Convincing people to ERF, in real life?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can it be done? Has anyone ever successfully done this? I am beginning to think it is a lost cause.

I don't know anyone within my family, circle of friends, or even among my agency of home daycare providers, that ERFs, or even does more than roll their eyes at me when it comes up.

My good friend has a baby that has always been a chunky monkey. She outgrew her bucket at 4 months and my friend was convinced she had to be turned around at 22lbs even though she wasn't even six months old yet. I sent her the crash test videos and the pictures of ERF toddlers from carseat.org. She finally got a Marathon and kept her baby rear facing - thank goodness.

Of course the kid continued to grow and is now closing in on 28lbs. I offered to trade my True Fit with her temporarily so that she could keep her kid RFing longer (Britax in Canada only RFs to 30lbs, my TF goes to 35lbs, and my daughter is only 20lbs).

Well, her daughter just turned one in the middle of August, and already she is FFing. I could scream. I didn't bother saying anything - she knows how I feel, she knows all the statistics, but for some reason this is the way she chooses to go. I so don't get it.

What really kills me is that even though her child is off the charts in height and weight, she in no way has the muscle tone to be forward facing. She isn't walking, and can barely pull herself up to stand. My child, only six weeks older, has been walking since ten months and is incredibly strong for such a little person. Between the two of them, my daughter would stand a better chance in a forward facing collision, but of course she is still safely rear facing.

Do I completely give up? Should I save my breath? Has anyone ever successfully convinced someone, in real life, to ERF??

*sigh*

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#2 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 10:16 PM
 
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It can be done for sure, but lots of parents just aren't "there" yet. The info is coming out, but it's going to take time for it to become mainstream and "normal". And car seats need to catch up too. She bought a very expensive seat and I don't blame parents for not wanting to give up a seat like that. Not that there's anything wrong with the TF you offered her. But it probably seems unreasonable to her to be jumping through hoops to keep her rf'ing past the minimums. I say you did what you could and it's time to move on. You can't keep on one person because eventually they will start tuning you out. She has the info, now it's her job as a parent to make a decision.

On to this:

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Originally Posted by just_lily View Post
What really kills me is that even though her child is off the charts in height and weight, she in no way has the muscle tone to be forward facing. She isn't walking, and can barely pull herself up to stand. My child, only six weeks older, has been walking since ten months and is incredibly strong for such a little person. Between the two of them, my daughter would stand a better chance in a forward facing collision, but of course she is still safely rear facing.
You shouldn't use this as a reason to convince people to continue to rf. Muscle tone has nothing to do with the safety of ff'ing. It has more to do with maturity of the bones and development of the spine. Kids like my DD will never have good muscle tone, but it doesn't make her less safe ff'ing when she's 4 and 40 lbs, kwim? It's not based on fact and if they find that out, they will dismiss *everything* you tell them. And then someone could even turn it around on you and say, "Well my kid was walking at 8 months and doing backflips at a year old...he's more developed than other kids are so he's plenty safe ff'ing". It just doesn't work like that. Stick to the facts and when you have given them all the info, know that you have done everything you can (assuming they aren't doing anything blatantly illegal, like ff'ing a 3 month old).
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#3 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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I find it easy to defer to the 'authorities.' Often people will listen if it doesn't sound like me, the wacko vegetarian mom who carries her cloth-diapered toddler in a sling, suggesting something. My completely mainstream peds office now has a sign saying to keep babies rear facing until at least two. So I've been casually mentioning that to everyone I see.

I also find that people like to think things are their own idea, not many people take unsolicited advice, even to save a life (People are funny like that.) So keeping it objective, hey, this is what I read, end of conversation (unless they ask more), works much better than bringing something up repeatedly.

But boy is it hard watching someone FF their baby! How I wish the law would change!

Mom to DD 7 and DS 5.
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#4 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 10:41 PM
 
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If it makes you feel any better, all of you fine mamas have convinced ME to keep DS RF as long as possible.....

Sleepy mama to Colin Theodore 8-12-08 and Trevor Arthur 7-17-12.

 

 

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#5 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandgeek View Post
It can be done for sure, but lots of parents just aren't "there" yet. The info is coming out, but it's going to take time for it to become mainstream and "normal". And car seats need to catch up too. She bought a very expensive seat and I don't blame parents for not wanting to give up a seat like that. Not that there's anything wrong with the TF you offered her. But it probably seems unreasonable to her to be jumping through hoops to keep her rf'ing past the minimums. I say you did what you could and it's time to move on. You can't keep on one person because eventually they will start tuning you out. She has the info, now it's her job as a parent to make a decision.
I am letting it go, with her. I said that in my OP. I have seen them twice since she turned her daughter FFing, and I haven't said one word to her about it. All of our previous conversations have been brought up by her as well.

I needed to vent a little to people that get it, because there is nobody around me that "gets it". But I would rather this thread not be so much about this specific situation as just some encouragement that yes, there is a possibility that at some point I may be able to convince someone I love to "get it" themselves.

Quote:
You shouldn't use this as a reason to convince people to continue to rf. Muscle tone has nothing to do with the safety of ff'ing. It has more to do with maturity of the bones and development of the spine. Kids like my DD will never have good muscle tone, but it doesn't make her less safe ff'ing when she's 4 and 40 lbs, kwim? It's not based on fact and if they find that out, they will dismiss *everything* you tell them. And then someone could even turn it around on you and say, "Well my kid was walking at 8 months and doing backflips at a year old...he's more developed than other kids are so he's plenty safe ff'ing". It just doesn't work like that. Stick to the facts and when you have given them all the info, know that you have done everything you can (assuming they aren't doing anything blatantly illegal, like ff'ing a 3 month old).
I have seen a lot of information (that isn't pro-ERF) that states minimum requirements for FFing are age 1, 22lbs AND pulling to stand. It is entirely possible that this is outdated info, but in any event I have never told anyone that this is a reason to ERF - I usually just stick with the 500% safer and no broken necks. Like I said my own child has been well ahead of her physical milestones and but is rear facing and will stay that was as long as possible.

On a more positive note I am hoping that as she gets older and people see how safe and comfortable she is rear facing we will be able to lead by example. Here's hoping anyway.

Wife to DH (06/10) and Mummy to DD (07/08).

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#6 of 21 Old 08-26-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by just_lily View Post
I have seen a lot of information (that isn't pro-ERF) that states minimum requirements for FFing are age 1, 22lbs AND pulling to stand. It is entirely possible that this is outdated info
Yup it's outdated. Not sure if it was ever an actual requirement or recommendation actually. Certainly not by the AAP. Just one of those random things that gets passed around with no real evidence to back it up.
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#7 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 08:18 AM
 
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I definitely haven't had much luck except some really weird looks and people thinking I'm crazy, lol. The only other person I know who ERF is another MDC mama. My family turns most of the babies by 9 months. My cousin did at 9 months/16lbs because its "easier to get her in and out that way". I mentioned it at a LLL meeting (y'know, full of crazy hippy people like me) and they definitely all thought I was a nutcase. One woman points to her 3 year old and says "but that means HE should still be RF!". I said that yes, he would be safer RF, even at 3, and in Sweeden they RF until 4 or 5, yadda yadda, she definitely concluded I was a nutcase.

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#8 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 08:52 AM
 
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DH wasn't even on board with ERF until we went to the county fair a couple of weeks ago. Before this he was wishy, washy about it...thinking that it was just another one of those wacky things I read on the internet. I had put my foot down and said that it was going to happen.

Then there was someone there from the department of transportation and I asked about carseat checks. The man asked what we had (carseat wise) and I also mentioned that we were going to ERF DD. I actually misspoke and said that we were going to RF until around 2 and see how we feel at that point. He was very quick to correct me and said "That's great you are going to RF longer. That's really the safest way to ride. But, you really need to go to the limits of your seat". DH was present for this conversation and ever since that point has been on board with ERF. He now says its really no more difficult to put her in the carseat RF than it would be FF.


FWIW....I'm probably going to buy DD a MyRide. Which at the rate DD is growing will last her a good long while. We will probably RF until 4. Its a lot easier to this when you have support from the spouse.

ETA: We will NOT be getting the MyRide. This seat will not keep DD RF much longer than her ComfortSport. Don't know what to do next.
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#9 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 08:54 AM
 
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I'll vent with you! This will be a long post, sorry.

Even my mil, who ADORES my daughter and definitely wants her to be safe (and mostly, I think, even agrees with me about delaying vaccinations and some other not-very-mainstream things) keeps asking, "So when are you going to turn her?" I do not get it. I think it is because she wants to be able to see her while driving? or thinks that DD will have a better time? I explained the "five times safer" statistic, and she was unmoved. She even theorized that DD has motion sickness (she does not) and that turning her around might help.

I was talking with a good friend in a restaurant a few months ago, and I was explaining the new AAP recommendations-- RF to at least 2 years, etc. She asked if there was any merit to the fear that RFing children were more likely to break their legs, and I told her I didn't think so, but that I would choose a broken leg over internal decapitation. At that point in the conversation, a lady (who was, coincidentally or not, bottlefeeding her infant daughter) came over, interrupted our conversation, and said, "You know, I felt like I needed to come over and tell you that I have been a mom for many years, and I just do not worry about these things any more. You just have to trust God to protect your children." I was speechless. I wish I had asked if that meant she didn't put her children in car seats. It was so BIZARRE to me that you would go up to strangers and tell them they care too much about car safety.

I appreciate it when others refrain from criticising *my* parenting choices, so I try not to become too invested in others' car seat choices-- but nevertheless, it DOES make me angry. One mom explained to me that she had her newborn son circumcised and vaxed for hep b because "we just want him to be safe!", yet she breaks all the car seat regulations because her kids are small and she does not want them to feel bad about it (so she puts them in whatever seats her friends' sons are in). I heard this same woman *laughing* about another mom who had installed her children's car seats inconveniently tightly.... like that was a sign of being a neurotic mom. Sheesh.

I think the new AAP recommendations with certainly help. I am citing them a lot when I talk with friends, and they seem to carry weight that "studies" do not.

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#10 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 09:21 AM
 
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I thought that becoming a CPST would give me enough weight to convince my friends/family, but nope. I still get just as many eyerolls. No one wants to hear it.

Cristina
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#11 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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It takes time, but slowly people will start to change. You just do what you can to influence people around you positively. I am definitely convinced to RF as long as possible after doing the research and I very much hope my daughter does not get motion sick like I do.

I think part of the issue with convincing people is it is all so new and so many were never even in car seats let alone car seats for years followed by boosters and now they have to RF for years too! When will it end! That's what going through a lot of people's minds and its hard to get through that. And some people just don't believe the information, they think either you are quoting it wrong or it is a big conspiracy to get people to spend more money on kid stuff and with all the superfluous kid stuff out there, it's easy to see why they might think this.

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#12 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 02:52 PM
 
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My Mom, who is pro-everything we do, just about without questions, kept asking about forward facing. I explained it. She asked again. I sent her the crash test video. She said 'oh, now I get it.' And has been 100% supportive ever since. People are strange about what they do and don't do and what they base their decisions on.
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#13 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 03:25 PM
 
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It was definitely helpful that the AAP revised their recommendation back in April. I spread the news among my friends then:

http://aapnews.aappublications.org/c...full/30/4/12-a

Quote:
Toddlers should remain rear-facing in a convertible car seat until they have reached the maximum height and weight recommended for the model, or at least the age of 2.

Mom to : July 2007 and : August 2009!
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#14 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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I just tell my friends that they've changed the requirements to at least 2 years old. I then tell them that they really recommend 4 years old because until then they're 10 times more likely to have a serious injury. (don't know if the statistic is correct, but it seems to convince them). I don't make it sound like I'm telling them, I make it sound like it's a new "law" type rule.

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#15 of 21 Old 08-27-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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My neighbor actually kept her DD RF till 18 months because she has one of those Alpha Omega carseats and it says to RF till at least 22 lb, so that is when her DD hit 22 lb. I figure 18 months is still better than 12 months! Other than her though, I know NO one else who RF past about a year. In fact, I was getting comments dropping my DD off at preschool (teacher comes and gets them out of the car) about didn't I think it was time to turn her as her legs are squished? I try to use opportunities like that to explain the safety part of it. I am sure I will get even MORE comments now that DD is already 4 and STILL RF. But she is so small for her age, I feel better keeping her that way for now unless or until she complains, turns 5 (might be kind of weird to still be RF in kindergarten and by then her bones should be hardened enough) or reaches the limit on her seat (33 lb Britax Decathlon). She is only like 28 lb now and maybe 36.5" tall at 4 years old. As far as convincing DH, he still thinks I am nuts to RF a 4 year old, but I do the carseat installations, and DD is not complaining, so he justs lets it be. I don't openly advertise oh yes my DD is still RF, but if someone asks, I tell them, and explain why if they ask why she still is at age 4.

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#16 of 21 Old 08-28-2009, 12:57 AM
 
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It takes time, but it's getting better! There is one peds office in our county recommending RFing to at least two and I cheer every time one of their parents come in, and they do... Come in, as recommended by the pediatrician. I see this is the primary battle, educating peditracitans because parents see them as the be all/end all in parenting decisions. And if your ped. says its OK to FF at 1 and 20, then by all means... That said, it seems like most seat checks we leave having convinced at least one parent to ERF. They come in a lot, to turn their kids, and often leave with them still RFing. There have been a couple memorable ones for me. One was a 13 month old, whose mom came in to turn him, and the tech didn't have luck convincing her and signaled me to help, so I came over with my, "are you aware of..." argument. Mom, upon hearing the statistics, decided to keep him RFing. We helped her install the seat more upright, and took out all the infant padding, making him more comfy. About 9 months later, mom came to another check to have the infant seat for her NEXT baby installed, with the soon to be big brother, still RFing at 21 months. Mom said she went home and looked it all up online, and we were right, and that her new mission is to educate her friends. BTW-- part of my car seat info from pregnant moms on up, is to include the ERF info, and encourage them to "look up information about the benefits of ERF online," "take time to look now, before you have a decision to make," and "visit sites like Joel's Journey to learn about the risks of FFing too soon." It helps A LOT for parents to feel like they are educating themselves and making a choice.

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#17 of 21 Old 08-28-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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I swear that this topic is a huge hot spot for me. I just cannot understand WHY any parent is so eager to turn their baby around to FF. What is the big appeal, especially when one is told it is not as safe?

Before coming to MDC, I was a member of a mainstream parenting forum. It was a nice place while I was pregnant but that all changed after we all had our babies. Anyway, I recently left due to this very topic. I just could not stand reading about all the moms that were going to or had already turned their babes. It literally makes me feel ill. I mistakenly posted a question asking "why?" and got blasted by a few. But a couple of ladies actually did change their minds when I posted links so that was great.

ERF v FF is NOT the typical parenting decision. Using sposies won't kill your kid, sleeping in a crib won't seriously injure your baby, but FF could quite possibly be a life or death situation. Grrrrr.

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#18 of 21 Old 08-28-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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ERF is gaining momentum but still have a long way to go in most countries. In the past 6 months there has been a huge change of interest in Europe for example. I've also seen lots of interest from parents to turn kids back RF from FF at ages 2-4.

The "new" RF recommendations are still weak and don't make parents listen. There is actually a huge problem in US to change the recommendations due to liability and lawsuits. For so many years the 12/20 has been said to be very safe even though it's been known not to be so. Stay tuned, soon the class action lawsuits will start to show up.

The recommendation should really to Rf until at least age 4 since it's still a large safety difference at that age. ERF for many is RF past 1 year. Here in Sweden ERF is anything past age 4. The recommendation has for a very long time been RF to at least 4 years of age which means extremely few fatalities and injuries in traffic accidents.

It's not like the research or findings are new. Swedes started RF in 1965, I sat Rf as a baby in 1967, and the benefits were as clear then as they are today.

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#19 of 21 Old 08-28-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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i know how you feel people look at you like your nuts having a baby over one rf. sometimes it is useless but i keep talking about it every chance i get. maybe one day a little will sink in. if i say it to 100 people maybe just one will say ya thats true.

crash tests are just dolls. they dont work for everyone so here is a vid i pass to people nothing like seeing a real baby.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8gU9zzCGA8
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#20 of 21 Old 08-28-2009, 08:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belia View Post
If it makes you feel any better, all of you fine mamas have convinced ME to keep DS RF as long as possible.....
Same here. I didn't know ERF existed until MDC.

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#21 of 21 Old 08-28-2009, 09:14 PM
 
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I have had no success with convincing others either. My dd is 20 lbs and 11 months, she will stay facing rear as long as possible. BOTH of my SIL's already have there 9 MO ds's facing forward, because "they ARE 20 lbs, and they like it" I really didn't read all the responses, so sorry if this is repetitive but the AAP recently changed their recomendation to rear facing until 2 years old. I would think that pediatricians would ask about babies car seats and share that with them. People seem more likely to listen to their doctors, kwim?
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