Rear Facing Until 4 Years Old, Really!

This is my fair warning that this post might rub someone the wrong way, it is bound to happen since what I’m going to write about is a bit on the controversial side. But here I go….

new car seat

Happy 2nd Birthday Abbey!

We have decided to keep Abbey in a rear facing car seat until she is 4 years old. WHAT? OMG! The Herron’s are cray-cray! Yes, it is true, we are cray-cray but even more so we are crazy about keeping our little girl safe. We were actually all set and sort of excited about going to purchase Abbey another car seat to replace the one she uses in my car (her infant seat that holds her up to 30 lbs) and fully expected to turn her facing forward as soon as she turns two (11 days). We are very happy with our current car seat which is a Britax Marathon 70-G3 and decided we would go ahead and purchase the same one. While at Buy Buy Baby I was talking to the nice man in the car seats and stroller department about our graduation to forward facing car seat time. He looked at me, looked at Abbey and asked, “how old is she?” I told him she would be two in 11 days and were happy to turn her car seat around basically patting myself on the back for being the parent who kept her rear facing this long. WHAAP! That was my slap across the face because he basically schooled me on when I should actually turn a toddler around to a ¬†forward facing car seat, age FOUR.

Buy Buy Baby was previously recommending that forward facing was okay at age two then they changed their tune to recommend keeping toddlers rear facing as long as possible after age two to now recommending that you do not turn your toddler forward facing until the ripe old age of four. His explanation went something like, the bones in their body don’t oscillate until they turn four years old and basically it was better for them to potentially break bones in their legs in a car accident versus having internal decapitation in an accident. That was it! I was already sold on the same car seat we have now but I was basically yelling for George because we would be keeping Abbey rear facing until 4 years old. Then of course I needed to dive into the Interwebs and find other articles and opinions that backed what the Buy Buy Baby guy was saying. I actually found that the child breaking their legs while rear facing was simply untrue and it is MORE likely to occur if the child is forward facing. – BEST article I could find, hands down. – Pictures are cute in this one! – there is actually a Rear Facing campaign in the UK

I can’t wait to ask Abbey’s pediatrician to weigh in on this as well, George and I value Dr. Somsak’s opinion very much and typically look to her for these types of questions. Dr. Somsak, if you are out there and want to weigh in, please feel free to do so, otherwise we will see you in a few weeks ūüôā For now I did find a few articles that are at least great reference points. There is not much updated on the rule that went into effect in 2011 about staying rear facing until two but I did find a few. Hopefully this is helpful for those of you also looking for answers on what to do, this is not something to take lightly yet it is damn near impossible to get a straight answer. I’ll be the first to admit it, I was looking forward to forward facing car seat time. I drive a Mazda 3 and the passenger seat is literally up as far as it will go so that Abbey’s car seat fits behind it. What the hell am I going to do with two little ones rear facing in my back seat? Ummmm…. that is up for another discussion, I guess I need a new car?

I’ll leave you with this, a wise woman once told me (you know who you are), “You only get one shot when raising your kids” and this is that time when I need to think about keeping Abbey safe versus convenience for George and me.


New Parents Money Saving Tip: The Diaper Bag

See, he can't even carry the bag over his shoulder. Of course his shoulders are the size of two small planets, so that might be a factor.

In case you don’t know this already, babies are expensive.¬† Even before they peak their little cone-shaped head out of your wife’s who-ha they are costing you a fortune in new furniture for the nursery, clothes, diapers, doctor visits and ultrasounds.¬† Seriously, if you aren’t sitting in the delivery room thinking you might have just gotten “Madoffed” then something is wrong.

Today I¬† have something that will help elevate a chunk of that national debt that you seem to be compiling.¬† I was shocked to see how much the baby stores were charging for diaper bags.¬† They are astronomical!¬† And for what?¬† A bag!¬† Don’t believe me, look at some prices.

BuyBuy Baby:

Did you see any bags for less than $30?¬† Hell no.¬† As a matter of fact if you clicked on the link you probably found that most of the bags cost over $100!¬† Seriously?¬† It’s not like Louis Vuitton or Coach are making these bags, no it is Eddie Bauer and the like, or the B listers of bag making.

I like how BuyBuy Baby had a “bags for dad’s” section.¬† Although if you look closely none of the bags are manly at all, other than the backpacks.¬† Seriously, throwing some camouflage pattern on a diaper bag doesn’t make it manly, isn’t that right Vin Diesel? It just makes for a terrible movie.

But don’t worry I’m not just going to pick on BuyBuy Baby, let’s take a look at Babies R Us and see if they have any better options.

Babies R Us:

See, just more of the same.¬† Insanely over priced bags simply because it is a “baby bag”.¬† And again I hope you noticed the “bags for dad’s” section was a bunch of neutral colored (not pink) bags or bags with camo or some other “manly” design like guitars and such.¬† Are they marketing to men or 10-year-old boys?¬† Or do marketers think that’s what men are, 10-year-old boys?¬† Where is Frued when you need him?

The only other place that I thought to really look was Target.¬† And they were certainly better, but still over priced if you asked me.¬† So what did we go with?¬† What is this brilliant idea that saved us a ton of money?¬† Well, it took a combined effort from several sources but we decided to go off the grid for a diaper bag. We knew we wanted a backpack.¬† My brother-in-law, Matt, got a backpack and it is just so much easier and is the most manly looking of all the bag styles out there.¬† You can call them totes, messenger bags or even satchels if you are an Indiana Jones fan, but that doesn’t make them any more manly looking.¬† A backpack never slips off your shoulder when you are carrying a baby in a car seat and the ten million other items you always need when traveling with your baby.¬† And lastly the backpacks seemed to have the most room for everything.

Since we were sold on the idea of a backpack did we really have to get a “baby backpack”?¬† Hell no!¬† Thanks to Jesy’s cousin, Kat, we realized that any old backpack would do and that even some sports bags would work great since they always had multiple pockets for your sports equipment.

The winner! Coincidentally it's the Victory Backpack by Under Armour.

Being sold on the idea, Jesy and I went to the Prime Outlets in Monroe and hit up the Under Armour store for a backpack.¬† Eureka!¬† We found exactly what we were looking for and didn’t spend over $20!¬† The prices on the website are a little higher, but if you go to the outlet store you can find some damn good deals.¬† But not only was price a factor we got way more room in the Under Armour bag than we got with any of the leading backpacks that the baby stores were selling.

  • Typical baby backpack – 13.75 x 17 x 6.5
  • Under Armour bag – 18 x 12.75 x 9.25

So to all you soon to be, or new parents out there, don’t waste your money on a product that isn’t what you really NEED.¬† Take an Andrew Jackson and go up to Monroe and get something that you will really be happy with.¬† And while you are there you can see the progress on the new Giant Jesus, bonus!

And no I wasn’t paid by Under Armour, but I really feel like I should have been.

You’re welcome Under Armour, if you want to throw me some free merch I will not object.

20 Weeks = Half Way!

{20 Weeks}

As of right now, time has been FLYING by. Each Monday morning I wake up knowing that it is a new week of pregnancy and Mondays just keep coming faster and faster. I’m hoping that time doesn’t stand still now that we have reached the half way point. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve mentioned quite a few times at how much I love being pregnant (and I really do) but after such a great ultrasound on Thursday I just can’t wait to meet our baby girl.

The excitement of Thursday turned into a whirlwind of emotions with “over the moon” probably at the top. I could NOT resist going out that weekend to look for something cute and pink and also to start our baby registry. The cute and pink was not a problem and actually Abbey was already spoiled by Grandma Carol with a cute dress, her Great Great Aunt Sue with a cute outfit (love the lacey butt) and her Grandma Bird with a soothing froggie night-light. *Spoiled Baby Alert*

Registering was…… well…..flat out overwhelming! If you have never been to BuyBuyBaby in Deerfield, let me say that it is a pretty cool store. However, just like BedBathBeyond (sister store) there is just so much. The first thing we registered for was a baby gate and we spent way too much time thinking about which baby gate would be right for our house. Not too mention the fact that there is an entire aisle of baby gates to choose from. George, myself and my cousin, Kat, ¬†perused the aisles checking out all the cool stuff such as the spill proof bowls. You can actually drop this bowl on to the ground but it will not spill! The bowl closes itself up before it hits the ground. Of course George wanted to register for this, hell, I was half tempted to buy it on the spot to take home and try out for myself.

Moving on to the car seat and stroller system. Yes, it is a SYSTEM but a way cool system that we decided on. Some car seats come with a stroller as a matching set but I was pretty unhappy with most of the “sets” because they looked like big chunks of plastic and pretty much seemed cheap to me. Not too mention that I was looking for a car seat that I could actually carry and get baby in and out of without much frustration. After being around quite a few babies recently and checking out what they have I’ve started a mental checklist of features I like and don’t like in the frequently used items column, a.k.a. car seat and stroller. We “settled” on a car seat then moved on to the stroller system. Wow, this system is cool. It essentially grows with your family with the ability to tote around 3 kids. You start out with the base and your own car seat that you choose, then you can add another “seat” or you can add a kick-board where one kid can stand. At first I thought it looked too big but it folded up super easy and George gave it his test on¬†maneuverability. Meaning, George literally ran around the store with the stroller making quick turns and gave it a thumbs up. Back to the car seat, we settled on one at the store but then I had George research the safest ones out there and we ended up being happy with the one we finally picked. All is right in the world! One last thing that I thought was cool at BuyBuyBaby, they have COUPONS!!!!

{Belly Updates}

Note: picture taken this morning in case you see me today wearing the same outfit, LOL!

Okay…..on to the 20 Week belly updates:

{How far along?} 20 Weeks 3 days

{Total weight gain} Recent doctor appointment + 2.5 pounds for a whole month (I was proud of myself) and only a total gain of 5 pounds for the pregnancy so far. My favorite nurse, Amy, said that it was all baby and belly which was nice to hear.

{How big is baby?} Abbey is getting so big! At the ultrasound last week she was already 13 ounces, according to the 20 week update I receive the baby should be about 10 ounces in weight and about 6-1/2 inches long.

{Maternity clothes?} Yes

{Sleep?}¬†My sleep is good, George’s sleep is not so good. I tend to sprawl out in a queen size bed that really isn’t working for us right now. I woke up yesterday and found George on the couch because he was literally getting a sliver of bed space. That pushed me into a research frenzy on king size beds. I’m OKAY with this purchase except for the fact that our bedroom will be one giant bed. I’d rather get the sleep so king size bed/mattress shopping will be very soon. Any suggestions of what you like and where to find inexpensive would be greatly appreciated!

{Best moment this week?}¬†Without a doubt this would be our ultrasound. You have already read George’s blog about last Thursday so I won’t go into all the details again. BUT I will say that seeing a healthy baby was crazy amazing! ¬†Hearing the u/s tech say that there was amniotic fluid in the sac brought a smile to my face, then she said there were 3 vessels from the umbilical cord and the smile got bigger but when she checked the neck and said it was thin, it brought tears to my eyes. Our baby is healthy!

Hello Abbey Road!

{Movement?}¬†On Thursday I drank orange juice to make sure Abbey was moving around enough for the u/s tech to capture her private part and it worked! Abbey was moving like crazy and I could feel it mostly. But since then I haven’t felt much even though we know she is moving. At our doc appointment with Dr. Caligaris on Monday he was trying to get her heartbeat (which he found) but she was moving around so much. I’m sure I’ll feel it more and more with time. I can’t wait to be full-on-kicked.

{Food cravings?}¬†I’m still very much into golden delicious apples and Jiff creamy peanut butter but I think my newest craving would be a¬†pepperoni¬†and cheese calzone from LaRosa’s. I had one on Friday and have been thinking about it ever since.

{Labor signs?} Nope!

{Belly button in or out?} In

{What I miss}¬†Besides the ice cold beer I can’t really complain about much. I’ve been pregnant almost an entire year (minus 2-1/2 months) so I guess I’m pretty much used to all the other things I can’t have. Oh wait, I ordered a salad yesterday for lunch and had to tell the waiter that I didn’t want bleu cheese. I lied, I DID want the damn bleu cheese but its on the list of can’t haves.

{What I‚Äôm looking forward to}¬†Wow, this is a tough one to answer since we made it past our big ultrasound with flying colors. I guess I’m looking forward to finishing up Abbey’s room, sorting through all the goodies we have so far, finishing up our¬†registry…. OH and redoing our bathroom. More on that to come.

{Milestone}¬†I’m halfway there and Baby Abbey Road Herron is healthy!