At what weight can my baby sit forward facing?

Forward Facing Car Seats for Children

According to a 2011 report by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 250,000 kids are hurt yearly in car accidents, and about 2,000 perish from their wounds. Furthermore, the infant passenger death rate in the U.S is at least double that of other comparable wealthy nations.

Several of these fatalities and injuries are preventable. Studies have demonstrated that the proper use and placement of child restraint devices substantially reduce harm to child passengers in vehicle crashes. Usually, babies sit rear facing in their car seats, but several parents have always wanted to know, at what weight can my baby sit forward facing.

The need for a child to sit forward facing depends on several things, including the law, age, height, besides the weight of the child. Below are guidelines and information about the right stage, weight, and stature a child can forward face.


As early as 1990, the professional associations, NHTSA and American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), began to develop child passenger safety standards and guidelines. They cover a more extensive array of child passenger safety concerns that keep minors from being injured.

They highlighted the significance of three categories of safety practices in guarding child travellers.

  • Device-Based restraints designed to the size or age of individual children.
  • Forward facing and rear seating.
  • Seatbelt wearing of children who have outgrown child control gadgets but still in need of surveillance to comply with seatbelt obligations.

Nevertheless, the federal government’s direct intervention to encourage authorization of child constraint laws has been limited. It only provides modest financial grounds in U.S. The recent MAP-21 Act, Moving Ahead for Progress, is an example, where the central government maintains its work to provide concessions to states that encourage and reinforce the public’s appropriate use of child constraints.

Though the monetary sum concerned is moderately small, there have not been any fines or diversionary devices such as modifying the establishment of the current national funding on a country’s channel of child traveller safety laws.


Several parents used to turn the chair to face forward immediately a child had marked their first anniversary. There could have been some uncertainty with the communication, with several parents misinterpreting the age limit as the appropriate time to adjust the child’s seat. Car seats that are rear-facing are more effective at preventing fatal injuries as well as protecting the child’s arms and legs.


Currently, the NHTSA and the AAP advocates that;

Minors should sit rear facing till they outgrow their seat. That means most children should continue using a rear-facing seat which is fitted appropriately until they get to 2 or 3 years or attain the maximum weight of the car seat.

The child should be strapped into the car seat with a 5-point harness or impact shield.


All kids should use the correct vehicle seat that is suitable for their stature except when they attain 135cm height. After this period, they should use a grown-up seat belt. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the car driver to ensure that all children under the height of 1.35m are using the correct restraint.

Similar laws relate to minors who are disabled unless a doctor confirms they are excused on medical grounds. Physically challenged kids may use safety belts or vehicle chairs devised explicitly for their needs.

Moreover, a new extension also suggests that kids can use backless boosters once they are 125 cm or taller.


The weight limit of any child depends on the specifications of the car seat. Once your child exceeds the weight limit of the infant vehicle seat, buy an adaptable car chair with a more advanced weight regulator.

To answer the question, at what weight can my baby sit forward facing, AAP advised parents to sit their kids rear-facing up to the maximum limit of the car seat which was one year and 20 pounds, but a new policy recommended age two and 35 pounds to 45 pounds as the appropriate time for flipping the child’s seat to face forward.

At this stage, a parent can change to an adaptable car seat that has a higher weight restriction but that will depend on the size of the car and the budget.

Earlier, the AAP urged parents to have their kids sit rear facing for a longer period.

According to Dennis Durbin, a paediatric emergency physician and co-scientific director of the Centre for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, a rear-facing seat supports the head, neck, and spine of infant in a crash by distributing the force of the impact over the entire body


Every year, several growing children are hurt or killed in car accidents. Appropriate use of car seat helps in checking the safety of the child. You may not believe, but as lots of options are available in the market, parents can be confused easily. If you are expecting a child, then you should study, give yourself enough time to ensure you can buy the right seat before your child is even born. This would ensure you can come home with 100% safety.

Although it’s much easier to get the child into the seat and interact with them when facing forward, parents should consider the safety and protection of the child. Any parent who is interested in the safety of their child should, therefore, endeavour to know at what weight can my baby sit forward facing.