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We want to keep our kids as safe as possible when on the road. For a lot of parents, this has meant keeping their children in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, not just until age two.

Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics is updating its official stance on car seat safety to be more in line with what so many parents are already doing, and is recommending that kids stay rear-facing for as long as possible.



The old AAP guidelines said parents should keep kids rear-facing at least to age 2; the new version removes reference to a specific age and just suggests parents keep them rear-facing until they outgrow their car seat's height and weight limits.

"Fortunately, car seat manufacturers have created seats that allow children to remain rear-facing until they weigh 40 pounds or more, which means most children can remain rear-facing past their second birthday," Dr. Benjamin Hoffman, lead author of the policy statement and chair of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention, says in an AAP media release. "It's best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This is still the safest way for children to ride," says Hoffman.

According to Hoffman and his colleagues at the AAP, parents really shouldn't rush transitioning kids out of rear-facing seats—or later, into boosters—because when it comes to car seats, every transition actually reduces the amount of protection a child has in the event of a crash. Using a car seat that's appropriate for your child's size lowers the risk of fatalities and serious injuries by over 70%, the AAP notes.

"Car seats are awesome at protecting children in a crash, and they are the reason deaths and injuries to children in motor vehicle crashes have decreased," Dr. Hoffman explains. "But that also means we just don't have a large enough set of data to determine with certainty at what age it is safest to turn children to be forward-facing. If you have a choice, keeping your child rear-facing as long as possible is the best way to keep them safe."

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Motherhood is a practice in learning, growing and loving more than you ever thought possible. Even as a "veteran" mama of four young sons and one newly adopted teenager, Jalyssa Richardson enthusiastically adapts to whatever any given day has in store—a skill she says she's refined through the years.

Here's what just one day in her life looks like:


Jalyssa says she learned to embrace agility throughout her motherhood journey. Here's more from this incredible mama of five boys.

What is the most challenging part of your day as a mom of five?

Time management! I want to meet each of the boys' individual needs—plus show up for myself—but I often feel like someone gets overlooked.

What's the best part of being a mom of five?

The little moments of love. The hugs, the kisses, the cuddles, the smiles... they all serve as little reminders that I am blessed and I'm doing okay.

Are there misconceptions about raising boys?

There are so many misconceptions about raising boys. I think the biggest one is that boys don't have many emotions and they're just so active all the time. My boys display many emotions and they also love to be sweet and cuddly a lot of the time.

What do you think would surprise people the most about being a mom of five?

How much I enjoy it. I never knew I wanted to be a mom until I was pregnant with my first. My desire only grew and the numbers did! I am surprised with every single baby as my capacity to love and nurture grows. It's incredible.

How do you create balance and make time for yourself?

Balance for me looks like intentional planning and scheduling because I never want my boys to feel like they aren't my first priority, but it is extremely difficult. What I try to do is not fit it all into one day. I have work days because motherhood is my first priority. I fit in segments of self-care after the kids' bedtime so I don't grow weary.

What's the biggest lesson you have learned from motherhood?

I have learned that sacrifice is actually beautiful. I was terrified of the selflessness motherhood would require, but I've grown so much through the sacrifice. There is nothing better than living for something bigger than myself.

When did you first feel like a mom? How has your motherhood evolved?

I first felt like a mom when I was pregnant with my first son and I intentionally chose to change my eating habits so my body could be strong and healthy for him. I didn't have to think twice—I just did what I thought would be best for him. That decision being so effortless made me realize I was made for motherhood.

My perspective has changed with each baby as I've realized motherhood doesn't have to be one-size-fits-all. With my first son, I was a by-the-book mama and it was so stressful. With each baby, I have felt more freedom and it has made motherhood so much more beautiful. I have evolved into the mother that they need, I am perfect for these boys.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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