We didnt turn our car seat around until our 1st was about 10mths, shes a tiny thing so it took her awhile to get to 8kgs.
Hope that was some help.
DD is 3yr 8 months - DS is 6 months
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My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that the design of the carseat facing rearwards is a safer position for bub in the case of a car accident but that it is only able to support them up till a specific weight (varies between manufacturers - some say 8kg, some 12kg) because of the angle it is on so that it faces backwards (hope that made sense). I think it is that the headrest section cushions bub's head in the case of an accident to the side and back (directions the head is likely to move in an accident due to inertia) where as if facing forwards in an accident the head will whip forwards because of inertia. It doesn't matter how well a bub can hold themselves up, in an accident adults can't stop their heads being jerked forward so a baby isn't going to be able to either and their bones etc are still forming meaning that they can sustain greater injuries than adults/older children.
I believe that the new car restraint laws in Australia say that infants have to be reward facing till at least 6 months as well.
One place I looked at when deciding what to do with our DD said that you should keep bub facing backwards until 10kg (although many car seats are only designed for up to 8kg so don't know how that works) or 1 year and that feet/legs "fitting" in the carseat doesn't matter, that they can stay rearward facing until their head is within 1 inch of the top of the seat when sitting in it properly, that it is better to have a broken/injured leg than an injury to the neck.
Cassie has been able to sit unsupported since she was 3 months old, however, she has always been a really light bub. She's only just (at 10 months) hit the 8 kg for us to turn her around. We waited (1st time mum so tending to follow most guidelines unless they really don't work for us lol) to turn her around because our carseat only had the weight guideline not an age one. I do know that other mums from my mum's group had carseats that had multiple guidelines - age,length and weight - for the seat to be turned around and so they swapped around when bub met the first guideline.
I suppose at the end of the day it is your decision what you choose to do (although I'd wait till at least 6 months with the changing laws - apparently they are being gradually rolled out so I don't know if they apply to your state or not but better to be safe than sorry). Hope that some of this helps and I appologise that it is so long. All the best.
RACV has a child retraint calculator where you type in your babies age and weight and it will advise you on the most suitable restraint:
One of the most important things is to ensure that the shoulder straps are sitting directly on top of your baby's shoulders because if he's outgrown his rear facing seat and the straps are sitting on his upper arms instead it can be very dangerous in an accident.
Good luck smile
This is an article from the United States, but it explains really well why you should keep them rear facing for as long as you can.
It's a tough call as to when to turn them around. DS1 was about 9 months(and 9KG) I think, but in the UK that is the "standard" for turning them. There is a big movement on in Europe to get "extended" rearward facing introduced in law, and in the US, it is recommended that your "baby" can be kept rearward facing until they reach 35lbs, depending on the weight limits of the seat. Alex will be rear facing until he is at least 12 months...possibly longer as he is a lightweight but has great control of his body otherwise. I nearly got my head taken off the other day when I rang Plunket to tell them we were thinking of putting him in a forward facing seat and he was under 12 months; got the lecture about how it was best for him to stay rear facing in the capsule which I didn't need but I digress..........we are keeping the capsule (it's a rental) for at least another 2 months and then reassess but I am of the mind that I would rather him be safe and whinging that his view is obstructed than having to deal with a severely injured or dead baby because he was forward facing before he was ready.
I would strongly recommened keeping bubs rear facing for as long as possible. Our seat says 12kg so DS will be rear facing until then or until the shoulder straps sit too low. Plunket recommend keeping bubs rear facing until they fit into TWO of the following catergories:
- a year old
There was a case in NZ not so long ago when a car was involved in a serious accident. The mother was told by the police/ambulance staff that it was likely that he 9 month old would have suffered serious injury or even died had he been facing forwards (he was still facing backwards and was largely unhurt). As aonther poster said it is irrelevant if bubs has good head control as adults can't even control their necks in the force of an accident.
As far as I know its a matter of safety so DS will be rear facing for as long as possible regardless of whether he is "bored" with facing backwards.
Apparantly there are some fairly compelling crash test videos you can watch on line (not sure where - maybe NZLTA website???) that show the effects of crashes involving babies who are rear vs forward facing.
Good luck with your decision smile
Jackson 28.10.07 and Madeleine 16.12.09
I know some seats say to turn around at 8kg but mine can be kept rear facing until 12kg and Plunket recommend keeping them rear facing until AT LEAST 12kg or 1 year old but the longer the better.
I think this just proves that there needs to be more information readily available to parents and the information needs to be standardised!
Jackson 28.10.07 and Madeleine 16.12.09