There’s no question that Kim Kardashian West the celebrity divides opinion.
But now her legions of fans (and detractors) have focused their attention on Kim Kardashian West the mum – offering advice on the kind of car seat she should be using for her 18-month-old son, Saint.
It all started when 36-year-old Kim, who is also mum to 4-year-old daughter North, shared the above snap of Saint looking too cute for words, while strapped tightly into his front-facing car seat.
Quickly, the comments rolled in, telling Kim her tot would be safest in a rear-facing car seat, instead.
Indeed, research and safety tests have shown that keeping your little one in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible is the safest way to go – and team MFM definitely recommend doing just that for as long as you can.
However, it’s definitely safe to go forward facing from 15 months, if you choose to do so, too.
What does the law say?
Here in the UK, babies must be in rear-facing car seats at all times, “from birth until they’re at least 9kg in weight, according to the law (regulation ECE R44/04),” writes MFM reviews editor Hazelann Williams, in our guide to explaining rear-facing for longer.
But the law here changed in March 2017 to extend that – and make it so that babies up to 15 months must be in a rear-facing seat.
(Note: the original law will be enforced until at least 2020, too. It’s really complicated – read our guide to UK car seat safety laws here.)
In the US, however, car seat laws differ and often vary from state to state.
In California, where Kim is from and (we think) currently lives, the law states that rear-facing is required for all children under the age of 2 years.
So, was Kim breaking the law?
Interestingly, it looks to us like Kim is using a rear-facing car seat for Saint.
It appears she’s using the Maxi-Cosi Pria car seat, a group 1/2/3 car seat from the States that’s suitable from 9 months until 12 years (in weight, 14lb – 85lb) and allows for rear-facing use until around 4 years.
So, perhaps Kim had simply positioned Saint for his close-up, only to then fit the seat rear-facing. Or, perhaps Kim was in a different part of the country, where Saint’s allowed to front-face.
Maybe Kim does use the seat front-facing at all times and is consistently breaking the law.
Who knows? The truth is, we can’t 100% judge the situation from a single picture.
Here at MFM HQ, we don’t see issue with the commenters who were perfectly polite and pleasant, just passing on vitally important info they themselves will have learnt from another source, about the benefits of rear-facing for longer.
That’s just how we all learn things, right? We talk to our friends, we share articles and our experiences on social media, and so on…
What we don’t like to see is a flurry of nasty and spiteful remarks from the so-called ‘parenting police’, designed to shame someone, to make them feel bad.
Because what’s helpful about that?
Kim has now deleted this photo of Saint from her social media channels.
It seems we were right when we wrote earlier that you can’t judge a mum by just one picture, as Kim Kardashian West has proven in a recent fact-checking video.
In the short clip posted to her Twitter account, Kim addressed the car seat controversy, which we covered in detail above, and revealed that the seat questioned by fans was indeed front-facing, and that it was perfectly legal for now 20-month-old Saint to do so.
“So, I took a photo of Saint and he was sitting forward and so they say for his age he should be rear-facing,” she began.
“But what people didn’t know is that Saint is now the weight and the height requirement to sit forward-facing.
“Saint actually weighs more than North if that is believable. It’s wild.”
As we’ve mentioned above, team MFM do recommend trying to stick to rear-facing for as long as you can.
But let’s fact check the fact check: Kim is totally right in saying that in California, your child either needs to be 2-years-old OR reach a certain height/weight before they can face forward.
Therefore, she wasn’t breaking the law at all. Case closed ???
Images: Facebook/Kim Kardashian West