Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the great car seat fiasco

We try to be responsible parents. I researched our car seat religiously. Then I researched it all over again when they came out with the new guidelines despite the fact these rules would have meant I would have been in a car seat with a five-point harness through middle school.

Our hospital does free car seat installation and inspection so we went. And it was 115 degrees, maybe hotter in the steaming parking garage. I had a migraine and the baby was punching me in the hip.We forgot to bring the instruction manual.

The first thing the team of FOUR nurses tell us is "stop storing 25 softballs in your backseat." This deteriorated my mood even further as I glared at the hubs for even thinking of putting his softballs in the back of his nine-month pregnant wife's car who is clearly going to get rear ended on the way home and be pelted to death.

Then our seat seems to baffle the nurses even though one of them purchased this seat for her own children. The straps were wrong and twisted. It won't fit in the middle seat. Finally we get it installed, rear-facing, with the help of some swimming noodles. (Please tell me how plastic noodles are allowed but blankets behind his butt are not.) However, the passenger seat has to be so far forward that any passenger, even a midget without legs, would be too close to the air bag to sit.

Hubs: "So, you're basically saying that if we both want to ride in the front seat we should just swaddle him and hold him in our laps?"

Nurse (looking horrified): "No!"

She apparently didn't like our car seat, our softballs or our humor.

I got back to my researching ways this morning and find this is a big problem in all Mazdas. Seriously? We have a normal sedan. Now, despite my absolute aversion to extra stuff we have to get an infant seat. Which, I know will come in handy especially in the winter when I don't want to figure out how to wear the baby with my down coat. And if he's safer, we'll spend anything.



  1. hah! Thanks for giving me a laugh today!! The baby's coming quickly! Good luck with everything, including your car seat :-)

  2. Hi Sarah - I'm actually a car seat tech so I felt like I had to comment :)

    First of all, I hate that the manufacturers of convertible seats neglect to tell parents that they are huge, clunky & hard to fit in average size cars. I've done installs with them and omg they can be a pain. I think the concept is great (buy one seat not two or three), but they are just not very user friendly in some vehicles. The cut up pool noodles are ok because they're dense and are approved for use by the manufacturers. (The blanket behind the butt is a no go because in case of a crash, the blanket would compress and there would be more force against the babies spine, head & neck.) With a newborn the angle is improtant so the airway is kept open, and that's what the noodles help to do!

    On the positive side, at least you already have the seat you need for when your babe gets bigger! Another positive is that the life of a car seat is 6 years, so if you plan to have another babe, you would be set (barring any recalls). You'll probably want to register your seats with the manufacturers (if you haven't already) to stay informed about recalls on your seat. And if you are looking for a great infant seat, the Chicco keyfit rocks my world. They're SUPER easy to install. They make one seat that can stay rearfacing to 30 lbs too (Keyfit 30). The only complaint I've heard is that they don't fit on shopping carts.

    Hopefully I kind of helped, and sorry for writing a book! Car seat installs are one of my favorite parts of my job!

  3. Kinda hilarious!! And randomly, I have a blog posting tomorrow about our car seat fiasco as well! Except ours has to do with getting it shipped from the mainland to HI... we're installing ours next week, so we'll see how it goes! We did end up going with a infant car seat (Peg Perego)... originally we had the Chicco Keyfit30 mentioned above, but we didn't like the bulky Cortina stroller... so that's how we decided on the Peg. We love the design of the stroller! Although I think the Peg infant seat is a tad heavier than the Chicco. Exciting times! -Amber

  4. I'm sorry that you have having carseat problems. On the other hand, this post made me laugh.