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'Baby On Board’ Decal Epitomizes Parenting Anxiety

Baby on board. Three simple words that when read, mean something different to pretty much everybody.

When you become a parent, it changes you. You might claim that it won't and perhaps even try to actively fight against it. However, once that little one arrives, in many ways you will become a completely different person. It is just hard to fathom that one second you are childless, and then the next, a little person exists that means more to you than anything or anyone that has come before.

All of a sudden, everything feels like a threat. Most notably, driving. You will notice hazards on the road like never before once you have your newborn baby strapped in there with you. Being cut off by another driver will no longer be a minor inconvenience, it will be a threat that could have potentially hurt or even killed your newborn baby.

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As recently covered by The Washington Post, it was the anxiety of an entrepreneur that led to the invention of the "Baby On Board" sign. Michael Lerner bought and tweaked the idea for the sign from two women during the 1980s. Even though he is not a father, he liked the idea after driving with his 18-month-old nephew in the car for the first time.

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Many people actually view the sign as being both annoying and pretentious. When they see it, they feel as if the driver is claiming the lives inside their car are more important than the others. It can also conjure up the feeling that driving parents assume people without children don't drive safely and will decide to do so just because they catch a glimpse of a baby on board sign.

There is also another big reason for having the sign in your car should you actually have a baby on board, no matter how pretentious it might be. If you are involved in an accident, the sign can signal to emergency services that a baby might be trapped in the car or, even worse, have been thrown from the car during the collision. If driving around with your baby in car wasn't already giving you anxiety, the thought of that happening will likely not have helped.

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