Made It Almost 15 months: #ERF Extended Rear Facing

Gabriella will be fifteen months in sixteen days. From when she was first born we had her in the Orbit G2 infant car seat (rear facing) and it was a dream to get her in and out with their unique base system. In November we upgraded her to the Orbit Toddler Car Seat G2 (still rear facing) and we are still living the dream since this seat also fits the same base as the infant seat. There is little to no effort for me to put her in or take her out of the car seat. This product is amazing! That is until today…
Today I decided to take a drive to IKEA which we have done before. I called up my dad and asked him to take the ride up with me since DH was working. On the drive up G fell fast asleep. She has always hated the car, but since we upgraded her to a toddler seat she doesn’t seem to mind as much and has no problem taking a snooze. {Drive to Stoughton, MA from where we are is about 40 minutes or so.} 
Get to IKEA…Shopping, shopping, blah blah blah…
I changed her diaper and gave her a bottle of milk before we left the store. So now we are headed back home. I figured she wouldn’t have another nap since it was getting close to lunch time and she usually naps late in the afternoon. We are driving along, Dad and I are all chatting away, and G is babbling to herself. And then it happened! 
I heard a disturbing sound coming from the back seat. I quickly glanced back into the mirror when I saw it happening!  Poor G was vomiting! Oh-My-Goodness! What-the-heck! I was doing nearly 80 miles an hour on 95S! Okay, think quick…looking for the next exit…see it…1/2 mile! Let me tell you that was the longest 1/2 mile of my life. My dad is all like, “WHAT?!” 
We get off the exit and pull into the first place we see, a gas station/Honey Dew Donuts. At this point G is hysterical because she has NEVER thrown up in her nearly 15 months and she is totally freaked OUT! Dad and I jump out of the car and fling her door open. WHOA! I can’t even tell you what a mess this was. Thankfully I had a old bath towel in the trunk I use to use for the dog. We got the towel and absorbed as much as we could before we took G out of the seat. 
Coat- soiled
Shoes – soiled
Outfit- a disaster
Carseat – no words! 
Another thing to be thankful for is that I had put an extra outfit in my diaper bag a couple days back. WHEW! I was able to change her outfit. Also, I had bought a hooded bath towel at IKEA which was now being used as her coat and a barrier between her and the soiled carseat fabric. 
Dad tossed the towel and the outfit in the trash can at the gas station. No sentimental attachments to either for me at this point. 
We got ourselves together and started the trip back home again. We made it without needing to stop. Once we were home Dad was nice enough to stay and help me take apart the car seat and clean it so I could get G cleaned up and such.
We will be reinstalling the car seat forward facing today. I had every intention of keeping her ERF (Extended Rear Facing) for as long as I could. Just seems that her tummy isn’t up for that anymore. I mean, I can’t even look down while the car is moving without feeling queazy. 
The downside of that is WILL she or WON’T she be as safe forward facing. Now I’m going to be worried sick. And, we cannot use the nifty base for the toddler seat anymore so no easy in and out of the car. Obviously I’m less concerned about that than I am with safety. 
So I ask you, when did you put your child forward facing? I’d love to hear any advice you have. 
P.S. I hope this wan’t too graphic for you, but since you are probably a parents you have already seen or heard it before. 
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About Candice

Candice is a mom of three under 5. Originally from the smallest state of Rhode Island, now living in Connecticut. From working gal to stay-at-home mom, she is walking the path of the Modern Mom.


  1. Our Dr recommends RF til 2 years now (per APA). However, we turned Paige at 18.5 months. She threw fits at being RF (throwing her head back against the seat, screaming/crying). It's so much easier for all of us now!

  2. Our pediatrician wants Evan rear facing until 2 also. Being an amateur mom I asked why, and he said because of the disproportionate size of their head in relation to their body. So if you are in a head on collision their little neck would have a hard time keeping their enormous head from snapping forward. I have been very lucky in that Evan loves being in the car, but I think it's all about what works best for you. If they are able to be rear facing for two year, then great. If not, and they start screaming and having tantrums (or vomiting) that appear to be related to the seat, I think that seems like a dangerous driving situation too. I have many friends and relatives that have turned their seats much sooner and have been just fine.

    • G has never liked the car and its really only recently that she started sleeping in it! Thank goodness. I think we are going to try rear facing again. I'm hoping it was just a fluke thing. We have road trip planned for DC in March and even though she made that trip before she was just 6 months. I'm hesitant to have her rear facing for a 8+ hour car ride. :/

  3. I know that the recommended age is 2 years, but shortly after her first birthday I turned Gwen around. I am so prone to car sickness, and it was pretty apparent that Gwen was developing the same problem. Check out this story of mine

    I feel your pain!

  4. lol….the first time my baby was turned forward-facing was a trip to stoughton ikea down 95 🙂 I totally get that one, I get car-sick driving down that road never mind riding rear-facing!

  5. Well my daughter turns 4 in 3 weeks and we just now turned her forward facing….she has the myride so she still met all the height/weight stuff but she vocalized that she likes seeing her sister and brother. Now if my 2 year old said she wanted to change I wouldn't listen but I feel that at 4 she is perfectly safe to go FF…I will admit she could have been FF around a year even two years ago but it was much easier to get her in/out of the van being RF…and she didn't mind it, she actually whined when we tried to FF her! As for your baby, first good on ya for making it to 15 mos…I would try RF again…start out in smaller trips…it may have been a fluke but you are the mama and I know nothing about your child. So u do what u think is best 🙂

  6. Just realized my comment sounds snarky…not meant to be lol!! Haven't had coffee yet and not processing my thoughts

  7. We put Hayley forward facing at 13 months and plan to do the same with Zane. Zane is 26 pounds and 90 percent for height. He is completely squished backward facing but we do plan to leave him till 13 months, like we did with Hayley. BTW, she looks adorable!

  8. Poor baby!

  9. Clarissa D says:

    I know this is against most parent's ideas of safety, but my daughter was just too big to fit rear facing, and would scream and scream…without me being able to see her on long trips I would get worried so we bought her a front facing seat and have had zero issues. They are also tested for safety, and she is within the weight limit set so I believe she is safe, and as a mother that is something I worry about and do not take lightly. She is in the 99th percentile for both height and weight (she is the size of a one year old), and making her sit rear facing any longer would be a disaster for her. I feel safer knowing I can easily see her and she has enough room now.

  10. People also have to remember, that the front facing car seats are also tested for safety. I don't think this is a one size fits all issue, I think every situation could be different depending on size/age/etc. 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      The testing is the same but for younger kids under the age of 4, rear facing it always safer because the spine doesn't fuse together till around 4.

  11. I kept my youngest DS RF until he was 31 months old, and he outgrew the RF criteria for his carseat. I want to get a Myride or Nautilus and return him to RF, honestly.
    A 2008 article in Pediatrics (the journal of the AAP) recommends rear-facing till age 2. “A recent analysis of the protection provided in rear-facing compared with forward-facing car safety seats has revealed that children under the age of 2 years are 75% less likely to die or sustain serious injury when they are in a rear-facing seat.” is an awesome source! Here are some of her points:
    On cramped/crossed legs she says: Simply put, there are ZERO documented cases of rear-facing children breaking their legs, hips, feet, etc., due to their feet touching the back of the vehicle seat. However, since it looks plausible, this rumor persists. Studies show that forward-facing kids are actually more likely to have leg injuries.

    Unfortunately there are too many documented cases of head and spinal cord injuries due to children riding forward-facing too soon. Modern medicine can easily fix a broken leg, but not a broken neck.

    What about big babies?
    A 95th percentile baby may look stronger than his 5th percentile friend, but in a crash the bigger baby is likely MORE at risk if he's riding forward-facing. The rigidity of bones and the strength of ligaments in the spine is likely the same in children of the same age, no matter their size. And a 95th percentile baby likely has a much larger, heavier head, which will pull forward which much more force than that of a 5th percentile child.

    I think it was probably a fluke and it would be worth it to give RF another shot. 😉

  12. I rear-faced both of my boys until they were 2 years old. I did a lot of research about it and found out how much safer they were rear facing. There is a lot of good information out there. I learned a lot from a group that focused on rear-facing. All of the information I read was great, but once I watched the crash test videos I was sold. When they are forward facing and their large heads fling forward in a crash they can have something called internal decapitation! Their little spinal columns aren't long enough to handle it yet. Watch the videos and you will see. I would rather my kids be complaining about being uncomfortable (which they didn't) and be alive!
    I hope this information helps and I applaud you for rear-facing as long as you have already!

  13. Christina says:

    My son is still rear facing at 30 months, I would like to keep him rear facing till at least 4. Because it's is 5 times safer for all the reasons Cheryl & Queen of my couch posted. I suggest doing some research & I'm hoping for your sake that her puking was a one time deal. 🙂

  14. Def try RFing again. It is so much safer. Kids throw up sometimes for no reason at all. LOL. I have tiny kids, and luckily my daughter was able to rear face until she was 5 years old. Great job on getting to 15 months and for be willing to try it again.

  15. Anonymous says:

    my 2½ and 1½ year olds are still rear facing in the car at 16 months my daughter was sick in the car and vomited all over I didn't even consider turning her forward she has continued to rear face and has not vomited in the car again
    I plan to keep her rear facing as long as possible I would try re rear facing your daughter The vomiting may have just been a one time issue and not worth compromiseing her safety

  16. Anonymous says:

    I would get a soft mirror for the seat headrest and turn her back rearfacing. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children her age. It very well could have been a fluke that she threw up.

    Also heavy jackets in a car seat are a big no no, they can compress on a crash, causing the straps to be too loose and the baby could come out of the seat and be killed. A single layer fleece jacket is fine, but nothing heavier. You can pit her coat on backwards over the harness, use a blanket or buy a car seat poncho.

    Good luck, keep her rearfacing as long as you can; even if you have to buy a new seat to do it in!

  17. I don't think that is the reason she threw up. Mine is 28 months and still facing backwards. I have sat back there feeding him snacks several times and nothing went wrong.

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