Thursday, May 7, 2009

Now That I'm a Big Girl

Now that Caroline is a big one year old and FINALLY outgrew her infant seat, it was time to install her new "big girl" car seat. Here is Caroline in her infant seat for the first time when she was 3 days old:

Here is Caroline in her last ride in the infant seat at 12 1/2 months old:

I don't trust myself or Matt to install these complicated seats correctly. So I headed up to Presby Plano to have the new seat installed by people who knew what they were doing (they have "safety" seminars every couple of weeks where they will help parents put car seats in correctly). I was so excited Caroline would finally get to face forward. But the people at the hospital told me it's really not safe for babies to face forward now until they are TWO years old, weigh more than 30 pounds, OR come within an inch of the height of the seat. What?!? I couldn't believe it. I had always heard that forward facing is okay as long as your child is one year old and 20 pounds (which Caroline is). I kind of argued with the people for awhile because I really wanted Caroline to be forward facing. But then they mentioned something about "internal decapitation", whatever that is, and I quickly shut up and let them install the seat the way they wanted. So now Caroline is still rear facing but her legs are all scrunched up and she seems so uncomfortable (as evidenced by the picture below).

When I mentioned Caroline's legs, they quickly responded "well, you can fix broken legs but you can't fix internal decapitation" (there was that awful term again). So my question to you other moms out there is: have you guys heard about these new car seat rules or were the people at Presby just being extreme?? I had them show me how to put the seat in forward facing and I'm tempted to just change it since Caroline doesn't really fit in the rear facing position anymore. However, I'm not an expert in car seat safety and the people at Presby are. And of course I don't want to do anything that is more dangerous to Caroline in a car accident. Any input is appreciated!!!


Kimberly said...

Definitely have heard it! We did have ours rear facing until about 18 months or so. . .for the reasons you are describing. We did not make it to 24 months though! I tried to keep them that way as long as we could stand it. You will find two schools of thought among parents, and I think either way is ok! Just depends on if you are an over-cautious "rule follower" type like me!

The Smiths said...

hahaha - (I obviously have no advice on this since my daughter is 4 mo and I come to YOU for all advice) but this post just made me laugh. For two reasons: #1 I can see your eyes widening at the mention of "internal decapitation" (as mine would) and #2 at the seeming NEVERENDING stream of decisions we must make as mothers! And they ALL seem to be not easy and SO CRUCIAL and agonizing! :) Aaahhhh!

Travis and Andrea said...

I have heard about it, and I think it's a little extreme. My kids are so long that they would have been kicking their weight, pushing off the seat, if we had left them rear facing. That term that they gave is terrible and it has probably happened if they have a term for it, but we turned our babies at 20lbs/1 year. Plus- it is SO MUCH FUN to see them, and they have fun looking out too. There is always going to be a "extremist" out there telling you a more conservative approach, and on this I think you are good to diagree if you want. She is so cute!

Alison Treadaway said...

I've heard that recently but after I had already turned Parker. I put him in the middle (to avoid side impact) and have him facing forward. I feel like it's a little extreme and just trust God with my little one. Parker really likes seeing us so it makes those long drives so much better.

Shannon said...

Hey girl! My pedi told me the same thing about the carseat and I recently read an article about it. My pedi is married to my BF so I asked him to be really honest with me. Would they keep their youngest
(who is 7 months) rear facing after his first b-day? He told me they would keep him rear facing as long as possible. He did mention that it isn't a law yet in TN so you may want to find out the law in TX.

But.. we had already turned Lu around and I plan to keep her that way. Her legs would be srunched like Caroline's and I just couldn't see us doing that.

I would do whatever makes you feel comfortable. If you are going to be anxious with her forward facing then I would wait. It is hard to put a price tag on peace of mind.

The Rowe Crew said...

We waited until 18 months b/c the Plano police that did ours mentioned the same thing. Plus, one of my friend's pediatrician told her that the US has the youngest "turn around" age of ANY country (well, those that have rules about that kind of thing). Crazy! We were trying to make it until 2, but we had the same problem with the legs. Good luck deciding!!!

She sure does look cute in that seat!!!

Alissa said...

I turned Gage at 1 but he was almost 28 pounds. Ella Claire will for sure be forward facing at one at she is already 22 pounds and only 9 months. Prestidge seems to take the middle road on this. You're going to find two very extreme camps. I choose to trust God with my children.

(Plus drive around on any given day and look around at all the children still not in seats at all!!!)

JJC said...

hey laura,
i don't know if you remember me from baylor (lindsay and i were both in CSD)..i found your blog through hers. ;) we have a little girl who is about the same age as yours, and our pediatrician rec'd the same thing! she asked us to keep emory rear facing as long as possible b/c it's safer. SO, emory's big girl seat is rear-facing. i honestly don't think that she minds b/c she's never known a different view.


Laura said...

Hi girls,
Thanks SO much for the great advice. It's nice to hear from other moms! I think we're going to keep Caroline's seat rear-facing for as long as she can stand it (which probably isn't long since her legs are all scrunched up already). I'd like to get to 18 months so we'll see. Thanks again for all your input!!