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55 Minutes

by Our Little Pickle on January 26, 2010 · 4 comments

A girlfriend of mine was planning a road trip with her family for Christmas. She was concerned with the comfort and safety of her 6 and a half month old baby on their long journey so she started looking into a change of car seats. Her little guy was in the traditional infant bucket seat still and she though that maybe he would be happier in a 3-in-1; so began the search. She tried different stores, comparing features and prices. Her search eventually led her to one locally owned business near her home, she had no idea what she was in for!

When the woman working at the store asked if she could help, my friend told her the situation she was in. The woman said that baby might be most comfortable in the seat he had already gotten used to and that a long journey in a new seat might not be the best thing (good point). The woman had done her job as a salesclerk, but do you think that’s where it ended? Nope, it’s not. Upon getting more information about the journey, the woman informed my friend that she had better stop every 55 minutes and take her baby out of the car seat or he would develop ADHD one day. I am not kidding. My friend said well I don’t believe that riding in a car seat for longer than 55 minutes will give a child ADHD, I think it’s genetic or maybe other environmental factors. The woman said no, there were studies done and these studies said exactly 55 minutes or the child will develop ADHD. My friend left the store with no plans to return when the time did come to get a new car seat for her son!

Now, I have been privileged to receive a lot of information on all things babies over the last 4 years in my career as an Infant Development Consultant, but never have I heard of this 55 minute rule of travel. You would think, that as someone who works with infants I would have been privy to this very important information. After my friend told me, I agreed with her that it sounded like a pile of paranoid poop. When I went home I scoured the Internet and I couldn’t even find one mention of such a study… if it isn’t on the Internet, it doesn’t have much street creed, lol, because there is all kinds of crazy on the Internet! Where did this woman hear this information?

All I can think of now is how many poor, worry prone mothers this “well intentioned” woman is going to share this information with. Will they be stopping their car every 55 minutes to let their child out? Poor worried mothers. Will they wake the baby if they are sleeping? Many infants have 2 hour naps at 6-9 months old where they are still and quiet in their beds, why would it be any different if they are in a car seat. How many mothers now are going to be paranoid that their child will have ADHD… what if your commute to daycare is longer than 55 minutes (in some metropolitan areas it might be)?

Now I understand that you should not leave a baby in a car seat for hours at a time and not respond to their needs, obviously you should and obviously my friend did respond to ALL of her baby’s needs appropriately. I also understand that only at a certain age should long car rides be planned due to a risk of asphyxiation, but her little guy was 6 and a half months and fully supporting his head on his own.

There are so many holes in this information, but unfortunately many moms will buy it hook, line and sinker and why is that? It seems like we are all afraid to go against the grain of the current “fad thought” even if it sounds kind of silly or is completely unfounded information.We don’t want to be caught with our pants down by not doing what every other family is doing. You will get the glance from other mothers, the judging stare, the raised eyebrows, the “pfft” air release from pursed lips accompanied by shocked expression (I have seen them all).

I think we need to approach these situations like my friend did- talk about it with other moms and do a bit of research before we worry your fool brains out. It seems like there is new information every day. Some of it is helpful, like the “back to sleep” campaign, but some of it is going a little bit overboard. There are real dangers out there to our kids, let’s pour our energy into protecting them from those!

{ 1 trackback }

55 Minutes! « Our Little Pickle
January 26, 2010 at 9:56 pm

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sox January 26, 2010 at 10:12 pm

While I find it alarming that the woman in the store would offer up this information, I find it more alarming that anyone would actually believe it. I would hope that us mothers are smarter than that!

Our Little Pickle January 28, 2010 at 9:05 pm

I know right! But some people will believe anything!!!

Alison January 29, 2010 at 1:48 pm

when I was a very new mother this source of information would have sent me into all out paranoia. lol.
i had so much conflicting information in the beginning i didnt know WHO to believe or what was fact and what was fiction! now that ive grown as a mom I know whats baloney and whats not. Sadly, if this woman is sharing her ‘knowledge’ of this I would place bets that there are poor mothers out there, stopping and taking the child out of the seat every 55 minutes… oh man.

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