Rear Facing Car Seats for toddlers and beyond

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Room for improvement

Its great to see that more and more parents are considering keeping their children rear facing for longer nowadays and by that we mean some children are 7 years old !  

Why would you do this ? Putting it simply, young children heads, necks and spines aren’t as strong as an older childs or an adults and so when they are sat rear facing the child gets greater protection from being supported and pushed into the seat rather than pulled forward into the harness.

Naturally, parents have lots of questions when it comes to little one’s safety, so we have collated our most commonly asked questions about rear facing older toddlers and children!

Where do their legs go?

This is quite possibly the most common question we get asked, and rear facing children’s legs have far more places to go than forward facing children’s legs!

Wait, what?!

That’s right!  When forward facing, children can either try and cross their legs, or they dangle into the footwell – there often isn’t anywhere for them to rest their feet, which would support their legs.


When rear facing, children can cross their legs, stretch them up the vehicle seat back, hang them over the sides of the seat, or bend their knees and rest their feet on the bottom of the vehicle seat (so we recommend removing muddy shoes, or investing in a crash tested vehicle seat protector!)  They have many more options to get their legs comfortable.

Extended rear facing child seats aren’t always tight up against the vehicle seat back either, many sit away from the vehicle seat, allowing lots of room for growing legs!

They won’t be able to see anything?!

When children sit forward facing, they have a similar view out of the side window as a rear facing child.  However, when forward facing, the child often can’t see around the seat in front when properly strapped in, due to the side protection wings on the child seat.  Rear facing child seats are often higher up, and although children may have their view impeded by the back seat, you can often take the headrest out, which means they can then see over the seat and have the whole back window to look out of!

Rear facing child seats are more expensive

This isn’t really true nowadays, although it certainly was the case a few years ago.  Regardless of whether the child seat is belted or ISOFixed prices are comparable if you shop around.

If you are struggling to justify the cost of an extended rear facing seat, if we take a cost of £400 for the car seat, and split that across the 4 years minimum use you would get from the seat, it works out at around £1.92 per week for your child’s car seat! Thats a lot cheaper than a take away coffee or a mobile phone contract.

If extended rear facing child seats are outside of your budget, then you will find lower priced child seats do tend to be forward facing only, or if they rear face, they have a very low weight limit.  In this case, we recommend that you keep your little one rear facing in their infant seat until it is fully outgrown by weight or height, before moving to a forward facing child seat.

Rear facing causes car sickness

Car sickness is caused by a conflict of the senses between the vestibular system and your brain.  Your eyes tell your brain one thing, but your ears are sending a different signal – the result is feeling sick.  This can occur in either a rear or forward facing child seat, so it is worth following a few of our car sickness tips to help your little one, whatever direction they are facing.

Extended Rear Facing seats are difficult to fit

This really depends on what seat you purchase – if you purchase an ISOFix seat, then this is very simple to fit, and certainly no more difficult than a forward facing ISOFix seat. 

If a rear facing seat, with a 25kg weight limit is the best option for your little one, we recommend visiting a reputable retailer who will check that the seat fits your car, and will show you how to install it and let you practice.

We need forward facing as we move the seat a lot

Moving a seat from car to car should certainly be something that is taken into account when buying a child seat.  You likely need something lightweight, easy to remove and easy to fit.

If you wish to rear face, but feel this is a problem for you, then it is worth looking at “modular systems”, where you have a base in each car and simply swap the child seat over – these systems are particularly useful if those fitting the child seat are not confident.

You could also look at a lightweight extended rear facing child seat, and have a set of tethers fitted in each car the seat will regularly be used in – this saves time on fitting, and means you don’t have to remove yours each time!

BACK TO BLOG

Rear Facing Car Seats for toddlers and beyond

Its great to see that more and more parents are considering keeping their children rear facing for longer nowadays and by that we mean some children are 7 years old !  

Why would you do this ? Putting it simply, young children heads, necks and spines aren’t as strong as an older childs or an adults and so when they are sat rear facing the child gets greater protection from being supported and pushed into the seat rather than pulled forward into the harness.

Naturally, parents have lots of questions when it comes to little one’s safety, so we have collated our most commonly asked questions about rear facing older toddlers and children!

Where do their legs go?

This is quite possibly the most common question we get asked, and rear facing children’s legs have far more places to go than forward facing children’s legs!

Wait, what?!

That’s right!  When forward facing, children can either try and cross their legs, or they dangle into the footwell – there often isn’t anywhere for them to rest their feet, which would support their legs.


When rear facing, children can cross their legs, stretch them up the vehicle seat back, hang them over the sides of the seat, or bend their knees and rest their feet on the bottom of the vehicle seat (so we recommend removing muddy shoes, or investing in a crash tested vehicle seat protector!)  They have many more options to get their legs comfortable.

Extended rear facing child seats aren’t always tight up against the vehicle seat back either, many sit away from the vehicle seat, allowing lots of room for growing legs!

They won’t be able to see anything?!

When children sit forward facing, they have a similar view out of the side window as a rear facing child.  However, when forward facing, the child often can’t see around the seat in front when properly strapped in, due to the side protection wings on the child seat.  Rear facing child seats are often higher up, and although children may have their view impeded by the back seat, you can often take the headrest out, which means they can then see over the seat and have the whole back window to look out of!

Rear facing child seats are more expensive

This isn’t really true nowadays, although it certainly was the case a few years ago.  Regardless of whether the child seat is belted or ISOFixed prices are comparable if you shop around.

If you are struggling to justify the cost of an extended rear facing seat, if we take a cost of £400 for the car seat, and split that across the 4 years minimum use you would get from the seat, it works out at around £1.92 per week for your child’s car seat! Thats a lot cheaper than a take away coffee or a mobile phone contract.

If extended rear facing child seats are outside of your budget, then you will find lower priced child seats do tend to be forward facing only, or if they rear face, they have a very low weight limit.  In this case, we recommend that you keep your little one rear facing in their infant seat until it is fully outgrown by weight or height, before moving to a forward facing child seat.

Rear facing causes car sickness

Car sickness is caused by a conflict of the senses between the vestibular system and your brain.  Your eyes tell your brain one thing, but your ears are sending a different signal – the result is feeling sick.  This can occur in either a rear or forward facing child seat, so it is worth following a few of our car sickness tips to help your little one, whatever direction they are facing.

Extended Rear Facing seats are difficult to fit

This really depends on what seat you purchase – if you purchase an ISOFix seat, then this is very simple to fit, and certainly no more difficult than a forward facing ISOFix seat. 

If a rear facing seat, with a 25kg weight limit is the best option for your little one, we recommend visiting a reputable retailer who will check that the seat fits your car, and will show you how to install it and let you practice.

We need forward facing as we move the seat a lot

Moving a seat from car to car should certainly be something that is taken into account when buying a child seat.  You likely need something lightweight, easy to remove and easy to fit.

If you wish to rear face, but feel this is a problem for you, then it is worth looking at “modular systems”, where you have a base in each car and simply swap the child seat over – these systems are particularly useful if those fitting the child seat are not confident.

You could also look at a lightweight extended rear facing child seat, and have a set of tethers fitted in each car the seat will regularly be used in – this saves time on fitting, and means you don’t have to remove yours each time!

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