Becoming a parent is no joke – you’re in love with this little person, but you’re also terrified that you aren’t going to know how to properly care for them, and you’re also tired and sore and flooded with some serious hormones. I know that, for me, I relied heavily on the nursing and support staff at the hospital those first few days – and that included making sure my little one was buckled in safely for his very first ride home in the car.
They checked our car seat, they checked how he was buckled into the car seat, etc.
That said, I do not post pictures of my kids in their car seat to this day because I don’t want to invite the know-it-alls to the party. Because someone, somewhere, will see something wrong with how you’ve done it.
Jersey Shore star Deena Cortese learned that the hard way before she even made it home with her brand new (and adorable) little boy Christopher John. She posted a picture of her and the baby’s dad leaving the hospital and holy geez, the shaming storm was ready and waiting.
Moms were criticizing her for not only how the baby was strapped into his car seat, but for her choice of a going-home outfit, as well.
“You can clearly tell in the picture that the straps are not tight enough because the clothing is bunching up underneath it,” said one mom.
Another was even less even-handed, replying, “The harness is too loose, look around his legs!! It’s clearly loose as f*ck.”
The criticism devolved into infighting among the mommy shamers themselves, of course, and they disappeared down a rabbit hold of car seat regulations, CPST certification, and hospital rules. Too bad they always come back.
In the meantime, there are moms out there who aren’t shitty and understand the value of supporting each other – and that there are ways to give advice or help that don’t have to sound mean or condescending.
“I hate that when we post pictures of our kids we have to explain ourselves. I posted a picture with a baby blanket next to my son just as a prop and people laid into me! You are going to be such a great mommy!”
“If she had him in just a onesie, people would be criticizing her for not dressing him warm enough. You just can’t win.”
If you’re curious (or worried about your own car seat installation) there are plenty of resources on rules, regulation, and installation. I’m posing a few links below!
Rules regarding thick layers on babies in car seats, including advice from The Car Seat Lady.
As far as your straps, the general rule of thumb is that you should be able to wiggle one finger between the strap and your kid’s collarbone, but not two stacked fingers.
Even though I relied on my hospital to make sure baby was safe in his seat before going home, apparently whether or not your nurse is a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) can vary from hospital to hospital and state to state. So, it’s best to read up on everything and test it out beforehand yourself, and perhaps take it to a CPST on your own before your new bundle arrives.
As for Deena Cortese, her edited photo caption proves she’s learning on her feet as far as responding to (or heading off) the mommy shamers before they get really wound up.
“Going home (it’s not a jacket .. it’s a onesie and hospital approved it) we’re not perfect but we got this. thank you for the concerns.”
The only way to do this thing is to have confidence in yourself and your partner. So get it, girl.