Car & Electronics

From Rear-Facing to Forward-Facing: A Parent’s Guide to Car Seat Progression

Safety always comes first, especially while on the road and, more importantly, when you travel with children. Luckily, there are many ways to enhance how safe all the passengers are in the vehicle, and for toddlers and a bit older kids, car seats are the best way to go. This is also a must to have, which brings us to today’s topic – how to pick the best car seat.

Find the right type

The first step, regardless of whether we talk about rear-facing or forward-facing seats, is to pick the type that suits the child the most. Now, there are different brands and types to choose from, but the thing to look for when shopping is a label that clearly states when and where the seat was tested and got a certificate. That is the most crucial thing, and everything else, from the design to whether there are some additional features are more for the aesthetics and how practical the seat is, so besides going with the seat just because the color is something you liked, make sure to check for this label.

If you have doubts regarding which seat to go with and which one is ideal, you will be glad to know that there are instructions and recommendations by the certificated institutions that one can easily find online. Understandably, it’s always best to go with the renowned brand and manufacturer that has vast experience in this field when picking a face-forwarding seat like, as they will guide and recommend which one is the best depending on the child’s age and other specifics.

The type of vehicle also plays a huge role

Besides other factors, it’s good to know that not every seat is suitable for every vehicle, which is another thing to keep in mind when shopping for a car seat. Luckily, there are lists and instructions regarding which vehicle suits which brand and vehicle type, meaning that checking this list is a must before making any decision. It can also be helpful in making a decision, especially in a situation when you have two or three favorites, as it can help you make the right decision if one type simply doesn’t fit the type of your vehicle.

Installing the seat


Once you have picked the seat, the next step is installing it properly, as this is where most people make a mistake. Now, this is entirely normal, especially for those dealing with this issue for the first time, but the entire process is far from difficult as there are clear instructions regarding parts and how to install them. Besides that, there are also tips and instructions that can be of much help, and even if all of this is not enough, every brand offers a video guide where they will explain how to install the seat step by step. Another thing to highlight here is inspecting the seat, which can be dean at a station that’s nearest to you, so once you have done all these three things, you can hit the road and not have to worry about this anymore.

The first stage – Rear-Facing

There are many different opinions about how long the child should be put in the vehicle in this way, but one thing is certain – it is the first stage on the journey of sitting without the seat, and it shouldn’t be skipped. The rear-facing provides the best support for the kid’s gentle spine, and the longer we use it, the more protected it is. Namely, this type of seat should be used at least until the baby turns two, but many specialists recommend using it until the baby turns four or even five years. You can find the information that it should be used until the toddler outgrows the seat, which sometimes can be too quick or too slow, so it is probably better to focus on the age. Of course, once they overgrow it, it is definitely time to buy another one, as it can be pretty uncomfortable for them to sit in the small seat without enough space for their legs. The rear-facing provides the necessary support for the spine, neck, and shoulders, which allows them to hold their head in the right position, and reduces the risk of injuries.

The second stage – Forward-Facing

Another stage on the journey of adult seating with only a seatbelt is forward-facing, and although there is no strict limit on when the toddler can start using it, it is important not to do that until the baby turns two. Those seats are put in a car in a completely different position, and hence the name, the kid is turned to look forward, just like the adults sitting next to them. Of course, the kid’s spine and neck should be much stronger, and a child should be able to hold their head without any help, or, in another situation, using forward-facing can be pretty dangerous. Regarding that, it is always better to wait until the baby overgrows their rear-facing seat, even if it lasts until they turn four, as it is always better to be safe than sorry. These seats improve safety when used properly, and because of that, it is crucial to adjust them to the kid’s size and check before every ride whether everything is right, as you can be pretty surprised by how fast children grow.

The bottom line


The journey to sitting like an adult in the vehicle is pretty long and usually has three stages before reaching the one when the kid can sit with only a seatbelt. The third stage is using a booster, which role is to help the child adjust the seatbelt and avoid possible injuries if it is placed near the neck. Each of these stages is equally important, and it is never a good idea to skip each of them, as the kid’s safety is the most important, and we need to be as responsible as possible when we put them into the vehicle.

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