Car Seats…

17 Jun

In a time when there’s so much for a new mommy to worry about, the one thing that tops my mind (of many) tonight is that of car seats.

I have another blog that I use as a journal, in a community where I am, admittedly, more active with the members and I made the mistake of commenting on someone’s entry regarding rear- and forward-facing car seats. My note was something like this:

“Mine is only 9 months old, but she’s in a seat that’s rear-facing rated until 35 pounds and will be a booster up to 100. I think we’re going to play it by ear how long she stays rf, just because of the research I’ve found on the subject. Things like making sure her legs aren’t cramped (because that can actually cause a problem in case of an accident), but also that she would be physically able to be ff.

If it’s 18 months (I do think a year is a little short), then it’s 18 months, but I’m not in a hurry either. :-)”

The gal IMMEDIATELY noted me back about how I should keep Paige rear-facing until she’s 4 and the stats of internal decapitation.

You know what? I’m not the uber-mom…I don’t coddle Paige and I’m SO not a “crunchy” mom. I KNOW what the stats/msn articles say, I know I’m probably stirring up some sort of controversy (when I should be cleaning), but here are my true feelings on the subject.

Paige will be rear-facing until I think she is ready to turn around. A slight discomfort is much better than a dead child…I GET THAT. But I’m not going to force my 4 year old to sit in a rear-facing position, ESPECIALLY if I, as her mother, think that she’s ready to move.

Will I be turning her around at a year (because she’s already passed the 20 pound mark)? Probably not. In fact, I’m looking at 18 months to 2 years. But I’m going to go by my instincts. So far, they’ve been pretty good. Her car seat goes up to either 35 or 40 pounds rear-facing and up to 100 as a belt-positioning booster (I think it’s 60 for a 5-pt harness, but need to check that), so we have plenty of leeway.

I don’t have a problem with other people and again, I DID make the first comment, but you better believe that me putting this out there will probably stir the hornets’ nest (so to speak). However, it’s like the breast-feeding issue all over again…where the people who think they are right are beating up on others. No, I did not breast feed. You may ask my boobs directly why they didn’t want to produce anything if you have a problem with it, so for my child, formula was quite literally, a life-saver.

Moving on…car seats…

So you have that whole debate….and then you have the one where you HAVE to HAVE the ABSOLUTE BEST SEAT out there and those are only Britax or Sunshine Kids. If you own one, I’m SO COMPLETELY not beating up on you, I promise (can we hug?). But I don’t honestly think you have to have a car seat that costs over $200 (and some are well over $300) to protect your child. I did spend $150 on ours, but I wanted it for the weight range. Quite frankly, we couldn’t afford a seat that costs more than what I paid. (You try having the student loans of a lawyer, m’kay?) But I suffered some MAJOR mommy-guilt because I couldn’t get my child the best. And then I read on an official website (not sure exactly which motor vehicles one it is, but it’s one of those that you can go to in order to check out your car seat) this (paraphrased because I can’t remember it verbatim):

“A safe car seat is one that is installed and used correctly. A $50 car seat CAN be just as safe as a $300 car seat if it is used as it is designed to be used and installed in the proper manner.”

This made me feel so much better. I’m not going to dig myself into a deeper hole to get a car seat that will do the same thing as ours(considering ours is actually rated pretty decent, has great padding, and is side-impact tested), nor am I going to let myself beat myself up, just because I can’t do what “everyone else” does.

I know we’re all trying to do the best for our children and we’re all trying to provide the best, but it just DRIVES ME CRAZY when people try to shove their beliefs on someone else (I’m totally a God-fearing Christian, but don’t get me started on Bible beaters!). Why do we as moms act like we’re better than everyone else? Why do we continue to beat each other up over issues like car seats, breast-feeding, or any other numerous hot-button issue that’s out there?

I UNDERSTAND informing those that are un-informed. But you know what? I’m not. I read…A TON. I probably know more than you think I know. However, my choices for my family are my choices and your choices for your family are yours.

If you have thoughts (remember, rude or inappropriate comments will be deleted, but I will welcome discussion), please leave them in the comments section.

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