Question How long will you ERF - 3, 4, or 5 years old?


CPST Instructor
I turn my kids at 3. I'm comfortable with forward facing at that age though I know others prefer longer.


Active member
I rearface until 4 years old and won't forward face before this. I am not comfortable with my own kids ff before 4 years old. I am fine with other people making the decision to ff their 3 year old. It scares me to death when anyone has a 2 year old forward facing.

I am very happy that more and more people are rearfacing until 2 years old, but not happy that now people think this is the rearfacing limit. It's better than 1 and 20 pounds, but I wish the AAP would have said at least 3 years old. I have lots of friends who rearface until close to 2, but only 1 friend outside of this board who rearfaced past 2.


Well-known member
I gave my son a choice at 4yo. He flipped back and forth for a few months until he outgrew that seat RF.

DD has a history of osteopenia. I might ask for a bone age scan before I give her a choice. She is very small and may not outgrow her seat RF for a very long time.


New member
I rearfaced DD until 4y6m. I don't go by the "to the limits of the seat" rule because she would have been rear facing until like 7 if I had, lol. She had over 10 lbs and 2-3 inches height wise to grow before reaching the RF limits of her Radian. That could've taken years! So, at 4.5, I was comfortable that RF was no longer that much safer to outweigh some other factors (comfort, space in the backseat, loading, etc).
4 will be my minimum for all future children. The reason I kept DD going past that was because she is small and has a proportionately larger head so I figured she'd could benefit from 6 more months. If I had a child that was a big sturdy kid, I would just do 4yo instead of 4.5!


New member
DD1 is a peanut. She just turned 4 and she's 39 inches and 29 pounds. So still within the rear-facing limits of her seat. But I turned her around at 4 because...honestly? Because I was beginning to feel ridiculous! She'd already rear-faced longer than anyone I know in real life, often by years! That's a dumb reason, I am aware. But also, she was asking to be turned around; and also, at some point her sister (also a peanut) will probably move into the Evenflo rear-facing again and we'll buy DD1 a combination seat and she'll be forward-facing anyway.

I plan to keep DD2 rear-facing to age 4 as well.


CPST and ketchup snob
Staff member
We rf to four and as long thereafter as the child desires and still fits. That is, until four we do whatever is within our means to rf in the primary vehicle (though I'll ff at three in others if necessary, or 2 on a plane) and at four if the child desires to ff we turn. (dang it's hard though!)


New member
For us it changed with each child.

DS2 RF to the limit of his seat and was turned at 3

DD is a peanut. She could RF in her seat until at least 6 or older. But we turned her FF at 4. I still have a hard time with it.


New member
Well, My dd I flipped at 9 months in 1990. She had long legs and used to rock her car seat back pushing off the back of the vehicle seat and it freaked me out so I flipped her.

DS1 I flipped after a year, But not much.

DS2 I flipped after 16 months?

Then I came here when he was well past rfing in anything but a radian and even then would have only bought me about 3 lbs til I had to flip him.

Now? I would have probably bought a bucket, then a seat that rf'd to at least 40 lbs and then flipped when they reached that limit.

I wish ff'ing was not viewed as a milestone. I try to enforce this when people say things like, " He is almost a year! He can ff now!"

It needs to be more like the honey thing.. No honey til over a year, No ff until you max our rfing seat and are at least 2 yrs old.


New member
To the limit of the seat.

DD1 has a long torso and she hit 1" of hard shell in her Boulevard 70 at around 2.5 years old. At the time we were shopping for convertibles for her, we wanted to get her past 2 RFing (and even that is highly unusual - I don't know anyone IRL who rear faces past 18 months, and most of DD1's peers were turned FF at 1 year). DH had been laid off and we had baby #2 on the way, so rather than buying two new seats to RF her longer, we turned her FF and felt no guilt - we did the best we could in our situation at the time. She is still very safe in her correctly installed and used Boulevards. :)

DD2 is in a KF30 for now. She also appears to have a long torso so we're debating our convertible seat strategy for her. There are so many more options now than there were even a few years ago when we were shopping for DD1.


New member
I'll keep my daughter RF until she outgrows her current seats - which for all but one of them should be past age 5. Then booster.


New member
Like KQ, we RF to a minimum of 4 years old & then as long after as our kids fit & they want to remain RF. DD1 RF full time until 4y 3m. Then she asked to go FF for a while. Then she asked to go back RF for a bit. Now she's mostly FF in her Radian. We will start booster training soon for car pooling situations.

DD2 is 2 & has miles of room in her RA55. I don't anticipate flipping her until at least 4.


New member
My oldest turned at 14 months which was "extended" back then - and I think my only reason for putting off turning him was fear of learning to install the seat a different way. Which was ridiculous since it was a cute little Roundabout. :eek:

My twins turned at 2 1/2 because one was getting close to the 35 pound limit on their seats.

New dude will go longer. I don't know how much longer. He is almost 2 1/2 but small, maybe 25 pounds. He is using the girls' old marathons but I'm getting him some snazzy new seats. He still fits but I have that new seat itch and he's my last kid so my last chance to try out new convertibles.

I am looking forward to what'll be out when I have grandkids. :D


New member
I like 4.
But my 2 YO (2 on April 11) outgrew the Advocate this week!
I was able to get a RF Radian in, luckily. So in our van he can stay RF.

But in the Civic there is a Prosport. Dad is 6 '4" and I'm tall, too. So is toddler!


New member
It's easy for me to say until the seat's limits because for my kids that's 3. I'd love to have been able to RF longer, but if I had a peanut who still fit at 5 or 6, I might let them decide.


New member
3 is sort of my personal minimum for our primary vehicle. We're past that, so my goal at this point is through winter and 4 years (April). I think at that point I'll give DS a choice. It's no big deal to me either way, and unless he gains 10 lbs (he's just now finally at 34 and a bit, so I'd be flipping him if he was still in my TFP) and a bunch of height, he can go whichever way he wants.

He's been FF in DH's vehicle occasionally since the baby was born due to space issues, and I'm fine with that.


New member
I made it to 3yrs, 8mo with Z. Hope to get to 4yrs with MJ. That said, my oldest was turned when he hit 20lbs at almost 7 months back in '96


New member
DS was almost 3 when I had to turn him. DD will go longer than that in the Foonf, but may not make it all the way to 4 before outgrowing by height. She will likely have to turn a bit earlier in DH's car unless I buy a new seat for it, but I can't justify a second Foonf, as she will outgrow it FF at the same time as RF. But I have tall kids with very long torsos.

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