Does your best friend get frustrated when you pull over to double-check the car seat harness? Does your significant other call you OCD (Obsessive Car Seat Disorder)? Grandma think you’re overprotective because, well, you survived, didn’t you?

That probably means you’re being safe. And, that’s music to my ears.

Setting Boundaries

Whenever I get called paranoid, anal or overprotective, I have only one thing to say — THANK YOU. I will never compromise when it comes to my kids’ safety. Period. So, as the holidays approach and family gatherings loom, let’s get you armed and ready with whatever Aunt Paula and Grandpa Chad throw your way about all the safe things you’re doing with your kiddo and their car seat.

“We base our decisions on science and today’s safety standards, and we expect that you do the same when the kids are in your care.”

News flash: this goes beyond just car seats too!

“We will no longer discuss our decisions about [extended rear-facing, 5-point harness/booster, traveling with the car seat on a plane, age permitted to sit in the front seat, etc.]”

While educating your loved ones is important, you are not required to explain any further! Send them to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website!

“When our child is 2 years old, we will discuss appropriate food options in the car. Due to choking risk, no food is permitted in the car until further notice.”

The bright side? Cleaner car!

“We love it when you spend time with our child. To transport him, we must feel confident that he is as safe as possible by today’s safety standards.”

In many states, law requires children to be in a federally-approved vehicle seat until a certain age or height requirement. Point your loved ones to your state laws, there’s no arguing with the law!

Or, just send them to us.

Some of these may be hard to say, especially to parents or strong familial relationships we’ve learned (from a very young age) to honor and respect. Or friends who haven’t chosen to go the “seek expert advice from a child passenger safety technician route” because they feel like they’re doing “enough.” But respect does not mean sacrificing safety; it does mean enforcing your boundaries and accepting boundaries even when they don’t make sense to you.

God forbid something terrible happens and you didn’t say these things. Remember, car seat safety is based on science, not preference — goodness forbid something were to happen, you will be so thankful you prioritized your child’s safety over your loved ones’ best (yet often terribly uninformed, misguided or judgy) ways of thinking.  You do you mama and OWN IT! Set those healthy boundaries and protect your children AND your mental health.

It’s your right (and responsibility!) to show them exactly where to place the chest clip or belt position, explain that their legs are FINE in their rear facing car seat, or that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you keep your older children in booster seats until they can pass the Five Step Test (“they still can’t stop fidgeting with that that seat belt!”). These are not merely just safety tips, they are life-saving measures in the event of a car crash, and they significantly lower risk of death or serious injury.

My goal in all we do at Safe in the Seat is to bridge the gap between the science and technical side of car seat safety with real, everyday mom life. Car seats can be confusing– but armed with the correct information, shared in an easy-to-understand way, you will be car seat confident in no time! And, as a mom of two, I am on this ride with you!

Welcome to our YouTube channel!

Head over to our Shopify page for our in-depth car seat safety courses & resources for parents of infants to big kids, including buying kits (what car seat should I buy?), an airplane travel course (everything you need to know — from arriving at the airport to getting your rental car), and in-depth courses for both the infant stage and the convertible stage.

Make sure you’re following along on Instagram, too. We’ve got all the info you need to keep your kiddos safe in the seat.

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