A rear-facing child restraint system (CRS) is designed with a specific recline angle which is between 30 to 45 degrees from vertical.
Actually, the more upright a vehicle seatback or the CRS is, the better the protection it gives to the occupant. However, for a newborn baby, a more supine position is required because they don’t have any head control.
For safety and comfort reasons, a newborn baby has to sit in a rear-facing seat with a recline angle near to 45 degrees from vertical. This is to ensure that their airways are always open because at a more upright position, it will cause their head to flop and thus closing their airways, endangering them.
The infant insert provided with the CRS also helps to achieve the correct recline angle. So always make sure that you use them as per instructed in the CRS manual.
⚠️ Do not recline the CRS more than 45 degrees from vertical as this reduces the efficiency of the CRS to provide protection to your child ⚠️
An older baby with better head control (about 6 months and above), can sit in a rear-facing seat with a more upright recline angle at about 30 degrees from vertical if the CRS allows this change. This more upright position is to ensure that the CRS doesn’t rotate further in an accident due to an imbalance in the gravitational center.
⚠️ The recline angle of a CRS can change depending on the vehicle seat pan. Always try to install the CRS into your vehicle to ensure correct recline angle is achieved especially when you are buying a CRS for a newborn ⚠️
Can you guess if the rear-facing CRS in the picture has a recline angle of 30 or 45 degrees?