Is your baby safe in their car seat?

This post is sponsored by Chicco.

As a first time Mom, I’m definitely no expert but I’ve said it before – I’m constantly researching, studying, and even googling all-the-things all-the-time. Is my baby safe in whichever product I’m about to buy? Hmm – let me Google that. So much to learn! I can’t stop learning and asking questions. I’m so invested in his well being.

What happens if you see a mom friend buckling her baby into a car seat and the chest clip is too low? Or something doesn’t look right with the way things are hooked up. Do you, or should you speak up? Personally I feel terrible for not speaking up as one, I feel like I’d be stepping on their toes and in their business. But also because I’m a first-time Mom and am definitely no know-it-all. I know that I am extra cautious when talking about baby related things. So many people get so much advice (unsolicited or otherwise) from others, it’s just hard to take it all in. That’s why I’m happy that I’m sharing this on my blog, and other social outlets. Why not make good use out of your scroll-time through instagram/blogs, and get some recommendations? It’s honestly how I find out about cool kids clothing stores, or learn about different parenting techniques, and what activities to do with baby.

But I’ll tell you this much, I can use my voice and my reach online. That’s one thing for sure, I’m so thankful of my large Instagram reach, where I can publicly speak up and use the hashtag #TurnAfter2 and properly inform parents of car seat safety. Please don’t think I’m an expert, as a first-time parent I definitely am not, nor claim to be. My baby isn’t even 6 months yet. But what I can do is use my voice and teach, and inform.

Keeping babies and toddlers rear facing for as long as possible is the most ideal, and of course, safest. One thing I know for sure, is that my baby going to stay in a rear facing position in his car seat for as long as he can. I’m proud to be working with Chicco USA to tell you why it’s safer to keep your child rear facing until s/he’s age two or older. The way rear-facing works is that it spreads the force evenly across the back of the car seat and body, and limits the head motion. Their head, neck and spine are all supported by the car seat during a collision. Otherwise they are more at risk for a potential neck injury. Ugh, yikes. Are you taking notes? Because I certainly am.

If you’re a new parent, or expecting your baby soon, please read the manuals that come with your car seat, to ensure you’re properly installing the car seat in a safe manner. Do you know what kind of car seat you have? I really like convertible car seats that can grow with your child. The Chicco NextFit iX Zip is a convertible car seat that can be used rear facing  5-40lbs, and forward-facing 22-65lbs, so it certainly grows with your child.

Many people turn their child forward-facing too early , simply because they can look uncomfortable. See these photos below? He’s in funny and somewhat uncomfortable LOOKING, but he’s fine. The same way kids, and babies LOOK cramped in their car seat and be okay in the rear-facing position.

 Chicco NextFit iX Zip Car Seat features (and product manual):

  • Rear-facing: 5-40lbs
  • Forward-facing: 22-65lbs
  • Easy to install
  • Seat pads zip off easily for cleaning
  • 9 reclining positions, 9 height adjustments for that perfect fit
  • Steel-reinforced frame with EPS energy-absorbing foam is side-impact tested for superior protection

The hashtag #TurnAfter2 isn’t simply a suggestion, in fact it’s a law in many states to keep your child rear facing until at least age 2. However, I’ve been an advocate to keeping the child rear facing until s/he reaches the weight/height limit of the rear facing car seat instructions. Follow the hashtag on Instagram and social media to get more educated about the benefits of rear-facing your child for longer.

Since TurnAfter2 launched one year ago, the number of parents who are aware of the AAP’s 2-year rear-facing recommendation has dramatically increased to 73 percent, up 26 percent since 2017, which means using your social media channels to share pictures of your little ones riding rear-facing CAN make a difference!

I’m hoping I’ll raise awareness to some that may have not known otherwise about the #TurnAfter2 campaign to keep your child rear-facing for as long as possible.

As a gift to you, and thank you for reading my blog and following along my social media channels, Chicco is offering one of my readers a Chicco NextFit iX Zip car seat like the one shown in this post.

How to enter (USA ONLY):

Share a photo of your little one rear-facing on social media using #TurnAfter2! Come back here to comment on this post (and sharing the link so I can confirm!). Giveaway closes Monday July 16, 2018 at 9am PST/12 EST.

 

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5 month postpartum favourites

Man oh man. MONTH No° 5.

How did I let a month go by without blogging? I’ll tell ya how. I’ve had the decision a few weeks ago to put my phone down when my baby boy is awake and needing me. I usually write myself a blog post in an email to myself, send it and edit/post it when baby sleeps.

I don’t want him thinking that a phone is more important than him. I don’t want him thinking it’s an addictive device….which it is. Which is why I’ve conciously put the phone down after my mindless scrolling on Instagram. My vice.

Anyway! He’s sleeping when I write this so we’re golden again. Plus it takes the entire month to piece together all the news, information, and changes about him.

Well, our little boy…. he’s still measuring off the charts for his height, which is no surprise. Such a long baby. Many more exciting events have happened to our baby this month:

  • First hair cut! I gave him a haircut about a week ago.
  • Swim classes – he smiles the entire time, and naps for ages afterwards. Awesome.
  • Dada’s first Father’s day
  • First Canada day
  • First independence day
  • First time solo parenting for a week – read how that was on my instagram post!
  • Decided he loves sleeping on his belly when my husband was away that week. You bet I didn’t sleep a wink the first two nights, checking on his breathing.
  • Visit and first time meeting one of his aunt’s
  • A first trip to two different farmers markets
  • He even met my friend Lauren for the first time this month too.
  • We go to a story time class at a local library each week – I love it! It’s for babies 12 months and under. The first week we went, we read his favourite book (I had to tell the librarians.. I’m sure they cared haha!)
  • He definitely found his voice this month too. And loves squealing and being loud in quiet public places. I love it, I’m not sure if everyone is as enthusiastic about it as I am.

Here are some of our favourite things from the month:

Swim class! It’s equal parts exciting and terrifying for me (thanks to my pal for the rash guard, he wasn’t a slippery baby!)

Munch Mitt: I can’t get this thing on his hand fast enough. My old coworkers and boss back in Ontario Canada sent down a care package for my baby when he was first born, and this was in it. I’ve recommended it to so many people so far!

Rylee and Cru pants: I like these since they’re quite lightweight for the summer. I have another pair too (these little beach ball ones, I love the colour!) If baby is in the carrier, I don’t want him to have bare legs in direct sunlight when walking with him, so these are great to keep him cool, and covered up.

Lille Embossed carrier: this is the carrier we use and love (see me wearing it on Instagram). Again, so many people have commented at Mom’s group that they think it’s a nice one. I love that it can grow with the child, and eventually I can wear bucko strapped to my back with this thing!

Zara baby: I love their clothes! A lot of stores have limited stock for “boy” clothes. Zara is great for it though. His entire outfit here (minus the onesie/top) is from Zara. They have adorable stuff. The little orange/red baby hoodie is to die for.

UPPABaby Vista stroller (the bassinet specifically): lengthwise he’s outgrown the bassinet but he hasn’t hit the weight limit yet (20lbs). Plus, we ended up bringing this stroller to California’s Great America (an amusement park for those who aren’t local), and I changed baby’s bum while in this stroller – so easy, since he’s not buckled in.

California Baby Everywhere Spritzer: this thing gets used multiple times a day. I have the calming scent (lavender) and I love it for spraying in the nursery room. It absolutely gets rid of the diaper smell haha!

Hand-me-downs from Nicole: What would I do without her? She was my neighbour for a few years, but I’ll always refer to her as my neighbour. She has two boys and the clothes she’s given me for my baby is unreal. I literally haven’t had to buy a stitch of clothing since he was born. She’s so awesome.

Jolly Jumper: I bought him a jolly jumper off Amazon and it’s the best thing, seeing him explore, and “stand” up in it. He loves it too!

Voice to text when using my cell phone, either emailing people texting or writing myself messages and notes and reminders cuz it’s so handy since my mind is pretty much mush half the time.

To-do lists! if I don’t have it written down it doesn’t get done. not because I don’t want it done it’s just because I forget that it has to be done.

In order for the next day to go smoothly, I need the night before all orderly before I go to bed. That means making sure that diaper bag is stocked (ie just a muslin cloth, diapers, and a toy really), selecting my outfit for the morning … just one less thing to think about on my task list when waking up in the morning.

We literally live for mom’s group and the other meetups outside of group, when we all get together and hang. Baby is starting or really recognize his pals, and smiles to greet their moms (he kinda ignores the babies but smiles at the momma’s) to get their attention. He’s such a happy baby, and strangers keep commenting on how happy he is. I love it.

He doesn’t test my patience, because he’s simply a baby and doesn’t know “any better” (for lack of words lol). Some days he’s so independent, other days he needs me to cuddle and talk, read, sing to him all day long. Is it tiring? Of course! But it’s so so rewarding. I get to teach him so many cool things. I get to see him learn the things we take for granted everyday. Like picking up and object and bringing it to his mouth, or hearing that sweet raspy giggle of his.

And I’ll keep saying it. It’s not just the months that are flying by it’s the days too. Some days I put him in his crib for every nap, but occasionally he’ll want that extra bit of comforts and cuddles and I’m happy enough to give that to him and rock him to sleep on my arms and squeeze him tight. I know he’ll be grown before very long. Even this time next year he may not want those sweet cuddles. He’s only little, for such a little amount of time…so I’m okay with “spoiling” (aka simply loving) him.

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Why do people buy likes/followers? I’ll tell you why…

It’s hard not to be disappointed or frustrated with a brands sudden email to you to cut their ties loose with you until you meet their criteria.

Which I already do. FYI here’s their criteria:

  • 5,000 followers
  • Authentic followers and likes
  • Consistent & proportionate engagement rate
  • Regular and frequent posts
  • Original content
  • Public account
  • Beauty, lifestyle, or fashion theme

When I questioned then about it they gave me this response:

Unfortunately, our third party verification provider has flagged your account for unexplained activity. We will be looking into this further however we are unable to reinstate your account at this time.

Wat?! If the brands did their homework they’d realize there is no spike in my engagement, following etc. There are apps that can let you know of false engagement. Look up your favourite bloggers and friends, I guarantee one of them will have an erratic growth rate. It should be a steady incline, maybe a plateau.

I suppose you could say the proportionate engagement rate lacks on my Instagram platform. This is why I’m 100% certain that bloggers, and influencers feel the need to bump up their engagement by faking it. Buying likes. Buying followers. Buying comments. You name it.

Well I’m NOT doin’ it.

I’m not giving in.

Guess that’s what you get with being a blogger or posting on social media and being an “influencer”. There are no rules. There is no set norm.

Personally I know my engagement sucks right now. For the past 15 years with my blog (and now social channels) I’ve posted regularly, interacted with many. Left comments, likes. I spent hours after my regular job doing so. It was like a second full-time job keeping up with it all.

Now? I’m posting infrequently, I’m not on that daily schedule like I once was. And you know what? I probably won’t be like that for a long time, if ever. I now have a five month old baby I care much more about than the darn tootin’ internet.

As a blogger I’ve signed some great contracts recently (it’s only now starting to pick up), and I have made some amount of income for our family. I’d love to keep that up, so I’m voicing my opinion.

It just sucks that these brands are coming out with rules out of their butts, making them up because they see other influencers getting more (faux) interaction. I’m disappointed because some bloggers and influencers even admitted to me they’re faking the system. Hence this weird logic for brands to make such rules. How disappointing.

It drives me (nuts). I’m hoping this blog post doesn’t sound bitter. I’m just trying to explain the facts and of course some feeling is involved as well.

My new “mom rule” for myself is to not be on my phone while my baby is awake. Sure it’s hard and I definitely break my own rules. However, of course he’s more important than an electronic device. So when he’s down for a nap, or down for the night, I gotta bust out that multitasking skills that many parents have, and get to work. Including blog work.

Anyway, to end this, I’m happy some brands trust me, my readers and engagement and are helping me make an income.

If you have a favourite blogger, instagrammer etc., don’t forget to pop in and say hello sometimes with a comment or a like. It helps.

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