“The One Where Eric Realizes He Needs a Bigger Car”

20 Mar

My parents like to tell me how when my twin sister and I came home from the hospital a month early, we rode in a laundry basket in the back seat.  They don't let you do that anymore, so Sam and I purchased a car seat.  Last night, we decided to install it because we are having the hospital check our installation this afternoon.  Good thing considering our experience.

There is a constant stream of studies showing that the vast majority of car seats are not installed properly.  Samantha and I, being highly educated individuals, just couldn't understand why over 90% of car seats in Montana are improperly installed according the Montana Highway Patrol.  We thought:  "Are people really that dumb?"  Well, the good news after our experience installing the car seat is that we no longer think people are that dumb.  The bad news is that installing a car seat is HARD! 

There were two major sources of our difficulty installing the car seat.  First, the installation manual contained poorly written directions and generic illustrations.  The authors of the installation manual could use a primer on technical writing and should make use of seat specific illustrations. Second, our car's owner's manual indicated that the best place for the car seat was directly behind either of the front seats.  In order for the car seat to fit in either of these places, we would have to move the front seat as far forward as possible rendering the front seat inaccessible to a passenger.  Given my large size and Samantha's above average height, neither of us can ride comfortably in the back seat either.  In fact, it is essentially impossible for me.  The effect would have been to make the car usable by only one parent if baby was on board.  Since it is a well established that the safest position for the car seat is in the center of the rear seat,  we installed it there instead.  Even in the middle, it's a tight squeeze.  I just hope its o.k. to install it there, which we'll find out later today.  Otherwise, we're gonna need a bigger car!

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One Response to ““The One Where Eric Realizes He Needs a Bigger Car””

  1. Eckstrom March 20, 2007 at 10:56 pm #

    Sorry to interlope, but what we found with our car seat (in our Subaru Wagon) was that it would fit in the middle. The key is to flip the seat backs forward to put the carseat in place until you cock the handle all the way forward into locked position. This tucked it out of the way of the seat backs in our car. Then put the seats back in place. We had plenty of leg room for two 5'10" adults in the front seat this way.

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