I haven't done a Personal Reflections post yet. I'm sure these will be the posts that get everyone's feathers all ruffled, their panties in a wad, and all up in a tizzy. I'll start by saying: these are my own thoughts and only that. I'm not looking to start a fight and I am by no means judging other mommas! To each his (or her!) own. We are all looking for the best way to care for our own families and this is how I'm choosing to care for mine.
Part of the issue today with everything is that there are too many options! There are 15 different kinds of fat-free milk at the grocery store, 20 different types of toilet paper, and 17 different flavors of goldfish! Y'all, why do we need 17 different flavors of goldfish??! (I'm pretty sure these aren't accurate numbers at all, but you get my point!).
It's a blessing and a curse, really.
The same goes for carseats. We aren't relying on one badly made carseat to protect our child, but it's our responsibility as their parent to research the thousands that are on the market to make the best decision in case the inevitable were to happen.
*And just because it wouldn't be a good post without some pictures of my snuggabug...
When Hadley was little, we used the Chicco key fit 30. Griffin will also use this car seat because it is still within the expiration date and hasn't been in any accidents. Hadley now rides in theChicco Nextfit. When Griffin is old enough to need a bigger seat, we will research the best car seat for him and us at that time. Here are some of the things we did/ continue to do with our carseats:
1. Professionally Installed: We called our local police department and set up a time for them to TEACH us how to install the carseat correctly. One of our cars has the new LATCH system and one doesn't. We needed to know how to install the carseats into both vehicles. We needed to know how to change them correctly if we ever got a new car, and we learned a lot of tips and tricks to making sure the car seat wasn't moving. It was one of the best things we did.
*Look at my tiny, jaundice baby!
2. Rear-facing: Hadley will be rear-facing for as long as possible. Even though guidelines say you can turn forward-facing at 2, we will NOT turn her around to forward-facing at two years of age. The Chicco Nextfit allows her to be rear-facing up to 40 pounds, or until she reaches the height limit of her carseat. She's a petite thing and nowhere near 40 pounds or the height limit. Recent research has shown that children's neck muscles are not strong enough to withstand impact if they are forward-facing before 4 years of age. Clearly if she was too big to be rear-facing, we would have her forward-facing, but she's not so we won't. She doesn't know any different yet, so she doesn't fight us about it.
http://csftl.org/why-rear-facing-the-science-junkies-guide/ (awesome explanation of just the facts.)
*I know it's blurry, but guys, look at that face! She's a ham.
3. Middle Seat/Back Seat: Hadley's carseat is installed in the middle of the back row of our cars because that is the safest place for her to be in a collision (air bag deployment). And her carseat fits properly there. If it didn't, she would be on one of the sides. Unfortunately, we only have one middle seat in our car (ha!) so I'm going through some major mommy guilt as to which child should be in the middle when the new baby arrives, haha! ;)
*Clearly unimpressed with the proceedings.
4. We keep the car seat manual with the car seat at all times. Chicco even has a little compartment for it. That way, if we are ever out and need to change the car seat to another car, if we have questions regarding how she's sitting, etc., we have a go-to immediately for answers. Yes, we do all of these things because "research says so", but we also do what we do based on how Hadley's car seat works best.
Here are a few other links if you're interested:
*Holding Mommy's hand. She'll always do this, right??
Remember, these are just the things we as a family are doing to keep our baby girl safe. What about you mommas? What car seats do you use? Any tips I should incorporate?