Landon is 16 months old and is still rear facing in his car seat. I have done a lot of research on car seat safety before Landon was even born and I have learned that it is best to keep a baby rear facing for as long as possible. I am getting sick and tired of having to hear crap from other people that I am "crazy" or "over-protective" because I am keeping my baby as safe as possible. Just because the law minimum for forward facing is 1 year AND 20 pounds does not mean that it is best to turn a baby around at that point. The law is a minimum requirement and I believe that Landon deserves better than just the minimum. Landon deserves the maximum and not the minimum and that is why he will continue to rear face until he can no longer do so, which will be at 35 pounds or until his head is 1 inch from the shell of his car seat. Am I a bad mom because I am not willing to risk internal decapitation for Landon if by chance we get into a car accident? I don't think so, but there are plenty of people lately who want to make me think so. If we ever do get into a crash and Landon is fatally injured then I want to know that I did everything that I could to prevent it. I could never live with myself if something happened to Landon because I was in a hurry to turn him around in his car seat. I can wait a little longer to check off that milestone.
In a car crash, a baby is 5 times safer by rear facing. When a baby is forward facing their head is thrown forward during a crash and it puts an enormous amount of strain on their neck. This can cause their spinal cord to stretch up to two inches. It only takes a 1/4 inch of stretching before the spinal cord ruptures. This means that their skull is literally ripped from the spine causing an internal decapitation. A babies vertebrae does not completely ossify until 3-6 years of age. Extended rear facing gives the baby's incomplete vertebrae and spinal cord more support and protection. Here is a video to show what happens in a car crash while rear facing and forward facing:
I am not wanting to lecture people on extended rear facing, but I am wanting to educate people on what is best for their babies. I especially would like to educate those who like to criticize my decisions.