I have seen some horrible misuse of car-seats lately, and I never cease to be amazed... I have seen people try to put 2 year olds in boosters, use expired seats, and forward face infants...
I am a huge advocate of car seat safety, and I wanted to post this because so many people are misinformed. Please remember that car seats DO expire, and it is a safety issue. Keeping a child rear facing as long as possible is the easiest way to keep them safe in a car.
The 20lb and 1 year suggestion is out of date, and the pediatrician recommendations are being changed in the following year or so.
There has never been a documented case of broken legs in a child facing the rear, but internal decapitation happens to children who are forward facing.
Children don't mind sitting with crossed legs, or with their legs up, and studies show it is better then having their legs dangle in front of them forward facing.
It is never too late to start, we flipped Arden backwards again after he was forwards because his weight changed and he had more time in his seat rear facing. He didn't mind at all! It helps him sleep better on trips, allows him to be more comfortable, and he likes to tell me about what is behind us in the car.
Both Arden and Canyon are rear facing, and I am looking into buying Arden a new seat that will be safer longer, the . He is getting close to outgrowing his seat in the current position. This is the seat I am looking at. It will let him be rear facing until about 6 years old.
Here are Arden and Canyon:
Please think about keeping your child rear facing as long as possible, and don't just do the minimum for their safety :)