Rear Facing Until Two? Really?

Sometimes I get totally overwhelmed with the updates I get from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of the AAP and look to them for guidance every chance I get.  But at the same time, I often think I can’t keep up!  In general I feel like I’m an educated mom who usually knows what’s happening, but the AAP is usually a step or two ahead of me!

Yesterday I got word that the newest safety advice was to keep children under two years in rear facing car seats.  If you didn’t know already, it used to be that they faced backwards until they were one.  Now it’s two.  That’s quite a change, a whole year!

I know with my four kids we were ready for them to face forwards as soon as they got to be twelve months.  Now, parents are advised to wait another year.  Since I’m a rule follower by nature, then I can guarantee you that my kiddos would have had to follow this new guideline!  But I can also guarantee you that I would have been less than happy about it!

The new car seat recommendation makes me think back to when my almost fourteen year old son was born.  At the time, we were told to have our kids sleep on their sides using a wedge to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  By the time I had mastered that trick, the AAP changed their recommendation to children sleeping on their back only.  Throw out those pillow wedges friends!

Complicate all of that pediatric advice by my mother and mother-in-law who frequently reminded me that all of their kids slept on their stomachs, and I was drowning in a sea of mixed messages.  What’s a mom to do?  Well, I put my three daughters to sleep on their backs, but without fail when I went to wake them up in the morning they would be on their stomach!

Don’t even get me started about the changes in the immunization schedule.  Not to long ago, I was at the pediatrician’s office and was told that I had missed one of my son’s required immunizations.  What?  Me?  Not me?  When he had his kindergarten shots they told me he didn’t have to come back for immunizations until he was about to drive.  How did I miss one?

Turns out there had been a change in the shot schedule.  How was I supposed to know?  This year, when my daughter turned eleven, I got a friendly phone call reminder from my pediatrician’s office that her shot schedule had changed.  There must have been a bunch of us who missed those eleven year old shots with those older siblings!

What’s a parent to do?  Well, like I said, I’m a huge fan of the AAP.  So, for the sake of our kids (and our own sanity) it’s crucial that we stay informed about their updates.  They know what they’re talking about.  They’ve done the research and evaluated the pros and cons of each of their recommendations.  It’s up to us as parents to stay informed.

I’ll admit, I get frustrated (and I’m sure you do to) with their updates and changes.  But each and every time they are for the safety and well being of our children.  Bookmark the American Academy of Pediatrics as a favorite site of yours and stay up to date on their latest and greatest recommendations.  Like me, frustrated or not, you’ll be glad you did!

Share
About Dr. Polly Dunn

Child clinical psychologist, wife, and mom of four blogging about her 'Perfectly Imperfect' parenting solutions.

Comments

  1. I have to say I’m glad my daughter is old enough that I don’t have to flip her back around. That would not go over well. That being said if I do have more kids they will be rear facing until two. Rule follower here too. Usually. ;)

  2. Don’t forget that most of us grew up without ever having sat in a car seat. We sat in our parent’s laps, the back seat, the back window, the floor board, etc. We survived, but probably due to a little grace and luck. Our daughter Erin is approaching 17 months; we just purchased two brand new, top of the line, consumer reports recommended front-facing car seats that are designed to be used until she is 30 (when I allow her to start dating). Having already disposed of our rear-facing car seats, we are now faced with the dilemma of either buying two more rear-facing seats to last her the next 7 months, or living on the edge for just a little while. Amber has read every child-rearing book there is, and we’ve followed every guideline we know about… but for now I guess we’ll be rebels?

  3. Just today I started following the AAP on Twitter so that I could hopefully keep up with updates! I wish that they would give us a six month notice when they were going to make a recommendation change. That would have solved your problem Mitch! Thanks for the comments!

Speak Your Mind

*