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The Big Backseat Switch: Moms' Favorite Front-Facing Car Seats

The Big Backseat Switch: Moms' Favorite Front-Facing Car Seats

As your little passenger starts to more snugly fill out his or her infant car seat, you may be wondering when it's safe to graduate to a front-facing seat. The latest research suggests toddlers should ride in rear-facing seats until at least 2 years of age. Many Circle of Moms members have shared their thoughts on whether it's okay to do it earlier, as well as when they personally moved their child into a front-facing seat and the model they chose.

To help inform your own decision, here are the current front-facing guidelines, plus recommendations from Circle of Moms members on their favorite front-facing car seats.

Your Backseat by the Book: US Laws and AAP Recommendations

Car seat laws vary by country, state and municipality. In the U.S., many states' child restraint laws (including those of Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin) require children to ride in a rear-facing seat until they are at least one year old and at least 20 pounds.

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies ride in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, and at least until they are one year old and 20 pounds. After reaching the maximum weight or length allowed by the infant car seat (which varies by car seat manufacturers and models, though most cap off at 22-35 pounds and 29-33 inches) the AAP suggests the child ride in a larger rear-facing seat, and only in a front-facing seat when the larger rear-facing seat is outgrown.

Convertible Front-Facing Seats Recommended by Moms

    • Britax Marathon
      "I LOVE my Britax Marathon," says Rachel G, a mother of two in Wisconsin. "It is like the Cadillac of car seats. Well worth the price." Lindsay K. also spoke highly of the Marathon: "It can be both forward and rear facing, is super easy to install (and transfer from car to car) and the cover can be removed and cleaned."

    • Britax Boulevard
      In addition to the Marathon, the Britax Boulevard also earned positive reviews from MacKenzie R., who lives in Idaho with her two boys: "Both the Marathon and Boulevard are excellent choices for convertible car seats. They are both good for 6 years, rear-face to 35 lbs. and forward-face to 65 lbs. The Boulevard has additional side-impact protection.
    • Evenflo Triumph Deluxe
      Bridget R., a mom of three in Indiana, has two of these Evenflo convertible car seats and loves them: "They are very padded and comfy. Good safety rating. Straps are very easily adjusted. Best car seat ever!!!
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KarenGallagherPowell KarenGallagherPowell 4 years
We have the Complete Air for our 2 year old (on July 7th) who is still rear facing. She is 25lbs and can remain rear facing for a while longer. She is perfectly comfortable and contrary to some people's beliefs, having her legs bent does not bother her at all. The Complete Air is a great seat and it seems really comfortable. My only warning is that the straps will not go low enough to fit smaller babies. My daughter didn't fit in it properly until she was 8 months old.
GinaGiampaolo68598 GinaGiampaolo68598 4 years
i bought the evenflo and it would not fit in my audi or in my parents jeep....without being able to not tighten the straps with the turning dials...rear facing n e ways
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