Do newborn babies need to sit rear facing in a car seat ?
The answer to this question is a definite yes. All babies must ride in rear-facing position starting with their first ride home from the hospital. They then must stay in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.
All Australian car seats now have shoulder height mark indicators to easily know when to transition to the next position in that car seat or the next car seat all together.
Shoulder height markers are a mandatory feature under the AS/NZS 1754 law that governs car seat child restraints. These markers show when your child can start using a car seat, when the seat can be converted to the next mode of use, and when your child has outgrown the seat.
The most common type of car seat we sell here at Baby Mode is a convertible car seats. It generally allows rear-facing from newborn up to 30 months. When infants outgrow their rear-facing position a convertible seat then allows them to ride forward facing until they reach the maximum height marker which is approx 4 years.
Despite Australian Law stating parents can legally turn their children's car seat to forward facing at six months as long as they reach the lower shoulder height marker on their convertible car seat, at Baby Mode we recommend keeping your child rearward facing for as long as possible.
Many studies show that it is far safer to keep them rear facing for longer. Rear-facing seat positions give the best support and protection to a child’s head and neck in a crash.
During impact in a car accident or when applying the car brakes on hard, in a rearward facing position your child's body is cradled into the car seat while the crash forces are distributed across the shell of the seat.
While in a forward-facing position, a child's head and body are thrust forward with the crash force or hard breaking situation. The harness is the main point of contact.
We find that most toddlers don't reach the lower shoulder height marker, set by the car seat manufacture till they are between 12 to 18 months old.
For more expert advice on child car seats and restraint safety visit us at our Baby Mode Superstore Melbourne
📍5/77 Wright Street, Sunshine VIC 3020 Australia.