Childrearing

10 Thoughts Every Parent Has When Shopping For A New Car Seat

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toddler-girl-in-car-seatPurchasing a car seat is easily one of the most stressful things we do as parents. It doesn’t matter how many cute patterns the manufacturers make or how sleek and stylish the seats are; you’re still basically buying a life-saving device and you’d be crazy not to take that seriously. Still, even with all of your research, you walk into the baby store and you’re bombarded with colors and styles, different sizes and limits, a thousand special features, and pushy salespeople trying to talk you into the most expensive models, and you’re somehow supposed to figure it all out and make the smartest, safest choice.

When my husband and I bought our first child’s car seat, we were armed to the teeth with consumer reports, online reviews, and crash test safety ratings, and even then we ended up buying and returning the seat we initially wanted and going with something else. It’s an overwhelming process, and it’s only made more complicated every time a new seat becomes available or a new feature is added. Here are ten thoughts every parent has when shopping for a new car seat:

1. Oh my God, there are even more than we thought.

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When you looked online it felt like you kept seeing the same few seats over and over again, but when you walk into an actual store for a touch and feel you’re startled to find there are actually seven aisles of seats. You should’ve worn tennis shoes.

2. I’ve never heard of that brand in my life.

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Safe As Hell, Inc.? I’ve never heard of that. Did we research that? Have we never heard of it because it’s super exclusive and we’re getting in before everyone else realizes how awesome their seats are and the price inflates? Or have we never heard of them because they make their seats out of drinking straws and lead paint?

3. How do you pronounce Graco?

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Gray-co? Grah-co? Bry-tax? Bree-tax? Brih-tax? I feel like I’m ordering food at a fancy restaurant. This is a conspiracy. I don’t even want to ask for help because these words are too ridiculous.

4. What do all of these words even mean?

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What is ProRide Technology? Do we need that? Car seat manufactures are kind of like Oprah: made-up compound words for EVERYOOONNNNE! They could just tell you they put extra padding on the harness, but why do that when they can advertise exciting new ComfortSafe Technology?

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