Car seats... car seats
These are things that have to be dealt with when you have a child. We had an infant car seat that Daphne used for about 9 months, and we recently switched to using the Britax car seat she is in now.
The government regulates heavily what you do with your child in the car. Though I think it is funny that they find it necessary to keep a child in a booster seat until they are 8 years old (or even longer if they do not meet the weight limit). I DO appreciate that there is a safely tested option for my baby when she is in the car.
I seem to be obsessed with putting the car seat in the car correctly and making sure that each time Daphne gets into the car seat that the straps are all perfect. I was yelling at Jared for some half-hearted attempt to put her into the car seat because "my two most precious possessions are in the car, and if we were to wreck...." He gets it, but it is still kind of an obsessive thing for me.
The safest thing for a baby in the car is to stay rear facing. Technically, when a baby is 1 year old and weighs at least 20 pounds, they can turn around and face forward (at least in Oregon). However, the safest thing to do is to leave them rear facing as long as possible. I know moms that have done it for almost 3 years leaving their kid in the seat until there just nowhere else to put the legs of the kid.
Though I don't want to go that long, I do want to keep her rear facing as long as possible. She doesn't seem to mind.
When we were driving home from California, I decided to put her forward facing. The amount of stuff we had crammed into the car made it clear that I would not be able to sit next to her like we had done on the way down so the only way to have access to her was to face her forward. We also thought that it would be an amusing new thing for a baby we planned to cram into the car for 8 hours.
To tell you the truth, it was not as exciting as we had thought. She liked to be forward facing, but the tilt of the car seat was not quite right, so when she fell asleep, there was a lot of head flopping. I think she can see better back facing, actually.
Alas, I will turn the car seat around and try to get another year out of her facing backwards, but I suppose some time she won't be a tiny baby anymore either.