In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their recommendations to state that infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing child safety seat for as long as possible, until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat. For most children, this will be well after their second birthday and probably closer to, or even beyond, age 3. Rear-facing supports the head, neck, and spine and allows the car seat to absorb most of the crash forces. Some states, including New York, have laws requiring rear-facing to at least 2 years old.
As rear-facing children get bigger, parents often ask, "What about leg injuries?” Legroom is not a safety issue, as children are able to bend their legs easily and find a comfortable position. The AAP has concluded that rear-facing does not increase the risk of leg injuries.
Choosing a car seat for your new baby can be complicated. The best seat is one that fits your car, your child, your budget and that you will use correctly every time you drive.