Emily Wyckoff

Car seat confusion

I have a confession to make – I broke the law today (unintentionally). I picked up my four year old from pre-school and I was also driving his two friends – both three year olds – home. Well, I forgot that over the weekend we had done some car jockeying and my minivan, usually flush with car seats of the booster and regular variety, now had two sad boosters in the back seat, that was it.

I had my son risk it in the seat belt and put the two little ones in the boosters and kept my fingers crossed. Anyway, it led me to come home and do some research on car seat laws. I have never been clear on the rules. Like, when can you turn the baby around in the car seat (my mother insisted something like 6 months because wasn’t it so boring for the baby to face the back seat? I had to explain that there were laws now, unfortunately)? And when can a kid can sit in the front seat (again, last year my father drove my two daughters home from my parents’ house – they were 4 and 6 - and my 6 year old excitedly told me she got to ride in the front seat. When I asked my dad about it, he couldn’t believe she had never sat in the front seat – again, I explained there was a tiny issue concerning the LAW)?

What I confirmed is that laws vary from state to state but the basic rule is rear facing car seat / infant car seat until 1 year old and 20 lbs. Car seat until 4 years old and 40 lbs. Booster seat until 8 years old and 80 lbs. The back seat is the safest place for any child 12 and younger.

Needless to say, when I got home I immediately replaced my car seats, and I hope my sons’ friends didn’t turn me in!

31 Responses to “Car seat confusion”

  1. JOYCE lAdOND says:

    Iam looking for Dr Phils wife’s cookie recipe

    thank you
    Joyce LaFond

  2. Joe Anne says:

    I realize this entry was for a “funny parent story” – but there have been so many new changes in car seats that I wanted to address the confusion and recommendations presented in this entry. I’m a child passenger safety specialist trained to educate parents about correct use and installation of car seats/booster seats. To begin with, please keep in mind that laws vary state by state – but recommendations for the “best practice” for using car seats are based upon what is SAFEST for children. Luckily children today can benefit from extensive research and data collected from death and injury reports – information that was not available to our parents! (there were also less cars traveling at sloer speeds years ago!).
    That being said…there is confusion regarding car sets because these days it is NOT a good idea to use specific age or weight guidelines. Thanks to new car seat technology, parents are able to transport their children safer for longer. So…to clarify,keep these “best practice” guidelines in mind when choosing and using car seats:
    1) Infants MUST stay rear-facing till at least one year old AND 20 lbs – BUT they should stay rear facing AS LONG as a car seat will allow. Most convertible car seats can be used rear-facing till 30 lbs. Some infant carrier seats also go to 30lbs. New research shows that children are 5 times safer rear-facing up till their 2nd birthday (but keep an eye on the weight limit for the seat!)
    2) The second step is to use a forward-facing seat with INTERNAL harnesses for as long as possible. Traditionally the weight limit for these car seats has been 40 lbs. But – many seats are now available with weight limits of 50 lbs – 65lbs. Think about it – those internal car seat harnesses are much safer on a child’s chest (just like race car drivers!).
    3) The next step is booster seats until your child is about 4ft, 9 inches tall. Height is much more important than age or weight. Until this height most children don’t have the hip bones formed to keep the adult seat belt off tummies and necks. For some children this may mean that they need a booster seat till age 10 or 12!
    These “best practices” often seem outlandish to many parents – mostly because it’s different! Adults don’t like different!! We need to change the way we think about traveling with our most precious cargo! Choose safety over convenience – and seek the help of a local car seat technician for assistance with installing car seats. More information and a car seat check locater can be found at http://www.usa.safekids.org.
    Safe travels!!!

  3. Debbie Petty says:

    Please send me a copy of Dr Phils wife’s peanut butter and marshmallow squares.

    Thank you
    Debbie Petty

  4. Amy Lincoln says:

    Hi, I put my oldest of three in the front in a booster/car seat of my Camry. He is 4 and over 40 pounds. My car is older so there isn’t a air bag on the passengers side. Is this legal in California?

  5. You should also call your local police dept because they sometimes have car seat days where the police officers will check to make sure your car seat is buckled in properly.

  6. CYndi says:

    A 4 year old in the front? I think that is just irresponsible California mom!

  7. Bryan says:

    This is for Leah Remini and Angelo Pagan. My wife and I have 3 kids..10,7,and 18 months, when each of them turned 1 year old, the bottles were thrown away and they were given sippy cups instead. No bottles around means no way to give in to their tantrums. Although I must say that it took quite a toll on our nerves and patience for about a week. After a week or so things tend to settle down and return to “normal”, if there is such a thing when you have children.

  8. Gwen Ebron says:

    This is for Leah Remini and Angelo Pagan.

    I agree with Bryan, get a sippy cup for your daughter and also use the method that the Nanny uses with pacifiers, say that there is a bottle fairy coming to take all the bottles away and she is leaving your daughter a beautiful gift, and let her throw the bottles away in the trash because that is where the bottle fairy is going to get them. Then maybe even have a little party for her with the sippy cup or cups.
    This will make it seem more like giving up the bottles is rewarding, and that you are so proud of her that she is becoming a big girl. Hopefully she will see it as a good thing rather than she is losing something.

    Leah, are you and your husband a little sad that she is growing up and she is not your little baby any more, so that is why you both are having an emotionally hard time with this?

    I remember when my son turned 10, I found myself crying because he would never have his age number in single digits. In other words, he was growing up, but now he is 28 years old and getting his Masters Degree next month.
    There are wonderful rewards at every age and stage. So if this might be the case, don’t feel sad, the best is yet to come.

    It would not hurt to get some parenting skills counseling,to have more confidence in what you are doing, because the most important thing is carrying a technic through.
    There are both physical and mental consequences for this baby not getting enough sleep as well as for the both of you.

    This is a beautiful, bright child who knows what she is doing in the sense of controlling her parents, but along with love, she needs to be guided and given boundaries, and I feel that is really what she is crying for, and when boundaries are not given, this child keeps pushing the envelop so you will give her some structure.
    Children behave better when there is structure.

    Real love comes with real responsibility, and some of that responsibility is having to say no to your child, even when it hurts you.

    And finally, I think that parents have to consistently ask themselves, who am I creating?
    I know you do not want to create a child who is selfish, strong willed and does not care about others, because this will affect her entire life.
    A child’s personality is basically formed by age five.

    It is hard sometimes to take others advice, and no parent on earth is perfect, but we can always help each other out.

    Hope this does just that, help out.

    Gwen Ebron

  9. Carmela Calenda says:

    This is also for Leah and Angelo Remini.
    Hi there. I am a mother of four children ages ten to eighteen. I believe the “bottle issue” is not that different from other issues you will be faced with in the very near future. Almost everything our children learn is derived from us parents. That includes manners, interaction with others, dicipline, goal setting, having fun, learning, morals, just to name a few. This is a small dilemma that will have huge consequences on how she handles things later.
    I think that we truly have to understand that certain things we need to do as parents will ultimately be benificial for our kids. Let’s face it, it is rarely easy! If they work on their parenting skills aka “following through”, then they will be rewarded with something that is in my books priceless!!
    They learn self worth by guide lines we enforce. Some by gentle encouragement, some by staying firm to what you believe and has been proven to work.
    The other gift that she will learn is respect for herself most of all and for others around her.
    Good luck and best wishes
    Ciao for now

  10. Akronite says:

    I was wondering how to post blogs on this site, I have some questions about RR’s pans that she uses on her shows. Please help!

  11. Hi this is not about getting losing the bottle but my experiance with potty training my 2 1/2 year old. My husband and I were told in January that we we’er having triplet’s that is right 3 so naturaly panic set in…..how in the world would we ever be able to afford diaper for 4 children! Well about a month later we were told that one of the babies did not make it. As sad as we were we looked at it as a blessing. Still we had the worry of how do afford diapers for 3 children let a lone 2, diapers cost SO MUCH!
    With twins on the way we started getting things ready for the babies. We have a few clothing and we put up another crib our 2 year old help with the process. About a week after the we put up the other crib my son ripped off his diaper and yelled “I am not a Baby any more”. He would not let us put a diaper on him any more. We were not working on potty training with him, he had a potty chair and a few underwear but he was not real interestad.
    I belive that if it was not for babies on the way he would still be in diapers. Leah and Angelo try having another baby! It worked for us!


  12. Courtney says:

    Who is the author of this blog? It confuses us readers as we think it’s Rachael. But, she doesn’t have a child.

    You might want to put either Anonymous (if the reader didn’t want her name submitted with it) or the reader’s name who wrote it.

  13. edith adams says:

    this is a little bit of advice for leah remini and her husband angelo.i saw the struggle they both faced in regards to breaking their daughter from the bottle.i have two children and the way i broke my children from the bottle and pacifier is to simply get rid of them.offer the child a sippy cup instead of a bottle.i know you will hear crying from your child but stay strong and consistent in this it really does work.if it helps get a sippy cup with your child’s favorite character on it.your daughter is growing up and you need to let her grow up so she can become independent.i know telling her no at times might be hard for you but sometimes you have to for their own well being.i hope this helps both of you.
    Edith Adams

  14. Jennifer says:

    Car seat issue…When you come from a short family like mine…we would be in booster seats until we are in our 20s. and sitting in the back forever.

    There is a point you just have to teach your children how to wear the belts in the proper place.

    Alot of times I see friends/Dads mainly allowing thier kids to put the top strap behind the child …that won’t help any.

    I agree kids should stay in a booster seat as long as you can but can you imagine a 10-12 year old going with friends and say hey wait I need to get my booster seats? LOL

    I like booster seats because they raise the kids higher and into the proper placement for the straps. I wish I had them when I was a kid.

    just my two cents.

  15. Janice in MN says:

    As per the show concerning the “ba ba’s”, I breast fed all 4 of my children and to get them off, I got rid of any and all bottles and went to the sippy cup. I also potty trained the 2 girls at the age of 16 months, the boys at 22. Every time I went to the restroom, I took them along to sit with me and waited long enough for them to go, didn’t usually take long but the praise did. After giving the kids a drink or eating dinner we’d wait ½ an hour to 1 hour then go to the bathroom with them whether I had to go or not. I never gave them a drink after 6 pm. Every evening the kids and I would brush our teeth, rinse, then go in the bedroom and read book till they went to sleep then we’d walk out and go to our bed. Limit the bedrooms to 1 and make the others play and craft / create rooms. My children are A students and in Honor Society we get 10+ offers of college for my oldest every week. If you let your daughter get the upper hand, then she just may turn out to be another Brittney, Linsey or even Paris. I always thought it great for the kids to play then when they went to bed I’d clean up, if I could go back I would have had them learn to clean up after themselves. Stand firm Leah as much as it hurts your heart you have to, for you and her. I am by no means perfect nor am I a doctor but I might suggest one thing, don’t just let this behavior be ok because you may end up regretting what you’ve let her get away with but at that time it’ll be too late for all of you. Gwen Ebron, very nicely put. Janice

  16. Nina says:

    I agree with Gwen when she says to make giving up the bottle with an award system. You can start with one bottle a day and make her feel like she is a big girl now and it’s a good thing.

    I believe that the child picks up on her parents emotions and the parents, most of the time, express sadness and a “I feel sorry for her” attitude which then makes the child feel ever more sorry for herself. She knows milk babas are bad but feels her mother feeling sorry for her and that’s why she doesn’t want to give them up cause she probably feels if she does that it’s a bad thing.

    Also, she should eat more healthful foods and not drink too much milk. My son did the same thing but with a sippy cup. I believe he drank a gallon in two days making him anemic. Being anemic made him even more irritable and he cried all the time thus he didn’t sleep too well. Ever since I got rid of the milk little by little and increased his food intake, he slept better and wasn’t cranky all the time! He was only allowed two cups a day and I explained to him why he was only allowed two and he accepted it. So please parents out there don’t feel “sorry” for your child cause when they pick up on your attitude they will feel even worse. I don’t think we as parents would like it if someone felt sorry for us cause that would just make us feel like losers!

    We are doing our best for our child and we are the ones who have to guide them and by guiding them they will feel like they can do it as well!!!

    I hope everything works out for Leah and her family!!

  17. Keri says:

    This is for Leah & Angelo,
    I agree with the sippy cup idea. Leave one that doesn’t leak beside your daughter’s pillow and she can get it nay time she wants a drink. Also a trick you may want to try (it worked for me when we took our 3 year olds pacifier away)we told her that there are some kids who don’t have “suckies” because their mommy & daddy couldn’t afford them and explained that these kids need them more than her. So we took a large envelope and put them in there and addressed it to the kids and let her decorate the envelope. We then took a walk to the mailbox and let her drop it in, she felt very important doing this and giving something to kids that didn’t have. For us it worked great, she didn’t ask for them (except when she was very tired-but she took it well)Hopefully this helps

  18. Yvette Jones says:

    Concerning Leah Remini and Angelo Pegan’s situation!

    I don’t normally write to TV shows, but when I went to bed last night, I was really bothered about your night video on the show. I was not concerned about the bottles, diapers, sleeping in your bed, or even pacifiers. I lived through all of this myself, and it eventually works itself out. I think you can not see the forest for all the trees. In other words, you are so tired that all you see are bottles and not the big picture. Your child is three years old, which means she should be at least sleeping from midnight to 6 or 7 in the morning. I’m worried that there may be a medical condition causing this. Please have your child checked at the doctors, especially for Juvenille Diabetes! My son was diagnosed right before his fifth birthday. Juvenille Diabetes has certain signs of being thirsty all night, going to the bathroom alot (which is hard to realize if your child is in diapers). It is also not hereditary. When my son had syptoms he kept waking me up at night every 45 minutes to a couple of hours to go to the bathroom, and then he’d beg for more water with desperation (like he would die without it). Being that my son was four, he was about to express himself better than a three year old would be able to. I was clueless, all I thought was maybe he had a bladder infection, I didn’t know much about Juvenille Diabetes at the time. I come to know that his body needed the water to purge the excess sugar. Without it he could have went into a coma. Please, this isn’t meant to scare you, but have your child checked out. I would feel a whole lot better if you did! Hopefully, it won’t be that serious. Once you have ruled out the possibility of any medical reasons, I’d be happy to tell you about how I finally worked through the other issues that I thought would never end. If you have any questions, feel free to respond.

    Yvette Jones

  19. Debbie Taylor says:

    This is for Leah Remini!
    I have 3 kids…6 year old..4 year old and 18 month old and all I have to say is “been there” My son was on his water “bottie” until 4 years old and one month..we were driving down the Parkway and I got so angry that I took it and threw it out the window of the van. Needless to say he knew he was in trouble and we had a few rough nights ( he too would get about 6 water botties night) then it all passed…along came Meg..same thing but we swithed to a cup around 2 years old but due to all the botties she had a cavity and had to get a hole drilled between her two front teeth and then it was filled ( NO it is not a black filling :) )That scared her enought to only get one cup with bed and she still age 4 1/2 brings one cup to bed! Now the baby is 18 months and still on a bottie at night and she is my last so I am not in hurry but hope to battle this before she is 4! Good luck..I always said “Well they aint gonna be driving with a bottie!!” Hang in there!!

  20. ELIZABETH BOU says:

    I am so glad I looked thru this blog this morning, and saw the posts about the Leah Remini appearance. I had tivo’d it, and watched it late last night. Frankly, I was extremely disturbed and have been bothered by it all day long today.

    I am clearly not a perfect parent to my three girls, 7,4 and 3 yrs old. I have much to learn in the art of patience, and I could better learn to control myself with the yelling. HOWEVER………..

    basic safety and the general well being of your children come first. Being a parent is inclusive (more often than not) of saying NO. It was clear that this child has no structure, and that normal child like beahvior for that age range is disregarded as these parents do not seem to think it applies to to them.

    I see this as a form of child abuse….un-healthy eating….7 bottles of milk a day does constitute unhealthy eating. Tho the thought process of “it is ok if we get disturbed sleep, we are fine” is not the point. It isnt about the parent. It is about the child, she is not getting the required sleep, which then results in a fussy, over tired child, who is not told no, for anything, because there are no boundaries or discipline or accountability for this child.

    This little girl is 3 1/2 and isnt potty trained…whats the story with that? This child should be in pre-school, learning NO in the outside world as well as in her family environment. It is there that these parents will realize that allowing their child to do as she wishes is not the norm, and that very sadly, they are failing her.

    This can be changed….these parents need to be consistent and un-selfish.

    If not, we all know the ending to this story…another celebrity child narcissitic brat…who contributes very little if anything to society because of the sense of entitlement they were raised with. Paris Hilton comes to mind…..

    Not a huge Trump fan, but do you think for a minute that Ivanka Trump’s daughter told her father no when he told her (not asked her if she wanted to) to brush her teeth/wash her face.

    Even tho they have the means, they still have a responsibility to the child. This is a clear case of “money doesnt buy everything”.

    Tho Leah Remini is hilarious by nature, I felt like she was celebrated for her humor in regards to this opic on the show. I thought that this show would be about some of the struggles parents have and how even celebrities are not exempt. This is not normal, and it was very clear, and no one was holding her accountable. I am disappointed that this would even air.

    This should have been a show about enablers.

    Unfortunately the dis-service is to the detriment of this child. There are some things that are non-negotiable.

  21. Amy says:

    This is for Leah Remini and Angelo Pagan:

    I am a mother of two,I have taught preschool for twelve years, had countless hours of trainings, and I have worked with every personality from the easygoing child to the extremely tough ones.

    The way I see it is that she is ruler of the house. It is not so much about the bottle, or sleeping in your bed, but more about the control she has over the two of you. I have seen it a million times before, so you’re not alone.

    Children can be very manipulative at very young age (amazingly) and I think if you don’t take control of the situation now think of how its going to be 10 years from now when she is fourteen. It will be even harder to control her then.

    Believe it or not children thrive on boundaries and discipline. they push buttons because they need to know how far they can go with you and each time that you give in they are going to push a little more. The biggest thing I have learned over the years is be consistant and mean what you say. Because when you make empty promises they dont quite understand where the bounderies are and that’s when they will continue to push buttons.

    My best piece of advice to you is to tackle problems one at a time becausewhen there is too much change it will disrupt their lives and they will not know haw to handle it.

  22. melissa says:

    This is for Leah. Honey, you are a strong woman and I understand that you love your daughter very much and want her to be happy. But you should also want her to be healthy. And having a bottle at age 3 isnt going to keep her healthy. You need to realize that she is going to be mad sometimes. (she will never be happy al the time) And knowing that you love her enough to let her cry and grow. That is what is important. Take the baba away slowly. One at a time, and then before you know it there will be none left. Then you can have her in her own “big girl” room, so she can be a big girl all by herself. She will slowly gain independance. And you will see that she can be happy with out the bottle, and she will be happy too. Think of it this way, she will be going to school in a few short years and she will be in school. And kids can be mean, she will be better off to beat this now than when she is in school.

  23. Evelina says:

    This is for Leah & Angelo
    I am the mother of 4 great kids. Try making the hole in the nipple a little bigger every few days. Soon the nipple will be pouring out the milk. Tell her the bottle is broken and she now can use a big girls cup. ( have a special one reay). Skip the sippy cup or you will just end up with the same problem.

  24. AMBER EASTON says:

    I had a question my daughter is will be 8 months old and she does not like to be in her car seat. It lays back and she likes to sit up. What do i do? Please help!

  25. Candice Lloy says:

    On the segment Rachael had with Leah…I didn’t like how Rachael kept saying that every parent can relate to Leah. Maybe we can relate in the respect that we love our children, but come on! Not only does her girl have a bottle and wears diapers at 3 and a half; she doesn’t even speak with real words “baba”??! Discipline in love and just take the bottle away. Let her know it’s gone; get rid of all of them straight away. By her age, she knows she’s playing her parents…I have two babies (22 months and 10 months old.) 22 month old girl is potty trained partially and has had no bottle or soother since 15 months old. It’s going to be harder, she’ll be so resistant obviously, to break a habit like a bottle at three than at 12 months old, but on the other hand she can better understnad why it needs to be done. Love you Leah; big fan of yours…wish you all the best :)

  26. Victoria says:

    Replying to Amber Easton. Look at the angle of the seat if the seat where turned around. Not encouraging you to break the law, but maybe this can help you to cope with the resistance a little while longer. OR buy a more upright seat.

    For Leah and Angelo be encouraged. I had to take notes on my first and adjust with my second and third. All great tips given and I would like to add, consider how another 3 1/2 will naturally tease your daughter. You want to shield her from that by teaching her age appropriate skills. At meal time offer a cup and at night and outings take sippy cup. With the whining say ” use your words”. But you must use words that are age appropriate. Question: How can you work on another baby if she is playing goalie. You need your alone time.

  27. Sally says:

    Please print Robin McGraw’s after school snack made with brown puffed rice cereal, marshmallows and peanut butter. Thanks

  28. dee says:

    Thank You, Leah and Angelo
    My Daughter is 15 months old and we are having issues getting her to sleep at night. Thanks you this segment on giving your daughter a bottle every few hours I realized that I too was having issues. Because my daughter is also getting up every few hours; wanting me to get her back to sleep. But this happens 3 to 4 times a night. After watch you guys struggle I came to the facts that i need to help her. As much as it may upset me to listen to her cry I have to get her to sleep on her own. I really do know how you two are feeling and my heart goes out to you guy, but your not alone WE can do this for our children. So last night I let her cry and held her hand 4:30 this morning she went to sleep on her own. This was very hard and I know this will take a while, but I also understand it has to be done. Just like with you daughter it has to be done. It will take time and patients. I am hopping by this weekend we will all be new people. Thank you for airing your problem and allowing us to see a different side and allowing me to realize that I am not alone. Personally I know you two can take care of this and I do think the best advice for you guys is to toss out the bottles. Use sippy cups, I found a sippy cup that had a straw attached too it maybe that would help. Good luck to you guys. And may happier days be coming soon! And thank you again for airing this program.

  29. Juliana says:

    This is a response to the Leah Remini dilemma…

    First, let me say that I am the mother of three children: the oldest is 3 and a half, the middle is 2, and the baby is 4 months. My oldest was off the bottle at 7 months (trans. to a sippy), and he now drinks from a cup–he’s the same age as Leah’s Sophia; the second was breastfed until 15 months and off the bottle by 16 months, and is almost transitioned from sippy to cup, and the little baby still breastfeeds….

    Also, I was a social worker before the kiddos…

    To Leah and Angelo, I want to say that it is refreshing to see a Mama and Daddy so attentive and committed to their child. You can imagine that I’ve seen quite a bit of neglect and abuse. I think as parents you are very well intentioned and try to more than meet Sophia’s needs; however,

    I do not usually reply to these kinds of things, but, I want to echo an earlier post–the issue is not about the bottles. Leah, the bottom line is::you are having difficulty allowing Sophia to grow into herself. She is not a baby. The true definition of a newborn is the first 28 days; infancy lasts for 24 months; a baby becomes a toddler when she takes her first wobbly steps until age 4; at age 4, she’s a pre-schooler, etc, etc… My point is::Sophia is almost a pre-schooler—she’s not a baby anymore. As mothers, we tend to remember how small they looked and how deeply they burrow into our hearts.

    Please let her grow up into herself. If you try to keep her a baby, she’ll begin to be frustrated and will eventually be angry with you. I would get rid of all the bottles cold turkey–I would warn her ahead of time it was going to happen and have a ceremony of some sort–the bottle fairy, mail them to babies in need, etc. And then, I would celebrate how big she is::do something “grown-up” with her–something special like going out to eat, getting nails painted in a salon(since she likes make-up so much)–you know her best–you know what she would consider “grown up”. Then, I would also allow her to choose which kind of cup she wants to drink out of—she is obviously strong-willed, so she needs to be incorporated into the decision. I would also bring her several samples to choose from as opposed to going to the store, simply because if she sees more bottles, you may totally lose her ability to make a decision about cups, or sippies, or whatever.

    I don’t think y’all are bad parents, because I think you are well intentioned. You know the patterns have to change. There are nutritional health issues (which you know about), but the interruptions in sleep were kind of glossed over. If she doesn’t learn to fall asleep by herself, she’s going to inherit a whole new set of health concerns–they’re linking obesity to unhealthy sleep problems, and if she is unable to internalize soothing mechanisms, I can see things really unraveling for her in the future.

    Again, please enjoy the child she is becoming–let her leave baby-hood. She’ll always be that baby in your heart, but she’ll resent you if you don’t let her experience all the stages. Would you like to be stuck in any one of life’s stages?

    From a peer perspective, my son would think her behavior very strange. And her lack of personal boundaries would scare him, and he would not want to play with her. And, for additional help with the bottles, peer pressure is great–my Mom’s group buddies swear that all our toddlers potty-training at the same time was incentive in and of itself, and we think it really helped speed up the process. Joining a play-group or pre-school may help y’all see how other kids and parents deal with similar issues.

    I hope this helps! I am one of the most strong-willed persons you will meet, and I really enjoy strong-willed children (I’ve got one of my own–the 2 year old). I do have to lay down the law every once in a while, but I try to present a choice when possible. And wording makes a huge difference with these tots–I like how you gave her a choice with diapers—do the same thing with a cup (or sippy). After the shock of the change, she will accept the new set of rules–if you accept the new set of rules. Be as matter-of-fact and light toned as possible. If it gets overwhelming, let Angelo take a shift. Cry with her if you want, but stay firm–empathize, but stay firm, and, I promise–it’ll be horrible at first–her fits will increase and increase (Because that has worked in the past), but then they’ll stop. Try to distract her–put make up on a doll–stuff that would keep her hands busy. If you know that she’ll want to watch a movie with a bottle, before you start the movie, give her a project that will keep her busy–sorting games work really well. Help her learn to self-soothe without the bottle….you’ll have to be on your toes, but you can do it–you are strong-willed yourself. :) .


  30. Liz in Florida says:

    Responding to Amber with the 8 month old who hates the car. We had similar problems with my now three year old son. Don’t give in and turn her around, she really needs to be 12 months AND 20lbs to be safe facing forward. My son had a big mirror to make faces in, and lots of toys that were special and just for the car. Also, we made that Cheerio time, nothing distracts like a snack! Also, is the sun coming in the back window? We had that problem when we left the house every morning till I found a good shade that didn’t obstruct my view. Good luck, this too shall pass. And to all the Mom’s out there with car seat confusion, Google The Kyle David Miller Foundation, it’s a great resource for car seat safety.

  31. Joanne says:

    My 45 year old brother has the biggest crush on Rachel and is being deployed to Baghdad in June of 08 and I would love to get him an autographed picture for him to take with him. His son, my nephew, also has the same crush. What can I do to try and get one for him? I know it would mean alot.

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