When should I forward face my child?

Hey mamas, I was wondering at what age did you turn your child’s car seat forward-facing? My daughter is 15 months old, and I just bought her a new chair today. I have four children, but my son before he is 13. I feel like a new mom again because so much has changed. The Pediatrician told me she needs to be rear-facing until three???


I’d listen to the Dr

I kept mine rear facing as long as possible


Most states are adopting the law that they need to stay rear facing until ATLEAST 2 years old

Until they MAX out rear facing which most can be up to 50 pounds


In Illinois the law is 2 years. Every state is different. Look up ur state

I think it’s by state. I’m in NY and believe the law says 2.

I put my boys forward facing at about a year and a half or so, they’re tall so having them rear facing was hurting their legs


Hi, I’m a Child passenger safety technician.
The absolute minimum a child should be forward faced is age 2. However, the absolute safest and fullest recommendation is 4+ years of age, or maxing out the child’s seat limits.

The biggest danger with forward facing too early is the risk of traumatic atlanto occipital dislocation, also known as internal decapitation.
When children are young (infant through about age 6), their vertebrae in their neck are actually made of more crrr 4artilage than the vertebrae of older children and adults. This allows their neck to stretch and flex way more than it will when they are older. Over time, the cartilage will slowly ossify and turn into bone. It is recommended to keep children RFing until a MINIMUM of age 2 because that’s the beginning of the process but their necks are still pretty weak at that point.
Waiting until as close to age 4 as possible is what NHTSA recommends because it allows their bodies to continue to grow stronger during those extra months. What happens in internal decapitation is that the skin stretches, the muscles stretch, and the spine stretches but the spinal cord inside stretches too far (it only takes 1/4") and snaps. Once that happens, the result is either a life-altering injury or worse.


Unsure but my son will be 2 soon and he is front facing. He was too long to rear face any longer, his feet were cramped up against the seat.

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Where i live the law is 2 years old with height and weight requirements

Mine is 2.5 and still rear facing
I plan to rear face her hopefully until 4
My 5 year olds are still in a 5 point harness


My state is age and weight. My ped gave us the ok at his 2 year appt

My son is extremely tall and I kept him rear facing till he maxed out on height. He was a few months shy of 4.


My oldest is 4 years old and about 38pounds (idk how tall) and he’s still rear facing. His carseat in my car is rear facing until 50 pounds and that’s how long he’ll be rear facing.

I will be rear facing my son for as long as possible. (Probably 2 or 3) He can cross his legs or extend if needed when rear facing so he will be comfortable:)

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In AZ its 1yo so it depends. My eldest was 1.5yo when we changed her forward.


It depends on your state law. In Idaho(where I live) it is a minimum of 2 but many parents choose to leave thier child rear facing till the max out the weight/height requirements for the seat and are forced to turn them around.

My state says 2. I changed him around at 2.5 because he was freaking out at not being able to see

Extended rear face max out your seat so three or 4 years old

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Each car seat is different. It’s about the weight of the child more so than the age.

We kept our daughter rear facing until she was 3 and weighed 40 lbs. I’ve seen what forward facing can do to a child in the event of a car accident. Devastating.

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It is safest to rear face as long as possible. Check your carseats limits. My daughter turned on her 4th birthday.

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Each state has different laws. Your best best is to look up the laws in your state. However 3 seems excessive to me. If their knees are gonna hit them in their face in the case of an accident I think its time

I turned my son when he outgrew the height/weight restriction on rear facing on his carseat

You’ll have to look it up with your Department of Transportation of your state.

Depends on what state your in…

Most state laws require child to me forward facing fil a minimum of 2.

It is safest to rear face until the child maxes out their seat. Normally 40lbs or 40 inches. (Average 4 year old)

At 15 months, babe has roughly a 15% chance of their bones being ossified (hardened) where as a 4 year old has closer to a 90% chance of their bones being ossified.

Forward facing a child before their bones are ready runs the risk of internally decapitating the child and even killing them, because they cannot handle the force of the forward facing crash.

I just turned my 3 year old around cause she’s a giant and hit 40 inches and I cried like a baby turning her around.

And just remember, just because something is legal-doesn’t mean it’s safe. (My state it’s legal to FF at 1)


State law in Michigan is 2 years of age. Studies have shown extended rear facing is safest as long as your child hasn’t outgrown the height/weight restrictions on the seat.

California law is age 2 but was told they are changing it

2 is best or as long as possible

As long as possible. Listen to your doctor.

Please keep your child rear facing as long as possible

Your going to get a lot of opinions about this… it’s 5x safer for a child to rear face for as long as possible… they make car seats that rear face till 40 or 50 lbs… the child won’t be uncomfortable, they can toss their legs off the seat sides or sit cross cross… my kids rode rear facing till their 3rd bdays and 30lbs… that was 7-10 yrs ago. I always said I’d rather have broken legs than a broken neck after a accident.

I’m going by height and weight since my son’s a little chunky. We’re already thinking about going ahead and buying a new carseat that lets you do rear facing or forward facing

Listen to your pediatrician… And there’s TONS of research that provides proof of the benefits of rear facing for longer than previous laws state.

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We didn’t forward face my daughter until she turned 4. My son turned 3 in September and he’s still rear facing. Their necks are not as strong as an adult and they’re much safer to rear face as long as possible. We have the grace extend to fit and my son’s legs are barely bent and he is above average in height.


Depends heavily on where you live, in Australia they can forward face after 6 months of age legally, but is recommend to stay rearfacing for as long as possible but they must forward face at 4 years so basically any age between 6months and 4 years here. However I know in most other places the minimum age to turn forward is 2 years plus a height and weight minimum. Personally I would listen to your pediatrician but if you didn’t want to then look into your own state laws for the minimum age/requirements.

Rear facing is safest. My toddler is 2.5 and I have no intentions of turning him around any time soon ( he’s small so he won’t hit height or weight requirements to forward face for years)


Look up the newly updated American Padiatric Association (APA) guidelines … rear facing is much safer in case of an accident

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new York state is 2 yr

Rear face for as long as possible!


Until the child maxes out the weight limit on the seat. Usually at least 3 for most kids, up to 4 for some! It’s the safest. Doesn’t matter what the law says is ok.

Most states the law is until the age of 2 or as long as possible… my son was 13 months when I turned him around he turned 4 a couple of months ago and last weight check he was 51lbs and 41.5 inches tall


I believe the recommendation is until age 2. You can do longer if you like.

As long as possible! Its so much safer to RF


Wait until max weight and height for carseat are reached. My son is 3yrs old and still rear facing its the safest in impact/crash


Illinois laws is 2yrs

When they max out either the height or weight requirements

Why are you even asking when your pediatrician told you 3 which in fact you can go even longer than that. I don’t understand why everyone is so rushed to foward face their kids.


Until she meets height and weight requirements. My 3 all rear faced until about 3. My middle rear faced longer though as he is a slim kiddo and wasn’t ready weight wise. Some states have laws, its best to look into state laws as well as talk to your pediatric doctor to see what is safest for your kiddo

Mine changed around at 3 months :grinning:


Depending what state, NY state is 2 years old

Maine law says 2 years old

Law is usually until 2 in most states, but best until 4. At 2 years of age there bones have a 20% chance of ossification, while at 4 there is an 80% chance. I’d also recommend looking into a car seat safety group.

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Every state is different. Most states require the child being 2. But honestly they are safer rear faced longer then 2. Most car seats say up 40lbs. We chose to keep our oldest rear faced to 3. My youngest just turned 2 in November but we are waiting till have winter to forward face her. Since we live where snow and ice and we just want to be safe.

Laws are you rear face until two but it’s recommended you rear face as long as you can.

Research why it’s important to rear face until they max out the weight or height.

Till at least 2 but 4 is recommended. Remember, even if your child is tall, you’d rather them have broken legs than be dead.

With my daughter I waited until she was 3 & with my son we put him forward at 2 cause he kept taking his straps off his shoulders.

Depends where you live. In Canada it’s 1 year. They are fighting for 2 years. I changed my daughter a couple weeks ago at almost 2 years old

Yeah the laws are retarded now I forward faced mine at 1 bc that’s all was required then but now where I am the law is to follow the weight limits of your seat then a 5 point harness until they get to tall for that… but most rear facing I have seen only go up to 25-30 pounds … but personally I’d never rear face a kid until 3 that’s just overkill


Minimum 2 years. Preferably to 3.

Until your kid maxes out the height and weight limits of the seat. It doesn’t matter their age. I turned my kid around at 2.5, but he’s a really big kid.

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When she outgrows the rf limits of her seat. It’s what is safest.

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Depends where you live. Between 2 and 4


I had to forward face my son at 8months. Due to the fact that he kept taking the straps off around his shoulders and leaning forward to sit up higher, so his head was never touching the back of his seat.

Broken leg? Cast it. Broken neck? Casket. Remember that.


Keep them rear facing as long as possible we kept my son there until he was 4/5 years old

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I was forced to FF my 2 yr old before she ready but if we have another they will go longer hopefully

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Extended rear facing is recommended because it’s safest. It also depends on where you live. Some states require the child to be RF until 2, some until 1.

Check your state laws. In Wa state is just changed to having to stay rear facing until 2 years old.

Here in Illinois it’s 2 years or has be 40lbs n certain height. My son will be two in April he 28lbs now

Not before 2 years old

Depends on state, but definitely until 2.

I would wait until 3

Way too many idiots on this thread. If you can’t put your child in a car seat correctly and can’t go with the recommendations to protect them then motherhood isn’t for you.


My son will be 3 on the 14th and still rear faces :woman_shrugging:t2:

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Both of mine were forward facing around a year old. BUT, they could have stayed rear facing a LOT longer.

I kept my youngest rear facing until a month after her second birthday. She is 4 now and with her height weight in the right seat (which I can’t afford) she could still technically be rear facing.

  1. that’s what your doctors said. most laws say 2 but they told you 3 do listen to them

My son will as long as possible

State law for us is rear facing until 2 but my daughter is very small so we didn’t turn her until right before she turned 3.

I would suggest calling your police department & asking about the car seat laws. Also it is always safer to keep them rear facing as long as the seat will allow.

Best to check with your specific states laws as they vary. My youngest was rear facing till 2 years of age.

Usually 2 years old… that’s what it says on most car seat manuals, rear facing is what’s safest for the kid

Illinois is 2 yrs but as long as you can bcuz it’s safer from what I hear

Check your states laws. Rear is best for as long as possible.

In the state I live it’s illegal to face them forward until they are two. But it’s recommended to keep the rear facing until they hit either 40 pounds or 40 inches because rear facing is the safest. My son is 34 inches, and 27 pounds and he is 2 and a half years old and he is rear facing still.

I waited till my son was 3

Mine couldn’t wait until 3 :S her legs went up the seat . Country state matters as well. Ours went by weight…

When your child maxes out the rear facing limits for their seat. 15 months is far too young to be forward facing.


I turned my son just before his fourth birthday. He outgrew three seats by height by then and I gave up. Otherwise, I’d have kept him rear facing longer.

Felicia Ann Fletcher

For as long as you can rearface, do so.
It is safer in the long run, and there are plenty of ways to sit legs when they start touching the seat.

Think of it this way, a broken leg or hip from a car accident, is way better than a broken neck.

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In VA it’s illegal to turn them around until at least 2