In the world of social media, motherhood has become a competition of sorts. There’s a Facebook page for every opinion, strategy, or piece of advice. With one click of a button, I can find information on almost every topic from cosleeping to cloth diapering, and everything in between. Please don’t misunderstand, I think having access to all the information you could ever want at your fingertips is a wonderful thing, especially for mothers! Of course, there are those times where a stated opinion or piece of advice can feel like more of an attack on one’s parenting skills.
Recently, I was watching a live stream of one of my favorite baby vendors on social media. One of the first things he said was if you don’t want to be attacked or judged as a parent, the last thing you should do is post a photo of your child in their car seat. Shortly after that a very well-known blogger made a post about her children’s new car seats, which created quite a stir! Within an hour there were between 300 to 400 comments! Everything from gently pointing them in the right direction to bluntly stating what they were doing wrong. Parents young and old (and even grandparents!) were arguing with one another over their advice, like children on the playground.
Parenting is tough in this age of social media. So what do we do? My first thought is to be gentle and considerate. A few gentle, helpful comments to that particular blogger would have been sufficient. After that it becomes parental choice. In my experience, it’s easier to hear when it comes from a friend because you know they have your best interest at heart. Our primary goal is to keep our kids safe, healthy, and happy, but we never want to achieve that goal by shaming or judging another mother. So, as a friend, I would like to share some quick and easy tips for keeping your kids safe in their carseats. No shame or judgement, here!
Five Quick Car Seat Safety Tips
1. Car Seat Manual –
As parents, we get so busy trying to keep up with everything that we often skim through things. Sometimes we even lose things, or maybe thats just me. Anyway, my suggestion is to read the manual cover to cover before installing your child’s car seat. If you lost the manual, you can access it easily through the manufacturer’s website.
2. Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) –
If you are concerned with properly installing your car seat, consider contacting a certified CPST. They can walk you through how to install your car seat correctly.
3. Chest Clip –
Chest clip placement should be at armpit level, which is in the middle of the sternum.
4. Harness Straps –
How do you choose which slot to put the harness straps through? Simple. Rear Facing: at or below shoulders. Forward Facing: at or above shoulders.
5. Rear Facing –
Fortunately, I had two great mommy friends who kindly gave me a little advice and pointed me in the right direction. I hope you found this post to be the same – kind, gentle, and helpful. My hope is that we can come together in today’s world of social media, without judgement, to lean on one another, give advice, and support one another.