The AAP now recommends that you keep children rear facing (RF) in their carseats up until at least 2 years old. Here is their info on it. We made the choice to keep the girls RF as long as possible.
Cora turned 2 this week and we have not turned her seat forward. Her seat goes RF till 35 pounds, and she still has a few pounds before we hit that. The seat also has a high RF height max (one inch from the top of the seat) and as you can see - she is far from that.
And to answer some questions -
1. Yes, i do believe it is safest this way
2. No, it is not illegal to NOT have them RF until 2. The current law is 1 yr old AND 20 lbs to turn them. Your child MUST meet both.
3. No, her legs are not squished. She will just cross them, or put them higher on the back seat.
4. Her seat is a First Years True Fit - and I LOVE it.
5. She is not uncomfortable - she looks happy, right?