Parents, You Must Know This: When Can Baby Face Forward in a Car?

When you have babies or kids, a car seat is a must-have item in your car. In some countries, a car seat is specifically regulated in the law, for example, America, UK, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, and Spain, just to name a few.

So, what is a car seat? It is a seat that is designed to protect the babies or kids from injury or death during a vehicle crash. This is also called as a child safety seat. There are various classification (e.g. group 0, 0+, 1, 2, etc.) and seat placement (rear-facing and forward-facing) based on age groups.

For car seat placement, there is an issue many parents grapple with: when can baby face forward in a car? These below discussions might help guide you to decide.

Car Seat Rules

Car Seat Rules
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There are 52 countries in the world (based on the WHO Report) that have this car seat ruled legally by the Law. The countries are mostly developed ones, including most Developed Western and European countries. However, the rules and regulations for each country can be different. Therefore, parents need to be well informed when to use a baby or a child’s car seat, along with the penalties they face if they don’t and are caught by the officer. For example, UK law states that children must use a child car seat until they reach 12 years old or 135 centimeters tall, or whichever comes first. Ireland rules that all children under 150 cm in height or 36 kg in weight must use a car seat that is suitable for their height and weight.

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Forward-Facing Car Seat Law

Forward-Facing Car Seat Law
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An old law says that babies can be in a forward-facing car seat when they are two already. But, the new recommendation has removed the specific age milestone. So, you need to keep in mind that this seating placement¾rare-facing or forward-facing¾is not based on age but height and weight. You can turn your kids from rear-facing to forward-facing if they have reached the car seat height and weight requirements. To conclude, a rare-facing is not only for babies but also for 2,3,4, or 5 years kids as long as they haven’t reached the weight and height requirement.

Forward-Facing Car Seat Height Requirement

Forward-Facing Car Seat Height Requirement
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There is no exact number of height requirement since car seat manufacturers have different height standards for their products. However, one thing to be sure about when can baby face forward in a car based on their height is when there is no space left between the top of the child’s head and the top of the car seat. So, assessing the height by the child’s legs, as most people do, isn’t the right one. Even when your child’s legs can touch the back of the front seat, it is not the sign that they have reached the forward-facing car seat height requirements.

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Forward-Facing Car Seat Weight Requirement

Forward-Facing Car Seat Weight Requirement
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So, when can baby face forward in a car based on weight requirement? It is when they have reached the maximum rear-facing car seat weight that is 16, 18, or 23 kgs. Check your manual instructions book for this weight information because different manufacturers will result in different weight requirements.

Again, if you are still questioning when can baby face forward in a car, you might need not to rush in turning your baby to forward-facing. As long as they haven’t reached the maximum height and weight requirement of a rear-facing car seat, keep them in that position as long as possible.