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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Carseat safety for children 2 to 12

     We all know that children 2 and under (40lbs and under) should remain rearfacing in a convertible carseat. With the straps at or below shoulder lever and the chest clip at armpit level. But, what about after 2? There are guidelines for those kids up to age 12 as well.

     After your child reaches age 2 or 40lbs, they can then ride in a convertible carseat with a 5-point harness until they reach the max weight or the top of their head is within one inch of the hard shell on the seat(although some seats allow a child to ride until the top of their ears are at the shell). Most five point harness seats allow a child to ride until 40lbs for the lesser models up to 85lbs for the better models. The straps should be placed at or above shoulder level. I STRONGLY suggest that your child remain rearfacing until they max out their seat and are over age 2 and 40lbs at least, although, if they can still fit their seat at 5 so be it.

     Once the child reaches the max weight and height for the harness, they should then a high backed booster using the cars shoulder belt. This can be used from 40lbs to anywhere between 80 and 100lbs and 4'9" tall. Again, I cannot stress enough that you should hold off the switch as long as possible.

     Children 13 and younger should always sit in the backseat. This cuts the risk of death by 36%. And all children 12 years and younger should be secured in a safety seat for their weight and height as long as they have not yet reached 4'9" and at least 80-100lbs.

LINKS:
Rules and carseat options
Carseat FAQs
More Information
Some State Laws

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yes, I judge other moms.

     I am not usually one to judge new mom's. However, I have noticed that one thing causes me to judge them and I am trying hard to not let it affect me. I'll admit, I would love if every mom was informed and thought the same way I do, but, I also realize...that ain't ever gonna happen. LOL

     The one thing that truly irks me about a brand new mom, is when I see a picture of her in the hospital bed with a just born baby. And in the foreground or in her hand I see...a bottle of formula. Yes, I know, it's her choice and right not to breastfeed and I respect that. I truly do. But, there is a small piece of me that wants to grab her and explain what her kid is missing out on. Even if she were to only commit to nursing the baby only while they both remained in the hospital. I realize that it's judgmental and wrong of me, but, I still can't help myself. I get all antsy just seeing those pictures..and lately it seems everyone knows someone that is having a baby and that damned bottle is in every picture I see posted.

So, from here on out, I will make it my duty to try and change my judgmental view and focus on educating before all of these births instead of judging after.




Sunday, March 27, 2011

Botox or Circumcision which is better?

     Recently, a story broke about a mother injecting her 8 year old with Botox. It made all of the mainstream media pages and garnered a slew of "WTF?'s" from people near and far. People called, "Child abuse" and asked why CPS wasn't involved. All of that got me to thinking...Why would injecting an eight year old with botox get more of an emotional response and cries of negative feelings about it than the non medically necessary circumcision of a newborn baby boy? I mean a little touch of botox in an older child's head surely causes FAR less damage than the stripping and cutting away of a perfectly functioning piece of flesh from a less than a day old baby boy's penis. When the botox is administered, the girl has no real reaction to it. When the baby boy is cut, he is strapped down, barely numbed and is screaming through the entire procedure until he stops, only because he has gone into shock.


      Now, let me clarify, I in no way, shape or form condone using botox on anyone...most especially a young child. In fact, that is the most horrific thing I have read in a while. I only used the example to prove my point. People flip out over the botox thing, yet, barely bat an eye over circumcising their babies. I don't like circumcision either...I do realize that people can choose to do as they wish and as long as you are an informed parent, I will stand by your decision to do so. But, I just can't see how one could get SO upset over the botox and not really see a thing wrong with circumcision. Maybe some of these people haven't really researched it...maybe they need to see an actual circumcision video....

Ok, I posted the circumcision video and the botox video. Again, while I don't condone botox, there is a BIG difference in the two procedures. Let me know what you think.

Friday, March 25, 2011

If your under 1 year old is "too big" to rearface, you have bigger issues to worry about.

.

    Ever since the new AAP carseat recommendations came out there has been a LOT of chatter amongst moms.  There has been a ton of support for the recommendations and conversely there has been an obscene amount of opposition to it. While I believe in ERF(extended rear facing) and will choose this route for my children, ultimately it is still just a recommendation and parents are free to choose what they want....and herein lies the reason for my post.

     I see many moms that complain about the fact that their (insert any age from 6 months to 24 months) is "TOO big to rear face" because they are in the (insert some percentile from 90% to 99%) for their age. And "I just HAD to turn them early." Ok, let examine this exclamation further: Car seats come in two standard rear facing types:

Infant:


Now, this infant seat can accommodate an infant up to 40 lbs. 


Convertible:





This convertible seat can accommodate an infant up to 40lbs.
So, basically, that means if your child outgrows the infant seat...you can still rear face them in the convertible one for a while longer. 

Let's now examine the average size of a 2 year old child: 
Going by the CDC/WHO growth chart for boys. If your child was in the 98% in both height and weight, the earliest that your child would be too big to rear face in a Graco MySize 70 is 4 years for weight and 9 years for height . That is a far cry from the 6 months and up I have been seeing. I do realize some kids ARE taller than average and heavier than average, but, the amount of people saying their kids were too big is WAY beyond the percentage that are included in the "too big" category. 

   My point is, if you don't want to keep your kids rear facing after 6 months, 12 months..whatever, that's fine. But, please just say it's because you don't want to, not because they are too big. Because for the general population of kids under 2, they aren't too big. 

ETA: I am not saying a kid "CAN'T" be bigger than average or that if they are you are doing something wrong. My point is that MOST kids are still NOT too big to rearface before 2. No matter if they are at 100% for height and weight ...IF you get a seat that accommodates them properly. At 6 months old, if your kid is "too" big to rearface, you have a kid with a growth issue, not an average, run of the mill 6 month old.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pretending to nurse a doll will cause your daughter to get pregnant at 16



     Yes, you heard it right...apparently, that is the consensus among adults. When it was announced that there was a doll that breastfeeds. Media pages on Facebook jumped on the controversial topic to get traffic. Judging from most of the comments I have seen on these posts, I can see why there are SO many women that just bottle feed or at least give up way too soon.


"That doll is a sick idea. Maybe for high school parenting classes but not for children"


" that us the dumbest thing I have ever seen! Let teach out little girls about breast feeding so if they get pregnant at 16 they will know???? Sorry but this is disgusting!"


"What's next!?!? "Copulation Doll!?!?"
Mammals breast feed AND copulate you know!?!? TOTALLY INAPPROPRIATE TOY! Children do not need to emulate breatfeedimg in "Play"....."

" Wow...whatsz next....dolls showing 13yr oldsz how to have sex???.....then dolls having babies at age 16......wdh....."

     Well, this explains why there is such an issue with public breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding, and pictures on FB. We have some major obstacles to overcome and I'm not sure we will get there in my time. But, I will tell you this, my kids will know breastfeeding as normal, natural, awesome and standard of care. I may not be able to change the world, but, I can change one part of the next generation.

     

     

No, my child does not run my life...

     I hear this all the time. "I prefer to not let my child run my life." I hear that in response to my announcing that I do not allow my child to CIO, that I allow them to decide when they should wean, that I follow their cues and do not impose my ideas onto them. Yes, I do allow them to have an opinion, to decide on certain things themselves to grow as individuals. I treat my child with respect, as a separate human entity with thoughts, feelings and and a brain fully capable of thinking for itself.

     Now while I believe all of this, I do realize that child isn't capable of knowing all risks involved with life, they cannot understand consequences and cannot perceive risk in the same manner as you or I can. I believe though, that it is my job to be a sort of buffer for my child and allow them to do certain things for themselves where there aren't great risks involved and only confidence boosting and feelings of security as the end result. I do however allow my child to fall sometimes, maybe it isn't a very risky or life shattering lesson, but, it is still a lesson taught and a child will be better for it.

   By never allowing my child to CIO at night, I am teaching them that mommy is reliable and that it is ok sometimes to let go and explore because mom will come running if they fall. By allowing my child to self wean, I am letting them know that I trust their judgement and that they can make decisions for themselves.

     I am not being RUN by my child, instead I am giving them the strength and courage to do their own thing and to not always rely on me or anyone else to do their thinking for them. I am giving them the confidence to go for their goals, to rise to the top. They won't feel they need to conform and be like everyone else. They won't grow up feeling like a worker drone. They will grow up feeling validated, feeling like they were listened to and feeling like they mattered.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sleep Training: Does it work?

     I see it all the time, mom's on the edge because baby wakes up frequently at night. Then, comes the inevitable advice, "Put him in his own bed in his own room and let him cry." Let's discuss that shall we? Ok sure, your kid is now screaming in another room all alone...what is your first instinct? Could it be to run and pick up your baby and comfort it? If it is, why do you feel this is such a bad thing to do? Why fight nature? Babies can't talk, their only form of communication is crying. Babies can't understand time and what is "normal" for us adults. Babies ARE very dependent creatures...they rely on someone to help them, to feed them, to hug them, to do everything for them. Why deny them of all that just because it is nighttime?

     Now let's discuss if this does in fact work. Well, I see it all the time on other pages..."My son was doing well with (insert crazy training for sleep here) and then he stopped, he is 11 months and has been waking up every hour."  Ok, so maybe instead of FORCING this sleep onto them, why not figure out what it is your child is needing, what may be happening?

    I, as an adult, do NOT always sleep for 8 straight hours without waking. I wake up when I need to pee, I wake up when I need to roll over, I wake up when I hear things, I wake up after a dream, I wake up just because and I wake up if I am too hot or too cold. Now I want you to read that again, think on it for a second. Think long and hard about how you sleep every night. Do you always go right to bed and pass out hard and sleep 8 straight hours non-stop every night? I highly doubt it. Do you experience episodes of awakening? Pretty sure you do. Now, your baby has a tiny tummy, an inherent need of someone to do everything for it, a tiny bladder, acute hearing, no experience with house noises or much else...it cannot talk and communicate any need, fear or want to you except through cries. So, I ask, why do you expect this little one to sleep like a rock all night long almost from birth? Not saying it doesn't happen, but, why expect it to happen as though it is a definite set in stone thing? It is far from it.

 Also, studies show that mommies who breastfeed get better sleep than their formula feeding counterparts. Although, at first, your little one will stay attached to the breast non-stop for maybe even the first 2 weeks. No need to panic though, it definitely does even out and become better.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I have a confession...

     I have a bit of a mommy confession and I'd wager a bet that some of you will be appalled. Not only has my son been exposed to and allowed to watch copious amounts of television since birth, he has also been allowed to watch PG-13, NC-17 and R rated movies from toddlerhood, too. Yes, he was watching "Halloween", "Lake Placid" and "Star Wars" and more at age 3. Here's the thing though, if you knew my son, you would know that he was/is super smart and that his vocabulary and verbal skills exceed his peers and even most adults I know by leaps and bounds. He also was very imaginative and understood real and fake from very early on. Most kids begin to try to pretend/copy at 18 months, my son was an expert pretender long before his peers. He also could carry on a conversation and took directions well. His brain did not function like most little kids, he was not happy with "kid" shows and movies. He rolled his eyes at Barney even at 2. Seriously. So, I slowly upped his level of shows. And the more I did, the more interested he was and asked SO many questions. He wanted to know how they filmed certain stuff and how they used make-up and computers. Really, have you ever had to discuss very detailed, technical, high order thinking stuff with a toddler? It's overwhelming. You are never sure what he knows and can reference to and what you may need to explain. Well, based on this, I allowed him to watch whatever I watched as long as I was there to see how he did and what he could handle and to field questions. I DID censor sex scenes and anyone shooting themselves in the head (Deer Hunter style). Why? Well, those things ARE more real than I cared to have him see. Most stuff I can explain away as a storyline, imaginary...etc. I can't explain away having sex...especially if it wasn't a married couple.

Now, having said all of that, do I recommend everyone letting every kid watch whatever they want? HECK NO!! LOL It's the same as every other parenting dilemma you will encounter...it depends on the kid. I will add though. I don't feel you should completely censor ALL art, TV, music...even if you have a sensitive kid. I think you should encourage you kid to do and see some things that are outside of their comfort zone and use these things as SAFE in home with parents around teaching tools that won't hurt them physically. Let them practice real life scenarios based off what they are seeing and hearing. You can use these things as a springboard to discuss other things. For instance: When my son was 10, I noticed the show "The History Of Sex" was about to be on. I also knew that I needed to have "The TALK" with my son. So, what did I do? I turned it on and had him question me about why it was on and I explained and it got us started on the talk. As the show talked about crazy old birth control methods, I explained how those were bad and what is used now.

My favorite quote about raising kids is one I have used before on here, "We need to stop trying to childproof the world and start trying to worldproof our children."