Your child's milestones can bring on a number of feelings. You're excited to watch your baby develop, but you can't help but shed a tear when you realize that means your baby is growing. And the car seat is no exception. As excited you are for your little one to turn around in the car, you also want to keep your precious cargo safe whenever you hit the road. If you think your baby is ready for a different view, you may have asked when can your kid turn safely around in a car seat?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents keep their children in rear-facing car seats until age 2, or until they've maxed out on the manufacturer's height and weight recommendations for their seat. But if you've got a little one who isn't so little, you may be tempted to turn them around somewhere closer to her first birthday. As exciting as it may be to give her a different point of view, there are some really important reasons to keep her car seat facing the back for another year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees with the AAPs recommendation, and explained that rear-facing seats are better at protecting your child's head, neck, and spine in the event of a crash. This is because they distribute the force of impact evenly across your child's entire body.
Your child's skeletal development is another key factor when you are considering whether to place your child in a forward-facing position. In an interview with Romper, Sarah Tilton, Director of Consumer Advocacy for BRITAX Child Safety, says when it comes to car seat safety, your child's skeletal development is actually more important than how much he weighs. She notes that babies need to time to for their skeletal system to get stronger and calcify, which usually happens around age two. Keeping them rear facing during this time makes them five times safer than if they faced forward.
You may be looking forward to the day when your child can face the front of the car, but their safety is always your top priority. Stay up to date on the latest information from the AAP, NHTSA, and your car seat manufacturer to make sure that you are making the best choice for your child's age and developmental stage.