MIL and Kiddopotamus in Carseat - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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So as usual MIL is a pain in the you know where...She is wonderful with DD although she reported after she watched dd for 2 hours last night that DD bit off a piece of a foam seal she was playing with and MIL just couldn't get it out of her mouth so she swallowed it Just wonderful, another story for another day.

So she bough a car seat that I chose for her to be able to watch DD periodically (we didn't ask her to do this she insisted on it). DD is over 8 months and weighs about 21 lbs so we have just recently transitioned from the bucket to convertibles. So to start MIL gets in a relatively extensive argument about how she wants to turn DD facing forward when she rides in her car. I shut this down fast but she still complains saying DD just has to be able to see grammy and she thought she could be facing forward! I told MIL in no uncertain terms that if DD is riding with her she is rear-facing until I SAY SO! In my book that is until she absolutely outgrows the seat in that position. Yet she still persists in her argument and just doesn't understand why I am so worried

So then she tells me well I bought the kiddopotamus thing for her to hold her head up right. I explained to MIL that DD doesn't need that at all and she can in fact hold her head up (she has been crawling and cruising for 2 months now) and she has outgrown that thing which is for new borns. MIL says well I like it. I said you need to take it out and she literally ignores me.

I know I am supposed to pick and choose my battles and this is not the biggest deal but we have a kidopotamus so I laid DD on the floor on it and her head doesn't even fit inside the molded part! I am so annoyed with MIL for not even listening to me and am concerned that this could affect how the carseat works...Is this even something that I should fight her on or should i just let it go...Clearly I have other issues with MIL primarily the power struggle that occurs so often when a grandparent refuses to listen to the real parent I just want to go to her car and rip that stupid thing out of the carseat but we are going to be living with woman for 3 months while our new house is being finished and I have to play nice but I am really concerned about the safety and fit of the car seat with the kidopotamus thing in it!
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#2 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 01:56 PM
 
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MIL issues, or any relationship, dealing with your child can be really tough. Sending you a hug!

I have in-laws, a step-mother, my mother and father...all have very different ideas of what is best for my children and what they want for my children. And I know sometimes my MIL does things just to incite us. I can either choose to throw my own log into the fire and keep it going, or just refrain completely and then the fire has nothing left to burn. But IMO when it comes to the safety of the child, you need to speak up. Preferences are one thing and I pick my battles there and just let things go that I don't like because I know my inlaws or parents are helping me out and the benefits of them being involved and having time with my kids (and giving me a hand) far out weigh whatever crazy thing they are doing IMO. But if it is something that is dangerous, or that I have a strong moral or spiritual stand against, then I firmly say no and simply and clearly state that the children won't be with them if that is what is going to go on. I refuse further discussion unless they are sincerely wanting to understand. And then I stand my ground.

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#3 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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I agree about picking your battles, but this is one I would pick. Child safety is non-negotiable. If the head thing goes between your child and the straps or seat then it can not be used. If she will not comply then she doesn't get to drive with your child. Same thing with undermining your parental authority.
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#4 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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Head thing aside, you don't think she'd turn the car seat FF behind your back do you?

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#5 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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If you don't feel she's taking you seriously, don't let her drive your daughter. And if you don't like how she looks after your daughter, find someone else to watch her.
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#6 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Have you considered taking a box knife to it?

And for the carseat, "I'm sorry, you need to stop arguing about this or I'm not going to trust you with dd. I don't care that you don't understand, you will keep dd safe or you won't watch her. Clear?"

Because it sounds like your MIL thinks she has a right to argue and that she's going to somehow be able to change your mind by arguing.
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#7 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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What kiddopotamus item are you talking about? That would affect my opinion.

This I would let go (they show it with older kids and it does not interfere with the straps):
http://www.kiddopotamus.com/p_crad.php

This I would not (it is completley unsafe and shouldn't be used with any size child):
http://www.kiddopotamus.com/p_snuzz.php

That said, I would probably end up saying that her arguement goes against everything I have read AND current AAP recommendations. Then I would say that if she reads some new information that suggests something else to please let me know. Either she won't go looking for info (and so will hopefully shut up) or she will (and will realize she is dead wrong and so .... will shut up).

Good luck.

 

 

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#8 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Latte Mama View Post
Head thing aside, you don't think she'd turn the car seat FF behind your back do you?
I asked DH about this and he said that he didn't think so but that we will both always check it to make sure it is rear-facing still...The day she turns it without my permission is the day I get to unload all the things I've ever wanted to say to her One can dream I suppose. I am not sure what kidopotamus thing it is, I haven't seen it but DH has, so I have to ask him....
I will be chatting with him about it and then we will both be chatting with MIL about it again.

I really thought all those movies demonizing MIL's were a joke or an exaggeration honestly though some days they are right on par minus the physical brawls.

I am right though in assuming that if it is the one I think it is an 8 month has no business having it around her head. All it would do is push her chin on to her chest in an unsafe way!
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#9 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post
I agree about picking your battles, but this is one I would pick. Child safety is non-negotiable. If the head thing goes between your child and the straps or seat then it can not be used. If she will not comply then she doesn't get to drive with your child. Same thing with undermining your parental authority.
ya this exactly!

Decluttering 500/2010
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#10 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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I am right though in assuming that if it is the one I think it is an 8 month has no business having it around her head.
I didn't see earlier how old the child was but about the ff thing let her know this is illegal.
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#11 of 28 Old 02-20-2010, 07:59 PM
 
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Pick this one. Let her know it's non-negotiable!

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#12 of 28 Old 02-21-2010, 04:50 AM
 
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I didn't see earlier how old the child was but about the ff thing let her know this is illegal.
Some problems with this are that (1) it's not illegal everywhere and (2) it leaves open the idea that the law is all that matters in this case, and that when the baby is a year old, then the MIL gets the say in whether the baby rides forward or rear facing, and she doesn't.

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#13 of 28 Old 02-21-2010, 06:01 AM
 
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Some problems with this are that (1) it's not illegal everywhere and (2) it leaves open the idea that the law is all that matters in this case, and that when the baby is a year old, then the MIL gets the say in whether the baby rides forward or rear facing, and she doesn't.
It's illegal in every state but I agree that MIL should have zero input.

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#14 of 28 Old 02-21-2010, 07:13 AM
 
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It's illegal in every state but I agree that MIL should have zero input.
Unfortunately, I do not think this is true. I don't know the laws in all 50 states, but I am under the impression that at least some do not have any "proper use" wording; but even if they do, there are states which do not specify that a child under 1 year old must ride rearfacing, and there are seats (for example, the Graco Comfortsport) which only specify 20lbs for forward facing (they might, like the Comfortsport's manual, point out the AAP's recommendation that child be at least one year of age before being positioned forward facing, but that does not make it a directive for the seat).

Since pushy mothers-in-law stand a high chance of being irritatingly exacting (not unlike myself; I apologize in advance to any future children-in-law I may have), I would absolutely leave off legal aspects in this. Indeed, basically any argument other than "I am this child's parent; you had your turn to parent children, and I married your son, and now it's our turn- things will be done my way," is giving too much control over the parenting decisions to someone who is not the parent, and may give her the idea that she has a say in all SORTS of things. Wait until you decide to homeschool!

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I just wanted to add something that might make you all shake your heads even more... My MIL has been a driver's ed instructor for many years. She teaches kids the laws about driving! I don't know if that includes car seat issues but I do remember something vaguely in my driver's ed class just about putting car seats in the back seat!

This is a woman who is supposed to know pretty much all the laws regarding vehicles!
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#16 of 28 Old 02-21-2010, 12:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post
I agree about picking your battles, but this is one I would pick. Child safety is non-negotiable. If the head thing goes between your child and the straps or seat then it can not be used. If she will not comply then she doesn't get to drive with your child. Same thing with undermining your parental authority.
Agreed! Maybe printing an article that shows her in black and white that the insert is not allowed will get her attention. I had to do this with my parents and the jacket/huge snow suit issue. And I am a tech,and they didn't believe me!

Doing what I can to make better choices every day!
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#17 of 28 Old 02-21-2010, 01:13 PM
 
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I would not leave my baby alone with MIL, ever. That is not unreasonable. I never leave my babies alone with my MIL, or even my children, as my MIL is basically the anti-safety woman. She even thinks that it is wrong to supervise children in the swimming pool! I am not kidding. Needless to say, I never leave my children alone with MIL, especially not babies.
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#18 of 28 Old 02-21-2010, 01:39 PM
 
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I'm not sure why she thinks she gets a vote on this in the first place. She is not a third parent, don't treat her like one. You don't need to convince her or win her over or prove your point. If she can't leave the carseat alone, she doesn't drive your child. It's pretty simple and she should be able to explain that.

Letting her know her role in your lives NOW will save you a lot of misery in the long run.
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#19 of 28 Old 02-21-2010, 02:53 PM
 
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I'm not sure why she thinks she gets a vote on this in the first place. She is not a third parent, don't treat her like one. You don't need to convince her or win her over or prove your point. If she can't leave the carseat alone, she doesn't drive your child. It's pretty simple and she should be able to explain that.

Letting her know her role in your lives NOW will save you a lot of misery in the long run.
to the whole post.

Car safety is non-negotiable. She does not have the right to make such important PARENTAL decisions. That's YOUR job.

I agree that it's about picking battles. You don't need to rob her of all the fun grandma activities. Let her buy her annoying and loud toys, feed her cookies (when she's old enough), and stay up an hour past her bedtime once in a while. Those are minor things that won't matter much in the long run. But health and safety are not battles you surrender.
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#20 of 28 Old 02-21-2010, 03:14 PM
 
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I'm not so sure this is a battle I'd pick. If it interferes with the straps, etc, sure, but if it is just the head cradle thing, I'd probably state my opinion and let it go. when my children are with their grandparents, the grandparents are in charge of keeping them safe. They know the things I am adamant about (rear facing, DD using a booster still etc) but the minutia of it all isn't my place to dictate.

If I didn't trust them to make wise choices, I wouldn't leave my kids with them.
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#21 of 28 Old 02-22-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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I agree with PPs: car safety is nonnegotiable.

My MIL is super paranoid about SIDs and choking on food, but thinks it's perfectly fine to hold a baby in her lap (if she's not driving) for quick trips "around the corner." Also, if you don't turn them FF, how can they watch movies? Car accidents are the number one killer of children in the United States!

We do not let DD ride in a car with her unless we are going too.

If we needed to rely on her for child care, we'd be much more proactive about it, and we would probably have to let other things go. Not at all on the same level, but I would let her feed my daughter deli meat (:Puke) before I compromised on car safety.

On a lighter note, I love that puking smile!

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#22 of 28 Old 02-22-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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Unfortunately I can top this...

MIL got a USED carseat from a close friend. I okay'd it because she's close friends and I knew the seat wasn't in a crash or expired. This was in 2001. She still won't throw the seat out even though it's expired. She questions me on the expiration. "Why is it expired?" Me: "It's over 6 years old and they have expiration dates because the plastic goes from hot to cold, hot to cold, ect. and safety guides change." Her: "Well the seat stays in my house and not in my car, so that doesn't happen." She WILL NOT throw it out! So I don't allow her to drive anywhere with the kids unless I personally install my seats into her vehicle or I give her my car to drive since she treats her car like a storage unit.

Wife to Jesse, Mom to Ayden 12/01, Kailey 07/03, Ashlyn 6/05, Dylan 9/07, & Riley 12/09

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#23 of 28 Old 02-22-2010, 12:20 PM
 
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Unfortunately I can top this...

MIL got a USED carseat from a close friend. I okay'd it because she's close friends and I knew the seat wasn't in a crash or expired. This was in 2001. She still won't throw the seat out even though it's expired. She questions me on the expiration. "Why is it expired?" Me: "It's over 6 years old and they have expiration dates because the plastic goes from hot to cold, hot to cold, ect. and safety guides change." Her: "Well the seat stays in my house and not in my car, so that doesn't happen." She WILL NOT throw it out! So I don't allow her to drive anywhere with the kids unless I personally install my seats into her vehicle or I give her my car to drive since she treats her car like a storage unit.
That's my MIL. There's a carseat in a closet that's WAY expired and I mentioned it and she got mad at me! She said, "It's just an extra one so it hasn't been used that much."

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#24 of 28 Old 02-22-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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Car crash injuries are the leading cause of death in children. For every child dead, another 40 will be seriously injured and require hospitalization.

I don't trust my MIL and purchased a car seat for her and install it each time. I put him into the car and show her how each time (so she can get him home). She buckled him into a high backed booster and drove him home at 18 months and I had a fit and they didn't see him for some time. He is almost 3 now and they are preparing for their first overnight. They know how I feel about car seats and as long as I put the seat in I think they are fine.

My mother fights with me more. I showed this video to my mother. She also listens to me more too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8gU9zzCGA8

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#25 of 28 Old 02-22-2010, 09:49 PM
 
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My mother has been shown how to install ds' carseat AT LEAST 10 times, both with the latch system and without and STILL I left him with her last week adn come to pick him up and glance in her van...there is his carseat turned forward facing, still set to recline in the RF position with a shoulder belt shoved through it in such a way that it was visibly crooked, and wobbled. I halfway want to just show her how to install it FF so she'll at least STOP installing it improperly, except that ds is only 26 months and 30 lbs and I don't WANT him riding FF!!!! Especially the way my mom drives

I've installed it for her before, and inevitably she takes it out because other people ride in the car or whatever. It's insanely annoying. I've showed her the statistics and tried to impress upon her how this is a Really Big Deal....last time she claimed she went to two fire stations WITH ds riding like that and supposedly neither of them were able to help her, not sure why. I want to know what fire station she went to where they saw a kid riding in THAT getup and didn't at LEAST try to fix the seat....even a non-carseat tech person should have been able to see it was in wrong.

Anyway, I say all this to say, some people just do what they want no matter what you do. We will be having a sit down about carseats again soon with the new baby coming....if they think they are taking my newborn anywhere without a properly, permanently installed carseat they are in for a surprise.

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#26 of 28 Old 02-22-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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Dealing with Grandparents and car seats has been a challenge for us. In different ways- my mom who was nearly killed in a crash (my sister, only 7 at the time severly injured too) is very good about WANTING to do it right, but she just can't get the installs. So I install them always. She's good, very good, about use though. My IL's, well, they think I'm nuts. They drove DD "just in the neighborhood" at 18 months without a seat. I, well, got very upset. I made DH tell them they couldn't babysit if we heard anything like that ever happened again. We helped them pick out a car seat the next week. I install them, they stay installed. I also moved DD to a booster at 4, and DS FFing at 2 in their car because of all the trouble they have the seats. FIL has a rotator cuff injury that has complicated things. We are in a position where we have to rely on them to help, they are WONDERFUL with the kids, but the car... It's been a hard balance. They know they can't install the seats, so they don't take them out, and if they do they ask me to put them back in. 6 years later, DD can help them with DS's seat, and does her booster herself, so it's a bit easier now!

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#27 of 28 Old 02-22-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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I think this is just a hard battle regardless of the relationships involved. Carseat safety and awareness is fairly new and was not part of their generation and upbringing.

That being said, from what you have put in the OP, I would consider never letting DD drive in the car w/ her.

Before really digging in your heels, though, is there a way for you to compile some links and youtube videos and watch them together? Someone I knew on the surface sounded really weird about carseat safety. She even told me some zingers ("I drive an SUV so the kids are safe even if they aren't buckled") Some people really need to SEE the physical LAW of car accidents. I sent her youtube videos for a couple weeks and now her kids are in extended harnesses and properly restrained.

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#28 of 28 Old 02-23-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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I would show MIL the videos online of a dummy in ff crash vs rf crash. Watching that was all it took to convince me that erf was the way to go. At first dh thought it was weird, but I told him about neck vs leg injuries & offered to show him the videos. He believed me about the injuries & did not need to watch the vids.

My mom came w/ me to buy dd's new seat b/c I needed someone to watch dd while I checked the install in my car. My mom was like, "You need to try it in your car first? When you were a baby, I think there were only two different seats to choose from!" Much car seat safety stuff is generational b/c of things like this. My mom would not know how to install a seat today if her life depended on it. That is okay w/ me b/c only dh or I are allowed to install dd's seat & I still double check dh's install if I can! My mom is super good about car seat safety when I tell her what is what b/c she knows I have done the reading. She didn't know about puffy coats, either, but most people do not. She asked how long dd would rf & I told her until she weighs too much. My kid, my decision.

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