"A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, a home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten and the future worth living for."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

For every one who thinks they know better....

Parenting is meant to be challenging and testing of one's patience. But I never in a million years would have thought that the parenting relationship between mother and father would prove to be so difficult at times. Kevin and I have ALWAYS been on the same page about breastfeeding, self weaning, extended rear facing, baby wearing, and homemade baby food making. Why is it now that he is trying to flip the page and really test me? I have been a firm believer in extended rear facing from the time that I was pregnant with Landon. We picked out a car seat just for that reason. Kevin was on board with it until other people started telling him otherwise. When my close friends and family called me crazy about extended rear facing a few months ago he had my back. Now that the questioning is being done to him he is tooting a different horn. Instead of telling those questioning him facts, he is wanting to put Landon's life at risk and forward face him just to appease others. I'm sorry, but my son will NEVER be put at risk for someone else's convenience. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure that Landon is safe. If protecting our son makes me overprotective, then so be it. I would rather be overprotective and have Landon safely in my arms every night rather than giving in to the wants and beliefs of others and standing over a hospital bed or even worse a small grave site. It WILL NOT be happening as long as I am around to protect him. Landon will be safe and sound rear facing and for those of you that have a problem with it well you can go to Hell for all I care. Sorry, but I don't know how else to put it. If you are among the ones willing to jeopardize our son, then you are not needed in his life. Landon does not fuss in his car seat nor does he fight getting into it. He likes his car seat. He feels safe in his car seat. In fact, when we take the bus I have to have my arms tightly against his legs and chest because it makes him feel safe. No one can tell me that Landon is uncomfortable rear facing. If he was he would fuss and cry. Does he look uncomfortable to you?

Maybe it is just me, but I think that Landon looks rather content rear facing. For the person(s) urging Kevin to use another car seat, what is it in this picture that makes you feel like you know better than the statistics and our parenting decision to make Landon forward face? Is it because his feet touch the back seat and he keeps them bent? If that is what you are going by, then please get your own life and stop trying to co-parent our son. And if you are the one who actually bought Landon's "big boy" car seat, please hit the big red x in the top right corner of your screen. You apparently know nothing about us and our parenting decisions. Reading our blog has made little to no impact on you and you are still going to be stuck on your own stupid ways no matter what I say.

For those of you who do care to learn more about car seat safety then you are more than welcome to continue reading on. I also hope that Kevin reads this too so that he can refresh his mind because our "conversation" about it this morning did not go over so smoothly. By "conversation" I mean me flying off the handle and crying hysterically because Kevin would rather please other people above Landon's safety. In my defense, I had every right to get angry because he went behind my back and got Landon a car seat and actually planned on putting Landon in that car seat without telling me about it. I completely understand that by law standards Landon is able to forward face. However, the law is just a bare minimum. Landon's life means so much more to me than the minimum. I am not going to play Russian Roulette with his life just to appease others. I just won't do it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a child rear face until the MAXIMUM limits of their convertible car seat. For Landon's car seat that limit is 35 pounds. Yes, I realize that his legs are bent a little. But have you ever seen the way that Landon sits or plays? His legs are NEVER straight out in front of him. He will bend his legs while sitting and he plays while squatting. Children are much more flexible then adults and therefor have no problem sitting with bent legs. Landon is one vocal child, especially when he is uncomfortable. If he was uncomfortable sitting with his legs bent, then he would let us know in a heartbeat. It does not bother him to sit that way because that is the position that he is most comfortable in. Landon is not too tall to ride rear facing. A child is only too tall to rear face when their head comes within one inch of the top of the car seat. Landon has several more inches to go. Just because he is 33 inches tall does not make him too tall. You have to go by torso length and not by leg length. He made be over 33 inches standing, but he most definitely does not come within one inch of the top of his car seat. He just has long legs and a short torso. That is why you can not go by a child's height. You have to go by their head positioning. Landon's feet touching the back of the seat is perfectly OK and does NOT mean that he is too tall for rear facing.

Please don't give me the excuse that because his legs are bent that he is at risk for a broken leg in a car accident. There has NEVER been a single reported case of hip/leg/foot injury from extended rear facing. Even if there were, a broken leg is much better than a broken neck. There is a reason why car seats have extended rear facing weight limits. It is far better for the child. When rear facing, the back of the car seat absorbs the force of the crash. The child's head, neck, and spine are kept in alignment allowing the car seat to absorb the force. When forward facing, there is a lot of stress put on the child's neck during a crash. The weight of the child's head causes the spinal cord to stretch up to 2 inches. It only takes 1/4 of an inch of stretching before the spinal cord snaps, which will then cause paralysis or death. I am not going to watch my baby boy push himself around in a wheel chair or worse yet attend his funeral all because people have different opinions. They are just that- opinions. Kevin and I have always allowed others close to us voice their opinions and we have always listened while they were doing so. We then always went home and talked about how we weren't going to allow their opinions affect our parenting. Even when I was reluctant to try Landon with new foods we were being told that we were malnourishing him. All because he wasn't eating table foods before 6 months of age and he was closer to 10 months old before he ate table foods on a daily basis. My mommy instincts were right then because it turned out that he had several food allergies. I am going by my mommy instincts once more and not allowing him to forward face. Especially on long car trips that require the crossing of the 3 mile long Buckman Bridge. Kevin, you can either get behind me once again and get on board with the way things will be or we can continue to fight daily. The decision is up to you. I have ALWAYS done what is in the best interest of Landon and you know that. You have always had my back on parenting issues. Don't allow other people get to you. You are better than that.

Here are some pictures of other children rear facing. All of these children are well over 2 years old. One little girl is even 4 1/2! At that age, they would definitely protest if their legs were uncomfortable. They look way too happy and content to me to be in any discomfort.

If this wasn't enough to convince you that rear facing is best, then please watch the video of little baby Joel.

Joel was MUCH bigger than Landon when he broke his neck. Our Landon Love is going to remain safe, even if he looks uncomfortable. If this can happen to a baby larger than Landon, then I am not going to be taking any chances.

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