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Is your child in the right car seat? Probably not. Fix it now.

I am furious and heartbroken all at the same time this morning. When I logged on the Internet this morning, the first article on Yahoo.com’s main page just ruined my entire day.

This mother tragically lost her child because her child was not properly restrained in his car seat. Something so simple. Something so easy. Something so many people are not aware of could have saved this poor life. It kills me. My heart is breaking for a complete stranger this morning.

By law, at least in North Carolina, a child is required to be in a rear facing car seat until they turn one. Although that is the law in the state in which I live, other states have laws that require children to remain rear-facing for far longer because experts recommend that a child remain rear facing for as long as possible. Age does not determine if your child gets to be forward facing. A child’s weight and height does. Each car seat is different. Each car seat has different regulations on how your child should sit in the seat and if it should be rear facing or forward facing.

ONE IN FOUR CAR SEATS Are INSTALLED INCORRECTLY. Knowing that alarming statistic, that 75 percent of car seats are wrong, how could you not want to ensure yours is right?!

Please don’t assume because your child is one, or because your friend’s child is forward-facing, that your child should be too, because chances are, they shouldn’t. A child in a rear facing seat is 4 times safer than a child in a forward facing seat when it comes to a collision. FOUR TIMES SAFER. I have no idea that parents can know that fact and ignore it. I have no idea why any parent would want to risk their child’s safety.

I completely understand, that in a lot of cases, like the one of the mother in the article posted above, the problem is lack of education on the topic. Since becoming a mother I have become a car seat nazi. I guess you could say that I am kind of obsessed with it. But when I read articles like the one above… who can blame me? Today, a mother is without her son because she didn’t know the facts. It is that simple.

I have heard some parents say that their child is too big to be rear facing because their feet touch the back of the seat. My sister was one example. But that just simply isn’t true. It is perfectly safe and expected for your child’s feet to be rear facing with their feet touching the seat. It is going to happen and is totally ok. It will keep your child safe. Just do it.

Please educate yourself. Please know what is best for your child. Please don’t let an easy fix take your child’s life.  There are tons of resources, a great one is Safe Kids. Not only does their website have a ton of information, but they also have resources to find car seat technicians who will check your car seat for free. They are certified and can tell you what is best for your child and your vehicle. It doesn’t cost you anything to get it checked, but if you don’t, it could cost you your child’s life.

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So if we are Facebook friends, and you post a picture of your child in a car seat and it is incorrect. Chances are I am probably going to step up and say something, because the mother in this article wished someone would have done that for her.

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Summer Vacation Series Part III: Rear vs. Forward Facing car seat for a long drive

So for our first vacation as a family, well at least the first that counts (we took Turner on work trips with Andrew when he was a couple of weeks old), we decided since we were driving from North Carolina to Destin, Florida, it would be a treat for Turner, and easier for us, if we turned his car seat forward facing.

The first couple of minutes were awesome. We got to see him, and every time we turned around and looked at him he would giggle and he just loved it. It was easier… at first.

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We thought it would be easier. Especially since his car seat presses up against my seat, and if I wanted to lay it back, or not be hugging the dashboard for the entire drive, he would have to be in the middle instead of behind my seat.

When Turner got tired, and we just happened to be stuck in traffic due to a wreck, it was hell. He could not get comfortable in the more upright position the car seat was in. He wanted me to be turned and talking to him or giving him attention every second, which made me car sick. He was livid, and there was nothing we could do because we were stuck in traffic, on the side of the highway, with no end in sight.

We drive halfway the first night, just to make it easier on Turner. Which ended up being miserable for us. But we were so tired, we just decided to leave the car seat forward facing the next morning. It was only 4 hours, and although it was a little harder, it was just so cute to be able to look back and see him. It really was a treat for us. Well, we soon regretted that decision as well.

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Since he could see us, he wanted to us to play and talk to him the whole time. I just couldn’t do it. Well, needless to say, for the non-stop 8 hour trip home, we left his seat rear-facing. And although I could not even begin to straighten my legs, Turner slept and was content the whole way home!

So lesson learned. If you think a forward-facing seat is easier and better for your little one on a long car ride… think again. Leave it rear-facing for as long as possible!

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My little guy is growing way too fast

So we got another new car seat for Turner this weekend. Since Andrew doesn’t love the Cadillac of rear-facing convertible car seats that we originally bought, we went with a simpler model for the second car. 

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I didn’t install it right away and Andrew wasn’t with me when Ruby and I picked it out, so he had no crash course in installation before he loaded Turner up to take him to day care yesterday. Andrew was convinced I had messed up and bought a forward facing seat, and since that is how he could figure out to install it, that is how Turner rode to daycare. 

Let me just tell you, seeing Turner so happy and smiling and in awe of the world and all he could see was precious. And every time I looked in the back seat he would just smile and giggle at me and it was perfection. Knowing that they should be rear facing until two, and the longer they are rear facing the better, when we got home, I fixed the seat, but it sure was not easy. Being able to see him was adorable! Melts my stinking heart! 

In other news, while I know it is too soon to brag or anticipate anything permanent, the last two nights Turner has actually slept…kinda. He still woke up crying, but instead of me having to get up, get him a new bottle and even rub his back and restart his much to get him to go back to sleep, he was able to do it on his own. It was glorious. Even a little bittersweet. When I put him down for bed, I always kiss him and tell him I will see him at midnight, since that is when he has been getting up like clockwork… but the last two nights, he slept right through our 12 a.m. meeting, and it was a little heartbreaking.

He is basically a grown up. It is hard to believe that he will be 1 in 24 days. Wow. Speaking of 24 days… I have a party to plan that I have no time to do. Crap!

, SiteDart Author

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Not a fan of the new car seat… but looks like I have no choice!

I am completely frustrated. 

On Sunday, Andrew and I drove an hour away to get Turner a new car seat. We had to drive so far because that is where the closest Babies R’ Us is. Our local Walmart didn’t have the car seat that I wanted. Because I am a car seat Nazi, I want Turner to be in a rear-facing seat as long as possible. Because rear-facing seats are not that popular, the selection locally, is basically nonexistent. So we drove an hour away. 

That is not what I am frustrated about. I just wanted to make note of the inconvenience. 

What I am frustrated about is how annoying car seats are in general. Like nothing about them are convenient. I am stoked that they keep Turner safe. I know every rule and all the ins and outs about seats, but that doesn’t mean I understand why they have to be so awful. 

Turner is kind of in an in between stage with his size. He had outgrown his infant seat. His head was less than an inch from the top and he was over 20 pounds. So we elected to get a convertible seat that can stay rear-facing until 40 pounds. But that seat is basically a tank. I guess it is because it grows with the child, but surely there are better options than a seat that weights 15 pounds itself. Turner isn’t even a year yet, so he still sleeps just about every time we put him in the car. But now, there is no handle to carry him in his car seat to and from places, the car seat requires its own buggy if Turner falls asleep.

I feel like there can be a happy medium. 

I feel like there should be an option that is still convenient and easy to carry and transfer from vehicle to vehicle, and one that doesn’t weight the same, if not more than my child! Like a detachable option. That slips out of the main car seat that can be used just to carry the child, something, anything rather than lugging that thing around! 

 

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Exploring the world of baby proofing

Turner is into everything. Like all little ones, he is obsessed with the toilet. Anytime a bathroom door gets left open, he heads straight for it. It doesn’t really help to leave the lid down, because he knows how to push it up just far enough to get his toys, bottle, sippy cup, and anything else nearby into the bowl. 

It is definitely time to baby proof the house. 

When Turner first started to pull himself to standing a couple of months ago, we cushioned all the coffee table corners, and when he started to crawl we plugged all the outlets. But now we have to do the whole nine yards. We have to secure all the cabinets, which is no easy feat. I had bought a general baby-proofing kit, but apparently, the cabinets in our house are weird dimensions. The cabinet locks that loop on the handles are too small. We have tried a couple different brands, but they will not open wide enough to hook one cabinet to the other. 

So I guess that leaves drilling to use the other baby-proofing options available. I am not happy about it. Surely, there are better ways to secure the house right? I feel like this part of motherhood is something that hasn’t gotten much attention. So all of you creative mothers out there, feel free to work in this space and come up with better options. I have debated about just zip tying the cabinets together! It may very well be easier! 

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I know it has to be done. The first time Turner pulled the dishwashing detergent out from under the sink, I went into panic mode and wanted to screw all the doors shut immediately. Maybe I will try velcro? That seems simple and less invasive than the other options. Surely Turner cannot Hulk the cabinets open if they are secured with velcro. 

We let Turner out on the porch this weekend for the first time. Not that we are that neurotic, but this weekend was the first pretty weekend that we have actually been home. I put the baby gate up by the stairs and let him walk around. Even though I know there is no possible way for him to fit between the bars on the porch, I was still on edge watching him roam. I swear, I am going to end up putting this kid in a bubble!

, SiteDart Author

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All work and no play as of late

I really love bridging my real life job with this blog. So I wanted to share another project I was fortunate enough to work on. The marketing department at my company got to work on an ad for our local D.A.R.E. publication. We created the graphic to fit in with the magazine. I got to come up with all the content, and being a new mom, some of the things I learned were a little alarming. Hopefully, the ad can serve as a bit of information and help families stay safe online. Check it out!  (P.s. I promise to have a really awesome relevant mommy blog on Monday, since it has been a little while since I was able to do one of those!) Image

, SiteDart Author

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Free car seat safety coloring book!

First, I am sorry for not being consistent with posting. I have been super busy with work, trying to contain my walker, and finalizing the Buckle Up, Baby! car seat safety clinic. I wanted to share with you guys the coloring book that the company I work for custom created AND is giving out for free with crayons on April 5. This is just one of the many, many free give-aways that will be at the event! I am pretty pumped about it. 

What is even cooler, you guys can see it and print it out for your kiddos too! Feel free to share it and let me know what you think! Check out the Buckle Up, Baby! coloring book by clicking here!

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