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Not tightening straps for infant carseat - Page 4

post #61 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I don't have a driveway - I have a parking spot in front of my townhouse, and if I tried that in the complex driveway, I'd have a lot of pissed off neighbours.
Maybe pretend the car won't start at all?

I am sorry this has been so frustrating and difficult. Perhaps try sitting your dd down and having a good heart to heart chat about what can be done that might help her deal with being in a seat.

She is four, so I would think she is old enough to be proactive in working on a solution and understanding that "not screaming in the car" would result in more privileges and opportunities for fun.

My dd was still recently complaining about her carseat and she is six, so finally I had my sisters show her their scars (the worst of mine is in my hair and not easy to see) and the pictures of us with stitches when we were little. She was pretty receptive to us trying to explain to her and discuss what happened and why I worry about it so much.

She is irritated with me as I won't allow her to be in a booster. I have a lot of anxiety as we were in the accident when we were young and I was in a pretty bad accident a couple of years ago, which was completely not my fault. I was on the highway and the other driver fell asleep and ran into me.
post #62 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
The thing is...it's all about risk, right? If I'm never in an accident, then I've put her through all this crap for precisely no reason.
My dad was talking to me about this the other night with regards to the tightness of DD's car seat straps. He honestly thinks I have them done up too tight (and he might be right). He doesn't want me to have them all loosey goosey, but he thinks she should have some breathing room. He's worried that I might actually be damaging her bones/muscles, etc. by keeping her in so tight. I argued with him that it's best to have her in as tight as possible so she doesn't get ejected. My dad argued that I may be creating long term damage to prevent a situation that may NEVER happen. But I kept saying "what if it did?". Ugh!

So, I am really glad this thread came about because I had actually meant to post a question on what the "one finger" (or "two finger") rule actually meant and how I was to implement it. I am now going to test use the fold test and perhaps loosen her straps to the point where I still can't make a horizontal fold, but that she can actually move. Right now, I have the poor kid so tight in, she probably has trouble breathing!
post #63 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
She is four, so I would think she is old enough to be proactive in working on a solution and understanding that "not screaming in the car" would result in more privileges and opportunities for fun.
Old enough? Certainly. But, this kind of discussion gets nowhere with her. DD is...not easy to deal with at the best of times. She falls very much into the "spirited" category. Frankly, the entire car seat issue has just about trashed our relationship at times...one of many reasons why I hate the things. I've simply ended up not taking her and ds2 with me as much as I would have, otherwise. That's a hard one, too, because I'd take her in a heartbeat if I could just put her in a seatbelt. I can't imagine another 8-9 years of this car seat crap...

Even if I had accident scars, I don't think I'd go that route. I'm a member of ICAN, and have been traumatized by my c-sections. I don't think that equating my scars to all the bad things that might happen to someone would have a very good effect on her, what with her birth being one of the places I acquired one, yk? It's not like I could say, "oh - that's different - I don't mind that scar, because I have you"...she knows what ICAN's about.
post #64 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechnoGranola View Post
My dad argued that I may be creating long term damage to prevent a situation that may NEVER happen. But I kept saying "what if it did?". Ugh!
Yeah..."what if it did?". This is where I seem to think differently than most people. DS1 came within inches of being killed - and me with him - crossing a street. None of us have ever been in a significant car accident. So, maybe I should just stay home and never cross streets? We wouldn't be able to go to the park, but who cares about long-term damage (obesity, lack of fresh air, no chances to meet other kids, etc.) when something awful might happen?

Nobody suggests that we stop walking with our children, because they could get hit by a car...but it happens. It happens all the time. What makes the car seat the most important safety concern? What makes the car seat the one thing that 's worth making our children's lives hell every day? What makes the chance of a 2-vehicle (or more) accident so much more significant than the risks we all face every day, no matter what we do? If I suggested strapping dd in to a seat so that she couldn't climb the counters and maybe fall, and couldn't reach the kitchen knives, people would think I was insane and abusive...but as long as I'm in a car, it's okay...not just okay, but legally required?
post #65 of 123
This it just silly - why would you stop someone and tell them something that is so obvious? People know the straps are too loose. They want them that way. Its a choice - a screaming child during the car ride or the chance their child hits the belts harder should there be a crash.

Maggie
post #66 of 123
Not everyone does know they are too loose... some people are never shown how to properly install their child in a car seat or how tight even the car seat base should be, etc.
post #67 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Frankly, the entire car seat issue has just about trashed our relationship at times...one of many reasons why I hate the things. I've simply ended up not taking her and ds2 with me as much as I would have, otherwise. .
dont you think she picks up on the way YOU feel about the car seat? kids are smart, she knows it bothers you, which probably bothers her even more. if you didnt make a big deal out of it, and just said, this is the way it is ....period...do you think she would put up such a fight? i cant imagine a car seat "trashing" a mother daughter relationship, unless you are making a big deal out of it also..even then, why? You feel bad, its the law, you do it anyway...that should be the end of it. If you are putting her through all this "torture" to use the seat, why not use it correctly, so it will at least do its job if something DID happen? you say its all about risk, nothing might happen anyway...but if something DID happen, she isnt in the seat properly anyway, so what is the point of even using it and putting her through all the abuse? just so you dont break a law and get a fine? i really am not understanding the logic behind this.
post #68 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
What makes the car seat the most important safety concern? What makes the car seat the one thing that 's worth making our children's lives hell every day? What makes the chance of a 2-vehicle (or more) accident so much more significant than the risks we all face every day, no matter what we do? If I suggested strapping dd in to a seat so that she couldn't climb the counters and maybe fall, and couldn't reach the kitchen knives, people would think I was insane and abusive...but as long as I'm in a car, it's okay...not just okay, but legally required?
I think most people don't think of it as torture, any more than a seat belt is torture. Obviously your daughter has a particular issue with it and that makes it harder for you, and that is really hard.

I'm trying to understand what would be pleasant for your daughter in a car. What makes you think she would find a seatbelt more comfortable? Shoulder straps aren't that comfortable - no padding like in seatbelts.

My son's life in his car seat is really not hell, any more than having a locked front door so he doesn't wander outside on his own is hell. He sings, plays, and talks with us while in his car seat and he has a grand time. Of course if he were strapped in it all day or for hours he would hate it and it might well be inappropriate, but I don't think that is the case for you and I know it isn't for us.

I really have a hard time with you comparing being in a carseat to abuse. Obviously that is my reaction and I own it.
post #69 of 123
Quote:
What makes the car seat the most important safety concern? What makes the car seat the one thing that 's worth making our children's lives hell every day? What makes the chance of a 2-vehicle (or more) accident so much more significant than the risks we all face every day, no matter what we do? If I suggested strapping dd in to a seat so that she couldn't climb the counters and maybe fall, and couldn't reach the kitchen knives, people would think I was insane and abusive...but as long as I'm in a car, it's okay...not just okay, but legally required?
Actually, I agree with this sentiment. We did use carseats, but some of the rhetoric from hardliners strikes me as incredibly narrow. If they really look at all the things they do in a day which are far more likely to hurt a child than riding in a car improperly restrained, I don't think they could justify the degree of judgment cast on parents who don't use carseats or use them improperly.

Somehow carseats have become the litmus test of good parenting for many people. I don't get it. I really don't. A plastic bucket wouldn't be the end-all-be-all determining factor for me. But it is for many people.
post #70 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexysmommy View Post
dont you think she picks up on the way YOU feel about the car seat? kids are smart, she knows it bothers you, which probably bothers her even more. if you didnt make a big deal out of it, and just said, this is the way it is ....period...do you think she would put up such a fight?
That's exactly what I do...until she's been refusing to wear the harness/get in the seat for 20-30 minutes straight. She hates it. This isn't about me. I've always hated them, and ds1 and ds2 put up with them quite readily. DD hates the seat.

Quote:
i cant imagine a car seat "trashing" a mother daughter relationship, unless you are making a big deal out of it also..even then, why? You feel bad, its the law, you do it anyway...that should be the end of it. If you are putting her through all this "torture" to use the seat, why not use it correctly, so it will at least do its job if something DID happen? you say its all about risk, nothing might happen anyway...but if something DID happen, she isnt in the seat properly anyway, so what is the point of even using it and putting her through all the abuse? just so you dont break a law and get a fine? i really am not understanding the logic behind this.
I do use it properly, to the extent that I can. That's why the stupid chest clip frustrates me so much. I hate putting her in there, and knowing it's not even doing any good, except to prevent me from being fined. However, I'm not supermom...I have no way to move the chest clip while I'm driving. This has been going on for almost two years. I've fixed it many times. I've stopped several times to fix it. She doesn't care if she's "allowed" - she doesn't like the clip. She can't loosen the straps, which she'd like to do, but she can move the clip down...so she does. Yes - I use the seat to avoid a fine, but since I'm going to the hassle and spending the money, anyway, it's more than a little frustrating to know that most of the time (she occasionally forgets about the clip or goes to sleep), the seat is basically useless if we did happen to have bad luck.

As to our relationship, dd and I have a lot of issues on a day-to-day basis. I find her very difficult to deal with on most issues. However, none of them cause me to overheat (literally) all the time...none of them cause me to worry about getting fined...none of them make me feel like an unreasonable ogre...none of them cause me to feel that I've wasted over $100 - which we can't freaking afford in the slightest. This is the only one.
post #71 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I think most people don't think of it as torture, any more than a seat belt is torture. Obviously your daughter has a particular issue with it and that makes it harder for you, and that is really hard.

I'm trying to understand what would be pleasant for your daughter in a car. What makes you think she would find a seatbelt more comfortable? Shoulder straps aren't that comfortable - no padding like in seatbelts.
I'd bet money that she hates the degree of restraint. It's not just about the straps feeling too tight. It's about being restrained. She hates that. (Also, with respect to seat belts, I probably wouldn't wear one if they weren't also required by law...I think they're horrifically uncomfortable...not just the shoulder belt, but even the lap belt.)

Quote:
My son's life in his car seat is really not hell, any more than having a locked front door so he doesn't wander outside on his own is hell. He sings, plays, and talks with us while in his car seat and he has a grand time. Of course if he were strapped in it all day or for hours he would hate it and it might well be inappropriate, but I don't think that is the case for you and I know it isn't for us.
DD doesn't do those things in her car seat very much. She does talk sometimes, and once in a blue moon she'll sing. She certainly doesn't play...and she almost never smiles or laughs. I'm not kidding when I use the word "hate" about her feelings about her seat.

Quote:
I really have a hard time with you comparing being in a carseat to abuse. Obviously that is my reaction and I own it.
FWIW, I'm not actually comparing it to abuse. I feel abusive when I put her in it. It's an emotional reaction, and I'm aware that forcing her to do something she hates and causes her physical discomfort isn't actually abusive in and of itself...especially when the Powers That Be have decreed it to be positive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
Actually, I agree with this sentiment. We did use carseats, but some of the rhetoric from hardliners strikes me as incredibly narrow. If they really look at all the things they do in a day which are far more likely to hurt a child than riding in a car improperly restrained, I don't think they could justify the degree of judgment cast on parents who don't use carseats or use them improperly.

Somehow carseats have become the litmus test of good parenting for many people. I don't get it. I really don't. A plastic bucket wouldn't be the end-all-be-all determining factor for me. But it is for many people.
I think that really is the thing that makes me nuts. I spend a lot of time with my kids. I read to them, sing to them, drag my butt outside to take them places, etc., etc., etc. They mostly eat well. I do my best, even with dd (we have a personality conflict, unfortunately...she's a lovely child, but we're on different planets in many respects). But, for many people, my feelings about these seats trump everything. It makes my head spin.
post #72 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
That's exactly what I do...until she's been refusing to wear the harness/get in the seat for 20-30 minutes straight. She hates it. This isn't about me. I've always hated them, and ds1 and ds2 put up with them quite readily. DD hates the seat.


I do use it properly, to the extent that I can. That's why the stupid chest clip frustrates me so much. I hate putting her in there, and knowing it's not even doing any good, except to prevent me from being fined. .
If she is 4 can't she go in a booster seat? Would she like that better? Some of the boosterseats even have high backs. I think most 4 year olds here aren't in harnessed seats anymore for the most part. I feel your pain though. My ds hates his carseat too. We drive far less often because of this because it is just too stressful. I think if a child is strapped in, and they aren't too short for the seatbelt (which a booster would fix) then an actual carseat isn't that much safer really. (although maybe the law is different where you are, is that the problem?)
post #73 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
Actually, I agree with this sentiment. We did use carseats, but some of the rhetoric from hardliners strikes me as incredibly narrow. If they really look at all the things they do in a day which are far more likely to hurt a child than riding in a car improperly restrained, I don't think they could justify the degree of judgment cast on parents who don't use carseats or use them improperly.

Somehow carseats have become the litmus test of good parenting for many people. I don't get it. I really don't. A plastic bucket wouldn't be the end-all-be-all determining factor for me. But it is for many people.
Well said, thank you. I had been reading this thread and wondering how to say this without bein charred to bits for being a neglectful, abusive mother, just for saying I can understand why some people hate car seats and even why some may not always use them.

If you haven't had a child who literally screams EVERY single time she/he is strapped in, you simply don't know what it's like. It is hell. My first did this and eventually stopped at over 3 YEARS old. My daughter is almost 3 and is still frantic in the car. Our last trip was worse than ever (and unavoidable) It does feel exactly like CIO when your child is screaming, gagging, choking, hitting herself, and you are frantically trying to find a safe place to pull over and rescue her. What is that like for the other child who has to sit next to her?? Hell. What do you think it's like to visit family who live 3 hours away but for us it's a 9 - 10 hour drive because we have a child who screams the entire time in between stops. That's beside the grocery store trips which are also unpleasant, though have stopped being hellish.
I have wondered many times over the past 6 years, what kind of damage my children have suffered because of this type of CIO-like crying. If CIO can cause such physical (not just psychological) damage, why not this? I know it has damaged my nerves and my sensory systems. As a new mom I can't even describe how it made me feel, I think i've blocked it out.

fwiw, we have tried it all, over the years and nothing has ever made a difference. Some children do not do well with confinement and I don't blame them. The best we can do is limit car rides which we do. We do have an older child though so car trips are many times unavoidable.

Do I agree with the line I often read here- a crying child is better than a dead one - OBVIOUSLY. Have my children been damaged by car seat use?- Yes I believe so. Do we use car seats? Yes .
post #74 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama View Post
Actually, I agree with this sentiment. We did use carseats, but some of the rhetoric from hardliners strikes me as incredibly narrow. If they really look at all the things they do in a day which are far more likely to hurt a child than riding in a car improperly restrained, I don't think they could justify the degree of judgment cast on parents who don't use carseats or use them improperly.

Somehow carseats have become the litmus test of good parenting for many people. I don't get it. I really don't. A plastic bucket wouldn't be the end-all-be-all determining factor for me. But it is for many people.
I don't think car seats are a litmus test for good parenting, and some of the rhetoric around specific, very expensive car seats, bothers me.

However personally, I don't at all believe in the "well THIS is dangerous so THAT safety measure shouldn't be important" argument.

There are dangers that we can't protect our children from, there are always things we can't and don't do, yes. That is the reality. But how exactly does the presence of one danger mean that we shouldn't address another one? THAT I don't get. Are you saying that we all pick our battles? Well yes to a certain point - but society dictates other points, like leaving a 4 year old home alone is not legal, and riding around without a car seat is not legal.

My lay understanding of the big reason to use carseats is that a child's head is bigger, in comparison to their body, than mine, and their neck muscles not as developed - so in a crash they are much more likely to have damage to their spine due to whiplash. That sounds like physics to me, not rhetoric, and I see the carseat as addressing that difference, in the same way that I would support a newborn's neck.

For the kids who are so freaked out restrained - if I had an answer I would be a genius.

I just don't know, if the restraint is the issue, if car seats are really the problem - being in a seatbelt or even just being in the car might be hard. But to me that is an issue with the child and not the seat... the child's issue is with the seat but unless something is poking them I'm really not sure the seat itself is at fault. I wonder if there's a way to develop a car seat that would provide different sensory input, like straps where you could put on fleece or flannel or cotton covers, or a cushy interior, or something like that, that would help.

I really admire you parents who cope with that level of distress. And SB thanks for clarifying about the abuse part - I was tired last night and misread it.
post #75 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by LinzluvsGJ View Post
Not everyone does know they are too loose... some people are never shown how to properly install their child in a car seat or how tight even the car seat base should be, etc.
So you are trying to tell me that an adult of average intelligence can not look at the straps and realize they are loose? Ridiculous. Of course they know. They don't tighten them on purpose. My friend does this. Its her choice. She knows they are loose, she understands what will happen if they are loose. It doesn't take much sense to understand that the straps are there to hold in the child. Hitting the straps on the seat harder is far better than the child having no straps and being thrown from the car seat.


Maggie
post #76 of 123
It is one thing to not realize the straps are loose, but to just not care about it, or because the baby doesn't like it?

Hearing your baby cry is not fun. I have had 3 children and I am very soft hearted. Better a crying baby, than a dead baby, though.

I also do not believe that my sons are emotionally scarred for life because they could not have their way about being in the car seat when they were small. They seem very happy and well-adjusted at ages 8 and 9. Maybe that is not how it is with other kids, but it is how things are around here.

My 2 yr old doesn't seem to mind the car seat. He just wants to "go".
post #77 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I can do what about it? If I take the clip off and turn it around, I won't be able to do it up...or undo it. I barely can now.

I find the general attitude about car seats to be kind of odd, too. So, c'est la vie. To each their own. I'm just happy that I didn't have to be strapped into one of those things as a child.


I wish my 18 yr old, brain damaged niece had been strapped into one when she was 11 mos old, by her stupid babysitter. Then perhaps she would be able to function normally. as she wants to and not have the mentality of an 8 yr old with the hormones of an 18 yr old, AND maybe she would not have the physical pain she sometimes has. She gets very very upset over her limitations, although we do our best to accentuate what she CAN do.

You have not seen anything, until you see an 11 mo old baby, in a huge bed in an ICU, with tubes, wires and gawd knows what else strapped to her and inserted into her body. I don't wish that on anyone. Ever. To see her struggle to learn to suck, chew, and move again, during PT was heartbreaking.

I certainly am not going to tell you not to drive. Car seats, I fully admit, are a pain in the butt. However, they save more lives than not.
post #78 of 123
We just take the bus

More seriously, since we rarely use a carseat (only if we get a ride with a friend), we had little practice and didn`t read much about them. I realized only with my second child that the chest piece had to be so high and so tight.

And my husband still doesn`t tighten it enough unless I`m around. He truly doesn`t realize the safety issues...

And one last thing, when we have a ride and use the carseat and then use the carseat to carry our baby wherever we`re going, we ALWAYS loosen the belt BEFORE getting out of the car.

This might sound reassuring to some - not all loosened belts were that way in the car while it was moving!
post #79 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by m9m9m9 View Post
Hitting the straps on the seat harder is far better than the child having no straps and being thrown from the car seat.


Maggie
Actually Maggie, if the straps are loose the child/baby may be ejected from the child restraint. 3-Point Restraints especially need to be tight because the ejection risk may be higher.

It is VERY VERY important the straps are tight against the child.
post #80 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by m9m9m9 View Post
So you are trying to tell me that an adult of average intelligence can not look at the straps and realize they are loose? Ridiculous. Of course they know. They don't tighten them on purpose. My friend does this. Its her choice. She knows they are loose, she understands what will happen if they are loose. It doesn't take much sense to understand that the straps are there to hold in the child. Hitting the straps on the seat harder is far better than the child having no straps and being thrown from the car seat.


Maggie
Believe it or not, some people just don't know. I truly believe that the woman at DS's school didn't know and she was appreciative of the information that I gave her when I spoke to her yesterday. (Either that, or she is a DAMN good actor!) I have spoken to other new moms at LLL metings who also didn't know that the straps were too loose.

Some people really just don't think about those things! If no-one told me that my CAR should shake if I shake the car-seat, I would have never known how to test if it was properly installed in the car.

With all the preparations for child-birth, most people are so consumed with preparing for labour that everything else gets forgotten. Heck, I didn't even read anything about breastfeeding, nevermind reading the manual for my child's car-seat. And after the baby is born, who has time to read a car-seat manual when she is struggling with the issue of how to FEED her baby???

Believe me... some people truly don't know.
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