Saturday, January 3, 2009

Car Seats

A pregnant friend recently asked me about the baby stuff you really need. She was feeling a little overwhelmed by Pee Pee Tee Pees and the like. Anyway, the first thing that came to mind as an absolute necessity was a car seat. Here's what I think about car seats.

  1. Buy new. This is your baby's #1 safety item. Do you really want something that has been cooking in someone else's car, possibly traveled through airport security, and had who knows what leaked onto it? No. And you want the latest and greatest. So buy new.
  2. Infant seats sure are convenient. Those click-in, click-out kind. You can buckle baby up in the comfort of your house, and then just snap in the seat and you're on your way. More importantly, the sleeping-baby-in-the-back-seat can become the sleeping-baby-in-the-living-room or -in-the-restaurant without becoming the screaming-unhappy-woken-up-baby.
  3. The Britax Roundabout (and others, I'm sure) does work from tiny infant to big toddler. If you chose to ignore #2 above, you can save money by buying a single car seat that can face backward when they're little, and forward when they're bigger.
  4. Consider getting two car seats. One for each car, or one for you and one for your caregiver. It is also extremely helpful to have two when traveling.
  5. Get the installation inspected!!! I'm an engineer, as is my husband. We read the car seat instructions. We read the owner's manual instructions. We installed the car seat. We took it to get inspected (see We had not done a good job. At all. There were several major things we missed such as not using latch in the middle seat. Who knew? Get it inspected. Or AT LEAST have an experienced parent look at it.

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