Parent Shame and Car Seats

It’s National Child Passenger Safety Week!

Last week, in a fit of irritation, I wrote a little tweetstorm on how irritated I am with the notion of “parent shaming”.

And I really meant all of it. Yesterday, I got called to help a very well-meaning family who knew something was up with their car seat and wanted it to be installed correctly. Once I got there, though, I looked at the seat and realized it was not only an expired seat, but a recalled seat. But it’s so common to buy used car seats, many parents don’t even question it.  Or what about this viral video from last month? Here. Here’s a screenshot:

bad-car-seat

I haven’t watched the full video, nor do I care to. Why? Because every time I look at this I get sick to my stomach. Not only is this an infant seat that’s ONLY supposed to go backwards, but I’m pretty certain it’s close to 10 years old, the straps aren’t even on one of the little boy’s shoulders, and my WORD…what is going on with the seatbelt? It’s over the arm, it’s…it’s just a mess. There is almost no likelihood that this poor sweet little boy would escape a crash without major injuries or worse.

Or what about this video?

bad-car-seat-2

The straps are too loose, they are falling off, and she’s too young to be facing forward. Truthfully, 99.9% of the videos and pictures parents post of their kids in car seats have at least one horrible, obvious flaw. Nothing else you buy is THIS critical to keeping your child alive. Nothing. And yes, for a variety of reasons, car seats are just really hard to use correctly. It also doesn’t help when parents so commonly are exposed to other parents making unsafe choices, such as:

  • Buying used car seats
  • Choosing to use expired car seats
  • Placing car seats on top of carts, tables, chairs….
  • Keeping babies in a car seat when they aren’t in a car
  • Turning a baby to be forward facing when they turn 1
  • Letting a baby nap in a car seat outside of the car
  • Not keeping a baby buckled in when the car seat is being used in a stroller
  • Using coats under car seat straps

Parents don’t want to hear that they’ve been doing something that puts their children in danger. I would never DREAM of going up to a parent when I see any of the above things. No matter how it’s phrased, it’s never taken well. Ever. So we try to educate broadly, and I go along and say a silent prayer every time I see a baby sleeping in a car seat, head falling forward, or a $450 car seat precariously perched on top of a shopping cart.

If you’ve been committing any of these car seat cardinal sins, today should be the day you stop. Car crashes are on the rise as more and more people are driving while distracted. Nothing is more important than keeping your children safe. There’s always a solution to every car seat problem. Have a trained professional, a Child Passenger Safety Technician (like me!), help you out if you need it. But really, don’t brush it off. Please.

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Introducing BabyLove Memberships

BabyLove Memberships

We know that more and more families are trusting us for all of their prenatal education, postpartum support, and ongoing education as their babies grow.  To help these families save money, we created memberships with 3 different levels to serve various goals and needs.

Membership Levels

Silver-$400: Unlimited BabyLove* classes for one year, up to two car seat checks

In one year you could take:

  • Evening Lamaze Series
  • Labor Skills Workshop
  • Birth Communication Workshop
  • Cloth Diapering/ Babywearing Combo Class
  • Early Potty Training
  • Baby Care: The First Year
  • 6 Dancing For Birth series

With the two car seat checks included, the package could easily be valued at $715.  That’s a HUGE Savings!

TOTAL:  $715, Potential savings of $315

Gold-$500: Unlimited BabyLove* classes for one year, up to two car seat checks, and four hours of in home lactation support

This package includes everything above, with the same huge cost savings, but included an additional 4 hours of in home lactation support, which has a $140 value.

TOTAL: $855, Potential Savings of $355

Platinum-$950: Unlimited BabyLove* classes for one year, up to two car seat checks, four hours of in home lactation support, and BabyLove doula services

Our prices for doula services range from $650-$750.  Not only will you get all of the awesome classes you want to take with us, but you will also get two experienced doulas for the birth of your child.

TOTAL: $1605, Potential savings of $655

Right now, in order to purchase these packages, just give us a call or send us an email and we will enroll you as a member.  You will have the ability to sign up for all of the classes you desire for a one year period via our registration system without needing to pay.  We are happy to answer any questions you might have!
*BabyLove classes do not include classes taught by outside educators, such as Calm Birth®, Small Talk Infant Sign, and specialty workshops

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Small Talk– The easiest way to learn about sign language for your baby and toddler

I signed with both of my children from about the age of 6 months on.  I had learned about infant and toddler signing when I was an assistant teacher in a toddler room 10 years ago, and I loved using it as a communication tool with both of my kids.  Both of them were able to communicate with me before they had the vocal ability to do so, and I will still sign with my oldest if we need to communicate discretely.

IMAG0777

We were very excited to have the chance to bring Susan C. Hagel, MS, CTRS (above) and creator of Small Talk to our space for classes.  She has been teaching for over 30 years and has offered Small Talk baby sign language classes for the last 12 years. The class in January was the first time she had taught in the South metro ever, so we were excited to have her.  I attended the class, and was surprised at what I learned. Some major take aways:

  • The parents need to be the primary teacher of signs: Some parents are starting to rely on DVDs to teach their children signs.  However, signing is a communication tool, and if a baby or toddler is going to learn how to use the signs to convey ideas and feelings with a caregiver, they need to learn and practice with their caregiver.
  • Susan did a great job of helping tell the parents how to best start signing with their babies based on their ages.  This underscores how very helpful in-person classes can be; the information can be tailored to everyone’s needs and everyone has a chance to ask the questions that apply to their own situation.
  • Some of those signs are confusing, and it’s immensely helpful to have an expert show the sign, explain how it’s done and even explain how you can remember what the sign is.  Even a month later, I still remember the sign for grape, something I did not know before!
  • The book Susan gives with her class has around 60 signs; one of the most important things I learned what how to introduce signing, with what sign, and when to introduce more signs.  I know looking at books with a bunch of signs can be overwhelming, so getting expert advice on starting off hopefully will make the process easier and less frustrating for everyone involved.

The next Small Talk class at BabyLove is next month.  For more information and to register, check out the class page on our website.

Happy signing!

 

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.