.

For most kids, you won’t need one of those big expensive seats to rearface your child until 2 years old. If you’re like me and want to rearface your kids until High School (I’m kidding people . . . although that would be AWESOME!) you STILL dont need one of those big expensive fancy seats (I just happen to like the big expensive fancy seats).  At the bare minimum, the cheapest convertible seats at $40 rearface to 35 lbs, which is more then adequate to rearface up until at the bare minimum of close to two. The Safety First Complete Air 65 which will run you around $150 can actually accommodate TALLER kids rearfacing then the Radian RXT’s (see photo) although it has a lower weight limit by 5 lbs–great for tall skinny kids!

3. It’s inconvenient

Seriously? Do I REALLY even need to address this one?  If you are choosing convenience over your child’s safety, that is incredibly selfish and I will be the first (and probably not the last) person to tell you that you are making a very poor choice that is putting your child’s life in jeopardy.  Turn your child back around, and stop being so selfish!

4. It’s uncomfortable

I don’t know about you, but I know the majority of the time I spend sitting, my legs are either Indian style or in some form of lounge position.  The exact same position children who rearface put their legs.  Today my almost 7 year old ASKED to be turned back rearfacing when we went to the store.  I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to debunk this “myth” of rearfacing being uncomfortable.

Mom: Why do you want to be rearfacing again?

SquishyKid #2: I can see the cars better and it makes my legs feel better.

Mom: What do you mean it makes your legs feel better?

SquishyKid #2: I can cross my legs and they stay like that, I can’t do that in my big seat.

Mom: Do you want to stay rearfacing?  The seats are expensive and I’m not going to buy you one if you don’t really want to sit rear facing.

SquishyKid #2:  Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmm I really want to sit that way.  It was much more comfortable.  Can Landen sit that way?

Mom: No, Landen is too big, but I will buy you a rearfacing seat if that’s what you really want.

SquishyKid #2: Yesssssssssssssss!

Clearly it’s big-kid approved.

5. Their legs are squished/What if they break their legs in an accident?

So? There is a popular saying among carseat crazies that says “Broken leg: cast it. Broken neck: casket!”.  As I’ve showed previously, their legs are not squished, and better a broken leg(s) then a broken neck!  As an aside, there has also NEVER been 1 report of a child having a broken leg from rearfacing.  There have been many many kids that have been internally decapitated because they were forward facing.

Seriously people. Turn your kids around!



No Comments

  1. Charlee -  June 21, 2012 - 11:10 am

    I have a quick question about Bella’s car seat. I fully intend on extended rear facing; my question is placement of my car seat. I currently have her sitting in the middle of our back seat. Holy inconvenient but I feel that God forbid if we ever got hit on either side she wouldn’t get the full impact by being in the middle. I see lots of pics of kids sitting by windows and don’t get me wrong I have no problem with that I just want to make sure I didn’t miss a memo that the middle is ok for her. Well honestly Im hoping to hear confirmation that the middle is best. (if you have a full back seat, that is. I know vans and larger suv don’t have middle seats so you can get into the back)

    • Alyssa -  June 22, 2012 - 9:43 pm

      The safest position is the middle seat…but also the safest position in ANY car is the position in which YOU and anyone who uses the seat will use it properly

  2. Marisa Yardley -  June 21, 2012 - 11:19 am

    Amen sister! Loves this! Might have to post it on my Facebook. I hate all this excuses. Lazy selfish people!

  3. Rebecca C. -  June 21, 2012 - 1:08 pm

    Heather is rude. ^^

    Right on with your post! My son will be rear facing as long as possible no matter what anyone else thinks. I just wish more people would realize what they are doing when they FF early (some of them do and just think, oh that won’t happen to us…”.

  4. Alyson -  June 21, 2012 - 3:26 pm

    Honest question here…what is the height limit on rear facing?? I’ve seen and read so many different things. My daughter is 2.5 and still rear facing in her Britax. I’ve read the child’s head needs to be one inch below the shell of the car seat, but have also heard it depends on the car seat and what the instruction manual says. Anyone have any insight into this?? I’d like to keep her rear facing as long as possible! Thanks in advance!

    • Alyssa -  June 22, 2012 - 9:45 pm

      It depends on the carseat…read the manual

  5. Melanie -  June 23, 2012 - 5:23 am

    It would appear that you are only keeping comments that support your post. I’m not sure why my comment or other comments voicing differing opinions got deleted. I fully support extended rear facing but if you are going to post a picture where your child looks taller then his car seat, I will point it out. You wrote a very one sided post calling peole who don’t do extended rear facing lazy and selfish without taking other factors into consideration. I’m surprised you didn’t expect to get a few negative comments.

  6. Alyssa -  June 23, 2012 - 8:39 am

    There is absolutly no factor that will ever make rearfacing a child before 2 safe. Their BODIES are simply not built to withstand the crash force in a serious accident. It is 100% against best practices to forward face a child before 2. As an aside my son is 3 inches below the top of the shell and the Radian is 1 1/2 inches not 1. The 1 inch rule is not a “rule” anymore as seats all have DIFFERENT standards including allowing the head to be even with the top with a few.

  7. Alyssa -  June 23, 2012 - 8:41 am

    Forward facing before 2*

  8. Alyssa -  June 23, 2012 - 8:47 am

    You can, you are just choosing not to. Which is your tough choice to make. All of my kids have projectile vomited in my car during every car ride as babies. My husband still pukes if he’s not driving. It’s not a reason I would ever turn my kid around for. Puke can be cleaned up. A broken neck or serious life long injuries aren’t do easy to clean with some soap and water.

  9. Jessica Murphy -  June 23, 2012 - 3:04 pm

    We welcome discourse, disagreement, courteous posts and even angry rants on The Mommy Dialogues, but to imply that you are more intelligent than another mother and therefore above any discourse is a testament to the shallow character that you possess. Please think twice about venting your anger toward another person by questioning their worth and thereby demeaning yourself on a public stage.

    Alyssa supports extended rearfacing, her children like it, and it is a cause that is close to her heart. This post is about reasons parents don’t rearface until two years. If you don’t know better, I understand, but if you do, then she does say that the parent is selfish. Obviously it’s a decision that each parent will make on their own, but knowing that rearfacing is better should weigh heavily on that decision.

    Please take that from this blog post, not some adult pissing contest of wits. That is absolutely unwelcome here.

    • Geneva -  June 23, 2012 - 6:01 pm

      Well said, Jessica. Thank you.

  10. Becky -  June 23, 2012 - 4:23 pm

    We should all be taking the bus since the National Safety Council estimates riding the bus as over 170 times safer than riding in a private car. Shame on your for putting your children in that car, (even though they are rear facing) instead of loading them on the bus which is CLEARLY safer. Shame shame! 😉

  11. Alicia -  June 25, 2012 - 12:22 am

    I know this is off topic from this post but can I ask you a question about baby led weaning?

  12. Gabby -  June 27, 2012 - 4:37 pm

    Okay not ranting against this post but I drive an extended cab Chevy and do not have a teather secure for rear face middle. Also my carseat will just not fit rearfacing. I’ve turned it that way gotten it inspected and just not possible and was told it was very unsafe for any side of my truck. So just mentioned this for those people who I’m sure have this issue too. I cannot afford to go buy a new rig just for a car seat. My child’s health and safety is absolutely number one but sometimes it just cannot be done.

    • Jessica Murphy -  June 27, 2012 - 6:09 pm

      My husband and I drive a truck and a small car, so I understand where you are coming from regarding space issues. I have two carseats to fit in any vehicle, so we do sit them on the sides. In my personal opinion, rear facing next to the door is better than forward facing in the middle (at least until 2). There are also a few different options for convertible carseats that fit in smaller vehicles, like the Peg Perego convertible and also the Clek Foonf. They are expensive, but they are out there.

    • Alyssa -  June 28, 2012 - 6:26 am

      The person who you spoke with doesn’t appear to know what they are talking about. First issue is rearfacing top tethering. Only 2 brands of seats allow for rearfacing top tethering and very few VEHICLES allow you to do it. I can guarantee your truck isn’t one of them. You cannot rear tether unless BOTH the seat AND your vehicle allow for it. Secondly, I have to believe the person you spoke with was not a CPST like I am, because rearfacing is ALWAYS the safer option (when the seat is installed correctly) no matter what car you are driving.

  13. Gabby -  June 28, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    Our Officer who took special courses inspected it at a DHS office. Pretty sure he would know. I have the Bitax Advocate. I am not against it at all, looking into another carseat so she CAN rear-face.

    • Alyssa -  June 28, 2012 - 4:49 pm

      He didn’t give you the correct information, so he doesn’t know or is WAY out of date on his information. Taking course does not translate to being a up to date SafeKids Certified CPST. He gave you the incorrect information in regards to the safety of rearfacing in your truck. Rearfacing is always safer in a properly installed carseat.

      • Alyssa -  June 28, 2012 - 4:51 pm

        Regardless of which seat it is installed in*

  14. Kayla -  July 1, 2012 - 9:30 am

    AMEN to this blog post! If there is anything I’m more picky about, it’s making sure my child is as secure as possible while riding in a vehicle. I’m so thankful for meeting women on IG before I had Elijah, because in all honesty I didn’t know the safety issues that come along with carseats. I probably would have forward faced him when he turned 1 & 20lbs had I not known.. but now, my entire family knows how I intend to rear face as long as I possibly can. They know that the straps have to be tight & the chest clip is a CHEST clip & not a STOMACH clip.

    Alyssa, thanks so much for voicing your opinion on this subject. I could only wish that people would put their pride aside & take the helpful advice in order to keep their children safe!

  15. Emily -  August 3, 2012 - 3:35 pm

    So I have one of those expensive extended rear facing car seats the Graco Smart Seat. According to the manual It should be switched to forward facing once my babies head is two inches from the top of the seat, conveniently marked by a line. She is only 10 months old, but she is already over the line. My pediatrician said go ahead and move her forward facing. I even double checked with the PD to ensure the car seat was installed correctly. I don’t know what to do. suggestions???

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