This conversation on extended rear facing is sponsored by Chicco. All opinions are my own.
Extended rear facing is something I’ve been passionate about since I first became a mother. I was diligent about car seat safety. I researched it myself to the best of my ability and sought the advice of our pediatrician. One of the things I was fortunate enough to be educated on was extended rear facing, but not everyone is so lucky.
Did you know the law in Colorado only requires children to ride rear-facing in the car until they’re 1? But the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) actually recommends you keep them rear-facing until they’re 2…if not longer! The fact of the matter is that your children are so much safer rear-facing and almost all car seats on the market today support extended rear facing. So why doesn’t everyone do it?
The times…they are constantly a-changing! Just a few years ago not many parents kept their children rear-facing past the age of 1, and a few years before that, they turned them around even earlier, sometimes as early as 6 or 7 months! Today we have much more information that tells us our children are safer in the rear-facing position for as long as possible. However, many people are unaware of this. Perhaps because they are just abiding by the state law, which like I stated above, only requires kids to ride rear-facing until 1 year old. Or, they’re going off the advice of the parents who came before them, who turned their children forward-facing much earlier.
Last year, Chicco launched its #TurnAfter2 campaign, encouraging parents across the country to wait to turn their children’s car seats around until after their second birthday. #TurnAfter2 is a national movement designed to increase the number of children who ride rear-facing longer by educating parents about the benefits of extended rear facing. Since #TurnAfter2 launched one year ago, the number of parents who are aware of the 2-year rear-facing recommendation dramatically increased to 73%, up 26% since 2017.
However, when it comes to turning children forward-facing before the age of 2, many parents are projecting their child’s perceived level of comfort, thinking a child’s legs looked cramped (40%) or a child simply looked uncomfortable rear-facing (32%).
I don’t know about you, but I stumble upon my kids in uncomfortable positions all the time! As children, they are more limber and their bodies bounce back fast. If we fall asleep in an awkward position, we might wake up with a stiff neck, but young children can wake up like nothing happened! Check out these pictures of Oliver sleeping, for example. He’s literally sideways in his bed, with one knee bent and propped up, and the other knee pulled all the way up to his chest. It looks incredibly uncomfortable and yet, he’s completely fine and woke up as happy as ever.
Too many parents think that their children “looking uncomfortable” is a reason enough to turn their car seats forward-facing when really, kids are resilient and probably don’t notice the discomfort at all. And the fact of the matter is…they are much safer with extended rear facing. And we want to keep them safe, don’t we?
We kept Sawyer (my oldest) rear-facing until after his second birthday. I felt so much more comfortable with him rear-facing, and I knew he was safer. We used a Chicco NextFit Convertible Car Seat and still do. It did great in the rear facing position, read all about it here.
When Oliver came along, we got a Fit2 Infant and Toddler Car Seat, and have been nothing but impressed. The Fit2 Infant and Toddler Car Seat is designed to make it more convenient than ever for parents to keep their children rear facing as long as possible. It easily converts from an infant seat to a toddler seat, which not only saves you from having to buy a whole other car seat once baby gets bigger, but it takes up the same amount of space as a typical infant seat, making it easy to keep your child rear-facing for at least another year.
Chicco wants parents to share how they keep their children riding rear-facing two years or longer- whether you opt for a Fit2 Infant and Toddler seat like we did with Oliver, or a NextFit Convertible seat like we did with Sawyer, by using the #TurnAfter2 hashtag on social media to share photos of their rear-facing kids, in an effort to inspire other parents to do the same. Learn more about the #TurnAfter2 campaign here and shop our car seats here.