Extended Rear Facing Car Seats? Debate with the Danielle’s!

Welcome to Week 13
Friendly Debates With The Danielle’s!

Happenings of the Harper Household
Wanna Play?

Each Week Danielle from “Happenings of the Harper Household” and I (Danielle) will host this awesome meme and we would love for you to link up and join us.
There will be a question each week that will require you to decide where you stand regarding that topic, then of course share those thoughts with the world!

Extended Rear Facing Car Seats


Yay or Nay?
What do YOU say?
Please watch this short video below – it is what opened my eyes to the danger of having your child forward facing.
First of all, the car seat safety laws are only the minimum requirements. I often wonder if parents realize this. Parents – You don’t HAVE TO turn your child around at that time!
Gracie is 2.5 years old now, but when she was just under one year old I was getting really excited because I knew I could legally turn her car seat around to forward facing. I knew it would be more convenient and I knew she would enjoy riding facing forward.
I began talking about it with my Facebook friends in the different groups I am in, and some moms were talking about extended rear facing. I didn’t give it much thought. I just thought it was a preference, just like other parenting issues like bottle vs. breast.
Then one of my friends kept posting videos and links to statistics like the video above and that is what changed my mind.
Here is some info from a post I wrote on my What To Expect When Your Expecting blog, Mama’s Freshly Brewed Chaos: Car Seat Safety Laws: Thanks. But No Thanks:

“The most common type of crash is the frontal crash. In a frontal crash, the entire back of a rear-facing car seat absorbs the crash force, protecting the child’s head, neck, and spine. The side impact crashes are less common, but more serious. Having the car seat rear facing again protects the head, neck and spine.  The child’s head stays contained better within the car seat when it is rear facing.

In a crash with the child in a forward facing car seat, the body is held in place but the head and arms are thrown violently forward which can stretch or break the spinal cord. The spinal cord of a child sitting forward facing can stretch up to 2 inches. Unfortunately a spinal cord only needs to stretch 1/4 of an inch to break or cause paralysis.

Here are some statistics I have found in my search:

  • 42% of all unintentional childhood deaths are due to crashes
  • In 2006, unintentional motor vehicle traffic deaths were the leading cause of injury death for ages 1-34. Under age 1, they ranked 3rd (behind unintentional suffocation and homicide).
  • 42% of fatalities for children up to age 8 in the back seat are from side impacts.
  • For children in car seats, forward-facing kids are 4 times more likely to be injured in a side impact than rear-facing kids.
  • Rear facing car seats reduces the risk of death by 71%.”

This is all enough information for me to keep my Gracie rear facing for a very long time.

Extended Rear Facing 2 year old Extended Rear Facing 2 year old


These two photos were from around the time Gracie turned 2 years old. She has never known about forward facing, so we don’t have issues with her being unhappy.

One of my pet peeves (sorry any mom’s reading this, I do not mean to offend) is when mom’s say “if I turned my child around to rear facing now, they would be so upset and throw a horrible fit”. I hate hearing that and I think it’s a poor excuse. So you deal with a fit from your child for a week or so until your child realizes that this is the way it has to be. It is for their safety. I would rather my child have broken legs, and not a broken neck… and if that means they throw some fits – so be it. At least they are alive.
For parents who think their child will be too uncomfortable rear facing, here is a bunch of photos of older children in rear facing carseats. I highly suggest you view these, it might change your mind.
This was in the summertime, Gracie was about 29 months old here:
Extended Rear Facing 2 year old
She doesn’t look too uncomfortable, does she?
Please parent – please read through the statistics and consider leaving your child rear facing for an extended period of time. And if they are already facing forward, please consider turning them around for their safety.
Statistics do not lie!
Here’s some more good info:
Extended Rear Facing
Now it’s your turn.

Extended Rear Facing Car Seats? Yay or Nay?

Write a blog post and link up!


If you are not a blogger… we still love you! Let us know what you think in a comment below! We’d LOVE to here from you!!

If you get a chance…

Drop in to some of my other Debate Posts:

Banning infants and toddlers from restaurants

Breastfeeding in Public?

Re-Gifting or Returning Gifts: Rude?

Strict Schedules with Children?



Child Leash


Piercing Baby’s Ears

Family Bathing


Adult Only Wedding Receptions


  1. Totally agree with RF. I think if a parent turns their kid around because they think it’s the right thing, more power to them, I have no problem with it. However, the ones that do as you mentioned above, who turn them forward “to make them happier”, that’s what I have a problem with. Think more about keeping your kids safe, not being their “buddy”.

  2. I agree! We rear faced past 2 years old.. up until he was out of the weight limit for our seat. He never knew any different since that is the way he always sat. I will do the same for baby #2.. hoping there is still room. Much easier with one.

  3. I am totally an advocate for extended rear facing. Many of my friends are shocked that Lucas is still RF. They turned their kids around after a year because their legs looked “uncomfy”. Sigh. Broken leg, cast it. Broken neck, casket.

  4. RF all the way! I have no plans to change him till 2 at the earliest!

  5. RF. I learned about ERF when my son was almost 3. I turned him back arounad and he didn’t even care. I flipped him to forward when we got a new car and Devan couldn’t physically drive the car with him rear-facing. (he is 6’3). I know some people are like get a different car, but not everyone has that luxury. In my car he RF’d in our other car he didn’t. He is now almost 4 and FF’s in both cars. I also have a 19 month old who RF’s still and will until at least 3.5. I also have a ton of friends who simply do not care to look into the safety side of it. To them I am crunchy because I make my own food, cloth diaper and ERF. Oh well. It’s all about my kids safety!

  6. Thanks for sharing this tips, I’m also looking for the best device for my little angel while having an out of town trip. Keep posting more!

  7. I’m in the UK and have only recently found out about ERF, and immediately turned my kids back. They’re nearly five and 3,5. They’re perfectly fine with it. They have a great view from the rear window, they can chat to their older sisters when they sit in the back row, and they have plenty of legroom.
    I think it’s a real shame that some people are so negative about it, and put it in a little box along with extended breastfeeding and babywearing, as something that is just for weirdos ‘who knit their own yoghurt’. I don’t understand how anyone could read the statistics on ERF and then choose to ignore them!
    Here a link to my website with a picture of mine in their ERF seats.

  8. Just buy a Eurovan. The two captains chairs in the middle are rear facing.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Okay, I’ll be the contrarian.

    The statistics make it look like a no-brainer, you’re safer rear facing. This is true, but take it in context instead of all by itself, and it’s just another factor in your decision.

    Merely being in a car seat at all provides the vast, vast, vast majority of protection a child gets in a car accident. Rear facing incrementally improves the safety, but saying it reduces the risk by 71% is spinning the numbers a little — it’s 71% of an already small fraction: 2%. This falls squarely under “diminishing returns”, especially for a child older than 2.

    So yes, if it works for you, rear facing all the way. But don’t let it be your only decision. For example, some kids get really car sick rear-facing, don’t feel guilty turning them around at 2. The risk does go up, but not nearly as much as “71%” claims would have you believe.

  10. I will vote nay. I had one for my kid. We went on a a kind of a long drive, and she was sitting in the rear facing car seat for the drive. Well, when we got home she ran to the bathroom and threw up in the sink. We had to call the plumber afterwards because there was a lot of blockage. Anyway, I think I’m just going to let her face the front from now on. Hopefully it won’t happen again.


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