So when is a baby to be switched from rear-facing to a front-facing car seat? Safety regulations say ‘one year’ or ’22 pounds’, whichever comes first. Initially I wanted him to stay in a rear-facing one till as long as he could, because many articles cite it’s 5 times safer than a front facing one. So, he crossed his first birthday and somewhere along the same month he also reached the 22 pound mark. We were trudging along but somehow, out of the blue I had a change of heart.
I hail from Karachi, Pakistan. In a country where pillion riding on motorbikes is a very common sight, child car safety regulations do not exist. Even very educated and savvy friends and family balk at the idea of their new-born infants riding in car seats. They dismiss it as something pertaining to the ‘Western world’. My husband and I believe safety is a child’s right and a universal concept, not limited to a geographical location. As a parent if I can’t provide my child with security, what good am I? [Disclaimer: I cannot and will not judge those who can’t afford a car, let alone a car seat. Or those who are physically unable to put their child in a car seat. (or anyone in a similar stressful situation) Excuse me for this piece.] Anyway, we religiously put our baby in a car seat from the first day, everywhere we went. The rear-facing one we used was this loyal piece.
The debate, for me, was the switch to the front facing one. I realized that the view from the rear-facing seat was quite boring. A thirteen-month old baby needs to see the world go by. Car rides should be enjoyed and should be an opportunity to learn new things.
We didn’t have an extensive wish list. Our criteria were as follows. A car seat that:
- reclines, so he could sleep during long road trips
- is not lined with thick fabric, because its HOT almost ten months of the year
- has an easy-to-manage buckle
We opted for Goodbaby CS 806. It has a two-sided air protect system to boot.
It’s been a week and so far he is really enjoying his car rides. He can see either parent drive (maneuver steering wheel) and has not fallen asleep in the car yet as (this I’m assuming) he is watching us intently. While waiting at the signal I can turn around and have a conversation with him which wasn’t possible before. If you are a parent who has had experience in this regard, do share. I’d love to hear your views.