So I've heard that there's new research out there recommending that babies/toddlers remain in a rear-facing car seat until they're 2 years-old at the very least.
I found this out on Facebook. I saw a few links and conversations about it. Some parents (people I don't know, by the way... this isn't directed at anyone...) proudly boast that their child is still in a rear-facing seat, while those who have babies that have been turned around have a "guilty" tone to their comments.
While I'm not denying WHATSOEVER that it's great that we have so much new information available to us as parents regarding the health and safety of our children... at the same time, my first thought was:
"Oh great. Yet another thing I've done wrong."
We turned Anna's car seat around after she turned a year old. Now I feel guilty because my child is more likely to get seriously injured if we were ever in a car crash (god forbid).
And if I'm being completely honest - this new information will most likely not make me turn the car seat back to rear-facing.
Not because I'm lazy. Not because I don't believe the research. Not because I'm a bad Mom. But mostly because I've heard this all before.
Do you remember the new research suggesting that if you had an away-facing stroller your child wouldn't develop as close of a bond with you because they can't see your face and will feel separated from you?
Or how about all the information that told us that wearing your baby in a sling was THE BEST way to take care of your child when they're little? After all, most cultures around the world had been doing this for ages and ages. Yet - even newer research later suggested that this was actually BAD for babies because it can lead to suffocation and death.
So, there I was... carrying Anna around in a sling, thinking proudly "she's going to be so self-confident and develop into a perfect little human being because I'm showing her how attached I am to her and how much I love her"... only to feel embarrassed and ashamed later on when I realized that I could have suffocated my newborn.
Parents have a million choices to make as their children grow up. And just when you think you've made the right one, new research shows that you are, in fact, wrong.
Is there any right way of doing things?
Again, I think it's extremely important for us to have new research and facts and information that help us grow and progress as a society. I strongly believe this. I'm not saying we shouldn't pay attention to this.
But, at the same time, can there be too much information? Can new research really make me love my child less? Should it make us feel guilty, when we're just trying to do our best?
This post really isn't about the car seat debate.
It's about parents (Mom, mostly...). Sometimes I see this "This is the way to do things, and there's no other way" mentality that just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe I'm being overly sensitive. Maybe I'm just tired this morning. Or maybe I'd just like us to support each other.
We all love our kids. We're all doing our best.
Isn't that enough?