The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its recommendations to parents regarding infants and car seats. It is now recommended that children stay in the rear facing position until they are 2 years old or outgrow their rear facing car seat. The AAP asserts that this recommendation is not new, it is a clarification of the previous policy. Previously, parents were advised to keep children rear facing until they were 1 year old and reached the height and weight limitations of their rear facing seat. It is believed that parents took the previous recommendation to mean that children should no longer ride rear facing after the age of one. Now, it is hoped that parents will keep their babies rear facing for as long as possible.
Anyone who has had an infant knows that this revision, though well-intended, presents some challenges to parents. I know several families whose infants outgrew their rear facing seat well before their first birthday. For some, they reached the weight limit of the seat. My own little boy reached the height limit for our seat before his first birthday. Parents should follow these recommendations in order to keep their infants safe.