So I thought I would kick off this whole blogging business with my most recent speed bump on the road to becoming The Most Awesome Mom.
Emmalee has always been a big girl. At her six month check up she weighed 19 lbs 13 oz and was 26 1/2 inches long. This was just shy of the 20 lb weight limit on her infant carrier. Clearly it was time to upgrade. I went to my local Sam's Club and purchased a 3 in 1 convertible car seat and promptly installed it forward facing in the center of the backseat using my vehicle's handy latch system. Yes, I may have noticed the warning on the side of the seat that cautioned against using it forward facing unless your child is at least 20 lbs AND... was there more? Not when the idea of being able to see Emmalee's adorable little face while driving was clouding my judgment! So off we went, into forward facing oblivion, and all was right with the world.
Until Wednesday, four months later, when an encounter on BabyCenter.com's message boards brought the world crashing down. Apparently, as is always the case when it comes to babies, there is so much more to car seat safety than one might at first assume. A Google search revealed that when the car seat is in the rear facing position it allows for more "ride-down" time in the event of a crash. I'm not completely sure about this "ride-down" time, but it is important because it can help to prevent cervical spine injury or internal decapitation in young children whose neck and spine aren't as well developed. Yes, that's right. I said internal decapitation. Tell me that doesn't send a chill down your spine. So I had carelessly been allowing Emmalee to ride around at risk of decapitation for months. It was time to put on my "Most Crappiest Mom" tiara. And as I clicked through article after article, feeling more and more crappy along the way, I also came across the chilling fact that most vehicles that are equipped with a latch system do not allow for center installation. A moment spent checking my vehicle's user manual confirmed this. So not only did I have the car seat facing the wrong way, I didn't even have the damn thing installed right. Epic fail.
Once I got home that day I immediately set to work correcting this gargantuan mistake. I now have Emmalee's car seat rear facing behind the passenger seat using the latch system correctly... where it will stay until she's eight. No sense risking decapitation any sooner than necessary!
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