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GRACO: Extend2Fit™ Convertible Car Seat

They Grow So Fast: Don’t Rush Baby’s Car Seat Milestones

We’re all proud when baby reaches milestones—her first tooth, first time she rolls over and her first words. But some things, like when she “graduates” from a rear-facing infant car seat to a forward-facing car seat, shouldn’t be rushed.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all little ones stay rear-facing until they reach two years of age or until they reach either the maximum height or weight limits of their baby car seat. Children under two years old are 90% less likely to sustain a serious injury when in a rear-facing seat (versus forward-facing). Here, we explore five common reasons moms and dads are eager to transition to forward-facing—and offer some ways to address them.

Interaction

“I know it’s easier to interact with my toddler in a forward-facing seat,” says mom of two Sara S., who recalls the experience with her older child. “But, safety has to come first, so I’m keeping my youngest in her rear-facing until she outgrows her infant seat.” Plus, by the time you’re even thinking about turning her around, your child will likely be chattering (often loudly!) no matter which way she’s facing. You can have plenty of verbal interaction while you’re driving along.

Better View

Little ones are endlessly curious, so it’s natural that they want to see what’s outside your car window. You’re in luck: Infant car seats, all-in-one car seats and convertible car seats have adjustable recline positions, so you can adjust the seat up or down based on baby’s needs. When baby is brand new and before her neck muscles have fully developed, you’ll use the most reclined position (with the level indicator on the base properly positioned). Then you can gradually tilt her more upright as she grows and develops. The Graco® SnugRide® SnugLock™ 35 Infant Car Seat comes with four recline positions, the most upright of which helps give your growing child a great view of passing scenery, even rear-facing. Remember, as you change recline positions, you should always double check that your level indicator is in the proper position for rear or forward-facing, and for your child’s age or weight. Different car seat manufacturers and car seats have different rules when it comes to recline.

Leg Room

“His legs look scrunched!” is another frequent objection concerned parents have about keeping a child rear-facing as he grows. Car seats, such as the Graco® Extend2Fit™ Convertible Car Seat, and the Graco® 4Ever® 4-in-1 Car Seat feature a 4-position extension panel that provides 5 inches of extra legroom. This feature allows your growing child to ride safely rear-facing longer, and all of these seats accommodate a rear-facing child up to 50 lb.

Car Sickness

It’s a popular misconception that rear-facing littles are more likely to experience car sickness. That’s not true, according to a study of several thousand children by car manufacturer Volvo, which found that rear-facing children were no more prone to motion sickness than those who ride facing-forward. However, to encourage your child to look out the back window, rather than the sides (which can increase stomach upset while moving), tack up suction-cup sunshades to block the side view.

Switch Back

If you’re reading this and you’ve already switched your under two-year-old to forward-facing, it’s a good time to switch him back to rear-facing. When you’re wondering when to turn baby around, talking with your pediatrician is always a smart bet. If you’ve already switched your sub-two-year-old to forward-facing and he is under the upper height and weight ratings for a rear-facing seat, it’s not too late to switch back.

NOTE: Graco Supports the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration‘s Car Seat Guidelines. The AAP states that children under 2 years old are 90% less likely to sustain serious injury when in a rear-facing seat. It is recommended you keep your child in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 or when they outgrow the max height OR weight requirements of the seat. Graco offers a line of car seats that help your child safely ride rear-facing longer, until they reach 50 lb.

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