As a social media mom, there are many aspects of my life that I share, but I am always very cautious to avoid being the target of any “mommy shaming.” Anything car seat related is always a hot button issue. Is the baby buckled in the right way? Is the seat secure? Is the child wearing too much clothing? Is the strap tight enough? Is the seat facing the right direction? Many first-time parents have no idea and I don’t blame them. There is a lot to learn when it comes to parenting.
I was so stressed about proper installation with my first child that I didn’t take the time to focus on the proper buckle placement and appropriate tightness. My sister finally showed me when Tommy was about 6 weeks old and now I feel like an expert.
It’s important to remember that looking comfortable isn’t a sign that the kiddo is buckled in safely. I was surprised at how tight the straps are supposed to be and Connor definitely isn’t the biggest fan, but I of course would prefer to be safe than sorry.
There are so many recommendations/guidelines that vary state-by-state and sometimes might change as your child grows, or even during the time in between children!
Hopefully you know the basics that include proper installation and buckle placement (which is by the arm pits). The seat belt should be pulled as snug as a hug, there should be no slack!
Infants should always be rear-facing in a car seat and a lot of parents are eager to turn their child around, usually because they think said child is not a fan of the car. Some kids get car sick facing backwards and other times parents think that their kids would enjoy being able to look at the passing cars and scenery more for obvious reasons, but Chicco’s recent car seat safety study found that many of those eager parents are taking the wrong cues when deciding whether it’s time: 40% of parents who turn their kids forward-facing before the age of two do so because they think their child’s legs look cramped, while 32% simply think they look uncomfortable rear-facing. In reality, we find our kids in cramped positions all the time and even though we might think they look uncomfortable, they’re totally fine! Plus, they’re much safer in the event of a crash.
Why children should ride rear-facing longer
Before age 2, a child’s muscular and skeletal structure is still developing. When they are riding in a car rear-facing, their head, neck and spine are all supported by the car seat during an accident. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children ride rear-facing until at least the age of 2!
“The longer a child can stay rear-facing, the safer they’ll be,” said Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, a pediatrician and nationally recognized expert in child passenger safety. “The rule of thumb is simple – turn children forward facing after they turn two years old.”
Chicco’s TurnAfter2™ Campaign
This summer, Chicco is launching the second phase of its TurnAfter2™ campaign. A study recently conducted revealed that 72 percent of parents with children under two are now aware of the recommendation to keep kids rear-facing until at least their 2nd birthday. In addition, several states have passed legislation requiring parents to adhere to the recommendation. But still, there is work to be done as 28% of parents are still not aware of this safety essential. You can help by sharing photos of your little ones riding rear-facing on social media and using #TurnAfter2 to spread the word!
We love Chicco products, especially when it comes to car seats, because they are consistently rated as the #1 infant car seat.
Infants can stay in their bucket car seats like the KeyFit 30 while they weigh between 4-30 lbs or are 30 inches long, whichever comes first! Tommy hit 30 inches. At that time, you need to get a convertible car seat or a car seat like the Chicco Fit2 that works for infants and toddlers as it grows with your child.
For baby boy number 2, we decided to get the Chicco Fit2 because we will be able to use it for 2 years. I also love the ability of a bucket car seat past the infant stage so that if your child falls asleep in the car, you can grab the bucket and bring it inside instead of sitting in your car, so you don’t wake them up trying to transition them to their bed inside.
I also love the chic design of this Fit2! It fits inside my Chicco TRE Jogging Stroller as well so it’s easy to bring Connor with us to the beach. The TRE has great tires for the sand. It has been a warm summer so we don’t leave him in the car seat for very long, but it’s given me a few afternoons to enjoy with Tommy at the beach.
We also love the convenience of the Fit2 as it is compatible with many tavel systems, including Chicco’s own models like my TRE.
If you are curious about more safety recommendations, check out the TurnAfter2™ homepage.
This post is sponsored by Chicco USA.