Baby Hints & Tips

When to turn your child’s carseat

when to turn baby car seat around“From birth, children should use rear facing child restraints for as long as they fit in them.  For older restraints which do not have shoulder height markers, the sign of the child having outgrown the restraint is when the child’s shoulders are above the top shoulder harness slot for rear facing use.  For restraints with shoulder height markers, the sign of the child having outgrown the restraint is when the child’s shoulders are above the upper shoulder height marker for rearward facing restraint use.”Kidsafe Australia Consumer Guide

Just wondering when others changed their rear facing car seats to forward facing?

  • Some good information on rear facing… It’s best to keep the RF as long as possible… By law it is 6 months but after researching you will want to keep them there for longer! – Kerryn
  • Rear facing is the safest option for as long as possible – but you can change it to forward facing once your baby is past the height and/or weight requirements for your particular car seat – Michelle
  • When your baby surpasses the weight AND height requirements for your individual seat – Cat
  • At about 18 – 20months and my kids are all 75-90% centile. Far safer to stay rear facing for as long as possible. Plenty of seats on the market accommodate extended rear facing – Melissa
  • My 10 month old is still rear facing and still will be for ages yet. Legal requirements are 6 months but its safer practice to rear face for a minimum of 12 months – Rochelle
  • There should be an indication mark on the seat as to when to turn them it should be their shoulder height. Best to leave them rear facing as long as you can – Alison
  • My DD is 1. I will not be changing her til I absolutely have to. It is soooo much safer for bub to be rear facing. Ensure you have the right seat and there is no reason to change bub around. Safety first – Michelle
  • We turned our son at 12 months (3 years ago), and now we know better, our daughter is still rf at almost 23 months and our new baby will be rf for as long as he fits too – Jacqui
  • When she got too big for the rear facing seat – Katharina
  • Leave it as rearward as long as possible – Stephanie
  • 20 months. Best to keep rear facing as long as possible. It proven babies that are too young when turned are highly likely to get injury in car crash, even a minor one. Where if rear facing they most likely kept safe – Jacinta
  • The general rule now is when they are 3. As this is what the car seats are set for now – Vivie
  • Monday this week and she’ll be 3 in December – Laura
  • 11mo still rf wont change him for a long while as its much safer that way – Kristy
  • I left my eldest rear facing until his first birthday. In the states this is mandatory & I thought as long as possible was safest. But I had a good friend who’s boy the same age hated rear facing & got very distressed in the car once he got bigger so with our second (now 3mths), once bub gets past the legal age & weight I will consider turning him around rather that him screaming everywhere we go in the car – Cassie
  • Check with your state government department of transport. In some states it’s 6 months and some is 9 months of age – Kiri
  • My son was 20 months, I wanted to wait till he was at least 2, but had my car serviced, and they put the car seat in forward facing – Tanya
  • My 8mo is still RF. We will put her FF when her seat doesn’t fit properly between ours in the front anymore or she gets too big – Ellen

Baby in car seatCan a newborn car seat be turned around on weight? Or is it age? I’m in Qld and I can’t seem to find clear regulations! What are the regulations in other states too?

  • It’s rear facing until 6 months legally. Stacey
  • It goes by weight or height depending on your seat. I would keep them RF as long as possible. 12-15kgs for new safe and sounds Crystal
  • our little boy is quite tall and weighed almost 9kgs when we turned him to forward facing at 6 months as per the recommendation from qualified car seat fitter Sami
  • my bub was rear facing until 12mnths – it is soooo much safer – but it should tell you on the carseat Lisa
  • Weight and height Erin
  • i think its based on size bc some babies are really big. my daughter was a little older then 2 when i put her in a todllers booster seat. she turned 3 in nov and i had people asking months and months ago what school she’d be going to next year.. shes a very tall girl lol Kate
  • it’s either or in qld last I checked. 6mths or 8kg whichever is first. but keep them rf as,long as possible Kirsty-Lea
  • My bub was 6months. She wasn’t quite weight regulation but she was crawling and sitting up by herself. Ashlie
  • The RACQ site says they would prefer to be rearfacing till over 6months and 9kg. However they understand that some seats have restrictions. Like mine, bubs is 4months and already 9kg so I’m supposed to turn ASAP. April
  • Check with the department of transport Juliane
  • its usually 6months use to be 6 months or 8 kg. Now its confusing it depends on the baby seat the weight or height of the child. My other 2 turned around at 8 kg but my new bub’s car seat you can leave him in it till 12 months. When i brought the seat the lady said the new seats have height indicators for when you have to turn them. Amanda
  • Depends on your carseat If you’ve got the new height marker Than go by that So bubs should get to maybe 12mthd plus. If older seat It’s weight Most car seats go up to 12kgs But some to 9kgs Keep rear facing as long as possible Safest way Rachael
  • I turned my boy around at 5 months…he is a big boy and had good head control so I turned it around no problem. He was above recommended weight limit for sure. Oh and he loved the fact he could see his mum….stopped the crying instantly! Brooke
  • The old system goes on weight and the new one is on height, if there aren’t shoulder height markers on the seat then it goes on weight which is 9kg. Candice
  • We were told that your child needs to meet two of the three requirements of height, weight and age. Keryn
  • RACQ – Queensland Legislation (Road Rules Regulations 2009) states the minimum age you can turn your child from rearward facing to forward facing is 6 months of age. However, child restraint manufacturers also have a minimum requirement as to when a child should be turned from rearward facing to forward facing. It is highly recommended you refer to your child restraint user manual prior turning your child to the forward facing position. The longer you can leave your child in the rearward facing position (as per the manufactures recommendation for the restraint you are using) the safer and more secure your child will be. Narelle
  • All the required info is on the qld’s department of transport website. Tamara
  • It depends on the type of seat – if it has a yellow shoulder height label, then you turn bub around once their shoulders reach the line that says to turn. If it is a weight based seat, then you use the seat in rear facing mode until bub reaches the maximum weight for rear facing mode. Different brands differ between 9kg and 12kg for maximum rear facing weight if they don’t have a shoulder height label. The law Australia wide is that babies must be at least 6 months old to turn forward facing, however, it is 5 times safer to keep a baby/young child rear facing. There are some seats that can keep babies rear facing longer – potentially up to about 2 years old. There is no danger for babies/children’s legs touching the back seat in an accident, nor is neck strength an inidcator that your child is ready to be turned around, as babies/young children’s neck and spinal bones are soft and vunerable under the age of about 2 years and there have been many reported broken necks, damage to spinal cords and internal decapitation happen to babies/children who have been forward facing in an accident, as their heads snap voilently forwards and backwards in a crash, even at low impact. Whereas in rear facing mode, the car seat absorbs most of the impact whereby the child rides backwards into the car seat. The link for the car seat laws for your state – http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/…/FINALChildrestraintsbrochur… Joanna
  • Head control has nothing to do with it. 5x safer RF and before anyone asks, no toddlers are not uncomfortable rear facing and there has been no recorded leg injuries due to accidents while RF where as there have been when FF. When bub reaches height markers or exceeds weight limit. 6months AND 8kg is the absolute minimum in Australia. But longer the better. My eldest is still RF and is 2 in two weeks. Rebecca
  • Check the manual for your seat and confirm with someone like racq. Crystal
  • Thx! Im chging when my dd is 2 in jan. Shes 22 lbs n legs r bent rfng . Lovely
  • mine is based on weight. I will forward face him when he reaches 12kg. He is currently 9.8kg at 17 months. So extremely safer to have them rearward despite head and neck control etc! Ashlee
  • It’s a $900 and something dollar fine If caught before the age of 6 months in QLD Dani
  • The longer rear facing the better as it is MUCH MUCH SAFER in a crash! Lynette
  • NSW is bub must be 6months + and 8kgs, so if over 6mo but under 8kgs you can’t turn them around, but if over 8kgs and under 6mo you must wait until they reach 6mo Camilla
  • Leave rear facing for as long as possible. Safer! Emma
  • I just checked ours last night & it said 8kgs & 70cms, I have heard that it is safer to keep them facing backwards but we will be turning our son around this week. Belinda

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  1. Cathy says:

    I have found the height marker to be a bit annoying. My bub is 10kg and has long legs so his legs were squashed when rear facing. Getting him in and out of the rear facing seat was very hard. When rear facing his shoulders were at the turning line so I decided to was time to turn…but when I turned him forward facing his shoulders were below the line. He is much happier forward facing but now I am confused as he is now below the line. If I turn it back rear facing he will be at the line again.

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