Why I Choose Extended Rear-Facing Car Seats

J recently reached the weight and height limit on his group 0+ car seat so it was time to choose a new one. I know that he is now old enough and weighs enough to be able to go into many of the forward-facing car seats, but like his older brother I am keeping him rear-facing for as long as possible. Why? Well, in a nutshell extended rear-facing is the safest way for a child to travel. It doesn’t mean that forward-facing car seats are not safe – they absolutely are safe – it just means that rear-facing is safer.

joie ianchor extended rear facing

When I had my first baby, Little N, I didn’t have a clue about car seat categories. Like a lot of women I joined an internet forum of mums who had babies during the same month, and the discussion of car seats was one that soon came up.

The majority of my “due date” friends changed their babies to a forward facing car seat as soon as they reached the lower weight limit, while the the others waited until their babies outgrew their infant carriers and then also changed to forward facing car seats. All but me and one other, who kept our children rear facing.

Initially I had kept Little N in his infant carrier because at the time I was too skint to buy a new one, and he was still within the weight limit so we kept using it. During this time though I had begun to look for a new car seat and learned about extended rear-facing.

joie ianchor rear facing for longer

I discovered that rear-facing travelling is whopping five times safer than forward-facing. As an example, in Sweden children sit rear-facing until the age of four and between July 2006 and November 2007 not one child under the age of six was killed in a car crash.

In a 30mph collision a child’s fragile neck is subjected to a equivalent force of 300kg in a forward-facing car seat. In a rear-facing car seat the equivalent force is 50kg, because the whole of their back takes most of the impact instead of just their neck.

Some of my friends have mentioned that they think a rear-facing car seat doesn’t give children’s legs much room, and they worry that if there was a collision their child’s legs could be broken. There is plenty of room for my boys to put their legs and actually there have been no reported incidents of a child injuring their legs whilst in a rear-facing car seat.

And if when it comes to the crunch, I’d choose broken legs over a broken neck. (Actually, I’d rather neither, but you know what I mean!)

After learning about the benefits of keeping my children rear-facing for longer, my mind was made up. If I was able to use rear-facing car seats in my car then I would. I did worry that they would be expensive in comparison to forward-facing car seats, but nowadays there are a whole range of them on the market and there is one to suit all budgets. You can get ones that fit with seat belts, ones that fit with ISOFIX, ones that fit with both. Ones that have rebound bars, ones that swivel. All sorts of colours and styles, too!

Another thing my friends have mentioned when we’ve talked about car seats is that rear-facing car seats are big and bulky. In my experience they don’t take up any more room, as car seats all seem to be about the same width. My friend and I once travelled to London in her car, with her son in his forward-facing seat and my son in his rear-facing seat and there didn’t seem to be any difference at all in terms of space.

joie ianchor review

The car seat that J now has is the Joie i-Anchor*, part of the i-AnchorSafe system, which is held with the i-AnchorFIX base. It’s suitable from birth and children can travel rear-facing up to 18kgs, which means that he will be able to sit rear-facing until he is about 4 years old.

If you'd like to know more about the Joie i-Anchor then take a look at my next post where I tell you about the car seat in further detail and give you a closer look. And if you don’t believe that an older child can sit comfortably in a rear-facing car seat, my very tall 3 year old is demonstrating it, too!

What car seats do your children have and why did you choose it?


 
 
 
*We have been sent the Joie i-Anchor and i-AnchorFIX base to review.

24 comments

  1. I have looked into this extensively as well, the problem we had was that there wasn't any variety out here for RF and the seats that they did have didn't fit in the cars (well it's not mandatory to have a child in a car seat in Dubai would you believe) we stayed RF until he outgrew the infant seat, which was done by height rather than weight in the end and made the move. This time round, I'm looking at RF again, especially as the little one is much heavier than his brother ever was and with laws changing in the UK I think we need to look at something which will last us!

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  2. I switched to a front facing quite early as my son was never happy in his 1st stage car seat but soon found out it made little difference and have regretted spending out so hastily. He's fine travelling now but I'm not happy and have been researching the web for a safer way for him to be in the car. I'm so glad I read this but it's just a shame the safer seats are so expensive, I'm still looking so will check this one out (there's a great rear facing car seat Facebook group I've joined to help me find the right seat) Ali @ mum in a nutshell

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  3. We looked into this when we were changing E out - unfortunately the cost of the rear facing seat was way above our budget. We had looked into one which would give rearfacing for an extra few months but instead made the choice for our front facing seat - while I know the rear facing is safer, I am happy that my child is safe in his seat as it has passed many safety standards.

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    1. Hi Lisa. :)
      You can get rear facing car seats for as low as £65 that rear face to 18kg. :) The example of £65 is the Joie Tilt.

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  4. My daughter is quite petite, so she actually got too tall for her Group 0 seat (or 0+, I can't quite remember) before she got too heavy. I looked into rear facing for the next group as I'd heard the same about safety but there seemed much less choice around at the time, so it's great that there are more options now.

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  5. We kept Monkey rear facing until he was almost three. Although when we were looking at seats there was only a couple on the market. This brand wasn't available. I will do the same with out next child too and will consider this seat. Great review thanks :) X

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  6. This was so interesting, I never knew why it made such a difference until reading this x

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  7. Really informative post. There wasn't much talk of rear facing seats when Tyne came out of his first car seat so it wasn't something I ever thought about but with Noah it's something I've been looking in to and would like to try, I do think its such a shame the safer carseats are the more expensive option though - not everyone has the money and its a real shame that means compromising safety. x

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  8. I would've liked to have continued using a rear-facing carseat when we moved on from our Group0+ carseat but the of RF carseats were about 3 times as much as FF carseat. It's a shame there's not *that* many on the market meaning the prices aren't competitive. Hopefully that will change in the future though.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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  9. Not many people know about extended rear facing so thanks for the post. Like many people before having children I never knew anything about car seats. There are so many different ones out there it can be so confusing. I kind of wish there was just one type of car seat that you had to buy and that was super safe! x

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  10. I do not have kids yet but I think it depends on the preference of the parents. Since surveys have shown rear facing is safer I would use that until we couldn't anymore

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  11. I am a huge advocate of ERF. My 2 year old is in a Britax Dualfix and will stay in there as long as he can. Eliza currently in an infant carrier and will then move to the 2Way Pearl, and again she will stay rear facing for as long as possible. I wish I had known more about the benefits of rear facing when I had my eldest 2, I am just thankful that we were lucky enough to not have an accident!

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  12. I'll be interested to see N in it! Problem I had was finding one that fitted my car- I seem to have a difficult car indeed for seats in general! xx

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  13. Really interesting post. I have read a bit about rear facing seats but ended up going with forward facing because we were given one by a friend that was isofix forward facing.x

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  14. We have this car seat!!! And we're keeping Evie rear facing for as long as possible. These car seats are brilliant. xx #lovetoblog

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  15. This looks really good. I'm planning to keep the rear-facing too although my wee one gets bored really easily so I'm in 2 minds about it. we had a jolie car seat when she was born but she hated it and at 6 weeks had to buy a different one. i wasnt impressed with it either, it always looks she was sitting awkwardly and that she wasn't comfortable.
    I like that this seat has different positions, that would definitely help, I wonder if it could work with the ISOFIX that we already got. I will definitely look into this. thanks for the review :) xx

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  16. That's such an interesting read and I'm ashamed to say that I didn't know any of that. It just goes to show that most people do follow the leader. I'll definitely be taking your advice on board!xx

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  17. My kids are now 11, and 6yr old twins and I didn't know much about which way to face my kids. There wasn't as much research around when mine transferred. My twins want me to get rid of my high back booster seats but I am quite happy keeping them in there. Much more protection around their body and heads.

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  18. This is a really interesting read. My eldest is 6 and was forward facing after the infant carrier - at the time I don't remember reading anything about rear facing seats or seeing any when we bought her one. I had no idea that rear facing is so much safer, thank you for sharing x

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  19. We still have Flynn rear facing and we will do the same with Freya. Interested to read your review on these as we are reviewing the Maxi cosi ones for our car, but my mum has the Joie stages for Flynn in hers so will need to get a new one for Freya. It's so interesting our choices over here, for Jake it was never an option to forward face Flynn in Denmark they have to be rear facing by law until they about 4 I think! So he was surprised that most people forward face! I was completely in the dark about the facts until I had Flynn!

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  20. We had the Joie Stages for Lamb which also rear faces but I'll be honest and say I had him forward facing most of the time. Unfortunately that seat had to be scrapped after my car accident (luckily lamb wasn't on the car). When my insurance money comes through I'll be looking at replacing with one that faces both ways again x

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  21. Really interesting read I wasn't aware of those facts and figures thanks for sharing x

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  22. We have Jack forward facing but I am definitely considering rear facing for as long as possible should we have another x

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  23. Some great information in this post. I think the seat looks brilliant and you should always choose what your most comfortable with!

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