What do you say to family who have different carseat useage?


New member
My family is cool with carseats. My kids are the youngest by far, and my parents and my siblings are on board with the extended rearfacing and not boostering until ready. No issues there.

Dh's family, not so much. Carseat useage is generally mush less, but we are not around them often enough for it to be much of an issue. I cringe when I see FB photos of SIL's kid, forward facing too soon, puffy halloween costume, belly clip, shoulder straps sliding off, etc. But I keep my mouth shut. Well, they are visiting soon. I am not going to point out anything to SIL in an effort to keep the peace, but I know my kids will question things. For starters, they will ask why cousin is forward facing (and prob right in front of everyone else). How do I answer my kids, without offending SIL (which in turn causes probs between me and dh)?


New member
I tell my kids that I am not their mommy. That I have done research and this is the safest way for them to ride in a car.

And on my facebook, I post lots of car seat safety articles and links. I post accidents and such and I hope one person will ask me about it.


Active member
I will usually give my standard "Different families do things differently (or have different rules) and this is what we feel is best for our kids." I also use that for anything else in life that my kids think isn't fair. Hopefully SIL will ask you why you do it the way you do and you will have a chance to explain why.


New member
I talk to the family and get a feel for whether they are concerned or not. If not, I shut up and don't say anything again on the subject. I only have one family member so far with a baby. They bought a $400 car seat for baby (that they couldn't afford), but don't bother to tighten the straps. It makes him cry.

Expecting sil seems to care a lot. I think she'll strap baby in properly. I'm just working on rear-facing till 2. Crossing my fingers on that!


New member
I already know anything I might say about carseats is not going to be welcome. Usually I would just tell my dd that rearfacing (or harnessing for my ds) is the safest option for them, and mommy and daddy want them safe in the car, etc. I just didn't want to aggravate the family situation by saying something too blunt like that in front of SIL, who would take offense that I am implying she is not being safe with her kid (and offending SIL causes strain with dh, so I don't even want to go there).

mommyfrog, I really like your response. Then I am not in any way implying that SIL is not being safe, or that I am better than her, etc, etc, etc. sigh.


New member
I post articles on fb and give a simple but well-thought explanation if asked why I do what I do. Otherwise I keep my mouth shut.

There is one exception, when my niece was a newborn. They had her with super loose straps and chest clip way too low. I sent my brother a short email saying basically "look at this article I found on car seat usage".

DH and I are friends with a couple who are very into health and fitness... They spend 4x what we do monthly on all-organic, super healthy food and are incredibly concerned with keeping their kids healthy. They are the single most neglectful car seat users I have ever met. $10 seats off Craigslist, ff'ing before 1 year, poor usage, booster at age 2. They aren't much worried if they're in a situation without a carseat, and the kids are allowed to sit on an adult's lap in the front seat, or buckled with seat belt only in the back seat. I've never said anything because (a) they think car seats are "establishment"/just another manifestation of government control, and (b) I know I'll never change their minds..


Well-known member
Yeah, different families make different decisions for their children. That's really all the kids need to know. If no-one else says anything, your kids probably won't even notice or care. My 4yo was RF until a few months ago. 6yo is still harnessed 90% of the time. None of my kids ever noticed that their cousins were FF at 1yr and in boosters by 3.

As an aside, my SIL did end up asking me about my kids' seats and now has her 4 & 6yos harnessed and 2yo still RF :).


New member
I'm years past the initial "I learned something new and need to tell you all about it!" stage, so I never say anything. They know they can ask me if they want to know something, but I don't approach family with car seat issues. I'm more open with my sister than sisters-in-law, since we grew up together and all :D, , but generally I do my thing and they do theirs.
My kids are at good ages for not saying stuff. Dd is old enough that I can pretty much just tell her it's rude, and ds doesn't really notice or care.


New member
I've worked really hard to get past the point where I care about what other people are doing :rolleyes:

Does it still make my heart beat a little faster when I see a 2yo in a LBB? Well, yeah. But I rarely say anything nowadays.

If my kid said something in front of someone else I'd probably say something like "oh well I want you to be safe, that's why". Because maybe I'm just that *****y :cool:

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