Carseats

I hate stuff. Especially stuff that will be used temporarily, get worn out and damaged, or is otherwise considered disposable. I feel the same way about clothes. I rarely buy clothes, and when I do, I intend for them to last a long, long time. Some of my clothes I have been wearing for 15 years. I also don’t like to replace anything until it’s TOAST. Like, unusable. My grandfather lived as a poor farmer through the Great Depression (1930’s, not 2008) and he was very frugal, and collected EVERYTHING he thought might have value. While I can’t stand to have things laying around that don’t serve a distinct and immediate purpose, I think I developed an appreciation for the value of having things that do their jobs well.

All this is to say, I HATE baby stuff. I know that some people get SO excited about decorating a nursery and buying new furniture, but I literally cringe when I receive emails advertising things I “need,”like a giant swing that sings, vibrates, spins, entertains, and teaches baby. Or the diaper bag that doubles as a tent, in case you and baby are caught in the woods in a storm. Okay, I made that one up. It seems like companies are simultaneously trying to create items that do more tasks while thinking of new products to fill a gap where humans used to have to do something manually. It’s also sort of humorous to think of all the brightly-colored shiny new products that are secretly “new” and “improved” versions of something you probably already have around the house. Like baby baths. You do know that’s just a plastic tub, right? I have about 30 of them in my storage closet holding winter hats and scarves, holiday decorations, and camping supplies. They may be clear instead of bright aqua with friendly fishes painted on, but they hold 1-2 inches of water, fit inside my bathtub (or sink), dry quickly between uses, and won’t be damaged by soap! I feel confident in my ability to monitor baby’s position while we wash him/her, without the assistance of a seatbelt.

Now I’m just ranting. Let me get to the point I intended when starting this email. I have finally resigned to ONE item we need to acquire for baby’s safety (I’m still resisting nearly everything else, including a crib). We have chosen the carseat. It’s a Clek Foonf:dragonfly

 

We’re opting to skip the removable baby-carrier carseat that snaps onto the stroller, sits on top of a high chair, and allows baby to sleep soundly in the grocery cart. Why? For one, we’re comfortable with the idea of removing baby from the seat when we get out of the car. I know, we’ll wake him up sometimes. I know, it’s so convenient to take him into a restaurant, set the rig on the floor, and let him chatter away from the safety of his seat while you enjoy your dinner. I think we’ll just hold him. Or skip the restaurant. We’re foregoing this convenience because we hate the idea of two carseats – one for six months and one for later years. In truth, we won’t really be saving any money this way, because we are going with a relatively expensive seat. But I figure it’s worth it for four years and not having to choose/store/resell/recycle two carseats. I would also rather give my money to one company that makes a quality product rather than two companies who make two cheaper versions of the same thing. We may re-evaluate with Kid #2, but this is where we are heading for now.

What about you? Did you love or loathe the carseat you chose or were given? Are you one of those lucky people who live in an area with enough public transit that you don’t need to drive a car and buy a seat? Will you buy a seat for every car and every stage of your child’s development?

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16 responses

  1. We use public transit to go most places, but I do have a carseat installed in my best friend’s car when we need to go places with further distance. I think getting the Foonf is a great idea, though it *will* be a pain in the ass to take him out when he’s a newborn. Will you do a lot of babywearing? Right now we’re taking Bronwyn everywhere in her seat, but when we don’t, she goes right into the wrap. So I’m envisioning you doing lots of babywearing once he’s out of the car and into arms…that’ll make your life a lot easier than carrying around one of those heavy, ugly plastic things anyway!

    • Exactly – lots of baby wearing and holding. We may feel differently when there are more than one, but we figure we can manage lugging around just one kid with slings/wraps/arms.

  2. I think you still have to get a separate infant insert for that car seat, but if that’s the one you want then you should totally get it!
    For all of the baby gear stuff, you will realize very quickly that you either need more or have too much. Personally, I love all the seats and swings and carriers, but not much more than clothes/food/diapers is really necessary for the first few months.

  3. I can relate to this so hard. I used to think baby gear was cute, but now all I see are things that won’t be used after 3 months.
    I like your idea for a car seat. That’s definitely where I intend to head.

  4. I agree about all the baby stuff. We’re getting as much as we can second hand, so at least it’s free. But we’re definitely going light on anything we have to actually buy. I can’t stand clutter and am trying to find a way to gently ask relatives and friends to not bombard us with a million cute outfits or toys.

  5. We obviously haven’t yet seen how our car seat decisions worked out for us, but we went for the full click system that clicks into the stroller, and it is supposed to grow with the kid from infant to toddler. We are also buying another base for the second car. However, this was the one purchase we plan to make. Everything else has been or will be hand-me-downs. My friend dropped off a car load of hand-me-down baby stuff yesterday and I got quite a bit of anxiety from the explosion of junk all over my house… But we plan to accept all free gifts and then purge what we find we’re not using once baby arrives. So yeah, I couldn’t agree more with your desire to go minimal.

  6. We got a hand-me-down infant car seat/stroller combo from some close friends we trust and I loved it. I did (do) my share of baby-wearing, and I don’t think I would have bought a stroller, but I was glad to have it when I ended up with adhesions from the epidural. In the end, this car seat will have lived through three kids before it expires, but I suspect we would have gone for just the 5-120 lb Diono Rainier if the hand-me-down hadn’t been available.

    The one thing I didn’t consider was how the convertible seat would fit in our (large) Subaru station wagon. We wouldn’t be able to use the Rainier as an infant seat in our vehicle because it wouldn’t be possible to recline it enough so definitely do test one out before you commit if you can.

  7. We bought an inexpensive Graco infant carseat (the kind you carry) that lasts until 35 lbs; it was one of few baby gear items we bought new. It’s been handy because it’s been like, -30 celsius, and we can get her done up inside before going out when it’s really cold. We mostly carry/wear her in a wrap, so we’re still taking her out of it in the car most of the time, and at 15lbs carrying her in the car seat feels awkward already.

    Now that J is growing out of her baby stuff, I’m really glad that we got it used. Babies ‘need’ hardly anything, but having places to put our baby down where she was safe and happy (read: swing and bouncer) was something that we needed, or felt like we needed. I thing we got good use out of most of the things we bought, and I am so, so happy to see most of it go.

  8. We got a check fllo but as our second. My wife was against not having a clicky seat and as our big is quite skinny he lasted until 13 months in it. Made airport travel much easier. I would have loved to wear him more but he hated it….would be miserable without looking out. Love the clek fllo now though! Rear faces a long time and shit won’t sink in to the fabric. Last week we wiped off smoothed raspberries. With a cloth. It was amazing.

  9. We have two cars and a grandma who provides childcare, so we opted for the click-in, click-out infant seat. We also knew we were having at least one more kiddo, and our spacing plans meant that we would have two kids in car seats at the same time. I would say that unless you need to transfer the seat between cars, or know that you’ll need two seats in the future, opting for the long term car seat is the way to go. We almost never use the infant seat outside of the car; it’s heavy and it’s just so much easier to wear the baby (who usually falls right back to sleep in the wrap/carrier after transfer).

  10. We liked our bucket seat for winter. In Vancouver Washington winter means gross rain, and it protected her. It helped that it was a gift, as was her convertible seat that she’s in now. For babe #2 depending on the time of year will determine our seat arrangement. 🙂

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