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A Guide to the New Rules of Parenting: Why Babies Can't Sleep on Their Stomach and More

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baby in rear facing car seat

Car Seats


What's Out: Turning a baby's car seat to be front-facing when the baby is 1 year old or about 20 pounds

What's In: Keeping car seats rear-facing until the child is at least age 2 or has reached the height and weight maximum for his car seat (usually around 40 pounds)

Why? While it might look a little silly to have a gangly toddler facing backward in the car, the AAP updated its car seat guidelines in 2011 based on findings that children under age 2 are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a crash if they are riding rear-facing. Enough said! The AAP's recommendations also state that children who have outgrown their rear-facing seat should then use a booster seat or child seat of the appropriate size until they reach at least 4 feet, 9 inches in height and are between the ages of 8 and 12. Children should not ride in the front seat of a car until at least age 13. Times have changed, eh?

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