It’s crazy how much babies hate car seats. Seriously, it’s like they’re all genetically programmed to automatically hate the darn thing. As newborns, once you place them in that snug infant car seat they seem to enjoy it & relax cause most of them fall asleep right away. But soon enough they become more aware of things & then what happens???
Well when Kyra turned 3 months, her love for car seats quickly turned to hate. She started SCREAMINGGGG every single time I put her in it & a lot of times I’ve had to park on the side of the road to nurse her or calm her down. At 6 months, I was homebound for a complete 3 weeks, as I could never make it out of the parking lot. Her screams were so loud & she cried so hard that she would almost faint. I even had to leave my car parked on the road on a couple occasions & get a ride back home from friends or family. Now I’m sure you’re probably thinking I’m such a wuss of a mom & it’s not that big a deal. But I’m really not, you should have heard those screams…I dare any of you to drive through them & not crash!
I kept thinking that she would get over it, or maybe if I switched her seat to forward facing she would be ok, but I could never bring myself to do that. Having read all the research & watched all the videos I could on car seat safety for infants, I just had to leave her rear facing. I thought she would never ever stop all of her crying & screaming, not until we turned her around anyway, but…a few weeks ago, we bought a second stage car seat, one that can be placed in the rear-facing position as well as forward-facing later on. She fussed the first couple of times as we figured out how to use the straps & then magically…she stopped fussing, crying & screaming. Just like that, she’s ok with it now, she looks out the window & sings & claps to the songs, which means she’s not getting bored like most would argue as a reason to switch to forward-facing. I’m glad we waited it out because then we would have never known that she could stay safely rear facing without any fussing.
The most recent car seat safety guidelines by the AAP are:
- Rear-facing seats until 2 years of age at least (In Sweden children are kept rear facing until 4)
- Forward-facing seats through 4 years of age
- Belt-positioning booster seats through 8 years of age
- Lap & shoulder seat belts for children who outgrew booster seats
- Children under 13 years of age should ride in the back
- The straps should be snug as a hug. You should not be able to pinch the straps with your fingers.
- Never place children with their jackets on. If it’s very cold, take off their jackets in the car & cover them with it or with a blanket. In a crash, the straps will slide off the jacket & your child will fly out of the seat.
- Place a mirror on the headrest of the back seat so you can keep an eye on your child.
- Put some music your child enjoys if they get fussy.
- Give them soft toys to play to distract them.
- Never give your child any food or drinks while in the car. This may lead to choking accidents due to you breaking unexpectedly (no matter how old they are).
- Never turn around to check on your child while driving, if you need to, pull over & check (out of personal experience this can cause you to crash).
IF YOU STILL CAN’T MAKE UP YOUR MIND ON HOW TO PLACE YOUR CHILD, PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO!
This video is on jackets & carseats
AAP safety guidelines
Car seat ratings by brand
General tips on car seats
And this is a very interesting website with loads of info