Car seats.

Hi :)
So a little back ground if you may not know my story:
I live in CA and am a full time nanny (m-f) to 2 littles - A (3 ½, F) and C (will be 2 on Friday, M). 2-3 days a week I also watch their cousins - E (4, M) and H (23m, M). I have been with them for the last 22 months.

I'm a huge advocate of car seat safety and best practice.
Being in this field, I *highly* suggest that if you are not educated in this subject to look deeply into it. Join Carseat Safety or CSFTL on fb and/or find a CPST in your area to check your seats and educate you. It's such an important thing that seems to be taken way too lightly way too often.

Anyway, I've struggled with car seat issues with this family for the entire time I've worked for them. I wasn't as educated as I should have been when I started with them 2 years ago and was not aware that children should be rearfaced until a minimum of 2 years old. She was turned forward facing at 14 months and by the time I started with them (she was 21 months) she was already nearly 2 and I thought she was fine. She's since asked to be rear facing and has been doing so in my car for the last few months. C has already been forward facing in every other vehicle besides mine since he was about 16 months old and the comments from MB and DB about him being about to forward face when I drive are frequent. They obviously think it's ridiculous for me to let A rear face but think she wants to because of C and assume that when C is 2, I will turn him and her as well. TBH, I'm having major anxiety about him turning 2 and me loosing my excuse of it being against the law to have him forward facing. I'm not planning on turning him anytime soon in my car.. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if something happened to him and I could've prevented it. He's fairly small and has plenty of room still, it's not at all an inconvenience or anything.. I literally can think of no reason why I'd want him forward facing. I can see him better (and safer) in the mirror than I could having to turn to look back at him... thoughts?

On the 2-3 days/week I watch all 4 littles, they let me use their family Tahoe. Finally they've allowed me to keep the 2 extra car seats installed the back seat instead of taking them out and me having to reinstall them every time. They have the 4 year old in a backless booster, which I am absolutely not comfortable with. So I do have to take his booster out and swap it for a rearfacing car seat I use in my vehicle. They've had H forward facing in a harness booster since he was 1 but I've made it very clear I will not allow a child under 2 to forward face in any vehicle I am driving. So right now our set up is H rearfaced and E in a harness booster in the 3rd row, A in the harness booster that H typically uses and C rearfaced in my car seat I have to swap every day.

Once H finally turns 2 and my constant struggle is "over", I'm torn on what to do. This share has been off and on (as their other care is fairly unreliable) since I've been with A and C.. I don't really know them as well/have as strong of a bond and connection with them.. not that I don't want them to be safe but I don't feel as much anxiety with allowing H to forwardface.. he's a pretty big boy but I know that it's not about size, but maturity of their bones.. maybe in a couple months, I'll be ready to forward face C also... is it awful if I forward face H and not C? I would continue rear facing them both however once H turns 2, the extra car seat in the back will be turned forward by the parents.. is it ridiculous to switch it and then switch it back every day? I guess I was doing that with all 4 but it's been illegal not to this whole time.. my personal preference/goal has been until 3 (like what I assume I'd do with my own babies) but now that A has been comfortably rearfacing at 3 ½, I thought I'd try to make it to 4..
*and before anyone says anything haha I KNOW they're not my babies haha obviously.*
To me, car seat safety is not a parenting thing. It's a safety thing.

Anyone else struggling with this? It's something I'm super passionate about and a bit frustrated that both sets of parents are not at into it. They don't really have a problem with me doing it but it's not something they want to deal with. Which is somewhat understandable I guess... idk anyone have any advice or wanna share your story? I need some solidarity!
Sorry this ranty ramble is so long. Just don't have too many people to complain to about this sort of thing haha thanks for reading!

Comments

There is no struggle for me. I won't do it before 3. The cartilage in their necks is unformed. It is dangerous. I believe in extended rear facing. And won't even do it another way. I have told families: even if baby breaks leg in accident from being "too big" for rear facing, it's still better than a broken neck! I just don't negotiate with this. It's the same as other safety things. I'd never let a baby sleep on her belly for example. No matter what parents said. Or take an unattended bath or similar. These are all things that reflect my training. So I wouldnt be able to compromise on it.

I'd show them research on it. And tell them that you want all the kids rear facing as long as possible.

I always really appreciate your comments. Thank you for the support. I was beginning to feel like I may be making too big of a deal of it.. but it really is important and a potentially life saving precaution.

I'm just unsure of how to bring it up/bring these points across without sounding like I'm bashing their parenting. They are great parents, I just think they're uneducated. Obviously they want their kids safe and wouldn't knowingly put them in danger.

Of course they would not endanger their kids. I personally say that my threshold for safety is different. And I can be neurotic about certain things. For example, my MB let's her 2 her old go up and down stairs unattended. I don't. I always watch. And I explain it like this: if something happened I'd have to explain to you. Not vice versa. So I feel more comfortable doing it this way

You could show them horrific pictures of crash victims ( harsh I know) and then remind them it's called an accident because it's not planned!!! You have to practice safety every day because you won't get a memo the morning you are going to be in a wreck saying " make sure everyone's buckled up good". You aren't crazy! My NK's are older now and meet the height and weight requirements to sit in the front seat. They get mad at me all the time because I won't let them wear their backpacks or hold them on their laps or put their feet up on the dashboard.

I wouldn't make it about the parents. I would make it about you you can just keep repeating " I'm not comfortable doing it that way, I need them to be rear facing." You don't have to argue or explain just repeat.

What bothers me the most about car seat safety is that doctors advise parents without being aware of the laws or what the AAP recommends. For example, my previous nanny family's doctor said it was OK to booster at 2-3 years old because the kid was "big" enough. Even though they weren't 4 and 40 pounds yet. Because they went through a toddler phase of trying to get out of the harness (it was too loose & chest clip wasn't positioned correctly). Instead of deal with the behavior or fix the harness, they just put them in a booster. I never drove the kids illegally, but it did bother me to some degree since I am a parent & aware of the laws. But, the doctor said it was fine.....and they were listening to the doctor.

I found out they put their 9-10 month old in my forward facing seat I used for my daughter. I was livid. I stopped leaving my car seat in their car everyday. Thankfully, it was a quick click install type seat. Took me less than a minute to install. They were livid, she was 20 pounds after all. They tried to move her forward facing after that & I told them I wouldn't be able to drive her around unless they kept her RF to what is legal (Age 1 & 20 pounds). I knew they wouldn't go for two. She was the longest kid of theirs to rear face. Which means the other two kids probably forward faced prior to one. When I first started babysitting (not driving them) both kids were in a high back booster by age 3 (after all the doctor said they were 40 pounds, it was fine, they had big bones according to the doctor and would be fine in an accident).

This is a tough one. My thoughts are instead of making it about the law, make it about you. Tell them you just don't feel comfortable having them face forward and that it would make you feel better. It doesn't hurt to maybe mention that it is safer but for some reason that doesn't seem to matter the the parents :/