When Azita was born, I got Payman’s car. It was the first car we bought together as a couple, but I already had my neon from high school. It was the first decent car Payman had ever had, growing up in Grenada. But daddy’s have a spft spot for their little baby girls, and his 2002 Honda had latches for the car seat (instead of installed with the car seat– the latches always feel more secure to us), reliable heat/air, newer brakes, et cetera.
So while I drove my neon to Pembroke and back every day, with no air while pregnant in June, I won the good car by being the one who drove the baby around!
But a few weeks ago my mom gave us her old car, a 2003 Nissan. It has latch, it’s reliable, it runs well. So Payman gets his car back! And I was kind of happy to have an automatic, actually. I prefer sticks in some ways, but with kids constantly chattering on to me while I drive or asking for their water bottles, it’s nice to have less to do while I drive.
When Azita turn 1, we were quick to turn her forward-facing. I couldn’t wait to be able to see her. Since then, however, I’d read and seen a lot more about rear-facing carseats and why it kids should rear-face longer. It has to do with physics and how a baby’s head is heavier, in relation to their bodies, than an adults. The vast majority of crashes have the impact coming from the front as well, which makes rear-facing better. You can google it and find tons of the research and crash tests to back up what I am saying.
We decided to keep Ada rear-facing for at least two years, especially since she is so small. I had heard that you could assess their body proportions and judge whether or not they looked more like a bobble-headed baby or a little kid. She is definitely more little-kiddish these days.
When I switched cars with Payman I decided to turn her front-facing for a day to see how it was. She loved it and I loved being able to see her.
Being the worry wart (read: responsible parent?) that I am, I had to refresh my research. Ugh. The girl is so going back to rear-facing. Joelsjourney.com is one of the best websites advocating rear-facing carseats for 2 years old and beyond, and the AAP extended their recommendations last year from 1 year to 2 years.
Next problem. Some car seats don’t fit certain cars well. You can go to carseatdata.org to match a carseat with the make and model of your car before you purchase it. The honda fit the kid’s Britax’s well, so it wasn’t ever an issue and I didn’t really understand how a car wouldn’t fit a car seat well.
The latches are closer together on the Nissan than the Honda, making the car seat butt up against them. It wobbles and wobbles and wobbles, no matter how tight you do it. We could install with the seat belt, making it a little more secure, but I always liked the latches. Then the car seat is really well attached to the frame of the car.
So I can do Ada rear-facing with a seat belt or wobbly latches, or try and see how secure the car seat is front facing.
I was going to check the front facing fit in the Nissan, but then I re-visiting Joelsjourney.com and I can’t read about another child with a broken neck that might have been fine had he been rear-facing. There are just too many stories out there.
So I think I’m going for option C… trading back cars with Payman. I wanted the automatic car and the one with the nicer stereo, but you know… who cares about that? At least now Payman is pretty happy with either car, now that his options don’t include a purple ’97 neon with a “Babies were born to breastfeed” bumper sticker.
What a good dad.