boy sitting in car seat
Mommyhood

Everything Car Seats: Rear Facing, Escaping, Toys and More.

If you are only looking for a specific category click below.

Rear-Facing
Escaping
Car Seat Covers
Head Supports
Car Seat Toys

If you continue reading you agree to my disclaimer here.

Car seats is one of the most heated and sensitive subjects between moms. I’ve seen cutthroat fights between moms over car seats. Those moms who think they know everything because they have read it somewhere. We all know those moms, who will get hostile and start frothing at the mouth because someone posted their child in their car seat having a cute moment.

“They can’t wear a coat in their car seat!”

“You can’t put a cover on your car seat!”

“How dare you put some strap covers over the straps!”

“I have had one child, and 1 car seat but I know everything there is to know about car seat safety!”

“Car seat toys are dangerous!”

These are some of the lash outs I have seen in mommy groups through the years. Everyone knows what I am talking about, or maybe you are even one of those moms. We all know they mean well, but they come off in the worst way.

Here are some of the biggest arguments and issues I have come across in my years of mommy groups. I am going to go by my experience, opinion, and then research to back it up

Rear-Facing:

Now, we all know that rear-facing is inconvenient especially if you live somewhere with a hot climate. Like living in Arizona, because there isn’t much airflow in the back seat. There have been times I have so badly wanted to switch my baby around because they were just soaked with sweat. I try to have the middle vents pointed as much back and up as I can.

To help the air issue before I got my SUV, and had my little car with absolutely no airflow in the backseat, I bought the most amazing little product. The Noggle.

This product was amazing. It ended up ripping my vent out of the socket a few times, but on a month straight of 118 degree days, the most important thing was my kids got air.

I believe in rear-facing until they are 3 at a minimum. My eldest daughter was in the 92nd percentile for height, and my youngest is literally 99th percentile for height, off the charts. At 2 she is the size of a normal 4 year old. I guess that’s what happens with a dad that is 6’3 and mom that is 5’10.

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH REAR FACING. I don’t think people understand this point. Yes, that does have to do with the size and type of car seat but has nothing to do with rear and forward facing.

Vehicle crashes are the number 1 cause of death of children between the ages of 1-4.

Children in front facing car seats have a higher chance of fatality and serious injuries than rear facing children.

Remember how I said that it had nothing to do with height and weight. The more they weigh the harder they are pushed forward. Most crashes happen with the force coming from the back of the car whether it’s a front end crash or being rear ended. The force pushes from the back of the car through to the front.

“Of fatal collisions, only about 7 percent of them happen at the back of the car. However, 60 to 80 percent of these crashes happen at the front or side of the vehicle” says Fatherly.com.

The baby and child’s neck is underdeveloped, each vertebrae is “composed of separate portions of bone joined by cartilage, in other words, the baby’s skeleton is still soft”. An adult’s head is only relatively 7% of their body weight, on the other hand a baby’s head is a lot larger, at a whopping 25% of their total weight.

Our neck bones as adults, are also saddle shaped. A child till 3 years old has flat shaped bones. The saddle shape in mature skeletons is what keeps our vertebrae’s together if our neck is somehow thrown forward.

So imagine an accident where the car is going 50 mph, and gets into a head on collision. That is about 500 pounds of force coming from the back, to the front of the car. You have a child in a rear-facing car seat. That means that the child is pushed into the car seat and the 500 pounds of pressure pushes their head into the seat. Now imagine them being in a front facing car seat. Or you can take a look at this video.

This is exactly why I rear face until 3 at a MINIMUM.

Most people seem to be in such a rush to get their child forward facing because of inconvenience. Safety is more important than convenience, at least in my opinion.

Also, if you have a tall child like I do and their legs are squished, the saying is “a broken leg is better than a broken neck or back.”

Escaping:

Now this has been a huge issue for me lately. I have a 2 year that has been escaping from her seat pretty much as soon as we start driving. She thinks it’s funny to peak over at me from her seat. She’s been pulling her arms out since she was about 9 months old.

They say to scold but that does absolutely nothing… because they still get out of their seat regardless and safety is jeopardized.

I was looking all over for some techniques to prevent her from escaping.

All I found were:

  • Behavior, like telling them no, punishing, bribing.
  • Keeping them entertained.
  • Explaining why car seat safety is important if they even have understanding that deep yet…
  • Chest Clips, this can help but my daughter still gets out.
  • Chest Clip Lock, this is the only thing that has kind of helped.

Keeping her entertained actually helps, until she is bored again, and that’s when she escapes. I found the only thing from the list above that even comes close to making it slightly more difficult is the chest clip lock. Her car seat already comes with chest clips, but if yours happens to not, this kit has it all.

Also, remember the placement of the clip. You don’t want it too high to choke them in an accident, or too low to risk organ rupture and damage. It should be snug against their chest lined up with the armpits.

Car Seat Covers:

I have had my fair share of arguments on this subject. They have those probably 1cm thin stretchy car seat covers. Not talking about the Milk ones that stretch over the top when you are out of the car but the ones that go on the actual car seat.

The reason this is not recommended is only because of flammability, and the way the harness is suppose to fit. Okay, so yeah, if you have some super thick car seat cover that is all fluffy then I see the problem in this. But if you have some flame retardant 1cm thick material. What is the big deal?

I see mommies showing off their little car seats, and then other moms just start ripping them apart. It drives me crazy that there are always the extremely disrespectful clique of know-it-all moms that just get nasty with other moms. I usually give them a taste of their own medicine, and can’t tell you how many mommy groups I’ve been kicked from for standing against those bullies.

Use common sense on the matter, if it looks like it is making a huge impact on the correct usability of the car seat, return it. If it seems like it’s the thickness and size of them wearing a thin shirt, then I honestly don’t see the harm.

I personally have never used one, because honestly it will just be another item to clean, something that gets in the way, and you won’t use it that long. You usually upgrade your infant seat by 6-9 months.

I looked and looked for any deaths in a car accident from a car seat cover and could not find any. They don’t get specific, but usually something like this would be a major headline.

Head Supports:

I used this in the newborn stage. Their head just flops around and sits to a 90 degree angle and it just looks awful. Them wheezing and breathing all labored because their head is so kinked. If you are a parent you know what I mean.

It is said that the best position for your baby’s head is it turned sideways with their cheek pressed against the back of the seat. Forcing your baby’s head straight isn’t actually the best position.

Many sites go on and on about this point, but that isn’t the reason I use the head support. It’s for when they have their head sideways and their ear is on their shoulder, or while you are driving their chin flops to their chest. That is why I personally use the supports.

Instead of running out and buying one of those head supports, the best option is actually to roll up two burp cloths TIGHT, and having 1 on each side of their head. Do not roll one into a U, there is a risk of it falling behind their head and causing it to lean forward even more.

Car Seat Toys:

This is one of the main subjects that had those moms I was talking about chewing my head off.

Here is what I don’t get. In the midst of a crash, god forbid, with glass and debris flying all over the car. The groceries you just got having the risk of flying forward, and the hot coffee in your cup holder flying across the car. You are telling me these moms are worried about a little stuffed car seat toy……

I am so worried about the damage some soft, fuzzy, little stuffed animals are going to do in a crash and not everything else going on in the car…

The only thing that is ACTUALLY an issue on this subject is to make sure you look at the manual that comes with your car seat and make sure that you see what the proper position the carrier handle needs to be when it is in the car.

I tried finding any kind of news story of injury or fatality of baby getting hurt or passing away from a car seat toy during an automobile crash, and still have yet to find one.

Conclusion:

I hope you enjoyed my list. At the end of the day, it’s your kid so you make your own choice, remember that. No one can tell you what you can’t and can do to a point (there are laws). But as the parent, you of course want to do what is best for your child according to research and fact, not on anyone else’s opinions on what is best.

Let me know if you agree or completely disagree with anything I have said. I am open to all constructive criticism, suggestions, and comments. Have you ever been attacked by the mom’s I talked about above for car seat related items? Let me know below.

Page contains Amazon Affiliate links, but I have bought every product I review. I ain’t no fake! 😛

Alanna

I am a mom to 2 amazing girls. I reside with my fiance and my girls in sunny Arizona. I have 2 dogs: Ladybird and Mamasita, and 1 all white cat named Ghost de Blanc. I enjoy writing about sensitive subjects and speak what others are thinking but don't always say. I am told at times I am very blunt, and I consider myself quite the realist. <3

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