Rear facing in the vehicle starts when a child is born and goes up typically until they have outgrown their convertible child restraint in ​the rear-facing mode. The recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children ​should ride rear facing until 2 years old due to the safety benefits of facing the rear of the vehicle. When a child is rear facing, their head, neck, and spine are protected by the shell of the seat during frontal and side impact collisions. It is a serious safety advantage for younger children to face the rear. Many convertible car seats will be able to rear face a child until they are around 3 years old, and we definitely support keeping your child ​rear facing until then (if and when possible). Sometimes, however, it just doesn't work for your given situation and we totally understand that. Maybe you have to make 3 across work with the addition of a new child. Maybe your ​kiddo gets road sickness every time they ride in their seat and facing forward is proving helpful. Or maybe your convertible seat has been outgrown rear facing prematurely and you aren't able to go buy one that will last longer. If you have made it until 2, we think you have done ​well!

- PROPER INSTALLATION CHECKLIST -
  • check
    ​Child restraint is at the appropriate angle as per the instructions in your manual
  • check
    ​You are using the proper belt path to secure the restraint to your vehicle seat
  • check
    ​There is less than 1" of movement front to back and side-to-side when checking at the belt path with no more force than a firm handshake (use your non-dominant hand)
  • check
    ​Your top tether is stowed safely (wrapped up with an elastic band to avoid strangulation)
  • check
    You have determined the lower anchor weight limits for your vehicle and child ​restraint - when the limit is unknown, ​please contact us for clarification
  • check
    ​If you are doing a baseless installation of your rear-facing only bucket seat, you have checked your manual for proper instruction
  • check
    ​No aftermarket seat protectors or towels are being used under or behind the child restraint unless specifically permitted in the manual
Picture of a rear-facing Britax child restraint at the proper recline
- Proper Use Checklist -
  • check
    ​Harness straps are coming out at or below your child's shoulders
  • check
    ​​Adjustable headrest (if applicable) is in the appropriate position in accordance with your manual's instruction
  • check
    ​Infant inserts/pillows that came with your seat are being used/removed as per your manual's instruction
  • check
    ​No aftermarket strap covers, pads, bundle bags, etc. are being used with the seat
  • check
    ​Child is within the height, weight, and other fit limitations of their seat
  • check
    ​Chest clip is positioned at the child's armpits and the crotch buckle is in the appropriate slot as per your manual's instruction
Image showing children riding rear-facing beyond one year old

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