With our last three children we left them rear facing well past their first birthdays. Our second was 21 mos, our third was 3.5 years and our last baby was 2.5 years. We have used Britax carseats that have a higher rear facing limit (35 lbs) and have been very happy with them. Our kids have been comfortable and never complained.
Keep your toddler in a rear-facing car seat until age 2 (not 1)
New research indicates that toddlers are more than five times safer riding rear-facing in a car safety seat up to their second birthday. Following are some safety tips for car seat use:
All infants should ride rear-facing in either an infant car seat or convertible seat.
If an infant car seat is used, the infant should be switched to a rear-facing convertible car seat once the maximum height (when the infant’s head is within 1 inch of the top of the seat) and weight (usually 22 pounds to 32 pounds) have been reached for that infant seat as suggested by the car seat manufacturer.
Toddlers should remain rear-facing in a convertible car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for the model, or at least the age of 2.
To see if your car seat is installed properly and to find a certified passenger safety technician in your area, visit www.seatcheck.org or www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm. You also can call 866-SEATCHECK (866-732-8243) or 888-327-4236.