Rear-Facing to Forward-Facing Car Seats: When is Your Baby Ready to Turn Around?

Rear-Facing to Forward-Facing Car Seats: When is Your Baby Ready to Turn Around?
Congratulations on your growing child! As your baby gets older, you'll need to transition them to a forward-facing car seat. This is an important milestone in your child's development, but it can also be a bit daunting. Here is a guide to help you make the switch smoothly and safely.


 According to the Philippine Pediatric Society, it is recommended that all babies and young children travel in rear-facing car seats until they reach the maximum weight or height allowed by the car seat model. Typically, this occurs around the age of 2 and when they weigh 40 pounds.



The newborn's head is larger than the rest of body and it is 25% of the total weight, while this percentage drops to 6% in an adult. Therefore children are more protected if they are transported reward facing until at least 15 months, since only from that age head and neck can withstand the forces generated in a frontal impact better. Remember, children are not small adults!

Rear-facing car seats are the safest way for babies, young children to travel in a car and this also cradle the baby's entire body, providing better support and protection. In addition to that, studies have shown that rear-facing car seats are five times safer for babies than forward-facing car seats. In fact, the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) suggested that all babies ride rear-facing for as long as possible.



As they become older, children want to imitate their parents and during the travel by car they often refuse to use the car seat because it makes them feel too small. But beware: the use of the car seat from 4/5 years continues to be crucial because it is the only way to protect your child correctly. We must remember that car and its devices (belts or airbags) are designed to transport adults.

When Can a Child Safely Transition to a Forward-Facing Car Seat?

It is important to remember that every child develops at their own pace. Some babies may be ready to turn around in their car seat at age 2, while others may not be ready until they are 3 or older. The most important thing is to follow your child's lead and talk to your pediatrician if you have any questions or concerns.
Here are some signs that your child may be ready to turn around in their car seat:
  • They have reached the highest weight or height allowed by their rear-facing car seat model.
  • Their head is at least 1-inch above the top of the rear-facing car seat, this ensures that their head will be protected.
  • They can sit up unassisted for at least 1 minute because this shows that they have the strength and muscle control to sit in a forward-facing car seat.

Car Seat Options for the Forward-Facing Transition

Chicco's NextFit® convertible car seat is a great example of a car seat with a significant overlap between the rear-facing and forward-facing weight limits. Most models in the series have a rear-facing maximum weight of 40 pounds and a forward-facing minimum weight of 22 pounds, which means there is a 18-pound overlap
Now once your child has reached the maximum height and weight limits for their convertible car seat, they may be ready to transition to a booster seat.
A convertible car seat such as the Chicco MyFit® provides the security of a 5-point harness in a roomier, big-kid style seat. It is a forward-facing car seat with a maximum weight limit of 65 pounds in harness mode and 100 pounds in booster mode. However, the transition to the vehicle seat belt is not just about height and weight; maturity matters too. Make sure your child can sit relatively still during every trip to keep the seat belt in the proper position.
As your child gets older and becomes busier, on-the-go convenience is more important than ever. That's why the built-in carry handle on our GoFit® Backless Boosters is the perfect solution for busy families. Or, if you prefer the added protection of side-impact protection, the KidFit® 2-in-1 Booster is a great option. Ten height positions provide head and shoulder protection for every stage, but you still have the option to go backless, giving you the best of both worlds.

  1. Choose a compatible car seat: Ensure that the car seat you select is suitable for your specific vehicle. Check the car seat's compatibility with your vehicle's make and model before making a purchase.

  2. Follow installation instructions: Carefully read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing the car seat. Improper installation can compromise the seat's effectiveness in protecting your baby during a crash.

  3. Secure the car seat tightly: Once installed, ensure that the car seat is tightly secured in the vehicle. This will minimize any movement and maximize your baby's safety. Use the vehicle's seat belt or the Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for a secure installation.

  4. Utilize the harness correctly: Always use the car seat's harness system and adjust it snugly around your baby. The harness should fit securely, with no slack, and lie flat without any twists. The chest clip should be positioned across the chest, centered at armpit level.

  5. Never leave your baby unattended: Never leave your baby unattended in the car, even for a short period. Extreme temperatures and other hazards can pose a risk to your baby's well-being. Always take your baby with you when you leave the vehicle.



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