Today we spent £250 on a new car seat for L. Yikes! Until today he was still using his infant carrier/bucket seat and although he is still less than 20lbs in weight, at 16 months old he was growing out of it, and wanting to be upright and viewing the world as we drive, out of the window.
I had recently read a lot about keeping young children rear facing in cars for longer (the average in the UK is 9-12 months, ie most parents turn their children around into a forward facing seat between 9 and 12 months, some even earlier). Many Nordic countries keep their kids rear facing until between age 2 and 4 yrs and there is plenty of evidence to suggest this is the best option in the event of a crash. I am guessing rear facing car seats for the over 1's will grow in popularity over the next few years as people start to catch on. In the meantime I aim to be a trend setter ;-)
Anyway, we decided in the interests of safety, we had to act on this information, even though it is costly (we already have a number of forward facing group 1 car seats that our older children have grown out of). So we bought a Britax Multifit which means L has a lovely view out the rear window and he is sat next to his big sister who at age 5, is forward facing in a high-backed booster... so they are virtually looking at each other, which is quite a socialable position, putting aside my worries that rear facing might not be as practical as they grow.....
This seat should allow L to be rear facing until he around 5, dependent on weight.
This link explains some of the reasons we decided to choose a rear facing chair for our toddler. And I have to mention the most very excellent shop from which we made our purchase today... we travelled to York to Paul Strides shop, where the staff bent over backwards to not only ensure the new chair fitted well, but that we had all 4 seats well-fitted and in the best position. Oh and they sell cloth nappies, so obviously they rock!
I will upload a photo of L and the Tribe in situ in their new positions once I get chance to take a picture.