I am an olde fogey. With my tween and teen I had both rear-facing in an infant car seat. The rule then was rear-facing until 20 pounds or 1. Both girls reached 20 pounds before turning one, so I switched each to a toddler convertible car seat that would was placed rear-facing. At 1 I switched both to forward facing.
The rear-facing seats never seemed as secure. I wold place my knee in the car seat and push down on the seat to tighten the seatbelt before using the seat but the seat was never as secure as forward-facing.
With my 6-year-old, my car seat experience was so different. I had to buy a new infant car seat since our other seat was 7-years-old. The infant car seat fit in to a base. It was very secure. My son was huge so he transferred to a toddler seat well before 1 years old. Another feature I loved was the tether strap. I used the tether strap by hooking it to the back off the minivan seats. His car seats never moved.
We bought our van in 2006. The model after that year had the LATCH seatbelt system.