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For anyone interested in keeping baby rear facing up to age 3+

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Hi all,

Well, I went and got one of the rear facing car seats today for baby C, who is now 14 months old.

I went to a place called Babycare in Petts Wood (took half an hour to drive there, very easy drive). I found them via the rearfacing.co.uk website and can highly recommend them. They were really helpful - had several seats to choose from, depending whether you have Isofix or not, and made an appointment for me to come and be 'fitted' etc. It took about an hour from arrival to discuss, choose and fit the seat, and the man even said I could go back and he would fit it again for me if we get a new car, or when ready to move her to forward facing which I thought was fantastic service. It isn't that hard to fit, but more steps than a normal forward facing car seat, and he has been trained (twice actually!!) in fitting them, so reassuring - the seat is rock solid, can't move it at all! It fits with the normal 3 point seat belt (in a very clever way so not in the way when putting child in and out at all), plus two tethers that go to the front seat, plus a leg that goes down to the footwell. You do need help and advice when choosing because not all seats fit all cars and you do need more distance between back seat and front seats than with forward facing seats. The staff at the shop are very knowledgeable though, so it makes choosing a lot easier than I expected.

I went for the Britax Multi-tech, which is a stage 1 and 2 seat and fits from approx 9 months to 6 years (and she could probably stay in it rear facing until about 5 years if I wanted to, though can turn sooner of course...the choice is now mine), it was ?250 which I think is good value, given it will last her for so long. Some of the family are giving her money towards the seat for Christmas, which seems more sensible than loads more toys and clothes - neither of which she is short of, though admitedly they are all hand me downs (she's too young to know)! It looks really comfortable, and so far no complaints from her.

Anyway, I will let you know how I get on with it. I do feel relieved to have it.

I reckon if you haven't already invested in a forward facing seat it is def. worth investigating this option. Baby C was in her big sister's hand-me-down car seat, and at 5 years old I felt it probably should be replaced anyway.

If you want to contact Babycare their details are;

25 Station Square, Petts Wood,

ORPINGTON (Nr. Bromley)

Kent, BR5 1LZ

Telephone 01689 896665 or

Telephone FREEPHONE 0500 300 907



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Legs fit fine - there is a bit that folds out to help make the seat more level (because of seat sloping backwards), which also spaces it away from the backrest. As they get bigger they just bend knees up, but it doesn't seem to bother them - you know how kids can sit in positions we 'oldies' can only dream of.

C seems fine with it so far, though early days...I admit that it probably helps having her sister next to her forward facing - so they are effectively facing each other making it ideal for 'chatting' and entertainment. Also, the seat is higher than the baby seat so she can see out of windows etc. Will show you when we meet up.

To be honest I think the car rage thing is down to age, not which way they are facing (hard to believe at the moment I know). As soon as O was old enough to start to chat to me, sing along to music tapes or listen to story tapes etc. the crying in the car thing went away overnight. All you can do is tough it out, I reckon it is one of the WORST parts of parenting without a doubt. I well remember my first drive back from East Dulwich with week old O screaming in back...thought I'd never be able to go anywhere in the car ever again. Was a sweating, nervous wreck by the time I got home. These days I don't really even notice when C cries in the car, have developed that amazing parental ability to 'tune out' when I absolutely have to (most of the time!).



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