Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Why I don't like our new car seat.

Oh, guys, car seats are the worst. 

I mean, of course I'm grateful that we have the technology to keep our children safe in our cars (aka speeding metal pods of doom). But if there's any technology that needs to be developed further to make it more convenient and less horrible, it's car seat technology. So, technology research guys/ladies, please stop researching ways to make it possible for people to check Twitter safely while driving and start looking into the car seat situation.

Everything was fine while we could still use the infant car seat. That thing was a dream. We didn't even have to take the baby out of it; she learned to sleep well in it, so we could just take her places and never have to wake her up. We could even put her down for naps in the thing and get her to sleep with just a little bit of rocking. 

But I guess I should have known that the kid would grow way faster than I was ready for. Her little feet started sticking way out of the seat, which was pretty cute but I was always worried I'd break her toes against the side of the door. And the car seat got awfully heavy. It wasn't so easy to haul it into church or the grocery store anymore. 

So finally my husband and I agreed that it was time to buy a convertible car seat. 

Let me tell you something. Convertible car seats are absolute monsters. They are enormous. I mean, I guess the idea is that you don't have to get a new car seat every time the baby grows two inches, so that's good...but adults don't need seats that large. It hardly fits in our car. (To be fair, our car is just a little four-door sedan from the '90s. But still.) 

When we put the baby in the car seat, she got swallowed up in it. She looked up at us with an expression that said, "Um, guys? You do realize I'm a baby human, right--not a baby Bigfoot?" 

I just hope we don't have to drive anyone in the backseat of our car for the next two years, because I think the maximum amount of person we could fit next to the car seat would be a very thin 3rd-grade girl. (She might also be able to hold a pencil, but no guarantees.) 

But even worse than the space issue is the sun problem. Our infant car seat had both a sun shade and a car seat canopy, two wonderful inventions that both promoted sleep and offered adequate sun protection. There's no such thing with the convertible car seat. You must--for the sake of safety--turn the car seat facing straight out the back window, exposing your child to the blinding sun in the late afternoon, and there's not much you can do to protect her little eyes. (Those sun shades you attach to the window are an absolute joke.)

No wonder half the people in America wear glasses! We're burning our children's little eyes out before they can even read! 

Thankfully, my husband is an engineer, and he fashioned a makeshift sun shade for the baby using a blanket. (He also magically attached it so that the baby couldn't pull it down onto herself.) But heaven forbid I should ever have to drive her somewhere by herself. I guess I should start looking into baby sunglasses (but if I think she's not going to pull them off her face five seconds into the drive, I probably have another think coming). 

If you've solved this mystery, please let me know. I'm just an innocent, naive new mom who is, once again, freaking out over a very trivial problem. You know how it goes. 


  1. We kept Summer in her infant seat for as long as possible, because it was so sad when I couldn't carry her in from the car and have her keep sleeping! I think we switched around her first birthday, so she wasn't as small as your baby. I also looked for convertible car seats that were smaller than average. Still, it was really hard to fit Summer's convertible seat into Ken's car because he needed to slide the driver's seat back because of his longer legs, and then his seat hit Summer's seat. It was much better when we turned the seat forward-facing, so we did that a little early in Ken's car.

    We never came up with a good solution for the sun issue. I bought the window sun shades, but I agree with you, they're a joke. Now Summer knows how to cover her eyes when the sun comes in the wrong way, so I don't worry about it as much anymore. Also, Summer's seat doesn't seem huge for her anymore. That probably means I'm supposed to spend money on another seat soon, right?

  2. The reason convertible car seats are so big these days is because your kids are supposed to be in them until they're 4'9"! At least in the state of Utah, they recommend keeping kids in a booster seat until then. Sheesh.
    Carrie, why couldn't you put Summer's seat on the passenger side?

    1. We could have put Summer's seat on the passenger side. There were a few reasons why we opted to turn her seat around early instead of scooting it to the side. Oregon law only required Summer to be rear-facing until she was 1 year old and 20 pounds, so we had the legal option of turning the seat after that. (When I say that we turned the seat "early," I mean before she was 2, since the recommendation is that kids face backward until then.) The middle is safer than the side, but rear-facing is safer than forward-facing, so I don't know whether middle-but-forward-facing or side-but-rear-facing ends up being safest. But middle-but-forward-facing was way more convenient, and when Summer outgrew the ability to sit rear-facing, we didn't have to bother rearranging the seat again.

  3. Am I the only one who loves the drivers seat. I could go on for an hour about how it supports my lower back and cradles me in comfort. I made the long drive from Florida to New Jersey in one day and my back was absolutely fine. The adjusting controls for the drivers seat are plentiful, so no matter your size, you are going to be very comfortable.

    Douglass @ Viva Kia