When Can Your Child Or Toddler Face Forward In A Child’s Car Seat?

There are two regulations in force relating to children’s car seats, ECE R44 04 and ECE R129 or i-Size. Both have different requirements.

Technically, forward-facing R44 seats are approved for children weighing from 9kgs and forward-facing R129 seats are approved for children taller than 76cms. However, there is no standard child. Two children weighing the same or being the same height will, no doubt, have different physiques.

At In Car Safety Centre, we will advise you to continue using rear-facing seats for as long as possible because it is simply safer than forward-facing.

Here’s what you need to know about forward-facing car seats.

ECE R129 seats (known as i-Size) are based on a child‘s height.

  • When height based seats are selected, the child must travel rear-facing until they reach the age of 15 months.

ECE R44-04 are based on a child‘s weight.

  • When weight-based seats are selected, the child may travel rear-facing until reaching a weight of 13kgs.

We recommend the use of rear-facing seats for as long as it is possible. Rear-facing seats provide significant safety benefits to a child if involved in an accident.

The law intends that children should travel rear-facing until they are 15 months old. We would recommend that this should be the minimum age for a toddler to move into a forward-facing car seat.

Infant carriers (the baby’s first seat) manufactured to the R44 standard are ‘approved’ to accommodate children up to a weight of 13kgs. At this weight, children will be different ages. Seats manufactured to R129 standard are similar in every way except they have been subjected to additional testing and are suitable for children up to the height of 87cms (some seats vary from 75-87cms). Again, children will be of different weights and ages at this height.

Please remember, despite the lack of clarity between the regulations, the law, and their intentions, it is always safer for your child to travel rear-facing. It is possible to do this up to the weight of 25kgs (which is equivalent to the average 5-6-year-old).


Do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team if you have any more questions.

Book a consultation with one of our expert car seat specialists today.